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    William Maley

    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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    Recommended Comments

    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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    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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      Motor Bella was originally planned to be a festival for European supercars that would take place with the updated Detroit Auto Show. 
      "With our new program for 2021, we will take the Motor Bella concept to the next level with multiple brands and mobilities represented, from hometown to international nameplates, autonomous vehicles to high-performance supercars, and everything in between, It will be a mobility-filled event. One that will provide our show partners with a cost-efficient backdrop to share all of their brands, products and technologies in a fun and festival-like atmosphere that's completely outdoors," said event chairman Doug North.
      There are some big questions that face organizers. Will they be able to get the revamped Detroit Auto Show launched for 2022, or will Motor Bella take the place? Plus, will COVID-19 be a point where all of us can go this event safely?
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), DADA

      New All-Outdoor Motor Bella at M1 Creates Bridge to the Future While North American International Auto Show Pauses for 2021
      TROY, Mich. – (January 11, 2021) – The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) today announced it will not hold its 2021 auto show as planned. Instead, show officials revealed a "bridge to the future" with an auto-centric event called Motor Bella.
      The new event will bring next-generation mobility and exciting vehicle debuts to media, show-goers and the automotive enthusiasts' world in a never before experienced way while also addressing continued COVID-19 concerns about indoor events.
      Motor Bella will be held from Sept. 21-26, 2021, at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Mich. Centrally located in the metro Detroit area, M1 Concourse, often referred to as an "87-acre playground for auto enthusiasts," enables exhibitors to showcase key vehicles and technologies in an outdoor setting.
      Plans call for 1.6 million square feet of dynamic vehicle and technology display space including terrain ideal for showcasing off-roading capabilities. M1 Concourse also offers a 1.5-mile hot track on the grounds for technology and vehicle demonstrations.
      "The pandemic has caused changes in our society and world in ways not previously imagined, and we all should be looking for new and highly creative ways of doing business," said Executive Director Rod Alberts. "This new event captures that creative spirit. It will provide new mobility experiences and increasingly innovative approaches to tapping into the industry and its products."
      Alberts said attendees can expect a multi-sensory experience at the new event. "This all-outdoor venue, with adrenaline-pumping track activities and a full complement of OEM and technology exhibits, is going to offer the sights, sounds and even the smell of all that the new world of mobility has to offer." 
      As auto shows around the world are being reimagined and will continue to do so in the wake of the pandemic, NAIAS had been reimagining its position for some time.
      "While auto shows remain an important platform to promote new mobility innovations and to help people make major vehicle purchase decisions, the traditional auto show model is changing," Alberts said. "We cannot ignore the major disruptions caused by the pandemic and the impact it has had on budgets. As such, we will be providing an amazing experience to the media, the auto industry and the public in a cost-effective way."
      Event Chairman Doug North noted that the M1 Concourse was envisioned as part of the 2021 Motor Bella activities, so it was "a natural progression" to build upon it in light of the growing demand for experiential mobility shows and an increased appetite for outdoor events as a result of the pandemic. Motor Bella was originally conceived as a celebration of Italian and British supercars and classic vehicles and was to have debuted at the June 2020 NAIAS.
      "With our new program for 2021, we will take the Motor Bella concept to the next level with multiple brands and mobilities represented, from hometown to international nameplates, autonomous vehicles to high-performance supercars and everything in between," North said. "It will be a mobility-filled event. One that will provide our show partners with a cost-efficient backdrop to share all of their brands, products and technologies in a fun and festival-like atmosphere that's completely outdoors." 
      Jordan Zlotoff, CEO of M1 Concourse, said, "We are proud and honored to be hosting this world-class automotive event. Motor Bella will allow journalists, industry executives and the public to interact with vehicles in a fully dynamic and experiential format, well beyond the limitations of static displays. As the largest Private Garage community in the world, we at M1 Concourse share the enthusiasm for creating a unique automotive environment built specifically for car enthusiasts."
