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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Lexus took a different approach to launch the new IS.

Lexus

Lexus knows how to make a good V8. The LC 500, RC F, and even older cars like the SC 400 all feature a buttery, powerful Lexus V8. The IS sports sedan never has been given the V8 treatment, but that's about to change for the 2022 model year. The automaker is jamming a big V8 in the space normally occupied by a four- or six-cylinder engine to create the 2022 IS 500 F Sport. The automaker's new marketing campaign for the car takes a slightly different approach than the "big red bow" commercials it usually makes, starting with a short documentary called "License to Thrill."

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport 14 drivers competed for a chance to be one of the first IS 500 F Sport owners.Lexus

The IS 500 F Sport is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that makes 472 horsepower. It's the most powerful Lexus IS ever, so it's not surprising that the automaker chose to highlight its performance in its launch marketing campaign.



The documentary follows 14 auto enthusiasts who participated in a driving event for a chance to own (buy) one of five early cars. Drivers were taken to the Apex Motor Club in Arizona, where they received tips from Lexus IMSA drivers Townsend Bell, Jack Hawksworth, and Aaron Telitz before hitting the track in an IS 500 F Sport. Each driver had an opportunity to set the best lap times in the car. Top lap times earned a chance to be one of the first to purchase the car, but Lexus also gave away one IS 500 to an unexacting participant.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Lexus gave away one of the cars.Lexus

The IS 500 launch will include other events that involve artists and content producers. Pro driver JR Hildebrand will drive the car for a MotorTrend special, while 100 Thieves and Garagisme will create publications and video content involving the car.

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The engine bay is decorated with images of the American flag.

Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

A new customized 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 pays tribute to members of the U.S. military. Karl Kustoms, a Chevrolet Performance retailer and custom shop, recently completed the build in partnership with Bad Boy Vettes. Nearly every panel of the Corvette has been modified to honor a military branch. Even the underside of the hood and engine bay have been artistically sprayed.

"It is a privilege to take on a custom project like this and use our skills to honor our nation's military," Clint Quesinberry, Digital Marketing Specialist. "This Memorial Day, we are proud to recognize those who served."

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet Corvette The model started its life as a 2016 Chevy Corvette.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

Unique features include detailed lettering of the words "Honor, Duty, Country", three words given an important place in military history after they were uttered by General Douglas MacArthur in 1962 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as part of his farewell address. There's also imagery of a U.S. Army helicopter firing at a Russian helicopter, a serviceman with a German Shepard, the U.S.S. Iowa battleship, and Arlington Cemetery stones with Medal of Honor recipients from each major conflict.

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Military imagery features throughout the body work.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

The car was created as a full-time show car and is currently on display at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It will remain there through the end of 2021 before traveling throughout the country at a variety of car events throughout 2022.

The customized Corvette is also a contender for the 2021 International Show Car Association (ISCA) Car of the Year.

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Imagery is featured on the body and under the hood.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

"We did what we could to take this thing over the top," said Ed Birmingham, Karl Kustoms Painter. "I sat there for hours doing the detail work. I spent more time than I would normally spend on a hood, but it all paid off."

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