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    New York Auto Show: 2014 Toyota Highlander



    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    March 27, 2013

    Toyota pulled the covers off the third-generation 2014 Highlander today at New York Auto Show.

    The Highlander's exterior is much more muscular than the outgoing model with a large grille, pointy headlights, and slab sides, and large, blocky flared fenders. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard, while nineteen-inch wheels are optional.

    Compared to the outgoing Highlander, the 2014 Highlander is 2.7 inches longer and 0.6 inches wider. That means there is 34% more cargo room and the third row is 4.3-inches wider, making it a more livable space. You have the choice of either seating for seven or eight people.

    Standard equipment will include a back-up camera, Hill-start Assist Control, 6.1-inch touchscreen with Toyota's Entune infotainment system, and Bluetooth.

    Engine choices are the same as the outgoing Highlander. They are a 2.7L four-cylinder as the base and a optional 3.5L V6. Both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission which should improve fuel economy numbers by one or two MPGs. A Highlander Hybrid will also be available.

    The 2014 Highlander arrives at dealers in early 2014.

    Source: Toyota

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    NEW YORK, March 27, 2013 - - The all-new third-generation 2014 Toyota Highlander mid-size SUV made its world debut today at the 2013 New York Auto Show.

    An all-new exterior design conveys both refinement and strength, complementing a new interior that will raise the bar in the mid-size SUV segment. With three-row seating for up to eight, an array of standard features, a host of available in-cabin technologies, and increased cargo capacity, the new Highlander will offer a nuanced balance of style, comfort and utility. The total package is capped off with three powertrain choices: a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine a powerful V6 with a new six-speed transmission that will produce excellent all-around capability, and a V6-powered Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain for enhanced mileage and fewer emissions.

    Sophisticated, Dynamic Exterior is Sleek and Strong

    Sophisticated and dynamic, the new Highlander features a progressive silhouette, a lower roofline for improved aerodynamics, and sculptured side-door panels. The exterior has grown in length by approximately three inches while width is increased one-half inch, conveying a sleek and strong appearance.

    From the front, Highlander’s hood merges with a redesigned trapezoidal grille, wraparound headlamps and deeply chiseled fenders for a more aggressive appearance.

    The length of the profile, from the front fenders to the rear quarter panels, boldly stands out with sculptured wheel wells at the corners, allowing for prominently protruding wheels. The total package is capped off by a newly designed rear lift-gate with one-touch power open/close and driver selectable memory height settings, and taillights and bumper that exude style and strength.

    Highlander’s body structure will include high-strength steel in the front pillars for increased rigidity. Visibility has been improved through precise repositioning of the front A-pillars, while the size of the rear quarter glass has been increased to provide a wider view for driver and occupants.

    Refinement is enhanced through improved noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) measures. Interior noise reduction is achieved through a 30 percent expansion of silencing insulation materials in the floor areas. Acoustic-type glass is used for the windshield to help reduce noise entering the cabin, and even the panoramic moonroof design works to help reduce wind noise, even when the moonroof is open.

    Vibration is minimized through expanded coverage of the dash silencer, enhancements to body sealing, and the strategic placement of three hydraulic engine mounts. Improvements in the exhaust layout have been made for additional noise and vibration reduction.

    Premium Interior Design with Advanced Functionality

    Toyota engineers raised the bar on interior design for the mid-size SUV segment by adding even more refinement and functionality to the new Highlander. The 2014 model will offer a premium interior highlighted by increased spaciousness for up to eight people, and an array of standard comfort, convenience and technology features.

    The new Highlander’s interior utilizes premium materials to offer an upscale experience, with most models featuring standard contrast seat stitching. All Highlanders will come equipped with a soft-touch instrument panel; and silver-painted, satin, and chrome-plated accents that are thoughtfully placed throughout the interior. Wood-grain pattern trim can be found on the front dash and door trim for an added touch of elegance. Premium fabrics, available smooth and perforated leather-trim seats, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob add to Highlander’s redesigned upscale interior. The adoption of a high quality knit roof lining and available second-row sunshades add to Highlander’s refinement and comfort.

    A new roll-top center console box with a dampened sliding door provides a comfortable armrest, or when fully opened is large enough to hold a large handbag. All Highlanders will feature a newly designed in-meter-cluster Multi-Information Display. Available ambient lighting around the front dash and doors add to the refined environment.

