Lexus Gets Spicy With The Sriracha IS In Los Angeles

Created as a premium carmaker, Lexus has taken big steps into the high-performance realm in recent years with its F-badged models and the LFA sports car. The current IS is one of the few Lexus automobiles that has yet to receive the full-fledged F treatment, but the brand has come up with another way to offer a hot version of the sedan. It goes by the name IS Sriracha and it was unveiled at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.

If you’re not familiar with sriracha, you should know that it’s a type of hot sauce that originated from Thailand. Why would you name a car after a dipping sauce? Well, it turns out Lexus wanted to spice things up in the tuning segment and teamed up with Huy Fong Foods, a California-based manufacturer that produces the most famous sriracha sauce in the U.S. Built by the folks over at West Coast Customs, the IS Sriracha is quite the unique build and essentially a tribute to the hot dipping sauce.

As you’d expect from a chili-inspired vehicle, it is painted red. However, the hue is far from common. According to Lexus, the Sriracha Red paint was designed “to mimic Sriracha sauce inside the bottle and topped with a clear coating.” The automaker also says it has experimented with a range of mixtures and methods, including… wait for it… adding sriracha sauce to the paint itself. Talk about innovation…

The sedan also features a large Huy Fong rooster logo on the front fenders and several details in green, the official signature color of Huy Fong Foods. These include the “Spindle” grille outline and brake calipers. Another crazy feature is the bespoke key fob that includes an emergency chili button that dispenses the sauce from a nozzle. Just in case drivers need more chili on their burgers.

Inside, the chili theme continues with a red steering wheel made by casting a Sriracha-like liquid in resin. The unit features a “Hot Handling” logo and chili-like flakes. There’s also leather seats with the Huy Fong rooster logo and green accents, green ambient lighting, and a special Sriracha Mode that tunes the powertrain for faster gear changes and more dynamic throttle mapping. Finally, the trunk is stocked with 43 bottles of Sriracha for “emergency condiment situations.”

I’ve been there once, so yeah, that’s a good idea!

There’s no word as to what lurks under the hood, but the IS 300 AWD badge suggests that motivation comes from a 3.5-liter V-6 rated at 255 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. It’s not the hottest IS out there, but it’s not slow either. The car also comes with two unique jackets that feature hand-embroidered images of the Sriracha IS and custom Sriracha IS patches, as well as custom… oven mitts.

Why it matters

Lexus Gets Spicy With The Sriracha IS In Los Angeles

I have to admit I really like the Sriracha IS, but it might have something to do with the fact that I enjoy spicy food. However, I also like it because it’s a different take in a tuning segment that has so much to offer that it makes it really difficult to stand out. Lexus’ chili-inspired sedan is definitely a hot build and quite serious despite its design being based on a dipping sauce. Granted, this car is more suitable for the SEMA Show rather than a standard automotive event, but it’s great to see a custom build among production models. And before you ask, no, Lexus probably won’t turn the Sriracha IS into a special-edition model. So you’d better stock up on chili sauce!

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.

Sriracha Driving Mode

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

Lexus Gets Spicy With The Sriracha IS In Los Angeles

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.

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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