In one of the most bizarre press releases we've read this week — and we read a lot of bizarre press releases — automaker Lexus has announced an upcoming vehicle built using the fictional metal vibranium, as featured in Black Panther comics and the upcoming movie. Yeah, we know it sounds crazy. Read it for yourself:
Lexus Introduces Two New Vehicles Inspired by Marvel Studios' "Black Panther" Ahead of SEMA 2017
Graphic novel unveiled alongside LC Inspiration Series and Black Panther Inspired LC
When a Super Hero is your muse, the results can be amazing. And Lexus is proving just that with two new vehicles inspired by its team-up with Marvel Studios' "Black Panther"—a 2018 LC Inspiration Series production car and a concept coupe dubbed the Black Panther Inspired LC. As previously announced, Lexus and Marvel have collaborated to pair the 2018 Lexus LC 500 with Marvel's dynamic Black Panther character in the highly anticipated film, Marvel Studios' "Black Panther," in U.S. theaters Feb. 16, 2018.
The limited-edition 2018 Lexus LC Inspiration Series features an exclusive deeply saturated, iridescent Structural Blue color. This vehicle is the first in a succession of Inspiration Series vehicles Lexus plans to create for each of its flagship models.
"The Inspiration Series takes our flagship products and makes them even more exclusive and distinguished," said Brian Bolain, general manager, Lexus marketing. "Our collaboration with Marvel Studios' 'Black Panther' features a technologically advanced blue LC and was the perfect inspiration for the first car in the Series."
Separately, the Black Panther Inspired LC concept coupe is a celebration of the Black Panther and Wakanda itself—complete with a powertrain that gets an extra boost from vibranium, the mythical ore found only in the Black Panther's home of Wakanda.
"With this vehicle," Bolain added, "we took the LC Inspiration Series vision one step further into a universe that defies reality."
"This is what it's all about," said Mindy Hamilton, Marvel's SVP of global partnerships & marketing. "We're bringing our two worlds together by letting our imaginations run wild like there are no limits to what's possible. That's what Black Panther and the nation of Wakanda represent in the film, and it's been incredible to work with Lexus as we attempt to re-create that ideology here in our own corner of the universe."
Lexus doesn't elaborate on how exactly they've managed to get their hands on vibranium – a fictional metal found in the fictional country of Wakanda with the power to absorb kinetic and vibratory energy. The metal is famously used in the alloy that makes up the fictional Captain America's fictional shield. And now, in these new models of Lexus, apparently. For now, the vibranium is only being used in a concept vehicle to show of at SEMA 2017, but Lexus is surely working on obtaining more of it for production use.
2018 LC Inspiration Series
The first vehicle in Lexus' Inspiration Series is a limited-edition 2018 Lexus LC, celebrating the attributes of sophistication, performance and innovation embodied by the Black Panther character, King T'Challa, and his home country of Wakanda. With only 100 slated to be sold in the U.S., the Lexus LC Inspiration Series features a first-of-its-kind paint technique called Structural Blue. Inspired by the morpho butterfly, the paint is developed through an eight-month process. While the paint contains no actual blue pigment, its unique construction reflects blue light and highlights the vehicle's dynamic design and features to produce a compelling motion effect even when parked. A more in-depth look at the technology can be found here.
Additional features of the Inspiration Series LC include:
- Unique carbon fiber scuff plate
- Bespoke white interior
- 21" forged alloy wheels
- Signature Barneys sommelier set, a limited-edition collection of barware inspired by the vehicle's elegant design
The Inspiration Series LC will be available in Spring 2018 and pricing will be announced closer to that time.
Black Panther Inspired LC Car
Fit for a Super Hero who is also a king, this vehicle is part Lexus Takumi craftsmanship, part Wakandan vibranium engineering and all badass.
This concept vehicle incorporates (mythical) vibranium into its very core to provide added boost. Much like Black Panther's uniform, the sheet metal of the Black Panther Inspired LC is reinforced with a layer of vibranium weave, making the vehicle almost entirely bulletproof. Top-secret refinement processes also allow for a self-sustaining fueling component (vibranium-powered core) that enhances the Black Panther Inspired LC's driving dynamics.
Additional features of the Black Panther Inspired LC include:
- Pulsating underbody glow
- Side-view mirror design based on a panther's claw with instinctual positioning technology to align with driver's eyeline
- Black Panther mask inlay on hood with vibranium-powered core indicator nodes
- Vibranium-infused self-healing paint treatment
- Customized body-widening kit
- System controlled by unique Wakandan B-CPU (Brain/Computer Interface) creating a symbiotic relationship between the vehicle and its driver
- Remote Pilot Kimoyo Bead Interface allows the Black Panther Inspired LC to be driven remotely from control stations within Birnin Zana
To help promote this amazing technological achievement, Lexus is working with Marvel Custom Solutions to produce a new Black Panther graphic novel, which you can read half of today. Marvel Custom Solutions is the department that created a controversial comic promoting arms manufacturer Northrop Grumman., and in fact Fabian Nicieza is writer of both. Perhaps that connection to the military industrial complex is how Lexus obtained a fictional metal? The answers, perhaps, are in the graphic novel, so give it a read.
"Black Panther: Soul of a Machine" Custom Graphic Novel
Lexus and Marvel Custom Solutions also released the first four chapters of the graphic novel, "Black Panther: Soul of a Machine." Envisioned by head writer Fabian Nicieza, the story teams Black Panther with the ultimate machine—the LC 500—as they work together to thwart Machinesmith's villainous plans to infiltrate Wakanda's systems. Contributors to the novel include Geoffrey Thorne and Chuck Brown. The full novel will be released in Dec. 2017. To read the first four chapters, visit https://marvel.com/lexuslc.
See photos of the Inspiration Series LC and Black Panther Inspired LC on LexusNewsroom.com. Both vehicles will be on display at the Lexus booth at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show (SEMA) Central Hall Booth #21601 starting on Oct. 31, 2017.
The Black Panther Inspired LC is not available for purchase.