Creative Liveries: Lexus Brings Art LFA to 24 Hours of Spa

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
creative liveries lexus brings art lfa to 24 hours of spa

Art cars kind of suck. Even though BMW has managed to produce a handful of stellar examples — models enhanced by Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Alexander Calder, and Andy Warhol — plenty of the brand’s artistic liveries have been far less appealing to the layperson.

Other companies have produced art cars as well. Last year, Lexus unveiled an incredible IS sedan covered in 41,999 programmable LEDs that created a perpetually changing and utterly hypnotic visual experience. However, its most recent example left me feeling a little empty inside.

Art is subjective, I know. But, when it’s slathered all over an automobile, you want it to be expressive of the car’s personality — or at least striking in a way that becomes transformative. The LFA Lexus brought to the Total 24 Hours of Spa race this weekend does neither. Frankly, it feels one step removed from purchasing some mass produced vinyl graphics off an online retailer and sticking them wherever.

Intended to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Lexus’ F performance brand, which was previously commemorated by the limited edition Lexus RC F And GS F, the LFA was handed over to artist Pedro Henriques. The automaker appears to have a solid relationship with the creator. He’s cropped up before, getting a Lexus-branded art gallery where he covered half of a UX crossover in white paint earlier this month in Lisbon.

Henriques’ style is definitively minimalists, focusing heavily on shapes and negative space. I suppose the LFA is emblematic of his core technique. But it’s difficult not to simply write it of as lazy and boring. It is also slightly odd that the automaker decided to use an exceptionally rare vehicle that has been out of production since 2012. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to tart up a contemporary LC with paint? We know there is a high-performance F variant coming soon.

“My inspiration for this livery was the idea of fluidity present in the contemporary life, where things are in constant movement and it’s hard to freeze anything,” Henriques explained. “The lines in the drawings follow this feeling of going everywhere and never stopping; a progressive life. I wanted to reach an organic feeling by using handmade material and liquid lines in the elements spread through the car. By doing this I hope to express a feeling where the car becomes a less defined shape, in constant mutation in its movement.”

I’m not entirely sure I see the social commentary on present-day living. But maybe it’s absolutely brilliant and I’m simply not cultured enough to identify that particular aspect of the piece. The alternative is that there just isn’t a lot going on here and nothing to get all that excited about. However, those kinds of criticisms are best left to professional art connoisseurs who can endure looking at this kind of thing all day and find meaning where these is none.

Honestly, I was far more interested in seeing the Emil Frey Lexus Racing RC F GT3s running 24 Hours of Spa for the first time. It was a great race overall, loaded with tense moments and close calls. Unfortunately for Lexus, one of their cars was claimed by a fiery off and it was a Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 that ended up taking home the trophy.

[Images: Lexus]

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  • Zackman Zackman on Jul 30, 2018

    Reminds me of the "Razzle-Dazzle" and "Dazzle" paint schemes used by the U.S. and Great Britain during WW2. Never knew how effective it was for confusing German U-Boat rangefinders, though.

  • IBx1 IBx1 on Jul 30, 2018

    Eugh. At least follow ANY lines on the car and make it somewhat related.

  • FreedMike Needs a few more HP to really spice things up...
  • Oberkanone Absolute insanity on our public roads! A danger to society. Bravo Dodge!
  • Lou_BC Cool car but 35k USD?
  • Lou_BC I've owned and ridden many litre class sport bikes. Those bikes render anything on 4 wheels boring. This is cool but even if I had the cash, it would be a hard pass.
  • Jeff S Some of us don't care either way we are not into this type of car. Most of these will be stored in garages waiting for their value to go up. As someone above noted this is an old body style which is retro 70s Challenger which after researching it came out in the 2008 MY which means a long run for a model that is in its 16th year. I have always liked these but if I bought one I would not spend this kind of money on one probably get the V-6 version and use it as a family car but then I am not into drag racing or muscle cars. For the type of car it is it has a decent rear seat and not too bad of a trunk. Most of us are not going to spend 100k for any vehicle at least currently so its not something most of us will buy and stick in a garage waiting for its value to increase. I am glad that these editions came out for those who can afford them and it keeps a little more color into what has become a very dull vehicle market but then with age I pick the dull appliance like reliable vehicle because that's what I need. Impressive car but not for me.