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Updated on May 06, 2012
Most of my automotive design work has centered around trucks. So I guess I am known as mostly a "truck guy". Most of the time I am driving the latest ICON to come off the line, as I guess I am the "test drive guy" also, responsible with making sure each rattle and hum is settled in and fine tuned. For a while I drove an Ariel Atom to balance my automotive diet. That often ended up in conflict, as it is strictly a two seater and my two young sons would almost always end up fighting about who got to go. The Ariel and ICON set my performance benchmarks pretty high, but when I started to hear tidbits about the IS F from friends in the press and at Toyota, is seemed like a great solution.
I grabbed one as soon as they came out. What a blast! Super fun ride, and nothing can catch it. But... like I said, we are truck people at ICON, so after we did some early work on the new Land Cruiser and Lexus LX570, we began to lust for F performance values in the LX truck platform. Our LX_F "what if"? Lucky for us, the fine people at Lexus found the potential combination interesting enough to give us the go ahead on this project.
So now we are hard at work making it all happen in time to be shown at SEMA in Vegas. We started with this fine stock 2008 pre-production LX 570, which I think had been part of the press fleet at launch.
We started with this....
We envisioned something like this....
I have long been a fan of matte, stealth and monochromatic finishes. Easier to care for and longer lasting (when done right...). The anti-bling! I am sick of the usual "bling bling" and prefer a little restraint and style in a fine bespoke ride. ICON is all matte powder coated, so we plan to add a bit of the stealth IS F style complimented by some ICON surface coatings. On the performance side, we are full of ideas. Since this is a newly launched model in a segment not often modified... we will have to fabricate and prototype many of the components and systems we hope to include in our design. Join us as we go through the process, we may need your opinions.
Here is the short list of planned modifications...
- Matte two tone gray exterior.
- Black chrome trim and emblems.
- Side trim removed, roof rack deleted.
- TRD six piston front big brake kit (we hope to add custom StopTech rears brakes to match if there is time!).
- Large diameter (22-24") satin- matte or Teflon powder coated rims and Pirelli's showing off the brakes.
- F_Sport style custom intake. (Everyone loves the sound of the IS F and credit the exhaust, but most of the glorious sound is made by the dual stage intake!).
- F_Sport-TRD style stainless steel exhaust.
- Custom TRD based supercharger :).
- Rover Sport dominating ride height....
- All wood panels in the interior deleted and replaced with Carbon Fiber surface effect coatings.
- Window tint with mild chromatic effect.
You see where we are going with this? Enjoy the ride! - Jonathan Ward
First... we removed all the interior panels where there is a wood surface visible. That basically involved a full teardown of the interior. Sent those off to our guy in Arizona to beautify...
Then we focused on stripping it for paint. I hate overspray, so we tore it all the way down to isolated panels. Once apart and ready for paint, there was really only one choice for a custom innovative paint job, M&M AutoArts.
Big dollars, but top quality no excuses sort of jobs. Just about all the top show trucks on the West Coast are done by him, and we have worked with him on several projects. Good people there. It has been there for three weeks so far and he is almost done. Lookin' good. Marty chose Urethane paints for the body, plus a little secret sauce for the ghost effect on all exterior trim.
Some of the materials used...
The surface is very unique.
Kind of like a Stealth bomber, or a nice high end Bell & Ross titanium watch.
Technical and purposeful, like ICON.
Kind of hard to see, but we created the black chrome effect offered by Lexus on the IS F, plus carried over our two tone body color along the natural crease line of the grille. See it?
A mild smoke clear on the taillights....
Notice the smoked trim? I am liking it, what do you think?
Had to ditch those bright chrome door handles too...
And tone down the fog lights...
Almost done with the exterior body...
Marty will be done soon. All our Carbon Fiber interior trim parts are here waiting. As soon as it gets back, we need to get it on a rack and fit the brakes and fabricate the exhaust. But what about rims? Not sure yet what to do. The rims I originally envisioned will not fir our hub pattern, and there is no time to cut custom wheels. Here are a few we are considering.
Any votes from you guys???
Your vote could be the one!
Give us a hand!
Lets wait for some input from the other car geeks out there!
OK.... Thanks for the votes. I think Calgary wheel wins! Our friends at Pirelli are sending over some nice 24' Scorpions, and Moeie at MOZ is cutting the wheels for us as I type! Hope to fit the shoes next week. Today the LX came back from the painters, and we racked it to begin reassembling the interior, and fitting these TRD brakes.
Here are some shots of the interior going back together. Part of me wanted to change the interior color to black with the dark blue perforation details like the IS_F but the exisiting is very nice and too many projects so we shall pick our battles, and focus our efforts on deleting the wood with the dark carbon details. I am liking it...
Front brakes coming together...
OK, So we cheated. The image above is rendered... we placed those wheels in the image, but now we actually have the wheels. MOZ did a great job on these two piece 24" wheels, great finish quality. We also got the rear TRD brakes in today. They are a special application prototype, as this is no catalog part. Happy to say they fit like a production part and really made a big difference in the curb appeal and ridiculous stopping power of this truck.
Here are some honest shots with the brakes and wheels fit.
Now it runs back to Lexus headquarters for a photo shoot, then back to us for some minor details before SEMA. This truck evokes opinions. Some love it, some hate it... but all see it and absorb the design. If you roll up in a stock one, no one even notices it, at least here in LA where everyone is rolling large!
Displaying entries 1-5 of 17
nice ride 5**...WHATS NEXT??...check out my benz and lexus and PLEASE COMMENT!
looks good wonderful work 5* all the day keep it up
Nice LX 570. So far it looks like the project is coming along very nicely. Keep up the excellent work on your Lexus. Sign my g-book. Thanks!
I like the Black ones. Looking sweet... real sweet guys! Can't wait to see it done.
With all the high end vehicles i own i think this would be an ideal S.U.V. for my travel trips. Luxury with a taste of grocery getter all rolled into one.Great paint scheme, i really like the flat tones. Your wheel choice was great considering the amount of wheels now on the market! The Calgary is a good looking wheel.
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