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    2016 Detroit Auto Show: Lexus LC 500


    • How to usher in a new era at Lexus


    The theme of Lexus' press conference for the introduction of the LC 500 was 'New Chapter'. Phrases such as 'cars that fill the heart' were thrown around during the presentation done by Akio Toyoda today. Considering what the LC 500' intent is, it does mark something new.

     

    In terms of looks, LC 500 looks very similar to the LF-LC concept shown four years ago at Detroit. Yes, there is an imposing predator grille which will be likely sticking point for a number of people. But there are some other touches such as the fanged lights, intergrated door handles, and a rear end that makes a call back to the orignal SC from the 90's.

     

    The LC rides a new rear-drive platform that is purpose built for performance and handling. This new platform will underpin future vehicles.

     

    Before you think the LC is a competitor to the likes of the Porsche 911, it measures out to 188 inches in overall length. This means the LC is more a competitor to the likes of the BMW 6-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.

     

    Structurally, the LC boasts a combination of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, aluminum, and high-strength steel. There is the option of a carbon fiber roof to increase rigidity and cut weight. Lexus says the LC is the stiffest unibody structure they have ever created, and that's including the LFA.

     

    Power will come from 5.0L V8 that is found under the hood of the GS-F and RC-F. Power output stands at 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque. A new ten-speed automatic routes the power to the rear wheels. Lexus claims a 0-60 MPH time of 4.5 seconds.

     

    The interior features a large floating center stack that separates driver and passenger and the availability of leather and Alcantara for the seats.

     

    Lexus will launch the LC 500 next year.

     

    Source: Lexus
    Pic Credit: Lexus

     

     

    You can follow all of our reports from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show here.

     

    Press Release is on Page 2


     

    Global Debut of All-New Lexus LC 500 at the 2016 NAIAS Signals Dawn of a New Era for Lexus

    • Alluring, expressively designed luxury coupe defines a new era for the global luxury brand
    • The coupe’s styling, performance, and craftsmanship help position the vehicle as one of Lexus’ flagship products
    • LC 500 utilizes the brand’s new architecture that promises enhanced dynamic capability and performance
    • A symbol of an evolving vehicle development culture that embraces heightened collaboration between Design and Engineering teams


    DETROIT (Jan. 11, 2016) — When the Lexus LF-LC Concept debuted at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, the press, loyal customers, and enthusiasts wondered if the concept’s arresting styling and dramatic proportions could ever evolve into a production 2+2 coupe. Today, four years after the debut of the breakthrough concept that inspired it, Lexus has revealed the all-new LC 500 luxury coupe. This provocative, athletic flagship coupe makes the strongest statement yet about Lexus’ future product direction.

     


    The past five years have seen Lexus evolve rapidly with the creation of the luxury brand’s globally-focused organization, Lexus International. Exciting new models involving elevated levels of emotional styling and dynamic driving characteristics such as NX, RC, and IS have also helped Lexus’ brand shift with consumers. Akio Toyoda has been at the center of the Lexus global expansion, personally driving a heightened level of collaboration among design, engineering and marketing teams to help build a luxury brand better suited to meet the needs of the next generation of consumers.

     

    “The LC 500 has been an important product for Lexus and me personally,” said Akio Toyoda, Chief Branding Officer and Master Driver for Lexus. “A few years ago, we decided to guide the future of the brand with products that had more passion and distinction in the luxury market. This flagship luxury coupe’s proportions, stunning design and performance make a strong statement about our brand’s emotional direction and will grow the Lexus luxury appeal globally.”

     

    Design and Engineering Teams United
    Beyond its styling and impactful performance, the new LC 500 serves as a symbol of the achievement that can result from heightened collaboration between design and engineering groups and their commitment to help overcome each other’s hurdles. When Akio Toyoda challenged these development groups to produce this special car, it meant surpassing many manufacturing, design, material, and dynamic obstacles that could typically compromise a vehicle’s targets or design vision.

