Lexus gets saucy with Sriracha IS showcar

Lexus slathers a bunch of hot-sauce-inspired mods on its compact performance sedan.

Chris Paukert Former executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Chris Paukert
2 min read

Lexus. Sriracha. A match made in hot, hot heaven?

This industry has seen all sorts of offbeat attempts at co-branding throughout the years, from the Chevrolet Venture Warner Brothers Edition all the way to the AMC Gremlin Levi's Edition. Previously, Lexus itself linked arms with luxury clothier Coach for limited-edition models. But this is the first time I can ever remember a car company sharing its shingle with a condiment company.

Enter the IS Sriracha, a visually kicked-up version of Lexus' IS compact performance sedan with a dash or two of Huy Fong Foods' iconic hot sauce. Lexus farmed out the development of this unlikely Los Angeles Auto Show star to the crew at West Coast Customs, which even pondered injecting actual hot sauce into the paint. The finished four door is slathered in Sriracha Red paint, which has "flex of chili-like flakes" and a prominent clearcoat to mimic the bottle the sauce comes in.

Sriracha Lexus IS

Special Sriracha-red paint has chili-like flecks and there's plenty of Huy Fong-green trim, too.


Beyond the IS Sriracha's green highlights inside and out, amusing modifications include custom leather seats embroidered with the Huy Fong rooster logo, seat warmers with a Sriracha-hot button, and a "Hot Handling" steering wheel with cast-resin sections that mimics the hot sauce. Still need more? The trunk is loaded with 43 -- count 'em -- FORTY THREE -- bottles of sauce for "emergency condiment situations" and the key fob thoughtfully has a nozzle for dispensing the fiery sauce in a pinch.


Lexus apparently didn't make any further modifications to the IS' powertrain to add some zest, and curiously, it didn't even choose to base the Sriracha IS on the hottest production model. The show car is rather inexplicably based on the mid-range IS 300 AWD, which is powered by a 255-horsepower, 236 pound-feet of torque 3.5-liter V6. The more-powerful IS 350 would seem to have been a better starting point.

What I want to know is, can a BMW 3 Series Tabasco be far behind?

Lexus IS Sriracha is a spiced-up sedan

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