Community Outrach

Lexus teams up with Cerebral Palsy Foundation to create one-off vehicle for kids

Dreams do come true for one child, who received a fancy new Lexus play car.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Lexus has teamed up with the Cerebral Palsy Foundation (CPF) to create a one-of-a-king ride-on vehicle inspired by children with cerebral palsey. The automaker says that the untraditional vehicle combines Lexus's "human-centric design philosophy with CPF's mission of improving the lives of people with cerebral palsy and opening up the world of possibilities."

The special ride-on vehicle was presented to its recipient Finley Smallwood earlier this month, which is designated National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.

Lexus Cerebral Palsy Foundation custom car The play car has been modified to allow Smallwood to enjoy play in a way that doesn't restrict her.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

"People with cerebral palsy rarely get the interventions and support they need at the moments they need them," said Rachel Byrne, CPF executive director. "Our mission is to shift that paradigm and be a catalyst for creating positive change through innovative collaborations and partnerships."

For children with cerebral palsy, one of the greatest challenges is being able to participate in their environment and play as other children do. Many children with cerebral palsy don't have the strength to be able to hold and turn a steering wheel consistently for a given period of time, and mobility challenges can make using a foot pedal impossible. Smallwood has difficulty sitting for long periods of time.

"At Lexus, our core design philosophy has always been human-centric," said Cooper Ericksen, Lexus group vice president, product planning & strategy. "We create vehicles around the art and science of human needs. In this case, we wanted to push the envelope and explore what that might mean for a child with cerebral palsy who hasn't been able to experience the joy of mobility like other children have."

Smallwood's custom crafted vehicle includes modifications to the seat, with additional side padding for lateral support around her waist along with an adjustable headrest and a five-point harness. Her customized ride-on car also includes increased door size and reduced ground clearance to allow for ease of entry and exit.

Lexus Cerebral Palsy Foundation custom car A team of Lexus engineers worked on the project.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

There's an armrest joystick that allows Smallwood the ability to control the direction and acceleration of the vehicle without the need for foot pedals or holding a steering wheel for an extended period of time.

"Oh, and we painted the body of the car purple," said Ericksen. "Because that's Finley's favorite color."

The project was in partnership with Givewith. You can learn more about Smallwood's story here.

Trending News

Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The 2021 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series turns the car into a stealthy black coupe.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The new, 2021 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series gets blacked out features, carbon fiber accents, and performance enhancements. The luxury arm of Toyota will make just 100 of the models, which is expected to be priced at $119,800 before taxes and fees.

The new car is the result of a partnership between air race pilot Yoshihide Muroya and Lexus engineers, some of whom have worked on the LC and LFCA. The engineers worked on Muroya's plane using what they'd learned in LC 500 development to achieve aerodynamic efficiencies. These changes helped set Muroya off on his path that would eventually lead to him winning the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championships.

2021 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The 2021 Inspiration Series car has a combination of features not found on any other LC package. The limited-edition vehicle is offered in one exterior color, Obsidian, and wears 21-inch black forged-alloy wheels. Pulling in inspiration from the the aircraft, the team designed a carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) spoiler that follows along the trailing edge arc of the trunk of the LC and features two downtrend winglets on either end.

Each model continues to get its power from a naturally aspirated, 471-horsepower 5.0 V8 engine that makes 398 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission that drivers can shift using magnesium paddles on the car's wheel. All that power moves the car from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.

Lexus has equipped the model with a standard Torsen limited slip differential and Yamaha rear performance rod with damper, an available option on other LC models.

The car's cabin is blacked out as well with black Alcantara-trimmed sport seats complete with Saddle Tan accents and seat belts. The steering wheel and shift lever are also accented in black Alcantara trim. A carbon-fiber scuff plate features at the the door while a serialized badge on the center console identifies the uniqueness of the model.

A 13-speaker Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound Audio system is standard, as is a head-up display, and SmartAccess Card Key (similar to what Tesla offers).

The 2021 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series is on sale now.

Trending News

 
 

The Lexus HX Sleigh Concept is designed to upgrade Santa's traditional sleigh.

Photo courtesy of Lexus Canada

All around North Americans are spending time this holiday season hoping that they get an upgrade to their daily driver this Christmas making it a December to remember. Lexus, the luxury arm of Toyota, is helping Santa make his ride a little nicer, with a completely different take on the jolly man's transport than what Bentley offered earlier this week.

The Lexus HX Sleigh Concept incorporates the highlights of many modes Lexus vehicles, including the recently refreshed Lexus IS sedan.

"I'm a simple man, but the ol' sleigh has been looking a bit less refined than it used to," says Santa. "It was time for me to upgrade my capabilities to help deliver toys to all the children on my nice list more efficiently, so the Lexus HX Sleigh Concept couldn't have come at a better time. Mrs. Claus is excited to drive it, too!"

Lexus HX Sleigh Concept The sleigh has endless cargo space - part of the magic of Christmas!Photo courtesy of Lexus Canada

With exterior looks reminiscent of the Lexus LF-30 Electrified concept car, the model has a lustrous four-coat Infrared paint job. Slim headlights slip up the sides of the sleigh while the Lexus "L" emblem rides front and center on the nose.

Its hatchback-like design allows for massive cargo space. Lexus says that its capacity is "endless" and it makes "delivering billions of toys a snap". Elves with their hands full will appreciate the automatic trunk with kick sensor to ease with loading and unloading.

Climate Concierge with Neck Warmer keeps Santa toasty at 60,000 feet while a touch screen display with Embedded Air Traffic Control helps Santa navigate through even the most remote locations. Santa can list to his favorite carols along the way on the HX Sleigh Concept's custom Mark Levinson Surround Sound Audio System.

"It'll been great having some more help around the holidays," says Director of Reindeer Resources, Rudolph. "I run a tight sleigh, and the combination of Lexus's trademark hybrid electric technology and well-honed All-Reindeer Drive will really allow us to take our job to the next level. Plus, the fact that it runs on 100% renewable holiday spirit means even our planet gets a gift this year! With the added efficiency the Lexus HX Sleigh Concept gives us, I'm confident we'll even find some time to fit in some gift deliveries for grown-ups, too!"

The Lexus HX Sleigh Concept will be making its way around the globe later this week.

Trending News