Lexus, the luxury vehicle division of Toyota, has joined forces with Twitch user Fuslie to create the Gamers’ IS, a modified-version of the IS 350 F Sport sedan that includes a gaming PC in the trunk, an HD curved monitor in the passenger seat, a retractable keyboard and mouse tray, and a 3D-printed controller.
Yet don’t expect the cars to roll off the assembly line anytime soon. According to a Lexus spokesperson, “It will likely become a show car and make the rounds of the auto shows once those come back.” The intention, however, seems clear — to appeal to the key gaming demographic.
Honda recently revealed its new Civic on Twitch, while Ford used the platform for a “live drive stream event” in which users could drive a Mustang Mach-E on a 100,000 square-foot interactive track. Marketing cars on gaming sites is a push by automakers to renew interest from a younger generation in cars after recent surveys have shown that younger generations don’t necessarily aspire to own a car or even drive.
Given that 67% of Twitch viewers are under the age of 35, the marketing ploy of these automakers makes sense. Lexus is trying to generate interest in its 2021 IS model, which the brand says is “aiming to reach its youngest customer yet.” The Gamers’ IS is part of the All In campaign launched in January, which features “micro-influencers,” including sneakerheads, audiophiles, fashionistas, gamers.
Meanwhile, Fuslie hosted a livestream last month that drew more than 554,000 unique viewers who voted on features that should be included in the car, including a gaming-themed exterior wrap, a fog machine and a “Neon Tokyo” interior described by Lexus as “an electrified, neuron-exploding Japanese pop art aesthetic.”
“We asked for their help designing their dream gaming space, and they answered in spades,” Vinay Shahani, VP of marketing at Lexus, said in a statement. “Together, we created the ultimate fusion of design and performance in automotive and gaming.”
The Gamer’s IS was built with SCPS, a custom manufacturer in Southern California, which recruited 20 concept artists, designers, 3D modelers, electrical and structural engineers, metal fabricators, craftsmen, artists, custom upholsterers and computer technicians — “most of whom are serious gamers themselves” according to Lexus.
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