Lexus and adidas S.E.E.D Unveil 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' Lexus RX 500h F SPORT

Also releasing an accompanying graphic T-shirt.

Automotive
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United by the concept of “strength in unity unlocks new possibilities,” Lexus, adidas S.E.E.D (School for Experiential Education in Design), Calty Design Research, and 3D printing company Carbon joined forces to reimagine the Lexus RX 500h F SPORT. Inspired by Marvel StudiosBlack Panther: Wakanda Forever, now playing in theaters, the special vehicle accompanies adidas’ “Wakanda Forever” collection and builds on the identity of the fictional African nation.

“The all-new RX 500h is part of our expanding Lexus Electrified portfolio with evolved innovative technology that elevates the driver’s experience,” said Michael Moore, General Manager, Lexus International. “There’s an athleticism in the performance of the RX that makes it a perfect fit to join the ‘Wakanda Forever’ team.” The exterior of the Lexus RX 500h F SPORT is dressed in a Wakandan pattern purple with a diamond pattern across the hood, drawn from the Black Panther’s claw necklace. Elements of gold found on the new Black Panther’s suit are represented with the “F” center caps, “F SPORT” on the wheels, and Lexus badging in the fictional Wakandan alphabet

Students at adidas S.E.E.D are responsible for the interior, partnering with Calty Design Research in the design process through a series of workshops exploring automotive design, Lexus design, creative processes, color and materials, and the power of collaboration.

“Lexus is passionate about fostering future designers,” said Sabina Charfauros-Redmon, creative lead, Lexus International. “We see adidas S.E.E.D as representing a new normal that opens doors for BIPOC women in the design space. It’s a special moment when young creators are given the opportunity to stretch their creativity beyond their own comprehension. Lexus believes in this narrative and is excited to be a part of this process.”

“Lexus, adidas and Wakanda Forever may seem like they come from totally different worlds but the thread that draws everything together is the pursuit and leadership in unique storytelling and innovative technology,” stated Alex Shen, Chief Designer at Calty Design Research. “Because of this common thread, the S.E.E.D. designers have such a unique and exciting task ahead of them to create something really artful and cool. It’s a real pleasure and honor for us to witness all the creativity, enthusiasm, and collaborative thinking and execution from the S.E.E.D. designers.”

“Collaboration is one of our core values at S.E.E.D. We believe that innovation exists at the intersection of creativity, collaboration, diversity, inclusion, and equity,” adds Cheresse Thornhill-Goldson, director, Design Education & Growth | S.E.E.D., adidas. “A critical aspect of our curriculum is ‘open-source’ product creation where we team up with experts across various industries to educate and co-create with our S.E.E.D. designers to bring unique products to life. So, collaborating with Lexus, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Carbon, Calty, and Annex to design the Lexus Vibe-Branium Direct4 RX 500h was such a transformative experience for our students. The end result is a powerful example of what can happen when we leverage the ‘collective genius’ across disciplines.”

With Carbon helping realize the S.E.E.D student’s interior vision, the custom build features future-focused designs, textures, and materials. Gold tribal print covers the seating surfaces, door panel inserts, and steering wheel, while the “F SPORT” detailing is translated into the Wakandan alphabet. Key tactile areas are covered in Carbon 3D printed energy-returning athletic shoe midsole material used in the adidas 4D-FWD. Finishing up the design are co-branding markings on the headrests and gold trim laser-cut wood accents.

Additionally, the team came together for a limited-release T-shirt designed by the adidas S.E.E.D students centered around an African proverb, “Educate a Woman, Educate a Nation,” written in Wakandan, and an homage to Vibranium. The graphic tees also come complete with tags that celebrate the names behind the collaboration.

Take a look at the impactful project from Lexus, adidas S.E.E.D, Calty Design Research, and Carbon above. Versatile multi-hyphenated visual storyteller Cami Thomas also documented the collaboration with a featurette which can be viewed below.

In case you missed it, Tesla cars can now play Steam games after a holiday update.

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