Cardboard Lexus Is One Big Crumple Zone

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Inspired by Japanese origami and powered by an electric motor, this drivable replica of a Lexus IS sedan is made from 1,700 sheets of laser-cut cardboard.

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Lexus’ motto, Creating Amazing, means ‘relentlessly pushing the boundaries of design, technology, craftsmanship and customer care. An experience as amazing as the car itself.”  To illustrate that philosophy, Toyota’s luxury vehicle marque has created a rather amazing automobile: an origami-inspired, full-size rolling sculpture whose body and interior are composed of precision-cut cardboard. The replica of a Lexus IS sedan is fully drivable as well, though one had best check for rain in the forecast before taking it for a spin.

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A whopping 1,700 individually-shaped pieces of cardboard went into the replica Lexus IS sedan and although 3D-printing was NOT involved, plenty of computer-aided design was required. Technicians scanned each component’s details into a computer, which then calculated the precise dimensions of each segment. Then it was off to a programmable laser cutter where the sheets of cardboard were individually cut and made ready for assembling together.

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Not every part of the replica Lexus is made of cardboard, mind you – a robust steel and aluminum sub-frame hidden deep within the warren of cardboard panels supports the electric motor required to motivate the sculpture. Other functional non-cardboard components include door hinges and headlights.

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