Bespoke

Lexus let Twitch users customize an IS; here's what they came up with

Gamers on Fuslie's Twitch channel customized the car.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

More and more automakers are working to harness the power of new social media and streaming platforms. Ford recently designed an esports vehicle via Twitter and General Motors has worked with TikTok stars to get the work out about their products. Now, the first vehicle designed by and for the Twitch community has been unveiled.

During a livestream last month, more than 554,000 viewers watched Fuslie's channel and weighed in on their favorite features of the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport. They voted on modifications ranging from the gaming-themed exterior wrap to the custom controller to their "game fuel" beverage of choice. Lexus then worked with the fabrication experts at SCPS to bring the custom, crowdsourced car to life as a totally immersive gaming vehicle.

2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport: Gamer's IS

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The Gamer's IS was customized by gaming enthusiasts via Twitch.

"The Twitch community dives headfirst into their passion of gaming, just as we did in designing the new 2021 Lexus IS as a pure expression of a sports sedan," said Vinay Shahani, vice president of marketing at Lexus. "We asked for their help designing their dream gaming space, and they answered in spades. Together, we created the ultimate fusion of design and performance in automotive and gaming."

The result is the Gamer's IS, a car wrapped in "infiltrate" design custom vinyl, which was chosen by 48 percent of the voters using a Twitch poll.

More than half of the users selected the "Neon Tokyo" style of the car's interior versus the competitor designs. It features an electrified, neuron-exploding Japanese pop art aesthetic. The ceiling sports a clear layer of acrylic embedded with resin "raindrops" all backlit with programmable RGB LED lights, meant to give off the effect of driving under the lights of downtown Tokyo at night in a light rain. Behind the rear seats, LED panels project programmable content onto the rear window, creating an animated backdrop. SCPS included many custom upholstery elements into the design of the Gamers' IS interior. Smart Tint on the windows dims the cabin for gameplay.

A custom-built gaming PC with an MSI Gaming GeForce GPU + AMD CPU is installed in the vehicle's trunk. It has sleek custom housing, all highlighted by programmable RGB LED's. A fog machine and automated RGB lasers were also installed.

Taking up the passenger space in the Lexus IS's front row is a fully integrated gaming system complete with haptic feedback in the seat and a high-def, fully positional curved monitor. The curved monitor was chosen over a flat one by nearly two-thirds of Twitch voters. The system features a retractable keyboard and mouse platform, and a one-of-a-kind 3D printed game controller. Forty-two percent of voters chose the "Cyber" design for the controller, which features a metallic space gray and dark teal finish with neon accents.

Filling the six-drink center console cooler is the community's "game fuel" of choice—coffee drinks—as selected by 61 percent of voters. The entire vehicle is custom wired, including all the electronics and programmable lighting.

The car will not go on sale, but may end up at an auto show near you.

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Electric vehicles

NHTSA looking into Tesla's in-car video games

Some owners have discovered that their car's video games work when the car is moving.

Tesla

Tesla's vehicles are among the most advanced and forward-thinking products of any kind, but serious innovation doesn't come with tradeoffs. The automaker has been in the news recently because of issues with how its advanced cruise control systems function, and now, Autoblog reports that the NHTSA is asking questions about Tesla giving drivers the ability to play video games and browse the internet while driving.

Tesla Arcade hands-on: the Model 3 is your video game console youtu.be

The feature is intended to be used while the car is parked, such as while charging, so the discovery that people can use them while driving is a serious one. Vince Patton, the person who filed the complaint with the NHTSA, tested his car and found that he could play Solitaire and a fairly involved action game while it was in motion. Internet browsing was also possible, meaning the driver could take their attention completely off the road ahead for extended periods of time.

Tesla Model 3 Tesla's screens offer advanced functions that many others do not. Tesla

Tesla was already under investigation over crashes involving its Autopilot feature. Several collisions have occurred between Teslas and emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road. Following the initiation of that investigation, the NHTSA raised other questions with the automaker over a buggy software update that was pushed out, retracted, fixed, and reissued outside of the normal recall process. Despite their names, it's important to clarify that neither the Autopilot nor Full Self-Driving features are capable of driving the cars without driver awareness and input.

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New luxury full-size SUV

All-new 2022 Lexus LX 600 will be here soon

The new LX will go on sale in early 2022.

Lexus

The Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX are among the most revered off-road vehicles of all time. Even so, Toyota is cutting the Land Cruiser in the U.S. after the 2021 model year due to slow sales. We will see its twin, however, as the 2022 Lexus LX was just announced. The full-size SUV will go on sale in the first quarter of 2022 and will bring all two new trims, more intuitive tech, and updated but familiar exterior styling.

2022 Lexus LX The new LX gets a twin-turbo V6 instead of a big V8, and its new platform shaves weight while improving rigidity.Lexus

The 2022 Lexus LX 600 comes in five trims: Standard, Premium, Luxury, F Sport, and Ultra Luxury. The new Ultra Luxury trim cuts the number of seats to four by replacing the rear bench with a pair of plush reclining captain's chairs. A rear entertainment system and large rear center console complete the top-level trim. Also new for 2022 is the LX F Sport, which brings Lexus' sharp appearance package to the LX for the first time. The F Sport gets exclusive 22-inch wheels, aggressive exterior styling, and sport seats with unique color schemes.

The LX is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that produces 409 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission. The body-on-frame SUV rides on an all-new GA-F platform that Lexus says is 20 percent more rigid than that of the previous model. Lexus also carved 441 pounds out of the previous LX's platform weight.

2022 Lexus LX The LX is available in five trims, including a new top Premium Luxury model. Lexus

A new Active Height Control (AHC) system and adaptive suspension provide stability and a comfortable ride while retaining the LX's off-road capabilities. AHC allows the driver to select from three ride heights depending on the situation, and a low setting is available for entering and exiting the vehicle. Three wheel sizes are available, and the F Sport trim comes with a Torsen limited-slip differential.

Lexus updated the LX's cabin for 2022 with new infotainment system and a cleaner, more upscale design. A new dual-screen infotainment system is standard. The top 12.3-inch touchscreen handles audio and infotainment duties, while the lower 7.0-inch touchscreen is used for climate controls and related settings. The LX also gets Lexus' new infotainment software, which promises to be more intuitive and simpler than previous systems. Over-the-air updates will bring new features and update existing functionality, while voice controls can command audio, navigation, phone, and other vehicle settings.

2022 Lexus LX Ultra Luxury trim reduces seating capacity to four but makes the LX's cabin seriously plush.Lexus

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