2017 Lexus Sriracha IS

Special edition cars can go in a variety of different ways depending on the person who’s looking at them. There are some models like the 2013 BMW 760Li Sterling Robbe & Berking Edition that inspired universal acclaim. On the flip side, some special edition versions like the DS3 Givenchy Le MakeUp were panned for one reason or another. Somewhere in the middle of this vast expanse of special edition models sits the Lexus Sriracha IS, a unique iteration of the Japanese automaker’s luxury sedan that’s inspired by the Sriracha sauce made famous by the California-based hot sauce company Huy Fong Foods.

Yep, hell has frozen over now that cars are being inspired by food condiments.

To be fair, the Sriracha IS doesn’t look . It actually has some appeal to it if you’re the type who appreciates a red car with green accents on it. At the very least, it is eye-catching, which I suppose is the reaction West Coast Customs was looking for when it was enlisted by Lexus to work on the IS and give it the Sriracha treatment in time for its debut, which occurred at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Give West Coast Customs this much; the custom features on the IS are really something else. The paint job itself took some time to plan and execute and the accompanying green accents are both bold and consistent with the color scheme of the hot sauce company. Even the interior is dressed up to be completely in tune with the hot sauce company’s identity, something I never thought I’d get to write, let alone see in my lifetime.

About the only thing disappointing about the Lexus Sriracha IS is that West Coast Customs didn’t do something to spice up the sedan’s 3.5-liter V-6 engine. It still packs 255 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque on account of the IS 300 AWD badge on the sedan. I just would’ve preferred it if Lexus instead based the Sriracha IS on the range-topping IS 350. At least that has 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque on tap. Or, you know, Lexus could just bring back the IS F. Speaking of which, what’s the word on that, Lexus?

What makes the Lexus Sriracha IS special

Lexus Gets Spicy With The Sriracha IS In Los Angeles

Lexus and West Coast Customs dressed up the IS with a custom red paint finish that was not only inspired by the distinctive red hue of the famous Sriracha sauce, it also has the Sriracha sauce mixed into the paint itself. Talk about life imitating art; this one literally imitates the sauce. The result of this insane paint experiment is the Sriracha Red color, which even includes flecks of chili-like flakes that are clearly visible even from a distance. We’re off to the races, aren’t we?

With the Sriracha Red body paint in place, Lexus and WCC added green accents throughout the sedan as a nod to the sauce’s green cap. The green accents were placed on the sedan’s spindle grille, mirrors, brake callipers, and exhaust tips. And if these details aren’t enough, badges bearing Sriracha’s famous rooster logo were placed on the side, rear and door wells of the sedan to properly identify the model as a literal special edition. At the back, a “Sriracha” nameplate in Lexus’ logo can be seen opposite the IS 300’s own nameplate.

With the Sriracha Red body paint in place, Lexus and WCC added green accents throughout the sedan as a nod to the sauce’s green cap.

Move inside the car and the numerous nods towards the Sriracha sauce are as prevalent as the one’s found in the body of the car. The IS’s steering wheel, in particular, was the recipient of a Sriracha-like liquid that was cast in resin and shaped to fit into the steering wheel’s physical configuration. There’s also a warning sticker that says “Hot Handling” just in case people forget what the overall theme of the car is. Transition from the steering wheel to the sedan’s center console and you’ll notice that some of the IS sedan’s actual functions have also been injected with Sriracha love.

The temperature settings, in particular, have been upgraded to go from “cool” to “Sriracha hot,” which in itself is pretty explanatory. Likewise, the sedan’s driving modes now has a “Sriracha” mode, which I can only assume means more performance characteristics out of the IS. The front seats of the IS have also been dressed up to pay homage to the almighty Sriracha with Huy Fong Foods’ logo neatly embroidered into the headrests with matching red and green accents on the back rests. Even the mood lighting of the sedan comes as another signature element of the Sriracha IS.

Move inside the car and the numerous nods towards the Sriracha sauce are as prevalent as the one’s found in the body of the car.

The special edition Lexus Sriracha IS is most certainly a handful to deal with in more ways than one, but If you think that’s the extent of it, you’re wrong. Just because Lexus and Sriracha have already gone above and beyond the norms of what a special edition model can look like, it went a little further and stocked the sedan’s trunk with 43 – yes, 43! – bottles of the actual Sriracha sauce and modified the car’s key fob, turning it into a portable dispenser that can actually Sriracha sauce.

