Hot and Spicy

Lexus commissions a Sriracha IS one-off to fire up its sports sedan’s 2017 model year launch

November 17, 2016

Winter is just around the corner. But Lexus, by collaborating with Huy Fong Foods to build a one-off version of its popular IS sports sedan, is doing its part to turn up the heat. In fact, before you grab the wheel, you might want to slip on the custom-made oven mitts that come with it.

In truth, the Lexus Sriracha IS—now on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show—doesn’t actually feel as hot as the beloved hot sauce that inspired it. But it certainly looks the part.
 
“The new 2017 Lexus IS is so hot, we decided to make it Sriracha hot, with all the custom details every Sriracha fan will appreciate,” says Brian Smith, Lexus vice president of Marketing.

 
Lexus commissioned West Coast Customs to bring this saucy concept to life. Here are some of its fire-breathing modifications:
 
  • Paint job—Lexus experimented with a range of mixtures and methods, from adding Sriracha sauce to the paint to recreating its color, complete with chili-like flakes. The final formula mimics the sauce in the bottle and is topped with a clear coat.
  • Steering wheel—A Sriracha-like liquid was cast in resin and then formed into an IS steering wheel. Appropriately enough, it comes with a “Hot Handling” warning badge.
  • Temperature settings—The heating system and seat warmers now have a new top setting: Sriracha hot.
  • Badging and accents—Sriracha and Lexus branding merges throughout, from logos hand-embroidered into the plush leather seats, to illuminated callouts under the passenger and driver’s doors, to the IS’ iconic spindle grille outlined in green to match the hot sauce’s bottle cap.
  • Trunk—The IS’ cargo area is stocked with 43 bottles of Sriracha for emergency condiment situations.
  • Key fob—Press the emergency chili button and hot sauce dispenses from a nozzle built into the custom fob.


David Tran, CEO and founder of Huy Fong Foods, is among those who are feeling the burn.
 
“I am so humbled to see my Lexus and Sriracha friends’ love for my hot sauce,” he says. “The Lexus Sriracha IS really is the perfect mix for a hot and spicy car—just the way I like it.”

 
To see how this custom build came to life, click here to view “Farm to Road,” a mini documentary produced by Lexus.
 
By Dan Miller

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