The Wakanda Forever edition is not powered by Vibranium though
Inspired by Black Panther and working with students at Adidas S.E.E.D. (School for Experiential Education in Design), the luxury automaker and the sportswear company have created a version of the Lexus RX 500h F Sport fit for both the road and the big screen.
“Lexus, Adidas and Wakanda Forever may seem like they come from totally different worlds but the thread that draws everything together is the pursuit and leadership in unique storytelling and innovative technology,” Alex Shen, the chief designer at Calty Design Research and a collaborator on the project, said in a statement.
On the outside, the vehicle sports a Wakandan-inspired print and shade of purple found in the Adidas collection also influenced by the films. Across the hood, a diamond pattern nods to the Black Panther’s claw necklace, while gold details mimic those of his suit. And the fictional Wakandan alphabet is used on the wheels and in badging along the body.
Inside, meanwhile, the students at Adidas S.E.E.D. re-envisioned the typical Lexus features so that they had a more Wakandan bent as well. Parts of the seating are outfitted in a tribal gold print, which also appears on the door panel inserts and the steering wheel. Near the gear shift, you’ll find laser-cut wood accents and gold trim that similarly call back to the Black Panther universe. In a particularly cool merging of worlds, one of the materials used in Adidas’s 4DFWD shoe is repurposed to cover the steering wheel as well as the front and rear headrests.
To complement the car, the brands are also releasing a limited-edition T-shirt designed by the S.E.E.D. students. With an African proverb written in Wakandan on the front and a periodic table on the back (a nod to the fictional vibranium), it’s a fitting companion to the vehicle—and perhaps a more everyday appropriate one.
Whether you’re a Marvel fan or not, it’s hard to argue that the new collab isn’t a striking tribute to T’Challa and the Black Panther universe.
This article was first published on Robb Report USA