Auto manufacturers spend years and hundreds of thousands of kilometres developing technology and testing vehicles in all sorts of weather conditions. From wet and cold extremes to dry and hot extremes, prototype vehicles are put through gruelling tests to try to accelerate decades of wear and tear in a short amount of time.
One of these engineering innovations that Lexus engineers have spawned out of years of testing is a rain-fighting technology called “water-repellent glass.”
Considering how much rainfall we get in the Lower Mainland per year, it is sure to be a feature that many Vancouver motorists will love as much as their windshield wipers.
What is it?
Water-repellent glass has been around on Lexus vehicles now for a better part of a decade. However, since most drivers tend to focus on performance features, this small and subtle innovation may be missed out.
This anti-rain technology can help to keep you safe when the clouds burst open. Lexus’ water-repellent glass is currently found as standard equipment on the driver and front passenger windows of these Lexus models: IS, IS C, RC, GS and LS.
How it works
The front door glass on these vehicles have a special factory-applied titanium silica glazing that helps to make water bead up and run off. In combination with wind generated by the speed of the vehicle, the coating removes water droplets quickly.
Working on the same principle, snow, sleet, ice and even insects are also removed with ease.
On glass with the water repellent coating, it’s much easier to see through the window out to your mirrors when it’s raining.
As there are fewer water droplets on the glass, night time glare when raining is also reduced, ensuring significantly clearer vision during poor weather conditions.
Unlike other aftermarket self-applied water repellents, this factory application will not wash off in a matter of days and does not need regeneration. Just clean the glass as you would the rest of the windows.
Although water repellent glass is a subtle addition, it is one that can easily be appreciated by comparing the behaviour of water on the front windows versus the rear windows. On the front, the water will bead up and roll off quickly, whereas on the rear (without the treatment), the water will tend to sheet.
Incidentally, this is a reason to insist on genuine Lexus parts if you ever need a window replaced, as an aftermarket product likely won’t have this treatment.