Special Edition

Take it for a spin? Lexus IS Wax Edition adds a fully functioning turntable to the car

The IS Wax Edition is a one-off that Lexus has developed with a renowned DJ and producer.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The Lexus IS Wax Edition hits the right notes. It's a sports sedan concept car with a fully functional turntable built into the dashboard that's capable of playing records while the car is in motion. The car is the result of a collaboration between Lexus, Pitchfork, DJ and producer MC Madlib, and producer Kaytranada. The collaboration also included a new double-single on vinyl that debuted in the Lexus IS Wax Edition.

Two episodes of the "Driven by Sound" documentary series feature the collaboration. The first has a behind-the-scenes look into the creative process of Madlib and Kaytranada. The second documents the creation of the in-dash turntable and reveals the Lexus IS Wax Edition.

Both episodes of the series feature the double-single. Vinyl Me, Please (VMP)), a monthly record subscription club that curates and creates vinyl packages, will distribute the exclusive 7-inch vinyl to select members as part of their subscription.

2021 Lexus IS Wax EditionThe exterior of the car has a unique finish.Photo courtesy of Lexus

2021 Lexus IS Wax Edition

"When I make music, I usually do it in headphones, so I hear everything clear," said Madlib. "And I take it to the car, test it out. Every time. That's the big test. To have the turntable in a Lexus? That's beyond."

To create the unique car, Lexus worked with SCPS, a world-renowned creative technology and custom fabrication studio based in Los Angeles. For over a decade, SCPS has been behind the marketing innovations of consumer brands and Hollywood's biggest blockbusters.

The dashboard record player was created using a 3D printer and modified with carbon fiber and machined aluminum. It fits snugly in the car's glovebox and is large enough to play a 12-inch record. A rotating motor helps stabilize the turntable while the car is in motion to help avoid skips.

The model has a two-tone interior.Photo courtesy of Lexus

"Like audiophiles who go 'all in' to create the purest listening experiences, we went 'all in' to design the new 2021 Lexus IS as the purest expression of a sports sedan," said Vinay Shahani, vice president of Lexus marketing. "The Lexus IS Wax Edition exemplifies the ultimate union of our respective passions, bringing together vinyl and cars in a fresh new way."

The IS Wax Edition has a Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System that's able to be added to traditional IS models. The system features 17 speakers and an amplifier that delivers over 1,800 watts of power for a 7.1 surround sound listening experience.

The car's turntable is located in the glovebox.Photo courtesy of Lexus

The modified vehicle will not be for sale but will be on display at future Lexus events.

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2022 Lexus NX earns Top Safety Pick +

The 2022 NX earned a Top Safety Pick + award.

Lexus

The redesigned 2022 Lexus NX just got its crash test scores, and they're strong. The new crossover picked up a Top Safety Pick + award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the agency's top award. It's the NX's fourth consecutive Top Safety Pick + award, and before that the vehicle earned Top Safety Picks.

2022 Lexus NXThe NX has picked up top awards for several years in a row. Lexus

The 2022 NX picked up top scores in testing, earning a "Good" rating in all crash-test categories, a "Good" score for headlights, "Superior" scores for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention, and a "Good+" score for LATCH system ease of use. Though the 2021 model also picked up a Top Safety Pick + award, it scored lower for its car seat anchors.

Lexus offers the new NX with a whopping four propulsion options, including a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 203 horsepower, a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 275 horsepower, a 2.5-liter hybrid with 239 horsepower and a plug-in hybrid powertrain with 302 horsepower. The two gas engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive, while the two hybrids both get all-wheel drive.

2022 Lexus NXLexus offers the NX with four powertrain options. Lexus

Pricing for the 2022 NX starts at $39,025 for the base NX250. Moving up the line, the NX350h starts at $42,125 and the NX450h+ starts at $56,725.

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Lexus just announced the new RZ 450e

Lexus

Lexus and Toyota have finally jumped onto the EV train, and we’ll soon see new all-electric SUVs from both. The Lexus variant, named RZ 450e, features a reasonable range, upscale interior, and neat all-wheel drive technology. We don’t have firm pricing for the Lexus, but expect it to start in the mid-to-high $40,000 range.

2023 Lexus RZRange is expected to reach 225 miles per chage. Lexus

The RZ shares a platform and much of its underlying engineering with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, but will take a more upscale approach. Though its size and overall shape are similar to the others, the Lexus’ exterior styling is sharper and sportier, with functional aerodynamic bodywork. A new Lexus logo is spelled out on the rear gate, instead of the traditional “L” of previous models.

The SUV comes with a 71.4-kWh battery that should deliver a range of around 225 miles on a charge. All-wheel drive is standard, and uses the RZ’s dual electric motors to shift power between the wheels that need it most.

Inside, the RZ features a minimalist, open space with controls meant to remind drivers of a horse’s reins. Ultrasuede upholstery and woodgrain trim come standard. Lexus notes the RZ’s head-up display is controllable via steering wheel-mounted buttons that handle navigation, audio, and other functions.

2023 Lexus RZThough similar to the Toyota bZ4X inside, the Lexus IS more upscale and minimalist. Lexus

Speaking of the steering wheel, the first RZs will be available with a round wheel only, but later on, Lexus will offer a yoke-style wheel like the one seen in the Toyota bZ4X concept and Tesla’s Plaid models.

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