    The second row offers bench-seating for three passengers or two captain’s seats featuring a collapsible tray with cup holders for added convenience. Getting into the third-row is made easier with the addition of a one-step second-row sliding seat function that provides nearly three more inches of space for easier entry and exit to the third-row. An overall interior width increase of 4.3 inches in the third-row and a standard recline function creates added comfort for up to three passengers. Like the second-row bench, the third-row will be 40/60 split for added passenger and storage flexibility and convenience. Rear cargo space behind the third-row has also increased by up to 34 percent for added storage.

    Additional available convenience features include an Automatic High Beam System, Auto Cruise Control, Smart Key, driver’s seat memory, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row captain’s seats, and a heated steering wheel.

    Improved Dynamic Performance, Handling, Efficiency

    The new Highlander will be available in three powertrains. A 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine is equipped with a variable intake manifold and dual Variable-Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which controls phasing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts to optimize torque and fuel efficiency. The 2.7-liter engine is teamed with a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.

    A 3.5-liter V6 is also equipped with dual VVT-i and a variable intake manifold. Acceleration and fuel efficiency are improved thanks to a new six-speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission (ECT) that offers selectable manual sequential shifting.

    The Highlander Hybrid model’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system pairs the 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with a high-torque electric drive motor-generator for additional power and fuel efficiency.

    The new Highlander will provide a more dynamic driving experience, with new technologies that include Dynamic Torque Control All-Wheel Drive (AWD), enhancements in suspension performance, and optimized electric power steering. The spring rates and the shock absorbers have been optimally tuned to help enhance the vehicles handling characteristics.

    Highlander will have a MacPherson strut front suspension, double-wishbone rear suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, 18-inch alloy wheels and available 19-inch alloys.

    Highlander’s Dynamic Torque Control AWD system automatically shifts from front-wheel drive (FWD) to AWD when accelerating or when sensors detect wheel slippage. The driver is able to view the torque-distribution settings on the meter display.

    The Dynamic Torque Control AWD system continuously monitors and controls the torque transfer between the front and rear wheels via an electromagnetically controlled coupling positioned in the rear differential.

    Front to rear torque distribution can vary from 100:0 to 50:50, with front-wheel drive (100:0) automatically engaged under normal driving conditions to help improve fuel consumption.

    The Dynamic Torque Control AWD system uses information sent from various sensors (speed, steering angle and speed, throttle angle and yaw rate) to automatically govern the transmission of torque to the rear wheels, as required.

    A sophisticated, high-speed interactive management system coordinates control of the Dynamic Torque Control AWD, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Electric Power Steering (EPS) systems to enhance Highlander’s performance, handling and safety.

    Advanced In-Cabin, Multimedia Connectivity

    All new Highlanders come equipped with Toyota’s Entune™ multimedia system. The Display Audio system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth® and voice recognition is standard, while an eight-inch touchscreen system and Toyota’s Entune™ app suite with12 JBL speakers is also available.

    The new Highlander will also offer an available Rear Seat Entertainment system with an RCA coaxial input terminal at the rear of the center console to allow external devices, such as gaming systems, to be connected.

    Comprehensive Array of Safety & Convenience Features

    All 2014 Highlander’s will have eight standard airbags. Like every Toyota, Highlander will feature the standard Star Safety System™, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, an Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology. All Highlander’s will also come equipped with a standard backup camera and Hill-start Assist Control. All AWD models will have an AWD LOCK switch.

    New available safety and convenience features include rear parking sonar, Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Departure Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and a Pre-collision System.

    All Highlanders are assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) in Princeton, Ind. The all-new Highlander will reach dealer showrooms in early 2014.

    2014 HIGHLANDER PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS

    POWERTRAIN

    2.7-liter four-cylinder engine with VVT-i

    Transmission: Six-speed ECT-i

    Drive System: Front-Wheel-Drive

    3.5-liter V6 engine with VVT-i

    Transmission: Six-speed ECT-i

    Drive System: Front- and All-Wheel-Drive

    Hybrid Synergy Drive with 3.5-liter V6 Engine and Electric Motor

    Transmission: Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

    Drive System: All-Wheel-Drive

    EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (inches)

    Overall Length: 191.1

    Overall Width: 75.8

    Overall Height: 68.1

    Wheelbase: 109.8

    Ground clearance: 8.0-inches

    Wheels: 18-inch alloy wheels

    19-inch alloy wheels (Limited)

    Tire Size: 18-inch: 245/60R18 (LE and XLE)

    19-inch: 245/55R19 (Limited)

    Towing Capacity: 5,000 lbs. (V6 only)

    Seating Capacity: 7 or 8

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    Here's what Toyota does very well: Puts unattractive, in-cohesive, messy design language to the top of the American sales charts. This Highlander carries on the tradition quite well with the new Tundra and RAV-4.

