Lexus and Pathfinder Co., Ltd. (Pathfinder) represented by air race pilot Yoshihide Muroya recently announced a team partnership wherein they have both committed themselves into making history by winning the first Air Race World Championship (The Air Race) as well as helping create a better future by helping create an improved carbon-neutral society.
The Air Race is an air race series that will start next year, 2022, but Muroya and Lexus’ partnership started long before. It was back in 2016 when the partnership between the Japan-based, world-renowned air race pilot Muroya and Lexus began. Seeing that Muroya’s values of indomitable attitude and spirit closely aligned with the brand, Lexus has sponsored him since.
In 2017, Lexus and Muroya launched a “Technology Exchange Group” to be able to study each other’s technologies regularly and even explore the possibility of new technologies in the field of aircraft and automobiles. The partnership created a joint development of a control column grip for Muroya’s aircraft that used Lexus’s sensitivity technologies. They were also able to find a new way for Muroya’s aircraft to turn using the aerodynamic analysis coming from Lexus vehicle test data.
This year, they were able to develop a new carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) spoiler by bringing together aerodynamic technology that is used for aircraft design and adopt it to be used in the LC which is sold in select regions.
Making History as “Lexus/Pathfinder Air Racing”
The upcoming debut of The Air Race made Lexus and Pathfinder realize that they need to take their joint efforts up a notch so that their expertise and technologies on both sides will allow them to develop racing machines. This resulted in the establishment of the “Lexus/Pathfinder Air Racing” as a joint race team. Lexus plans to support the development and verification of the technologies in the fields of aerodynamics, ergonomics, and cooling through the technical coordinator, and build a strong team structure that would give them the best chance to secure Muroya’s victory, making history by having the Laxus/Pathfinder Air Racing as the team that won the first championship of The Air Race.
The Challenge of a Carbon-Neutral Society
Working on the idea that “grueling air races train people and train technology”, Lexus and Muroya plans to apply the technology that expertise that they developed through the air races to help them create a better society in both fields.
The cooling, weight-reduction, and aerodynamic technologies that they will develop for the air races will help Lexus to create cars that will enable them to reach their goal of creating a carbon-neutral society. Aside from air racing, Muroya will also continue to develop new talent that will eventually create a new generation of mobility. He also plans to be able to create an airfield for testing with the cooperation of Fukushima Prefecture. With the partnership of the two companies, a more carbon-neutral aircraft can be promoted. They will start this by supporting instructional education of light-sports aircraft (LSA) manufacturing. Lexus and Pathfinder will work together towards continuous innovation in both the fields of automobiles and aircraft.
“With the strong support of Lexus, we will strive to become the first champion of the new Air Race. I believe that an exciting new story will emerge as fans and team crew come together as one,” shared Air Race Pilot Yoshihide Muroya.
Lexus International President and Chief Branding Officer Koji Sato added, “Lexus will take on the challenge of an exciting air race together with world-class athlete Muroya. With the excitement and smiles that motorsports bring and the gratitude that we learn from athletes as our inspiration, we will tackle from a new perspective the goal of Akio Toyoda, Lexus Brand Holder, to create a better car based on motor sports. Please look forward to Muroya’s and Lexus’s continuous challenge and evolution.”