Automotive fans will undoubtedly remember the time when Richard Hammond of BBC’s TopGear took a Citroën C1 into a freezing chamber in a test of man versus car — and of course, he won. However, Lexus thought it’d do one better by dropping the top on its LC 500 Convertible, subjecting it to -18°C, and seeing how it faired.
In what might be one of the coolest (pun intended) driving videos on the internet of all time, we see the LC 500 Convertible submerge from the depths of Millbrook Proving Ground’s Large Climatic Chamber, revving its five-liter V8 with ease. Prior to this, it had been sat in the chamber for 12 hours overnight with the top down and was covered in water before being frozen, turning it into ice.
Gary Fleming, the senior engineer of Millbrook’s vehicle testing lab, says that this is a good test because “Your exterior surfaces — your metals and things like that — they’re going to contract under extremely cold conditions… Manufacturers are going to look to ensure that their vehicle is capable of dealing with that condition and that things aren’t going to start falling off or when they start a vehicle up, it actually is able to start up in that condition.”
“All the interior components are going to be in an extremely stressed condition. It’s not going to be particularly nice to sit in there from an occupant’s point of view,” Fleming explains, adding that “deep-freezing on electrical components can be challenging — infotainment screens…aren’t particularly robust in those temperatures.”
However, as Paul Swift shows, it was much better than expected. After it started, the heated seats and steering wheel activated, and on the road, ice is seen shedding off the LC 500 Convertible. Take a watch of the video above to see it all in action for yourself.
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