he Lexus IS Wax Edition hits all the right notes. The custom concept vehicle, a modified 2021 Lexus IS sports sedan, has a fully functional turntable built into the dashboard capable of playing vinyl records while the car is in motion without missing a beat – even on a bumpy road. To celebrate this innovation, Lexus and Pitchfork brought together legendary DJ and producer MC Madlib and chart-topping artist and producer KAYTRANADA for the first time to create a brand-new double-single on vinyl and debut it in the Lexus IS Wax Edition, giving a whole new meaning to “taking it for a spin.”
This impressive fusion of music and cars was captured in a two-episode documentary series, “Driven by Sound,” created in partnership with Pitchfork. Episode One offers a behind-the-scenes look into the creative process of Madlib and KAYTRANADA. Episode Two documents the creation of the in-dash turntable and reveals the Lexus IS Wax Edition. It features music from the highly anticipated release of the artists’ joint double-single. Vinyl Me, Please (VMP), a monthly record subscription club that curates and creates vinyl packages, will distribute the exclusive 7″ vinyl to select members as part of their subscription.
“When I make music, I usually do it in headphones, so I hear everything clear,” said Madlib. “And I take it to the car, test it out. Every time. That’s the big test. To have the turntable in a Lexus? That’s beyond.”
“When Lexus said they wanted to build this car, I didn’t think it was possible,” added KAYTRANADA. “It was amazing to see and hear vinyl playing while cruising in a car.”
With vinyl listening once again on the rise and the Lexus IS attracting drivers with a passion for authenticity and amazing experiences, creating an in-car turntable that works flawlessly with the vehicle in motion was a challenge worth pursuing. To bring the concept car to life, Lexus commissioned SCPS, a world-renowned creative technology and custom fabrication studio based in Los Angeles. For over a decade, SCPS has been behind the marketing innovations of consumer brands and Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters.
The record player, created with a 3D printer and modified with carbon fiber and machined aluminum, fits snuggly into the vehicle’s glovebox and is large enough to play a full-size 12-inch record. Once the needle hits the grooves, a rotating motor helps stabilize the turntable to avoid skipping while the vehicle is in motion. The enhanced suspension system of the Lexus IS and fine-tuned handling provide a smooth and stable ride, which are critical for the needle of a record player. The Lexus IS Wax Edition offers an ideal environment for appreciating the warmth and depth that vinyl records give to recorded music. The modified vehicle, designed to celebrate the launch of the 2021 Lexus IS sports sedan, will not be for sale but will be on display at future Lexus events.
“Like audiophiles who go ‘all in’ to create the purest listening experiences, we went ‘all in’ to design the new 2021 Lexus IS as the purest expression of a sports sedan,” said Vinay Shahani, vice president of Lexus marketing. “The Lexus IS Wax Edition exemplifies the ultimate union of our respective passions, bringing together vinyl and cars in a fresh new way.”
Featuring the Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System, the new 2021 Lexus IS boasts one of the best sound-listening spaces for music lovers. Its 17 speakers and new amplifier offer 1,800 watts of power for a 7.1 surround sound listening experience.