      North added, "We see this outdoor experience at M1 as a bridge to the future. One that will continue to evolve as we explore new ways of presenting mobility and as we navigate through these unprecedented times. We are very cognizant of the importance and impact our show and our events have on the state and the entire metro Detroit area. This will always be part of our considerations for the future."
      Dates for the 2021 Motor Bella are: 
      Press Preview, Tuesday, Sept. 21 AutoMobili-D, Tuesday, Sept. 21 through a half-day Thursday, Sept. 23 Industry Preview, Wednesday, Sept. 22 and a half-day Thursday, Sept. 23 Public Show, Thursday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 26
    • By William Maley
      It has not been an easy go for the organizers of the Detroit Auto Show. Last year, they had to cancel the revamped show due to concerns about the growing COVID-19 pandemic. The hope was to launch the indoor-outdoor event that would sprawl various parts of Detroit for 2021. But with COVID-19 still a major issue, organizers this afternoon announced the 2021 version would be canceled.
      Automotive News reports that a new, outdoor program called Motor Bella will take its place from September 21st to 26th at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac - about 40 minutes north of Detroit. The new program "will bring next-generation mobility and exciting vehicle debuts to media, show-goers and the automotive enthusiasts," according to a statement released by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) - the organizers of the show. Plans are to have "1.6 million square feet of dynamic vehicle and technology display space," along with the 1.5-mile road course for technology and vehicle demonstrations.
      “The pandemic has caused changes in our society and world in ways not previously imagined, and we all should be looking for new and highly creative ways of doing business. This new event captures that creative spirit. It will provide new mobility experiences and increasingly innovative approaches to tapping into the industry and its products," said Rod Alberts, executive director of DADA.
      Motor Bella was originally planned to be a festival for European supercars that would take place with the updated Detroit Auto Show. 
      "With our new program for 2021, we will take the Motor Bella concept to the next level with multiple brands and mobilities represented, from hometown to international nameplates, autonomous vehicles to high-performance supercars, and everything in between, It will be a mobility-filled event. One that will provide our show partners with a cost-efficient backdrop to share all of their brands, products and technologies in a fun and festival-like atmosphere that's completely outdoors," said event chairman Doug North.
      There are some big questions that face organizers. Will they be able to get the revamped Detroit Auto Show launched for 2022, or will Motor Bella take the place? Plus, will COVID-19 be a point where all of us can go this event safely?
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), DADA

      New All-Outdoor Motor Bella at M1 Creates Bridge to the Future While North American International Auto Show Pauses for 2021
      TROY, Mich. – (January 11, 2021) – The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) today announced it will not hold its 2021 auto show as planned. Instead, show officials revealed a "bridge to the future" with an auto-centric event called Motor Bella.
      The new event will bring next-generation mobility and exciting vehicle debuts to media, show-goers and the automotive enthusiasts' world in a never before experienced way while also addressing continued COVID-19 concerns about indoor events.
      Motor Bella will be held from Sept. 21-26, 2021, at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Mich. Centrally located in the metro Detroit area, M1 Concourse, often referred to as an "87-acre playground for auto enthusiasts," enables exhibitors to showcase key vehicles and technologies in an outdoor setting.
      Plans call for 1.6 million square feet of dynamic vehicle and technology display space including terrain ideal for showcasing off-roading capabilities. M1 Concourse also offers a 1.5-mile hot track on the grounds for technology and vehicle demonstrations.
      "The pandemic has caused changes in our society and world in ways not previously imagined, and we all should be looking for new and highly creative ways of doing business," said Executive Director Rod Alberts. "This new event captures that creative spirit. It will provide new mobility experiences and increasingly innovative approaches to tapping into the industry and its products."
      Alberts said attendees can expect a multi-sensory experience at the new event. "This all-outdoor venue, with adrenaline-pumping track activities and a full complement of OEM and technology exhibits, is going to offer the sights, sounds and even the smell of all that the new world of mobility has to offer." 
