Lexus builds a one-off IS 350 with a record player in the glove box
The latest Lexus to undergo modification for the company’s marketing efforts is called the Lexus IS Wax. That’s because it’s for vinyl lovers, and contains an actual car-mounted record player that, Lexus claims, does not skip.
Earlier this month we saw a sneaker homage to the Lexus IS. It, and now the IS Wax, are part of Lexus’s “All In” campaign that lets influencers in creative fields loose on a luxury sedan. The goal is to put the Lexus brand in front of others in that field, even if they are largely unrelated to anything automotive. Just last month, the company presented a gaming-themed IS built with input from the Twitch streaming community.
As such, the press release for the Lexus IS Wax does not once mention that the car was based on a Lexus IS 350 F Sport. We can only deduce that because it wears the more aggressive fascia, 10-spoke wheels and F Sport badge that comes with the higher performance version. On the other hand, the press release does mention the names MC Madlib and KAYTRANADA, which we guess have some meaning to people in the music world.
Lexus claims that the record player will not skip, even on a bumpy road. The record player was partially 3D printed and modified with carbon fiber and machined aluminum. It had to be a custom job to fit into the car’s glove box. Impressively, it actually plays a 12-inch record and emerges and retracts into the glove box with some sort of motorization.
Very little is revealed about how they dealt with the skipping, except to say that a rotating stepper motor helps stabilize the turntable when the car’ in motion, and a silicone cushion underneath it helps absorb some of the bumps.
Oh yeah, it was wrapped in matte black as well.
Helpfully, Lexus provided a few quotes from its collaborators. Said Madlib, I take [music I’ve created] to the car, test it out. Every time. That’s the big test. To have the turntable in a Lexus? That’s beyond.” Said KAYTRANADA, “When Lexus said they wanted to build this car, I didn’t think it was possible. It was amazing to see and hear vinyl playing while cruising in a car.”
Presumably, the target audience will be more impressed with the 1,800-watt, 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system than the 311-horsepower V6 and 280 lb-ft of torque. If you’re curious about how the Lexus IS Wax was created, you can watch the two-part video.