It would appear as though Lexus is a little bored on its winter break, as it has gone through the considerable effort to have one of its NX crossovers fitted with scale wheels and tires made from ice. If this sounds like a pointless stunt, chill out. The NX already rides firmly, so the assuredly firm ride offered by icy wheels and tires seems like a fair trade-off for the impossibility of a flat. (Ignore the very real possibility of a shatter, however.) No mere static stunt, the ice-footed NX actually drove down a London street. For a time.
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Among the many reasons why you won’t see a car equipped with ice wheels any time soon—besides the requirement that it stay below 32 degrees where you live, all of the time, year ’round—is that their construction pace is glacial. Each of the Lexus’s wheels took four ice sculptors from London’s Hamilton Ice Sculptors 36 hours to complete. (And that was after three months of research, development, and testing, according to Lexus.) Each wheel and tire was meticulously re-created from the real deal, and the entire car, ice wheels fitted, was “deep-frozen” for five days in -22 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures before being driven down a street. To prevent the wheels from going all dropped ice cube under the NX’s weight, they were reinforced internally with acrylic spokes and fitted with LED lights for an extra blast of pizazz. There’s no word on how long the Titanic-sinkers lasted or what their grip characteristics were like, but, uh, happy winter?