Anti-Scratch Clear Coat

Lexus invents a vehicle paint that repairs itself.

When the 2010 LS arrived last fall, it introduced a new paint technology, called Anti-Scratch Clear Coat, that does more than simply protect the finish on your car: it restores itself after a light ding, and has been proven to help maintain a vehicle’s original beauty far longer than conventional body paints.

This is revolutionary. Clear-coats have been around for a while, especially in Lexus’ advanced painting process. They’re the durable, colorless protective coating applied during the final stage in the paint process, and their purpose is to gloss-up the vehicle and help protect it from minor abrasions.

But even the hardest, most durable of these coatings eventually succumb to the effects of daily contact. For confirmation, take a look around the door handles of almost any older car; those countless scratches and fractures result from years of fingernail and jewelry impact, not to mention contact from mobile phones and anything else you might carry in your hands.

So Lexus engineers, as they tend to do, recently took a different approach to paint protection: rather than make the coating harder, they made it softer and more flexible. Essentially, they reworked the paint’s behavior at the molecular level until they achieved a high-density surface coating that was extremely elastic—so elastic as to be capable of deforming on impact and then springing back to its original gloss.

In the real world, this means the 2010 LS exterior can take a minor hit from your fingernails and then repair itself, sort of like a chair cushion that pops back into shape after you stand up.

In addition to its unique elastic qualities, Lexus Anti-Scratch Clear Coating resists the effects of sunlight and acid rain, and requires no special treatment or maintenance on the driver’s part. Lexus engineers confirmed the coat’s effectiveness in an intense, 4,000-hour weather-resistance test, corresponding to roughly 10 years of normal use.

Another exciting aspect of this innovation—and the one that has the potential to make your life easier—is its impact on that age-old dilemma of how to wash your car. Hand-washing is generally considered an optimal way to keep your Lexus clean and looking its best. But even hand-washing brushes and sponges can scuff the car’s finish.

Anti-Scratch Clear Coating helps protect against this subtle wear and tear as well, through countless washes and the cumulative demands of day-to-day life.