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Übercargeek
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28198<A HREF="http://www.autoblog.com/2010/09/07/video-2011-lexus-is-lives-out-keith-moon-fantasies/">Autoblog referred to it as "living out Keith Moon fantasies"</A>. Keith Moon is so 1960s and 1970s, though, and we're entering the second decade of the 21st century. As my son will unhesitantly remind me, the premier drummer of this day and age is ?uestlove of The Roots, which is now the house band for the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show.

So what does all this discussion of flashy drummers have to do with the Lexus IS? Call it an odd preamble to our article on the new 2011 Lexus IS commercial, titled Music Track. A sequel of sorts to <A HREF="http://www.youtube.com/lexusvehicles#p/search/5/16hPBsw2Uy4">the LFA Pitch commercial</A>, Music Track stars a 2011 Ultrasonic Blue Mica IS 350 F Sport sedan precisely setting off 122 percussion instruments. Many of them prominently display the Yamaha brand, surely a nod to that company's longstanding ties to Toyota high performance, having had a hand in many of its legendary performance engines, as well as utilizing their music division to tune the LFA's unmistakable and spine-tingling exhaust note. Here's what <A HREF="http://pressroom.toyota.com/pr/tms/lexus/new-lexus-is-doesn-t-miss-a-beat-171180.aspx">Lexus' official Press Release</A> tells us:

New Lexus IS Doesn’t Miss A Beat
In a New Commercial, the 2011 Lexus IS Performs a Percussion Solo As It Hugs Curves with Precision and Power


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’ 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’ 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’ 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.

Could we picture ?uestlove driving that Lexus IS? Maybe if he drops the seat all the way down and opens up the sunroof to let his Afro stick out. Then again, his daily driver of note is a 1st-generation Scion xB. Definitely no shortage of headroom there!

And, without further ado, here's Music Track. Drumroll, please...

<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/7SqYJkQjwG4?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/7SqYJkQjwG4?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>

and here, it's preceded by the "Behind the Scenes/Making of" video:

<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/CMcWk5w_37w?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/CMcWk5w_37w?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>
 

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