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    Seems they are wanting to go head to head with the Dodge Durango in terms of features and people hauling.

    I take the sexy Durango over this ugly slab.

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    The overall shape isn't bad, in fact at first balance I thought it looked pretty good, but in typical Toyota fashion they botch the details. Especially how the head and taillights aren't flush with the sheet metal, they just stick out there, and I hate that. I also don't like the chrome eyebrows on the headlights. LEDs may be all the rage, but they look better than chrome.

    Also that grill looks like two different designs stacked on each other. Look at the massive gaps around the chrome strip that connects the monobrow, and how the chrome outline of the lower grill ends at the headlights.

    post-1757-0-85626500-1364409241_thumb.pn

    That's just terrible.

    As for the interior, it's a typical Toyota mess of different design ideas thrown in a blender.

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      2018 Acura TLX Makes World Debut with Aggressive, Sporty Design, and New Technology Features

      Apr 11, 2017 - NEW YORK
      2018 Acura TLX sports sedan debuts with three distinct variants, Acura Precision Concept-inspired design language and robust tech features All-new TLX V6 A-Spec adds emotional styling and sport-tuning Standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and AcuraWatch™, and a host of premium features make TLX among most technologically advanced and well-equipped vehicles in its segment Acura has unveiled a refreshed and significantly enhanced 2018 TLX performance luxury sedan, delivering the brand's Precision Crafted Performance design direction to its core sedan. The all-new TLX A-Spec takes the sedan's design in an even more emotional direction, further broadening the brand's appeal to younger buyers. The Acura TLX also will be one of the most technologically advanced and well-equipped vehicles in the segment with new technology features including Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and AcuraWatch™ standard on all grades. The 2018 TLX is slated to go on sale at Acura dealerships nationwide in June.
      The 2018 TLX boasts a more aggressive and sporty look inspired by the Acura Precision Concept that debuted last year, a design direction that has successfully influenced the styling of the 2017 MDX luxury SUV. Acura's signature diamond pentagon grille, paired with changes to the sedan's stance, proportion, wheels and sheet metal boosts its presence on the road.
      "We've really upped the ante in terms of styling, emotion and road presence, more effectively communicating the TLX's dynamic capabilities," said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president and general manager.        
      The 2018 TLX design illustrates its three variants with distinct characteristics. The 2.4-liter i-VTEC inline-4 cylinder TLX receives a sporty new front fascia featuring the diamond pentagon grille, a new bumper, more sculpted hood, fenders, redesigned Jewel Eye™ headlight design with LED turn signal and a new standard 17-inch wheel and tire package.
      The V6 TLX models add an aggressive, refreshed rear fascia with exposed, rectangular dual-exhaust finishers, rear diffuser and standard 18-inch wheels. The V6 TLX with Technology Package adds a new chrome side sill garnish, all-new seats with contrast piping and stitching, and a power-operated thigh extension on the driver's seat. The Advance Package gains additional technology including trapezoidal LED fog lights, Surround View Camera system, built-in wireless charging pad, white LED ambient light piping in 10 locations throughout the cabin, a heated steering wheel and heated rear outboard seats, a body-colored decklid spoiler, and power-folding side mirrors.
      Acura's acclaimed torque vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive® (SH-AWD™), the best handling all-wheel drive system in the industry, is available for the first time on all V6 TLX models, previously available only with V6 models equipped with Technology or Advance Packages
      New TLX A-Spec
      Reflecting Acura's Precision Crafted Performance DNA, the new TLX V6 A-Spec is available in two-wheel drive and SH-AWD™ configurations, adding character and performance inside and out. An exclusive front fascia, round LED fog lights, aggressive side sills, rear diffuser accented by large, round dual-exhaust finishers and gloss black decklid spoiler creates an even bolder character. Exclusive, dark finish 19-inch wheels paired with wide 245-series tires complement a sport-tuned suspension with more aggressive damper settings and retuned electric power steering for a sharper, more precise handling experience. TLX A-Spec models with SH-AWD also receive a stiffer spring rate and rear stabilizer bar for improved body control. Gloss black trim and A-Spec badging on the rear decklid, fenders, side sill garnish and steering wheel completes the look.
      On the inside, a host of sport-oriented refinements and premium features include exclusive leather seats with increased bolstering, red driver's meter highlights, brushed aluminum-look interior trim, and a thick-rimmed sport steering wheel. Two A-Spec exclusive interior color choices are offered: Red leather or Black leather with Alcantara™ seat and door inserts. Premium enhancements borrowed from the top trim Advance Package include wireless charging pad, ventilated front seats and red LED ambient light piping (white on the Advance Package). 
       