     

    The LC 500 was driven by a strong, appealing fundamental design target (LF-LC), and engineering teams worked tirelessly to find new solutions to maintain as much of the concept in the production car as possible. Likewise, vehicle designers were very involved from the earliest stages of the dynamic development process to understand the engineering targets and collaborate with design viewpoints and potential solutions. With LC 500, additional levels of prototype vehicle build also allowed both teams to better study design or engineering ideas and refine key elements. For Lexus, the LC 500 project became much more than simply the development of a new coupe. The LC 500, with the shift in engineering processes and design ideologies it represents, symbolizes the beginning of a new phase for the Lexus brand.

     

    “Design and engineering sides worked together on issues and obstacles that were overcome one by one. I feel we achieved something greater than simply preserving the spirit of the concept’s design,” said Chief Engineer Koji Sato.

     

    Exterior Design
    At first glance, it becomes apparent that the engineering and design team’s collaboration was highly successful, considering how much of the LF-LC’s design ideology the team was able to transfer into the new LC 500. The new production model shares many of the key design elements, proportions and visual dynamism of the concept car that inspired it. The LC 500’s visual appeal is defined by an athletic aerodynamic shape. It features sensual curves, emotional forms, an available flowing carbon-fiber roof (glass roof standard), helping create a low, wide imposing stance that comes together for a highly functional, passionate package.

     

    The LC 500’s front fascia features a powerful interpretation of Lexus’ distinctive grille, bordered by chrome on three sides and a radical new 3D mesh design that varies its visual tension. The “L”-shaped daytime running lights rest below a new Triple LED headlamp unit, specially designed to include one of the industry’s thinnest projectors enabling a low hood with a short front overhang. Functional venting also plays into the LC 500’s exterior design to help improve aerodynamic stability and cooling. The car’s athletic profile is characterized by its fast, sloped roofline, its wind-cutting silhouette, a long 2,870 mm (113 inches) wheelbase with compact front 920 mm ( 36.2 inches) and rear 970 mm ( 38.2 inches) overhangs and low hood height. The sexy curves and flowing lines maintain a consistent tension in sheetmetal through to the rear end that features slimly designed, multi-layered tail lamps with a unique lighting effect that helps convey a sequential L motif. A rear diffuser and available active rear spoiler also help manage airflow during performance driving. It rides on machined cast aluminum 20-in. or available 21-in. forged aluminum wheels.

     

    Interior Design
    The interior design of the LC 500 is influenced by the dynamic luxury theme of the exterior with a layout that is both cockpit-focused and elegant. The coupe’s driving position was calibrated to invite spirited, sporting driving, and help develop easier confidence with a more intuitive control layout. In fact, for LC 500, the driver’s hip point was engineered to be as close as possible to the vehicle’s Cg (Center of gravity) where feedback from the car is the most communicative to the driver. The front seats offer excellent support and comfort for long drives while available sport seats offer additional bolstering and lateral support during cornering. Lexus engineers put considerable effort into creating an engaging yet seductive atmosphere for the driver, focusing on details such as the size and angle of the steering wheel, the feel and positioning of magnesium alloy paddle shifters, and available supple leather and Alcantara seating surfaces. The LC 500’s exquisite door panels, center console and dash pad structures feature elements of Lexus’ world-renowned, detail-obsessed Takumi craftsmanship in their finish.

     

    “At an early stage, the designers collaborated with the engineers to understand their image for the LC 500’s driving dynamics, and they incorporated this into the design,” said Tadao Mori, the chief designer of the LC 500. “For example, we gave serious consideration to where the driver’s eyes would focus, and designed the surface shape in that area to help support a driver’s mindset. This project was one of the first times that designers were closely involved in the dynamic engineering development so we could understand the driving goals and support with the car’s design.”

     

    Chassis
    In helping to drive the future of the Lexus brand, the mission for LC 500 is to offer a dynamic driving experience and character unlike any Lexus vehicle prior to it. The pursuit of a sharper, more refined driving experience became the mission for the development team who also sought to maintain a superior Lexus ride quality befitting a flagship luxury sport coupe.

     

    The LC 500 is the first Lexus to use the brand’s all-new, premium rear-wheel-drive luxury platform and is part of the new corporate global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA-L). The underpinnings of this new coupe will become the blueprint for the company’s future front-engine/rear-wheel-drive vehicles. In an effort to sharpen the car’s handling, the LC 500’s engineers focused on the platform’s fundamentals by placing most of the mass, including the engine and the occupants, in a position more centralized and lower in the chassis to improve the center of gravity.

