When most carmakers want to build an outrageous customized vehicle for the annual SEMA show, they usually turn to their own designers or a well-regarded aftermarket company. Not Lexus.
For the 2013 SEMA show, Lexus turned to deviantART’s online community for ideas for a custom 2014 IS 350. The Japanese luxury brand held a contest and built a real-life version of the winner’s design.
Lexus says it received over 600 submissions, which were combed through by four judges.
The winning design from deviantART-ist Robert Evans will be unveiled at Lexus’ SEMA booth on November 5, the show’s opening day. It reportedly covers all of the custom bases, featuring a unique body kit, wheels, interior, and paint job.
In addition to the crowdsourced IS, Lexus will bring eight other cars to SEMA. The lineup includes five 2014 IS models, a first-generation 2004 IS 300, a second-generation 2007 IS 250 and, overshadowing all of them, a 2012 LFA supercar.
Like most SEMA builds, these cars feature bigger wheels and tires, more aggressive styling and louder colors; it’s all necessary for attracting attention in the crowded Las Vegas Convention Center, where every car is wearing some kind of modification.
Of special note is the 2014 “IS 340,” a brand-new car that’s had its drivetrain removed and replaced with the legendary 2JZ-GTE inline-six – known for its use in the fourth-generation Toyota Supra – and a five-speed manual transmission. A Lexus with a stick shift? You don’t see one of those every day.
Check out the photos of Lexus’ 2013 SEMA show cars, and watch this space for more updates.