Not since the second-generation of the Holland and Holland Range Rover have I seen a car get transformed so ostentatiously to the point that it becomes a four-wheeled advertisement of sorts on the brand that the automaker has partnered with. Remember the Holland and Holland Range Rover from February 2016? Not only did that draw plenty of inspiration from the British gun maker, but it also carried, quite literally, a locking, leather-trimmed gun case with room for two long guns. At the very least, Lexus can carefully say that it doesn’t have any firearms tucked away in the crevices of the Sriracha IS.

Then again, those bottles of Sriracha hot sauce on the sedan’s trunk are just as explosive, especially when you use too much of them in one go.

Press Release

To celebrate the launch of the 2017 Lexus IS sports sedan, Lexus created a bolder, spicier customized version of the original: the Lexus Sriracha IS. By joining forces with the authentic, beloved sauce made by Huy Fong Foods, Lexus turns up the heat with custom auto detailing, foodie finishes and an arsenal of Sriracha within easy reach for emergency situations. The specially modified vehicle will be on display at The Los Angeles Auto Show from Nov. 18–27 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“The new Lexus IS is so hot, we decided to make it Sriracha hot, with all the custom details every Sriracha fan will appreciate,” said Brian Smith, Lexus vice president of marketing.

Lexus Gets Spicy With The Sriracha IS In Los Angeles

“I feel so humbled to see my Lexus and Sriracha friends’ love for my hot sauce,” said David Tran, CEO and founder of Huy Fong Foods. “The Lexus Sriracha IS is really the perfect mix for a ‘hot’ and ‘spicy car’ – just the way I like it.”

To bring the concept to life, Lexus commissioned the elite crew at West Coast Customs. Lexus also created a light-hearted video for fans to enjoy. “Sriracha In Everything” highlights the vehicle’s custom details and how Sriracha makes everything hotter. It can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/U2mtILDZRgI.

Lexus Gets Spicy With The Sriracha IS In Los Angeles

The special features of Sriracha IS:

Official Sriracha IS Paint Job

Lexus experimented with a range of mixtures and methods—including adding Sriracha sauce to the paint itself—to create the Sriracha Red color, complete with flecks of chili-like flakes. The custom paint job was designed to mimic Sriracha sauce inside the bottle and topped with a clear coating.

Sriracha-Injected Steering Wheel

A Sriracha-like liquid was cast in resin, then formed into a Lexus steering wheel, complete with a warning for “Hot Handling.”

Sriracha Temperature Settings

The settings for the seat warmers and AC/heating system have been upgraded to go from cool to Sriracha hot.

Lexus Gets Spicy With The Sriracha IS In Los Angeles

Sriracha Driving Mode

Sriracha mode tunes the powertrain for faster gear changes and more dynamic throttle mapping.

Handcrafted Seats

Plush leather seats are hand-embroidered with the Huy Fong rooster logo, the Sriracha IS logo and green accents.

Sriracha IS Badging

Custom badging on the side, rear and door wells identify this model, while illuminated callouts under the passenger and driver’s doors add a level of exclusivity.

Lexus Gets Spicy With The Sriracha IS In Los Angeles

Sriracha Green Accents

Touches of green are a signature element of official Huy Fong Foods products. Bottle-cap green details throughout the car include:

Spindle grille outline

Hand-painted calipers

Interior cabin mood lighting

Chrome side view mirror accents

Hand-stitching on the seats

Fully Stocked Trunk

The trunk is stocked with 43 bottles of Sriracha for emergency condiment situations.

Key Fob with Remote Emergency Sriracha Activation

The key fob includes an emergency chili button that dispenses the sauce from a nozzle on the fob, so drivers are always prepared.

Lexus Gets Spicy With The Sriracha IS In Los Angeles

Sriracha IS Driving Accessories:

Driving Jacket

A hot car deserves a hot driving jacket. For this collaboration, Lexus created two one-of-a-kind jackets that feature hand-embroidered images of the Sriracha IS and custom Sriracha IS patches to commemorate this sizzling venture.

Driving Mitts

Some cars require driving gloves. The handling on the Sriracha IS is so hot, custom oven mitts are necessary.

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