Tips, Tricks & Trends

The Most Expensive Car Paint is $2,000 a Gallon

For many people, your car’s paint is just an option that makes it more personal. We pick colors we like or that we think will look good, but we don’t give it much thought besides that. In fact, most people don’t even take care of the car’s paint properly, using incorrect washing methods that actually damage the paint. For some car owners and enthusiasts, car paint is a crucial part of their car. Lexus decided to make the paint more than just a simple aesthetic feature, however, and this new paint costs $2,000 a gallon.

Beautiful as a butterfly

A few years ago, the design team at Lexus was inspired by something that isn’t very often used in the automotive world: a butterfly. Simple, elegant, and beautiful, one butterfly, in particular, has something a little bit odd about its coloring. The American Morpho butterfly is a stunning and bright shade of blue, but the trick is, it isn’t blue at all. The wings of the American Morpho do not contain any blue pigment whatsoever. It is actually a trick of the light that causes our eyes to perceive their wings as blue.

Lexus didn’t just want to replicate the beauty of the American Morpho butterfly by producing a similar pigment; they wanted to recreate the chemical structuring. After years of design and what takes an entire team to expertly apply, they were able to create a paint that appears to be vibrantly blue while not having any blue pigmentation at all.

A blue Morpho butterfly rests on a branch in the Butterfly Conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History | Kena Betancur, Getty Images

Lexus Structural Blue

When the light hits the Structural Blue paint job on a new Lexus, it’s guaranteed to turn heads. You might receive more than few compliments on your choice of color, but the look on people’s faces when you tell them that the car isn’t really blue is priceless — well, hopefully at least worth the $2,000 a gallon that it costs. There is actually a multi-layer process that causes light to reflect off of the car and change your eye’s perception to make it look like a vibrant blue.

Lexus Structural Blue | Lexus

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15 years in the making

It took Lexus 15 years to perfect the desired effect of the Structural Blue paint. Along with a team of researchers, chemists, and engineers, it is easy to understand why the paint is so expensive. In fact, it’s a multi-step process just to apply the paint to the car. Whether you are in love with the color or not is all up to personal preference, and spending $2,000 per gallon for paint isn’t for everyone.

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There is no doubt that the Lexus Structural Blue is a stunning color, only enhanced by the ability to boast how the car’s paint isn’t actually blue. With years and research of design, the team at Lexus really hit this one out of the park, and we think the vibrant, almost glowing blue is a real home run.