Lexus might have taken car testing to a whale different level entirely. Normally, convertibles are best suited to warm climates, but the company had a different idea in mind with this LC 500 Convertible. Obviously, the luxury division of Toyota is attempting to test its durability limit by placing it in an industrial-scale freezer at the Large Chamber at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, United Kingdom.
The Lexus LC 500 flagship model had its roof folded down and was sprayed with water to create a thin layer of ice before allowing it to sit for a half a day at -18C. According to the carmaker, the temperature is cold enough to freeze a rubber, which is also the required level set for s standard vehicle defrosting evaluation. The purpose of this exercise is to know if the cold would affect some components on the car, such as steering wheel, heated seats and the HVAC system.
After this extreme freezing test, the car was given to stunt driver Paul Swift to take it out for a spin on the Millbrook’s hill course. The driver said:
“I am asked to do a lot of crazy things in my job, and this was one of them. I wasn’t really nervous about it until I turned up and then I saw the car sitting in the chamber looking through the window and it looked really cold and I thought ‘am I going to have to sit in that?’ Thankfully it was great, I was really impressed”.
Swift further said:
“At a gentle push of the button, the 457-horsepower V8 fired up on the first try. The gauges sprung to life, and the HVAC system did its job as if nothing happened. “I could feel the steering wheel and the base of my back warming up and the vents in the headrest behind my neck”, added Swift. “It was actually quite pleasant, considering it was minus 18, I felt quite comfortable in the car right away.”
None of the film crew was exposed to any danger of working in a chamber or those in the car at such extremely low temperature. Thanks to Lexus who took extra precautions before and during the exercise.