Lexus paint-job flashes to driver's hearbeat

The Lexus RC F V8 coupe is painted with electroluminescent paint that reacts to electricity(Credit: Lexus Australia)

There's nothing like putting your foot down in a powerful car to raise your heart-rate – and a new Lexus concept car can demonstrate exactly that. Working with M&C Saatchi, Lexus Australia has rigged up a one-off RC F V8 coupe so that its paintwork flashes in time with the heartbeat of a person inside.

When glowing, the paintwork of the RC F looks not dissimilar to that of the glow-in-the-dark Nissan Leaf we featured earlier this year. Whereas the Nissan uses paint that absorbs UV light to make it glow, however, the Lexus uses paint that reacts to electricity.

To begin, the car was painted with electroluminescent paint. A heart-rate monitor was then installed, to which the driver or a passenger could be hooked up. The monitor is, in turn, connected to a bespoke electrical system. It processes the data and sends electrical charges corresponding to the wearer's heartbeat, to the car's body panels.

According to Lumilor, which develops the paint, the process responsible for the electroluminescence is known as radiative recombination (or "spontaneous emission"). This sees phosphorescent substances emit photons in response to alternating electrical current. An isolation coat is applied to the surface of the car to prevent a short circuit, before additional coatings are applied that define the area bounding the panel and the panels' shapes. Finally, wires are connected as a means of applying current.

The results are striking in terms of the car's looks, with each electrical pulse lighting up the exterior panels. We can expect the panels to flash more rapidly the faster and more aggressively the car is driven.

Although visually exciting, Lexus Australia has suggested little in the way of practical use for this tech. In a press release, the firm says it is simply a "demonstration of advanced technology and the connection between man and machine."

The video below shows the car in action.

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