     

    Internally, Lexus engineers referred to this menu of mass-arranging tactics as the “inertia spec.” The driver hip and heel points have been lowered, wheels have been pushed to the corners of the car with shortened overhangs, and the drivetrain mass has been located behind the front axle line to create a front mid-ship layout. The LC 500 also relies on run-flat tires to improve packaging, reduce weight (thanks to no spare), and help shorten overhangs to achieve dynamic targets. The 12-volt battery has been relocated to the trunk as part of the mission to redistribute weight.

     

    Other mass management measures include the available carbon fiber roof, aluminum door skins mounted to the carbon fiber door inner structure, and a composite trunk floor. The LC 500 also represents the Lexus brand’s most intensive use of high-strength steel. This provides enhanced rigidity while reducing—and ideally positioning—vehicle mass to optimize dynamics. As a result, the LC 500 is very balanced with a nearly ideal front/rear weight distribution of 52/48.

     

    To help achieve the level of chassis performance targeted for this new coupe, Lexus engineered the stiffest unibody the brand has ever produced. For LC 500, the strategic use of lightweight, high-strength steel helps make for a high degree of torsional rigidity that is more resistant to twisting forces than the exotic, carbon fiber-intensive LFA supercar. The platform design maintains a consistent level of resistance to flexural forces and stiffness across the vehicle’s wheelbase to help create consistent, predictable handling behavior and sharper steering responses. Special braces in the engine compartment (usually a more twist-prone part of the chassis), the adoption of stiff aluminum front suspension towers, and the addition of a ring structure near the rear fenders are all measures that help further bolster the strength of key chassis structures.

     

    Particular attention was devoted to the LC 500’s multilink suspension system. Double ball joints on the upper and lower control arms allow for control of the smallest movements from the driver inputs and road conditions. Beyond sharing workload, a dual ball joint arrangement helps optimize suspension geometry to increase wheel control and create a more precise steering response with better initial effort. To help reduce unsprung mass and improve suspension response, all but one of the control arms are made of lightweight forged aluminum. Providing the grip on the show prototype car are concept versions of Michelin Pilot Sport tires with Premium Touch® sidewall technology: 245/40RF21 up front and 275/35RF21 at the rear. When all the handling elements come together, LC 500 becomes a world-class luxury sports coupe that exhibits razor-sharp reflexes, exceptional handling balance and rock-solid stability. This all-new platform will continue to undergo continuous improvement and enhancement throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle.

     

    Said Sato: “We spent more than triple the usual amount of R&D time to pursue linear steering and to find the sweet spot for road contact feel. We also focused our efforts on suspension rigidity and enhancing geometry. Thanks to advancements in product engineering, we are now at a world-class level for suspension rigidity, and performance when lateral g’s are applied.”

     

    Drivetrain
    The power delivery to the rear wheels for LC 500 is handled by a new, very well matched set of components that maximize output to the wheels. The heart of the new LC 500 is derived from the proven, high-revving 5.0-liter V8 that is found in the RC F and GS F. The naturally aspirated V8 was selected for its smooth, linear throttle response and emotional engine sound. The all-aluminum, 32-valve V8’s output targets 467 HP and 389 lb.-ft. of torque. The new engine is built for durability with lightweight, high-strength forged connecting rods and titanium valves that allow the engine to flourish at high rpm. This naturally aspirated engine makes an ideal pairing to a balanced sports coupe with its linear power delivery that allows easier control and exhilaration behind the wheel.

     

    The engine in the LC 500 uses a dual intake inlet that help improve breathing and allow the engine to produce its fantastic sound. The new coupe features an active exhaust that opens baffles in Sport mode to help give the car a more aggressive exhaust note even in start-up. In fact, even when the vehicle is in Normal mode the exhaust baffles open above 3500 rpm. During acceleration, a Sound Generator involving tuned acoustic plumbing enhances the engine’s raucous melody into an aural thunder that helps distinguish the LC 500 in its competitive segment.

