Fashion

Lexus, RTFKT debut one-of-a-kind shoe inspired by the 2021 Lexus IS

Lexus and fashion brand RTFKT have teamed up to create a shoe inspired by the Lexus IS.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

You've heard of the saying "when rubber meets the road". A new 2021 Lexus IS-inspired shoe by RTFKT is playing on that phrase, delivering a concept that combines the looks and appeal of the compact car with untraditional materials.

"We wanted to make sure when the audience looks at the sneaker they instantly know it is the IS," said Chris Le, creative director and co-founder of RTFKT. "All the intricate design elements come together, and at a first glance it's a neckbreaker," added Steven Zaptio, CEO and co-founder of RTFKT.

The one-of-one shoe features deign elements inspired by the Lexus IS 350 F Sport Dynamic Handling Package. The package is a $4,200 add-on to the top -tier Lexus IS F Sport and is available on cars equipped with front- or all-wheel drive. Adding the Dynamic Handling Package gives the car Drive Mode Select (Eco, Normal, Sport S, Sport S+, and Custom modes), an F Sport heated ash wood steering wheel, F Sport-tuned adaptive variable suspension, F Sport 19-inch split-seven-spoke forged alloy matte black BBS wheels, a carbon fiber rear spoiler, a Torsen limited-slip rear differential, ash wood interior trim, and a SmartAccess card key.

The car that inspired the project includes the Dynamic Handling Package.Photo courtesy of Lexus

2021 Lexus IS

The shoes are RTFKT's first pair of footwear inspired by and partly constructed from vehicle materials. The base of the shoe features a sole resembling a tire. The front is shaped like the IS's signature spindle grille, with 3D-printed material imitating the carbon fiber spoiler of the car.

The sides of the sneaker showcase Black NuLuxe with light gray stitching from the seats, with a middle silver stripe inspired by the details of the headlights. The team added an F Sport-branded tag on the side and a Lexus badge covering the top Velcro strap. Lastly, they selected a vibrant blue hue for the sneaker that most closely resembles Grecian Water, a new color for Lexus in 2021.

"We wanted to make sure when the audience looks at the sneaker they instantly know it is the IS," said Chris Le, creative director and co-founder of RTFKT. "All the intricate design elements come together, and at a first glance it's a neckbreaker," added Steven Zaptio, CEO and co-founder of RTFKT.

The sneaker's creators were inspired by multiple elements of the Lexus IS.Photo courtesy of Lexus

The sneaker creation process was documented by RTFKT and entertainment media company Complex and turned into a three-part video series "Rubber & Sole," now live on Complex.com. The first episode features Zapito and Le taking notes from the redesigned Lexus vehicle. The second video has them moving into the sketch and sourcing phase and the final episode showcases the final details of the sneaker.

"RTFKT put the same passion into developing this one-of-a-kind shoe that we did in developing the new 2021 Lexus IS," said Vinay Shahani, vice president of Lexus marketing. "Steven and Chris delivered a head-turning sneaker that unmistakably mirrors the bold design and impressive performance of the IS."

The special edition sneaker inspired by the 2021 Lexus IS sport sedan will not be available for sale.

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The 2022 Lexus ES will debut next week.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The meat and potatoes of the Lexus sedan lineup, the ES, is due for a refresh, and it will get one. The 2022 Lexus ES will be shown publicly for the first time this Sunday as part of the festivities of the Shanghai auto show.

While the photo doesn't tell a lot, there's some things you can bet on in the 2022 ES. For starters, look for all the improvements that the auto has gotten over the last two years to carry over into the new model. That includes the addition of all-wheel drive to the lineup and standard blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

The ES Black Line may not make its way to the 2022 version of the midsize sedan. Generally, blacked out editions are available only at the tail end of a model run ahead of a refresh or generational redesign. However, the blacked out elements could become available as part of a package.

The headlight photo that Lexus has offered as a teaser shows a housing that is not dissimilar to the one that the Lexus IS wears. However, the daytime running light is on the bottom here, instead off the top. Like the IS, there are strong hood lines.

At the back, the preview video shows a vehicle that is very similar to the current model. It's taillights, a strong chrome line that runs the width of the year, and rear lip spoiler all look mostly same as before.

As for what to expect underneath the body of the car, there's not a lot of indication from the teasers, which leads one to believe that's where the biggest changes are coming. There's a good chance that we'll finally say goodbye to the Lexus touch pad in favor of a touch screen display that's within a comfortable distance.

It's also likely that Lexus will fine tune the dynamics of the ES in a similar fashion to how the Lexus IS got more performance-focused driving dynamics in its latest redo.

Stay tuned for more specifics are the curtain is pulled back on April 19 in China (April 18 in the U.S.).

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Domino's and Nuro announced their partnership in 2019 — and now the robots are hitting the roads.

Photo courtesy of Nuro

After announcing their partnership to work on pizza deliveries via self-driving robots in 2019, Dominos and Nuro have officially rolled out their technology to one part of town.

Beginning this week, if you place a prepaid order from Domino's in Woodland Heights (3209 Houston Ave.), you might have the option to have one of Nuro's R2 robot come to your door. This vehicle is the first do deliver completely autonomously without occupants with a regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to a news release.

"We're excited to continue innovating the delivery experience for Domino's customers by testing autonomous delivery with Nuro in Houston," says Dennis Maloney, Domino's senior vice president and chief innovation officer, in the release. "There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space. This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations."

Orders placed at select dates and times will have the option to be delivered autonomously. Photo courtesy of Nuro

Nuro Domino's delivery vehicle

The Nuro deliveries will be available on select days and times, and users will be able to opt for the autonomous deliveries when they make their prepaid orders online. They will then receive a code via text message to use on the robot to open the hatch to retrieve their order.

"Nuro's mission is to better everyday life through robotics. Now, for the first time, we're launching real world, autonomous deliveries with R2 and Domino's," says Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder and president, in the release. "We're excited to introduce our autonomous delivery bots to a select set of Domino's customers in Houston. We can't wait to see what they think."

California-based Nuro has launched a few delivery pilots in Houston over the past few years, including the first Nuro pilot program with Kroger in March 2019, grocery delivery from Walmart that was revealed in December 2019, and pharmacy delivery that launched last summer.

From being located in a state open to rolling out new AV regulations to Houston's diversity — both in its inhabitants to its roadways, the Bayou City stood out to Nuro, says Sola Lawal, product operations manager at Nuro.

"As a company, we tried to find a city that would allow us to test a number of different things to figure out what really works and who it works for," Lawal says on an episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "It's hard to find cities that are better than Houston at enabling that level of testing."

You can find out which self-driving vehicles are being tested in your neck of the woods by clicking here.


This article first appeared on AutomotiveMap's sister site InnovationMap.

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