      Technology Enhancements
      The 2018 TLX is the first Acura to feature a refreshed dual-screen user On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD 2.0) interface that supports Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and Sirius XM 2.0. New software improves the system response time and offers more intuitive menus and command structures for a seamless and quicker user experience – approximately 30 percent faster. An enhanced 7-inch touchscreen has a capacitive display that is more responsive to the touch and is positioned within easy reach of the driver and front passenger.
      With its unique AcuraWatch™ suite of technologies, the 2018 Acura TLX is the only vehicle in its class with standard crash avoidance and active driving-assistive features. AcuraWatch™ includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with automatic emergency braking, Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM). AcuraWatch uses a millimeter wave radar and monocular camera sensing technology to detect other vehicles as well as lane markings and can help intervene to prevent or mitigate the severity of a collision. With Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist, AcuraWatch can significantly decrease the driver's workload during freeway cruising by maintaining a set speed and following interval, initiating both braking and throttle inputs, and adding steering input to help the driver maintain their position in the detected lane.

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    • By William Maley
      Three years on from its original launch, Acura has given the TLX a substantial refresh and revealed it on the eve of the New York Auto Show.
      Being of no surprise to anyone, the TLX is sporting a new face that was first shown on the Precision concept from last year's Detroit Auto Show. A huge pentagonal grille is flanked by a set of Acura's jewel-eye headlights. Some people will like this new look, while others (like myself) will be missing the shield/beak grille. Other design changes include a more sculpted hood and new fenders. The interior doesn't change much except the infotainment system has been overhauled to improve overall performance and add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The downside is it still retains the dual-screens setup that we have been complaining about in many Acura models.
      The base TLX gets a 2.4L four-cylinder with 206 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. Next up is the TLX V6 that comes with a 3.5L V6 boasting 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. The V6 is available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Topping off the TLX family is the all-new A-Spec. It sports a more aggressive exterior treatment with a new front bumper, side skirts, dual exhaust outlets, rear spoiler finished in black, and a faux rear diffuser. The 3.5L V6 is the only engine available for the A-Spec. FWD variants come with firmer shocks and revised steering, while AWD adds firmer springs and a stiffer rear anti-roll bar.
      Acura hasn't revealed pricing for the 2018 TLX. But we won't be waiting too long as the updated model will arrive in June.
      Source: Acura
      Press Release is on Page 2
      2018 Acura TLX Makes World Debut with Aggressive, Sporty Design, and New Technology Features

