In an industry where removing mass has become a central goal in the effort to improve fuel economy, it’s not unusual to see automakers showing concepts built from exotic, impractical materials. A car made almost entirely out of cardboard, on the other hand, is a bit of a head-turner.
Lexus commissioned two London companies–Scales and Models and LaserCut WORKS–to build this running, rolling, 1:1 scale IS sedan.
Lexus claims the model is comprised of roughly 1,700 individual pieces of shaped cardboard, but to our eyes that number seems short a couple of zeroes. The detail is nothing short of astonishing. From the Lexus emblem on the grille to the contours of each wheel face, almost no nuance of the sedan’s design was overlooked.
The attention to detail continues inside, where everything from the seats down to the analog clock on the dash is meticulously replicated.
“This was a very demanding job, with five people involved in the digital design, modelling, laser cutting and assembly. Just like Lexus, we were committed to producing the best possible quality,” said Ruben Marcos, founder and director of Scales and Models.
Perhaps even more impressive is that this corrugated luxury sedan can actually move under its own power. The cardboard body is set on a steel and aluminum frame, bolted to which is an electric motor that can power the vehicle. Lexus was not forthcoming with any performance information and we’d wager they’re not in a hurry to do any instrumented testing.
Check out the video below to learn more about the construction of this fascinating project.