      As auto shows around the world are being reimagined and will continue to do so in the wake of the pandemic, NAIAS had been reimagining its position for some time.
      "While auto shows remain an important platform to promote new mobility innovations and to help people make major vehicle purchase decisions, the traditional auto show model is changing," Alberts said. "We cannot ignore the major disruptions caused by the pandemic and the impact it has had on budgets. As such, we will be providing an amazing experience to the media, the auto industry and the public in a cost-effective way."
      Event Chairman Doug North noted that the M1 Concourse was envisioned as part of the 2021 Motor Bella activities, so it was "a natural progression" to build upon it in light of the growing demand for experiential mobility shows and an increased appetite for outdoor events as a result of the pandemic. Motor Bella was originally conceived as a celebration of Italian and British supercars and classic vehicles and was to have debuted at the June 2020 NAIAS.
      "With our new program for 2021, we will take the Motor Bella concept to the next level with multiple brands and mobilities represented, from hometown to international nameplates, autonomous vehicles to high-performance supercars and everything in between," North said. "It will be a mobility-filled event. One that will provide our show partners with a cost-efficient backdrop to share all of their brands, products and technologies in a fun and festival-like atmosphere that's completely outdoors." 
      Jordan Zlotoff, CEO of M1 Concourse, said, "We are proud and honored to be hosting this world-class automotive event. Motor Bella will allow journalists, industry executives and the public to interact with vehicles in a fully dynamic and experiential format, well beyond the limitations of static displays. As the largest Private Garage community in the world, we at M1 Concourse share the enthusiasm for creating a unique automotive environment built specifically for car enthusiasts."
      North added, "We see this outdoor experience at M1 as a bridge to the future. One that will continue to evolve as we explore new ways of presenting mobility and as we navigate through these unprecedented times. We are very cognizant of the importance and impact our show and our events have on the state and the entire metro Detroit area. This will always be part of our considerations for the future."
      Dates for the 2021 Motor Bella are: 
      Press Preview, Tuesday, Sept. 21 AutoMobili-D, Tuesday, Sept. 21 through a half-day Thursday, Sept. 23 Industry Preview, Wednesday, Sept. 22 and a half-day Thursday, Sept. 23 Public Show, Thursday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 26
      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Considering the number of Lexus RC coupes I have driven over the years, there has been a significant hole - the V8 RC F. Whenever I have asked for one, the vehicle either wasn't in the press fleet or someone else was driving it during the dates I had available. But I was able to finally get my hands on one for a week in early fall. It was good timing as I was feeling the effects of being home for the past six months due to COVID-19. Maybe this coupe could give me a bit of joy.
      The RC F is not a shrinking violet. From its bright yellow paint, blacked-out 20-inch wheels, and optional carbon fiber package that includes a retractable rear spoiler, this coupe is very brash and proud of it. I'll admit that I was worried about scraping or cracking the carbon fiber front splitter if I took a steep entrance ramp or bump a bit too aggressively. It looks cool on the car, but the existential dread of an expensive repair bill does sour the appeal.  Not much changes on the inside for the RC F except for carbon fiber trim and a set of racing-style seats. Usually, I have a lot of trepidation on this type of seat because I don't fully fit in due to my slightly wide shoulders. But the seats conformed to my body within a day or so and I found them to offer the balance of support during hard-driving, and comfort for day-to-day - something I find to be hit and miss on seats from other automakers. Lexus Enform is still a frustrating infotainment system to use on daily basis. With a touchy control pad, it is easy to find yourself changing the song or end up in a different section of the system. This means you need to pay close attention to any change being made, which becomes a distraction hazard. Apple CarPlay is standard and does make using the system a bit more bearable. But I do wish Lexus would roll out their touchscreen system which makes it much more intuitive. Though, that likely will not come until a redesign, possibly in the next year or two. The main event for the RC F is under the hood. A 5.0L V8 engine with 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque - figures that slightly pale when compared to the BMW M4 or Mercedes-AMG C63. