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The Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance is the most powerful IS sedan the Japanese luxury brand has produced thus far. The sedan comes equipped with a 472 horsepower naturally aspirated V8 engine, which sends its power to the rear wheels. The IS is what Lexus offers up as an answer to competitors like the BMW 3 series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Considering the power that the Lexus IS 500 F SPORT has on tap, it makes sense that the automaker would team up with Marvel Studios to cross-promote the performance sedan in heroic fashion.

Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance teams up with Marvel

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film The Eternals is set to release in November 2021, so to literally add some horsepower to the hype campaign, Marvel teamed up with Lexus for a new commercial starring the IS 500 F SPORT and Kumail Nanjiani. Nanjiani plays “Kingo” in the film. His character is a muscle-bound Bollywood actor who also happens to be an immortal superhero.

The two-minute spot is called “parking spot” and features Kingo trying desperately to find a parking spot while the rest of the Eternals are in the midst of an epic battle. Unfortunately, that battle is happening in the middle of a major city. Anyone who lives in a major city like Los Angeles or New York knows that finding parking can take superhero-level patience.

Nanjiani’s character continuously misses out on prime parking, again and again, all while his fellow heroes are blowing up his phone, wondering why he hasn’t joined the battle yet. The spot leans heavily on the trademark balance of fun and action that MCU films are known for. Lexus thought it would make the perfect fit for promoting the IS 500 F SPORT Performance.

“There’s a natural synergy between Marvel Studios and Lexus. We both go all-in to deliver amazing experiences,” said Vinay Shahani, Lexus vice president of marketing. “We’re incredibly excited to team up with Marvel Studios’ ‘Eternals’ to showcase our very own superhero, the first-ever V8 IS 500, which ushers in a new Lexus F SPORT Performance Line.”

The IS 500 F SPORT Performance is not an IS-F

The Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance as seen in a new cross-promotion commercial with Marvel's "The Eternals"
Lexus IS 500 F SPORT in “parking spot” ad | Lexus/Marvel Studios

When the IS-F initially launched in 2008, it was meant to be somewhat separate from the IS. Despite looking nearly identical, Lexus saw the IS-F as their “M3,” whereas the IS was a “3-series.” That is why Lexus refers to the IS 500 F SPORT Performance as the “first IS with a V8 engine.” Technically that checks out if they considered the IS-F as a separate vehicle.

It is unclear why Lexus decided to do away with the IS-F badge after so many years. Perhaps Lexus thought that keeping the performance model as part of the IS family escalates the brand cache of the entire IS line. Though, we are just speculating.

Will the Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance cameo in The Eternals?

Kumail Nanjiani driving the Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance in a cross-promotional commercial called "parking spot" in collaboration with Marvel Studios' "The Eternals"
Kumail Nanjiani driving Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance | Lexus/Marvel Studios

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Generally speaking, when an automaker teams up with a blockbuster Hollywood film production, they go beyond the run-of-the-mill advertising spot and reach for that shiny nugget know as “product placement.”

Automotive product placement is something that has been part of the MCU since its very beginnings. The MCU and cars seem to go hand in hand, from Tony Stark driving an Audi R8 in the first Iron Man film to the BMW iX3 appearing in Shang-Chi.

That being said, we think it is safe to speculate that at some point, the Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance will make an appearance in The Eternals. We would go further and predict that just like in the featured 2-minute spot, Nanjiani’s character will also be behind the wheel of the sedan in the film.

We will all find out together when The Eternals releases a month from the publication of this article. Until then, we will speculate about how many IS sedans Lexus could sell due to this cross-promotion.