Lexus heart beat car Launch, Carriage Works, Redfern. 16th July 2015. Picture by DAMIAN

Sydney, New South Wales - Petrolheads know that driving a high-performance car can rev up your heartbeat. But, as far as we know, nobody has tapped into that, until now.

Lexus has created what it says is the first vehicle to translate the driver's heart patterns into a visual display across the bodywork, a one-off Lexus RC F coupé that's s the result of a joint effort between Lexus Australia and its ad agency.

Different medical technologies built into the car monitor the driver's heartbeat and use the data to send an electric charge through bodywork. So far, that's standard hospital stuff, exactly the same as an electrocardiograph - but then it gets really high-tech.

The body panels are finished in an electro-luminescent paint produced by US specialist Luminor, which reacts to the charge with an intense glow, pulsing in response to the driver's heart rate.

The result is a car that responds visually to the emotions it arouses in its driver; who's to say how that response might be channelled in the future. Imagine if one day your car could tell you: "I'm sorry, Michael, you're too tired (or too upset) to drive," and refuse to start.

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