Lexus Built a Working Cardboard Version of a Car, and It’s Incredible

An origami-inspired ride

You can't spell "cardboard" without "car."

In the U.K., Lexus has made an impressive driveable replica of its IS model sedan, using 1,700 pieces of precision-cut cardboard—all to demonstrate the automaker's dedication to craftmanship. 

To be fair, the car also includes a steel-and-aluminum frame and an electric motor. Oh, and "driveable," means "only take it out very slowly, in a highly controlled environment."

The cardboard car is inspired, according to Lexus, by an origami test the company requires of workers on its production line—and is, at its heart, an incredibly complicated paper sculpture. 

The behind-the-scenes video (shown below) delves into more detail about how Lexus and its creative partners—LaserCut Works and Scales and Models—actually made the . 

In short, the team took the same computer-design files that Lexus uses to create the real IS, then applied those specs to carve into a series of cardboard sheets with a laser. Even though the result is clearly a prototype showpiece, it still boasts a full interior and functional doors and headlights. (Presumably, the headlight bulbs aren't cardboard, either.)

The end result is certainly cool. Daniel Ryan, of LaserCut Works, aptly describes the effect as a "crossover between animation and reality. There is a dreamlike quality to seeing a familiar form in an unfamiliar texture. And the project shines a much-deserved spotlight on both his company, and Scales and Models. 

Beyond that, though, it doesn't say much that Lexus' current marketing hasn't already covered under the "Amazing in Motion" tagline. It's not, after all, a hoverboard David Kiefaber is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak.
Publish date: October 13, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT