Lexus have put one of it's luxury convertibles through a 12-hour deep freeze in an extreme quality test.
Blue skies and sunshine are the ideal backdrop for a great drive in the Lexus LC Convertible, but this car can deal with much harsher weather conditions, as the icy endurance test proved.
Lexus subjected a standard car to 12 hours inside an industrial-scale refrigeration unit at -18°C. The four-layer roof was also stowed for the sub-zero marathon, exposing the interior, and the test was followed by an immediate high-power drive around a demanding test track. The venue for the event was the Large Climatic Chamber at the Millbrook Proving Ground in the UK.
For the LC Convertible’s visit, the mercury was set at -18°C – cold enough to freeze rubber and the industry standard for assessing defrosting performance.
The Lexus was also given a preliminary water spray so that a sheet of ice would form over the vehicle body.
Greg Fleming, the senior engineer overseeing the trial, said: “With the roof down, the interior components would be in an extremely stressed condition and it would not be a nice place for anyone to be – the hope was that the air conditioning system, the heated seats and steering wheel would all still operate as they should.”
It took about an hour for the powerful gas conditioning system to bring the temperature down to the required level and the car was left overnight.
Paul Swift, a professional stunt driver, was recruited to put the Lexus to its post-freeze test.
The 457bhp V8 engine fired up first time and the displays and gauges sprung instantly to life, showing no adverse impact.
“I could feel the steering wheel and the base of my back warming up and the vents in the head rest behind my neck. It was actually quite pleasant, considering it was minus 18, I felt quite comfortable in the car right away,” said Swift.
“This is a lovely car and does exactly what you need it to do.”