     

    Helping power transfer to the rear wheels is a newly developed 10-speed automatic transmission—the first ever in a luxury automobile—with shift times rivaling those of a dual-clutch transmission. The component is smaller and lighter than some current 8-speed transmissions. The wide bandwidth of shifting afforded by 10 closely spaced gears is ideal for all forms of driving, providing an optimal gear in all conditions. This transmission is matched to a new electric control system with software that helps anticipate the driver’s inputs by monitoring acceleration, braking and lateral g forces.

     

    The new transmission is just one key element in a vehicle that has had all of its dynamic control elements such as power application, braking, and steering tuned to operate rhythmically in sport driving conditions. Drivers will feel the controlled balance between the quick, smooth shifting actions, the application of linear engine power, and the deceleration afforded by 6-piston front brake calipers (4-piston at rear).

     

    All of the platform and drivetrain engineering helped endow the LC 500 with performance and agility uncommon for a four-person coupe; the vehicle targets a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 4.5 seconds.

     

    Interior Electronics
    This flagship coupe will debut the 2017 Lexus Multimedia package that will feature updated, faster, more flexible software enabling future enhancements and a more inviting graphic user interface. Occupants also will be treated to an exceptional audio experience inside the cabin: in addition to the available audiophile-worthy Mark Levinson audio package, a new premium Pioneer audio system comes as standard equipment. Pioneer’s sound engineers worked in collaboration with LC 500 body and cabin designers to enhance interior sound performance within the cabin, studying the acoustic environment and driving structural changes to enhance sound performance.

     

    The LC 500 also will boast Lexus’ renowned safety technology, Lexus Safety System + , which integrates several of Lexus's active safety technologies: an All-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (All-speed DRCC) that relieves stop-and-go traffic stress, the Pre-Collision System (PCS) helps prevent and mitigate collisions; Lane Keep Assist (LKA) helps prevent vehicles from departing from their lanes; and Automatic High Beam (AHB) that helps ensure optimal forward visibility during nighttime driving.

     

    These technologies are part of a multi-faceted approach to active safety, the Lexus Safety System + package, and combines millimeter-wave radar with a camera to help achieve a high level of system reliability and performance.

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    Bold move, but I have to laugh at the powertrain they are using.. 467HP.. that thing better be 3000lbs or I can see a many a car making it look as bad as my old Z51 C6 made an LFA look I happened upon a few years ago. 

     

    Props to Toyota for at least doing it tho. Cadillac.. your move. Elmiraj needs a green light.

     

     

    cadillac-concept-Elmiraj-details-masthea

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    Bold move, but I have to laugh at the powertrain they are using.. 467HP.. that thing better be 3000lbs or I can see a many a car making it look as bad as my old Z51 C6 made an LFA look I happened upon a few years ago. 

     

    Props to Toyota for at least doing it tho. Cadillac.. your move. Elmiraj needs a green light.

     

     

     

     

    This kind of hyperbole right here is why you and I butt heads. Only you would somehow suggest a C6 Corvette even begins to hold a candle to an LFA. Or that this car will look bad. This is the base model. There will be a hybrid and twin-turbo model to follow. It is more than sufficient as a base engine. Especially in a luxury coupe.

     

     

    As for the car, it is a stunning design. They could have cleaned the rear end up just a bit, however. Didn't expect this thing to start around the six-figure mark, but I guess Lexus is going after the big fish here.

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    It's an ugly looking car.  Lexus has no real high power engines, the 467 hp V8 is their most powerful engine, and is not so high on torque either.  Agreed though, that at least you give them credit for building a bold design, low volume car.

     

    What is odd though is this car is 187 inches long, so it is closer in size to a C-class coupe, no where near as big as an S-class coupe, which was their supposed target.

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    I like it all.....  except the front end.  The rest of the car looks classic Lexus.  I swish that would give the spindle crap a rest. 

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    The LF-LC was mentioned....but alas, this is NOT the LF-LC I fell in love with.

    Sure it has some little details that remind us this is the production version of the LF-LC...

     

    Im afraid its the usual case with concepts and reality....too little, too late.

     

    Still a good looking car though, but I dont lust for it the way I did for the LF-LC back in 2012.

