In Marvel Studios’ upcoming Black Panther blockbuster, the superhero king of Wakanda surfs through a city clinging to the roof of his Lexus LC 500 supercar as his sister pilots it remotely.

The Toyota Motor Corp. brand is trying to use the excitement of that cameo to end a seven-year drought as U.S. luxury sales leader.

The prominent role in the Walt Disney Co. movie, the first major superhero film to feature a black actor in the lead role and a largely black cast, is no accident, says Cooper Ericksen, Lexus’ vice-president of marketing. To succeed in shifting toward a more sporty, high-performance image, Lexus needs to reach a new audience.

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Lexus Hopes Marvel's Black Panther Makes Them As Iconic As Tony Stark Did For Audi

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