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic which routes the power to the rear wheels. The initial acceleration is a slight disappointment as the throttle response feels a bit sleepy. I'm not sure if this was due to improve fuel economy or throttle feel higher in the rev band. Thankfully, this sleepiness goes away as the car climbs up in speed and the V8 reveals its party trick. The noise that comes out of this engine sounds like a muscle car and you find yourself stepping the accelerator to enjoy it. Not much to say about the eight-speed automatic. It goes about its business smoothly and quickly. Fuel economy was surprising in the least, as I got an average of 18 mpg in mostly city and suburb driving. A set of adaptive dampers comes standard for the RC-F and gives it a split personality. Turn the drive mode knob to Sport+ and the dampers tighten up to make the coupe feel more agile than its weight of 4,017 pounds would suggest. Also helping in the handling are a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires, providing tenacious grip. But switch the drive mode into normal and RC F becomes a very comfortable and refined grand tourer. Ride quality is very good with only a few bumps making their way inside. A minimal amount of road and wind noise is present. One area where the RC F holds a distinct advantage over the completion is the base price of $65,925 - undercutting most by a few grand. The danger is going through the option list and deciding to go crazy, which explains the as-tested price of $89,654. You can chop off over $11,000 by skipping the Performance package which brings all of the carbon fiber bits. The RC F lacks the outright performance as those from Germany. But I'm willing to overlook it because sometimes you want a car that just shouts to the world and the RC F does that very well. During my week, I found myself reveling in the engine and the grand touring characteristics of the suspension. It brought me the joy which sometimes is all you need a car to do. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the RC F, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: RC F
      Trim: -
      Engine: 5.0L DOHC 32-Valve V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 467 @ 7,100
      Torque @ RPM: 389 @ 4,800 - 5,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/24/19
      Curb Weight: 3,958 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $64,900
      As Tested Price: $89,654 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Performance Package - $11,400.00
      Premium Package - $5,350.00
      Navigation System w/Mark Levinson Audio - $2,725.00
      Torque Vectoring Differential - $1,250.00
      Premium Triple Beam LED Headlamps - $1,160.00
      Flare Yellow Premium Paint - $595.00
      Intuitive Parking Assist - $500.00
      Illuminated Door Sills - $449.00
      Orange Metallic Brembo Brake Calipers - $300.00

      View full article
  • Posts

    • That's a great reference point and it really puts this flight into a better perspective on how impressive it was. 
    • You can't call yourself "science guy" and then say no point of going to space.  Science has always been about discovery of unknown and pushing the boundaries of known.  If people wouldn't be willing to expand and learn and discover, we still would live in the original caves we came from and hunt with spears.  There are so many innovations that came  out from trying to push the boundaries, exploring.  Exploring space gave a huge amount of things we use daily now.  Take as an example that small helicopter flight that this whole discussion started.  Flying on Mars is an equivalent of flying on Earth at 87000 feet.  Current Earth record for the helicopter flight is about 41000 feet. I think it is in our nature to be curious, to explore and to expand.  Either it is good or bad is up for discussion. 
    • I'm very much a science and technology guy, and I'm pretty sure space launches and the moon missions, etc have all happened.   But being cynical, I've never seen much point in going to space (beyond launching satellites).. seems like a big money pit...billions and billons of $$$ wasted that could be put to better use to improving life on Earth, IMO.    I don't see the value in spreading the scourge of humanity into the solar system, humanity will destroy itself here eventually...better to contain the destruction wrought by humans to Earth.     
    • There are so many effing reasons to believe we actually went.    https://youtu.be/UT23ogeC1nI
    • Been a crazy Tuesday, so playing devils advocate and yes it is an established FACT, I agree with you on. But still stirring the pot to see what rises!  
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