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    The LF-LC was mentioned....but alas, this is NOT the LF-LC I fell in love with.

    Sure it has some little details that remind us this is the production version of the LF-LC...

     

    Im afraid its the usual case with concepts and reality....too little, too late.

     

    Still a good looking car though, but I dont lust for it the way I did for the LF-LC back in 2012.

     

     

    Just out of curiosity, what don't you like?

     

    The biggest change from the concept car is the aft roofline/C-piller area. Other than that, the rear is slightly resculpted and the rear haunches are a bit narrower. It's pretty darn close to the concept.

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    Actually Frisky...MY BAD!

     

    I took a wrong turn on an image I had clicked when I was searching for it...I dont know what I was looking at now that you mentioned it!!!

    After reading your post, I clicked on MT's webpage to see it there better...

     

    And Ill retract what I said...

     

     

    I LOVE THIS THING!!!

     

    The only negative thing I could think of...is that it came out in 2016...4 years later...but its still stunning!

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    I can't tell which is the concept and which is the production model.

     

    So it gets the instant cred of being larger than life, like how the ELR had for being so close to the concept.

     

    I like it a lot. And I like the size too. And the interior looks like, heck, probably is peanut butter.

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    Bold move, but I have to laugh at the powertrain they are using.. 467HP.. that thing better be 3000lbs or I can see a many a car making it look as bad as my old Z51 C6 made an LFA look I happened upon a few years ago. 

     

    Props to Toyota for at least doing it tho. Cadillac.. your move. Elmiraj needs a green light.

     

     

     

     

    This kind of hyperbole right here is why you and I butt heads. Only you would somehow suggest a C6 Corvette even begins to hold a candle to an LFA. Or that this car will look bad. This is the base model. There will be a hybrid and twin-turbo model to follow. It is more than sufficient as a base engine. Especially in a luxury coupe.

     

     

    As for the car, it is a stunning design. They could have cleaned the rear end up just a bit, however. Didn't expect this thing to start around the six-figure mark, but I guess Lexus is going after the big fish here.

     

     

     

     

     

    Let me get this straight... U suggesting that my C6 Corvette wasn't a better performer than the LFA??? Because U drove my C6.. U drove the LFA too.. or at the very least raced one??? 

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    I don't understand why this vehicle has to weigh less than the porkers that are the 650i or Mercedes SLC coupe.

     

    And it's debuting an all-new platform.

     

    And it looks slick. I know styling is purely subjective, but the surface treatments, innovative use of lighting elements and just the lickable interior in terms of materials - it's mighty fine.

