Who needs a car wash? Nissan’s slippery hydrophobic paint sheds dirt like a duck

Nissan has a nefarious plan to end high school fund raisers with its new self-cleaning car.

Okay, so that statement actually contains a couple of lies. As far as I know, Nissan has nothing against high school car washes. And the prototype car – while awesome – can’t really be said to clean itself, sorry Nissan. What it can do, is simply not get dirty, Nissan even has the footage to prove it.

The secret behind the sort of insane sight of mud, water, and maybe some sticks and birds just bouncing off the paintwork of the little Nissan Note, is hydrophobic paint. The technology behind this comes from Ultra-Ever Dry, which has already been lighting up the Interwebs with videos of its stunning water-repellent coating.

The science behind this stuff is a bit beyond my bachelors in history. But apparently by manipulating the paint at the microscopic level, Ultra-Ever Dry creates a layer of air between the paint and the attacking water or oil. This means that the offending fluid never has a chance to ‘stick’ and instead rolls away harmlessly.

From the video footage it appears that this doesn’t work as well where complex angles are involved. My best guess as to why would be that in joints and seems mud and dirt has an opportunity to get stuck, and from there it acts as a base where more dirt can stick. Still, for someone who lives in the wet and “casually” paved paradise of Portland the prospect of a mud repellent car is promising.

Nissan says it has no plans to offer the coating as standard, but may work with Ultra-Ever Dry to offer it as an aftermarket option. It will be interesting to see if any other automakers follow up on this line, because hey, who doesn’t want a non-stick car?

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