• Sun. Dec 10th, 2023

Automotive Designer

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Adidas S.E.E.D. designs ‘Black Panther’-inspired Lexus RX 500h

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Following the long-anticipated sequel release of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Lexus has released images of a movie-inspired design for its RX 500h F Sport SUV. The SUV received a Wakanda-worthy makeover from Adidas’ S.E.E.D. (School for Experiential Education in Design) program.

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Considering the fictional nation of Wakanda being known for its superior high-tech, it’s important for the vehicle to represent the vision of the movie. “The all-new RX 500h is part of our expanding Lexus Electrified portfolio with evolved innovative technology that elevates the driver’s experience,” said Michael Moore, general manager, Lexus International.

The Wakandan purple, known to any Black Panther fan, is seen throughout the vehicle, while the hood is shielded with diamond patterns inspired by Black Panther’s claw necklace. The gold accents represent the new Black Panther’s suit and even manage to somewhat hide the RX’s massive grille. Other details include Lexus badging and ‘F Sport’ on the wheels written in the fictional Wakandan alphabet. If you’re familiar with this franchise, then you’ll note the ‘Vibe-Branium’ nameplate — also written in Wakandan —that alludes to Vibranium, a (fictional) metal used in Wakanda that can absorb, store, and release kinetic energy; and also because, it’s a vibe.

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Also associated with this project are 3D printing company Carbon (a longtime Adidas partner) and Calty Design Research, who helped mentor the students exploring automotive design.

Tribal gold print covers sections of the seating, as well as the door panel inserts and in purple sections of the steering wheel. The steering wheel pad and front and rear headrests are covered in the Carbon 3D printed energy-returning material. Incorporating Lexus and Adidas into the vehicle, the front head rests include Lexus’s signature emblem, while the rear centre head rest has Adidas logo.

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“Lexus is passionate about fostering future designers,” Sabina Charfauros-Redmon, creative lead at Lexus International, said in a statement. “We see Adidas S.E.E.D as representing a new normal that opens doors for BIPOC women in the design space. It’s a special moment when young creators are given the opportunity to stretch their creativity beyond their comprehension. Lexus believes in this narrative and is excited to be a part of this process.”

The Adidas and Adidas S.E.E.D team recently collaborated with Marvel to create costumes and footwear for the movie and a limited release t-shirt, available to select influencers, was also designed by the S.E.E.D students that includes an African Proverb written in Wakandan “Educate a Woman, Educate a Nation.”

While the t-shirt and custom RX are not for sale — the vehicle will likely make rounds at international screenings and movie-related events — there is an Adidas x Black Panther collection that includes Wakanda-inspired sportswear.


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