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    • By William Maley
      Most luxury SUVs will never go fully off-road. The closest they’ll ever get is driving down a gravel road. But that doesn’t mean some automakers aren’t filling them with the latest off-road for that one person who decides to. Case in point is the LX 570. Lexus’ variant of the Toyota Land Cruiser has been updated inside and out to try and draw buyers away from the usual suspects in the class.
      For 2016, Lexus has softened the LX’s boxy-shape with some rounded edges and more imposing fenders. The front grille has grown in size to match other Lexus vehicles, though to our eyes it looks more like the head from a Cylon in the 1980’s Battlestar Galactica tv show. The rear features new taillights and a reshaped tailgate. The interior has somehow become more opulent since the last LX we drove. A new dash design features real wood trim and more soft-touch materials. Our tester featured leather upholstery that can be described as red-orange. At first, I thought it was a bit much. But over the week I grew to like the color as it adds some personality. Sitting in either the front or second-row seats of the LX is a pleasant experience. There is plenty of head and legroom for both rows, along with heat. Front seats also get ventilation as standard. The third-row seat is a bit of joke. Getting back there in the first place is quite difficult due to the small gap when you move the second-row forward. Once back there, you find legroom is almost negligible. Finally, the way the third row folds up by side walls and not into the floor hampers cargo space - only offering 41 cubic feet. Lexus’ Remote Touch interface has arrived in the LX this year with a gargantuan 12.3-inch screen sitting on top of the dash. On the plus side, the screen is vibrant and easy to read. The negative is the remote touch controller as you’ll find yourself choosing the wrong function because the controller is very sensitive to inputs. Power comes from 5.7L V8 with 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and full-time four-wheel drive system. On paper, the V8 should move the LX 570 with no issue. But a curb weight of 6,000 pounds negates this. Performance can be described as ho-hum as it takes a few ticks longer to get up to speed. At least the eight-speed automatic transmission is a smooth operator and quick to respond when you stab the throttle. The LX 570 is chock full of clever off-road tech such as crawl control, hill start assist, 360-degree camera system, and multi-terrain select system that optimizes various parts of the powertrain and four-wheel drive system. Sadly, we didn’t get the chance to put any of these to the test. No matter the condition of the road, the LX 570 provides a smooth and relaxing ride. Impressive when you consider the LX is riding on a set of 21-inch wheels. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. Lexus added a set of adaptive dampers for the 2016 LX and you can adjust the firmness via a knob in the center console - Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. The dampers do help reduce body roll in corners, giving you a little bit more confidence. Steering is what you would expect in an SUV, light and numb. This makes the LX a bit cumbersome to move in certain places such as a parking lot. Compared to the last LX 570 we drove, the 2016 model has gone up in price. Base price now stands at $88,880 and our as-tested price comes in at $96,905. This one feels a bit a more worth of price tag that Lexus is asking for, but I still think a Cadillac Escalade or Range Rover are slightly better in terms of value. If you’re planning a trip to Death Valley or the Rocky Mountains and want something that can you there and back, along with providing all of the luxuries, look no further than the LX. Otherwise, there are a number of other luxury SUVs that make more sense if you’re planning to stay on the pavement. Year: 2016
      Make: Lexus
      Model: LX 570
      Trim: N/A
      Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC Dual VVT-i V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Full-Time Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 383 @ 5,600
      Torque @ RPM: 403 @ 3,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/18/15
      Curb Weight: 6,000 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japn
      Base Price: $88,880
      As Tested Price: $96,905 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Mark Levinson Audio System - $2,150.00
      Dual-Screen DVD Rear-Seat Entertainment System - $2,005.00
      Luxury Package - $1,190.00
      Heads-Up Display - $900.00
      Cargo Mat, Net, Wheel Locks, & Key Glove - $250.00
      All-Weather Floor Mats - $165.00
      Heated Black Shimamoku Steering Wheel - $150.00
      Wireless Charger - $75.00
    • By William Maley
      Toyota Motor Sales Reports October 2016 Sales
      TMS posts best-ever light truck sales for the month Toyota expects to retain No. 1 retail brand crown in October Lexus posts record October LUV sales TORRANCE, Calif. (November 1, 2016) – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported October 2016 sales of 186,295 units, a decrease of 8.7 percent from October 2015 on a volume basis. With two fewer selling days in October 2016 compared to October 2015, sales were down 1.7 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. 
       
      Toyota Division posted October sales of 161,492 units, down 9.1 percent on a volume basis and 2.1 on a DSR basis.   
       
      “Light trucks remained the hottest segment for the industry in October,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division. “With best-ever October Highlander sales, combined with solid RAV4, Corolla, and Camry results, we expect to keep Toyota the number one retail brand.”
       
      Lexus posted October sales of 24,803 units, down 6.2 percent on a volume basis and up 1 percent on a DSR basis. 
       
      “Lexus luxury utility vehicles lead sales volume for the brand, with both the NX and the LUV lineup seeing their best-ever Octobers,” said Jeff Bracken, Lexus Division group vice president and general manager. “As we get ready to kick off our annual December to Remember sales campaign in the coming weeks with robust inventory, we expect to close out the year strong, retaining retail luxury leadership for 2016.”
       
