Lexus x Norman Walsh: comparing car and trainer

When we teamed up with Norman Walsh to create the Lexus CT F Sport trainers, we didn’t want to simply make footwear with a Lexus logo on it. We wanted something unique – a trainer that incorporated some of the qualities that Lexus is renowned for as a brand: brave design, craftsmanship, luxury and comfort.

We also created a one-off CT F Sport to celebrate our partnership with Walsh, inspired by the design of the trainers. Here’s how we did it.

Lexus-style trainer, trainer-style Lexus

The trainers were inspired by the sumptuous black and Fuji Red interior of the Lexus CT 200h F Sport. One of the most striking Lexus interiors, the distinctive black-and-red colour palette is also available on several other Lexus models, including the high-performance RC F.

The trainers reflect this black-and-red colour scheme. They stand out from the crowd but at the same time thanks to the materials used, have a strong quality feel.

Instead of the garment leather that Walsh normally uses for its trainers, the company chose upholstery leather from a tannery in Italy to better recreate the feel of the car’s cabin. Part of the leather has a perforated effect, just like on the actual seats, and black suede completes the look.

One of the many expressions of craftsmanship in evidence on the CT 200h F Sport is the red stitching on the seats, door trim and centre console.

Craftsmanship is also a key part of the Walsh brand. Every trainer is stitched together by an experienced seamstress, who was able to replicate the intricate stitching on the car.

To replicate the soft and supple yet supportive feeling that you get when you sink into an F Sport seat, our trainers are foam-backed. This also gives these trainers an extra element of comfort when worn.

Modifying the CT 200h

The stand-out element of our modified Lexus CT 200h F Sport is its full body wrap, carried out by the vehicle graphics specialists at Funkee Fish. At first glance, the surface textures appear three-dimensional, as if real leather has been applied directly to the bodywork. Look a little closer, however, and you realise the effect is actually printed.

To achieve this authentic impression, the team at Funkee Fish was supplied with samples of the materials used to make the trainers. These were scanned to capture the exact colour and surface grain, then digitised and repeated ready for printing on a large sheet of cast vinyl. Even the black used across the front and rear flanks was printed in order to replicate the more natural-looking brown-black colour of the felt used on the trainer.

The CT’s chassis was the next element to receive attention. We decided that a sporting theme was most appropriate to the Norman Walsh parallel. So the motorsport-inspired Bola B12 alloy wheel was chosen, as its matt black finish and flat-face design would harmonise with the bodywork.

The 8×18-inch measurements and more aggressive offset of the wheels makes full use of the available space within the CT’s arches, while lower-profile 215/40 R18 tyres retain the original rolling circumference. Finally, the broader stance and sporty demeanour is enhanced with a 30mm reduction in ride height. This is achieved with the fitment of Direnza lowering springs alongside the original F Sport shock absorbers.

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