Ever since Yamaha teamed up with Spongebob Squarepants, all bets have been off with regards brand tie-ins and the electric guitar. Even so, Fender carpooling spec ideas with luxury car giant Lexus for a limited edition Stratocaster still comes as a surprise.
For Fender, whose principal master builder Ron Thorn skippered the design, it was a chance to get creative, and the Lexus LC Stratocaster duly presents us with a series of firsts for the Californian guitar giant.
Let's start with the finish. Resplendent in Omnidirectional Structural Blue, a colour inspired by the Morpho butterfly, the Lexus LC Strat presents us with a polychromatic visual treat.
Depending on how the light catches it, it might be a deep midnight blue or light metallic blue. As Fender explains, however, the paint used isn’t even blue; that’s just what the layers of high-tech, colourless materials want you to think as they interfere with the light.
Think of this finish being a little like the iridescence in peacock’s feathers, mother of pearl or an opal; certainly, the pictures will not be able to do it justice.
Lexus use the exact same paint on its LC 500 coupe and convertible Inspiration Series, but given that these are US only and limited to 200 cars worldwide (200 Lexi?), the chances are you haven’t seen one queuing in your local petrol station’s forecourt.
Continuing on this theme – and another Fender first – Lexus LC Stratocaster appropriates the exact same twill carbon fibre from a Lexus spoiler for the pickguard, which complements the Omnidirectional Structural Blue quite nicely, with the volume and tone control knobs comprising machined-aluminium to match the Mark Levinson knobs on a Lexus in-car sound system.
To keep it like just like the car’s audio system, we have lost a tone control here. Sadly, there is no satnav to call out the chord changes but there are Luminlay side-dot markers to act as de facto cat’s eyes, glowing blue in the dark to help you navigate the fretboard.
Elsewhere, this is typically high-end guitar design, with Ron Thorn doing Ron Thorn things, fashioning a neck out of 3A flame maple, using polished-blue Richlite on a Custom Shop model for the first time, going for a flatter 12” fingerboard radius and 22 medium-jumbo stainless steel frets to give it a go-faster feel.
A trio of Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat single-coils, a 2-Point Synchronied tremolo with Block Saddles, and a locking Schaller tuners completes an impressive spec.
The Lexus LC Stratocaster is priced £5,499 / €6,199. It comes with a deluxe hard case that’s finished in carbon fibre and textured vinyl, and embroidered with the Lexus logo, and is surely the ultimate gift for the Lexus fan in your life. Only 100 units will be made worldwide.
If you fancy test driving this Lexus Strat, head over to the Fender Custom Shop for more details.