      October 2016 Highlights
      Corolla Sedan up 2 percent Camry posts October sales of 29,562 units TMS light trucks post best-ever sales for the month Toyota Division light trucks up 6.6 percent on a DSR basis Toyota Division SUV up nearly 10 percent on a DSR basis Highlander up 32.7 percent; posts best-ever October 4Runner sales were flat for the month on a volume basis; up 7 percent on a DSR basis Land Cruiser up 87.6 percent Toyota Division pickups up 2.7 percent on a volume basis; up almost 11 percent on a DSR basis Tacoma up 4.2 percent; up 12.2 percent on a DSR basis Tundra sales were flat for the month on a volume basis; up nearly 8 percent on a DSR basis   TCUV posts best-ever sales for the month L/Certified by Lexus posts best-ever October sales Lexus LUVs up 6.1 percent; posts best-ever October sales     NX up almost 26 percent; posts best-ever October   LX up almost 162 percent in October GS up almost 8 percent *Note:  Unless otherwise stated, all figures reflect unadjusted raw sales volume

    • By William Maley
      The Lexus IS is one of my favorite luxury sedans on sale today. The styling may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it helps make the IS stand out in a very crowded field of compact luxury sedans. Paired with the excellent 3.5L V6 and F-Sport package, the IS gives the German competition a run for its money in the twisty bits. Since we last drove the IS back in 2014, Lexus has made some changes to IS’ lineup with the base 2.5L V6 being dropped and a new turbocharged four-cylinder taking its place, along with a new variant of 3.5L V6 producing 255 horsepower badged as the IS 300. Recently, I spent some time in the IS 200t F-Sport and it was a bit disappointing. Read on to find out why.
      The cause for my disappointment? The turbocharged four-cylinder. The engine in question is the same one that is used in the NX 200t, a turbo 2.0L four-cylinder producing 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic comes standard on rear-drive models, while all-wheel drive models retain a six-speed automatic.  Compared to the NX 200t, I think this engine has gotten worse in the IS. The major problem is turbo lag. I could count to three after stepping on the accelerator before the turbo would spool up and give the vehicle the needed shove to move along. Even with the vehicle in Sport mode, it takes a moment for the turbo to wake up.  Once the turbo is spooled up, it moves the IS with some authority. Power comes on at a steady and smooth rate. The engine also very refined with little noise coming inside.  EPA fuel economy figures stand at 22 City/33 Highway/26 Combined. Our average landed around 24 mpg, partly due to my foot putting the pedal almost to the floor in an effort to make the turbo was up.  The F-Sport package is the ace up the IS 200t’s sleeve. A revised suspension and steering setup, along with a set of summer tires make the IS a joy to pilot around corners. There is no body roll when entering a corner and the steering provides an excellent feel of the road.  Unlike the IS 350 F-Sport, the 250 does without the adaptive dampers. This might make some reconsider as the ride can become somewhat rough over bumpy and pothole-ladened roads. Styling is still polarizing with sharp creases, an interesting lighting setup up front, and a grille that looks like it was styled off the Predator. The F-Sport package actually helps balance this design with new front bumper, mesh grille insert, and a set of 18-inch wheels finished in a dark gray. I’m not usually a fan of red on a vehicle, but it actually works quite well for the F-Sport. The IS’ interior hasn’t changed much since we last visited it in 2014. This means the excellent sport seats and well laid out instrument cluster are here. It also means the smallish screen for the infotainment system and the infuriating Lexus Remote Touch controller. The back seat is still quite small for most passengers, though I would say the Cadillac ATS’ back seat is even smaller. The 2016 IS 200t F-Sport begins at $40,870. Our test car came with a few options such as blind spot monitoring (which you need because rear visibility is poor), radar cruise control, navigation, Mark Levinson audio system, and heated front seats. This brought the as-tested price to $45,705. But for only $1,000 to $1,500 more, you can get into a decently equipped IS 350 F-Sport with adaptive dampers and the better engine.  The Lexus IS is still an impressive compact luxury sedan and one that deserves more of the spotlight. But the 2.0L turbo spoils an impressive sedan. This is a case of right car, wrong engine.  
      Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the IS 200t, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Lexus
      Model: IS
      Trim: 200t F-Sport
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-valve with Dual VVT-iW Inline-Four
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 241 @ 5,800
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,650 - 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/33/26
      Curb Weight: 3,583 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $37,325
      As Tested Price: $45,705 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      F-Sport Package - $3,545.00
      Navigation/Mark Levinson Audio System - $2,645.00
      Blind Spot Monitoring w/Rear Cross-Traffic Alert - $600.00
      Dynamic Radar Cruise Control - $500.00
      F-Sport Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel with Heat - $150.00

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