2011 Lexus IS sport sedan
2011 Lexus IS sport sedan in "Music Track" – Click above to watch the video after the jump

For 2011, the Lexus IS sport sedan is getting a mild exterior styling update. Up front, the grille and bumper are all new, while a new taillamp cover and tailpipe design update the posterior. Not one to be left out of a trend, the Lexus IS is also adding HID headlamps paired with LED daytime running lights. The upgraded lights are standard on the 2011 IS350 and are an option on the IS250. New color choices and wheel styles round out the exterior changes, but the most interesting update happens under the skin with the availability of all-wheel drive on the IS350. Thirty percent of customers opt for the all-wheel drive IS250, but now they can get the added traction along with an extra 102 horsepower.

Enthused about the updates, Lexus created a video of the IS sport sedan performing... a drum solo? In an apparent bid to highlight the precision handling of their IS sedan, fitted with F-sport parts, they pulled together a team which includes composers, a mathematician and a stunt driver. Music and driving go hand in hand and the beat this Ultrasonic Blue Lexus IS lays down is surprisingly good. See (and hear) for yourself after the jump.


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New Lexus IS Doesn't Miss A Beat

* Lexus teamed up with a crew of musicians, a mathematician, and a stunt driver to bring this concept to life.

In a new commercial, the 2011 Lexus IS performs a percussion solo as it hugs curves with precision and power

TORRANCE, Calif. (Sept. 7, 2010) /PRNewswire/ - It all begins in a sleek warehouse where 122 percussion instruments are arranged to create a precision-driving course full of angles and straightaways. Each instrument has a tiny lever. An Ultrasonic Blue 2011 Lexus IS sport sedan revs its engine, wheels spinning as it roars to life to debut its musical prowess. The vehicle navigates the raceway, precisely tripping each and every drum lever on the track, creating a beat as it speeds by, igniting the base, snare, toms and cymbals. Through it all, the IS doesn't knock over a single instrument. As it comes screeching to a halt, the final drum beat is triggered. The new 2011 IS has just laid down its first custom track.

In this latest TV spot from Lexus, which begins airing today, the IS takes on the role of musician to demonstrate that the most exhilarating kind of performance is power wielded with precision.

"We wanted to create a dynamic way to illustrate the IS's agility on the road," said Dave Nordstrom, vice president of marketing for Lexus. "Our engineers strive to develop innovative technology that provides the driver with an exhilarating experience. The concept of creating a music track using drums, levers and the IS showcases the car's precision on the road and offers viewers both an auditory and visual feel for the excitement of getting behind the wheel of an IS."

Designing the Beat
With the help of a team of music composers, a mathematician and a skilled stunt driver, the IS's precision performance was put to the test.

First, Lexus worked with a music production company to compose and design the music track. Next came the challenge of translating sheet notes on a page into a physical track for the car to maneuver. "We had to figure out how to lay out a track that would allow the car to really play a beat," said Nordstrom. To accomplish this, Lexus enlisted a mathematician from a leading university to determine how and where to place the drums based on calculations of the car's speed, the beat of the music and the space allocation on the course.

The third step was to work with a production designer to create a system of levers that would set off the drums when the wheels of the vehicle rolled over them. This task required a precise vehicle and skilled driver to ensure a beat that was accurate within fractions of a second.

Finally, Lexus selected a professional stunt driver, Eddie Braun, to meet the challenge of wielding the IS on the course so precisely that it would hit its mark, every time. Braun utilized the vehicle's performance technology to meet the demands of the course while relying not only on the speedometer to measure speed, but by simultaneously listening for the tempo.

The result of the IS's precision? Music to anyone's ears. "The first time it all came together on rehearsal day, the crew burst into applause," added Nordstrom.

The spot, titled "Music Track," is part of the "Wield Precision" campaign for the 2011 Lexus IS. It can be viewed at YouTube.com/lexusvehicles and during NFL Network's pre-kickoff show, as well as on full episode players online. The campaign will also be featured in an outdoor, print, mobile and online banner campaign, as well as partnerships with Pandora, CNET and in Esquire magazine's October issue and Yahoo! Sportacular iPad applications.