Dimpled Lexus LS 460L to Debut at U.S. Open

Dimpled Golf Ball Lexus LS460L

Lexus will have a one-off LS 460L to show at the U.S. Open in Farmingdale NY next week, having commissioned a full-body cover designed to look like the surface of a golf ball.

Lima Ohio reports on the story behind the vehicle:

It all started with mailboxes. Brad Smith began making and selling mailboxes that look like a giant golf ball in October. At the PGA Golf Show in Orlando, Fla., in January, representatives of Lexus asked if he could put the same surface on a car.

Smith said he might be able to do it and contacted his friend Rick Davis, who worked with him at Accubuilt in Lima for 10 years. Davis’ son, Matt, had worked with a company that had some experience with a plastic that might work.

While Lexus refers to the “firm” that is doing the project, Rick Davis laughs at the term, pointing to the two-car garage outside his home, where all the work was done.

Here’s a closer look:

Dimpled Golf Ball Lexus LS460L Detail Shot

According to the Smith, they didn’t get a chance to see if the dimples made the LS 460L any faster, but there was a story earlier this year about a company claiming a similar surface could reduce increase MPG by as much as 20%.

[Source: Lima Ohio]



  1. lol its really dimpled in into the metal? i thought it was just an optical illusion with a giant vinyl sheet.

    If that is the case, it should be super aerodynamic

  2. Actually, I think it’s a hard plastic wrap that covers the entire vehicle.

  3. Lexus actually specifically advertised the 2004 LS’s dimpled underside. (I think that is the facelift of the third generation LS, btw.)

  4. hahaha so cool

  5. How beautiful! Paula Creamer needs one in pink. ;o)

  6. One-Eyed Golfer

    I heard you cannot slice that car no matter how hard you try…

  7. Is that good or bad? LOL

  8. Is this nice car for sale?

  9. @frank Liu: I don’t think so, it was commissioned by Lexus as a sponsorship vehicle, so I imagine it will continue to make the rounds for some time.

  10. Don’t you mean the company claimed dimples could INCREASE MPG by 20%?

    MPG means Miles Per Gallon.

    Dimples alter the boundary layers around a surface moving through a fluid (yes air is modelled as a fluid) and ultimately will reduce the objects drag and make it go further, like a golf ball.  Smooth surfaces create larger wake turbulence.

    This means the car will theoretically have GREATER fuel economy, so higher MPG. Please change the article, I can’t stand to think the world is really getting that stupid.

  11. I’ve corrected my error, but I suggest finding a better way to express yourself in the future. Insulting someone for an innocuous mistake makes you look ignorant.

  12. Thanks, I apologise for my tone.
    Fluid dynamics is my field, and the previous post was a combination of academic frustration, teaching habits and a bad day I’m afraid :S

    I do love the car - any idea as to whether the claims on fuel consumption have been substantiated?

    Thanks, apologies again *hangs head*

  13. Not a problem, thanks for pointing out the error.

    I don’t believe there’s been any followup about this car, but I’ll see what I can find out.

  14. Well, Mythbusters pointed out an 11% increase in MPG with a dimpled car. I’m somewhat skeptical if it’d work with every vehicle. But I’m willing to bet it is based on the size of the dimples, and the car’s shape itself.

    So it probably works, but I think it’d have to be different for each model of car.

    Also, the flexskin that people talk about for 20%+, I think it doesn’t help in the test (that I found on google) they posed due to the size of the dimples on the flexskin.

  15. Thanks for the info, Kitsuna!

  16. It’s got to be printed on, theres no way you could make dimpled sheet metal strong enough to pass safety regulations.. is there?!

  17. @Golf Trophies: it’s obviously glued on

  18. Well maybe your eyes are better than mine!

  19. Is there any way you know how I could get my 1996 Toyota Camry wrapped in your dimples? I want to test the effect on fuel efficiency. Perhaps some computational fluid dynamics modeling could address this issue. I cannot believe auto manufacturers would not try to get 10% or more fuel efficiency if the dimples helped (going of Mythbusters’ episode and CFD of golf balls). Still, I bet the dimples are only needed in strategic parts of the car, similar to vortex generators on fighter planes.