      Apr 11, 2017 - NEW YORK
      2018 Acura TLX sports sedan debuts with three distinct variants, Acura Precision Concept-inspired design language and robust tech features All-new TLX V6 A-Spec adds emotional styling and sport-tuning Standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and AcuraWatch™, and a host of premium features make TLX among most technologically advanced and well-equipped vehicles in its segment Acura has unveiled a refreshed and significantly enhanced 2018 TLX performance luxury sedan, delivering the brand's Precision Crafted Performance design direction to its core sedan. The all-new TLX A-Spec takes the sedan's design in an even more emotional direction, further broadening the brand's appeal to younger buyers. The Acura TLX also will be one of the most technologically advanced and well-equipped vehicles in the segment with new technology features including Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and AcuraWatch™ standard on all grades. The 2018 TLX is slated to go on sale at Acura dealerships nationwide in June.
      The 2018 TLX boasts a more aggressive and sporty look inspired by the Acura Precision Concept that debuted last year, a design direction that has successfully influenced the styling of the 2017 MDX luxury SUV. Acura's signature diamond pentagon grille, paired with changes to the sedan's stance, proportion, wheels and sheet metal boosts its presence on the road.
      "We've really upped the ante in terms of styling, emotion and road presence, more effectively communicating the TLX's dynamic capabilities," said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president and general manager.        
      The 2018 TLX design illustrates its three variants with distinct characteristics. The 2.4-liter i-VTEC inline-4 cylinder TLX receives a sporty new front fascia featuring the diamond pentagon grille, a new bumper, more sculpted hood, fenders, redesigned Jewel Eye™ headlight design with LED turn signal and a new standard 17-inch wheel and tire package.
      The V6 TLX models add an aggressive, refreshed rear fascia with exposed, rectangular dual-exhaust finishers, rear diffuser and standard 18-inch wheels. The V6 TLX with Technology Package adds a new chrome side sill garnish, all-new seats with contrast piping and stitching, and a power-operated thigh extension on the driver's seat. The Advance Package gains additional technology including trapezoidal LED fog lights, Surround View Camera system, built-in wireless charging pad, white LED ambient light piping in 10 locations throughout the cabin, a heated steering wheel and heated rear outboard seats, a body-colored decklid spoiler, and power-folding side mirrors.
      Acura's acclaimed torque vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive® (SH-AWD™), the best handling all-wheel drive system in the industry, is available for the first time on all V6 TLX models, previously available only with V6 models equipped with Technology or Advance Packages
      New TLX A-Spec
      Reflecting Acura's Precision Crafted Performance DNA, the new TLX V6 A-Spec is available in two-wheel drive and SH-AWD™ configurations, adding character and performance inside and out. An exclusive front fascia, round LED fog lights, aggressive side sills, rear diffuser accented by large, round dual-exhaust finishers and gloss black decklid spoiler creates an even bolder character. Exclusive, dark finish 19-inch wheels paired with wide 245-series tires complement a sport-tuned suspension with more aggressive damper settings and retuned electric power steering for a sharper, more precise handling experience. TLX A-Spec models with SH-AWD also receive a stiffer spring rate and rear stabilizer bar for improved body control. Gloss black trim and A-Spec badging on the rear decklid, fenders, side sill garnish and steering wheel completes the look.
      On the inside, a host of sport-oriented refinements and premium features include exclusive leather seats with increased bolstering, red driver's meter highlights, brushed aluminum-look interior trim, and a thick-rimmed sport steering wheel. Two A-Spec exclusive interior color choices are offered: Red leather or Black leather with Alcantara™ seat and door inserts. Premium enhancements borrowed from the top trim Advance Package include wireless charging pad, ventilated front seats and red LED ambient light piping (white on the Advance Package). 
       
      Technology Enhancements
      The 2018 TLX is the first Acura to feature a refreshed dual-screen user On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD 2.0) interface that supports Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and Sirius XM 2.0. New software improves the system response time and offers more intuitive menus and command structures for a seamless and quicker user experience – approximately 30 percent faster. An enhanced 7-inch touchscreen has a capacitive display that is more responsive to the touch and is positioned within easy reach of the driver and front passenger.
      With its unique AcuraWatch™ suite of technologies, the 2018 Acura TLX is the only vehicle in its class with standard crash avoidance and active driving-assistive features. AcuraWatch™ includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with automatic emergency braking, Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM). AcuraWatch uses a millimeter wave radar and monocular camera sensing technology to detect other vehicles as well as lane markings and can help intervene to prevent or mitigate the severity of a collision. With Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist, AcuraWatch can significantly decrease the driver's workload during freeway cruising by maintaining a set speed and following interval, initiating both braking and throttle inputs, and adding steering input to help the driver maintain their position in the detected lane.
    • By William Maley
      Following the LS 500 at Detroit and the LS 500h at Geneva, New York will be the home for the 2018 LS 500 F-Sport debut.
      Before we get any further, we need to temper expectations. This isn't a fully fledged F model like the GS F or RC F where they get noticeable power increases. Instead, the F-Sport is more of an aesthetic and handling package.
      From the outside, the F-Sport adds a mesh grille, larger air vents, side skirts, 20-inch wheels, and special shade of white that is exclusive to the LS F-Sport. The interior comes with new sport seats, an F-Sport steering wheel, brushed aluminum trim, and a revised instrument cluster.
      A handling package that brings variable-ratio steering, rear-wheel steering, sport-tuned air suspension, and the Lexus' Active Stabilizer anti-roll-bar system is only available on the rear-drive LS 500. All F-Sport models do get larger brakes (6-piston calipers at the front and 4-piston at the rear).
      The LS F-Sport arrives in early 2018.
      Source: Lexus
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Having debuted its reinvented flagship sedan earlier this year—the all-new 2018 LS 500—Lexus is putting an exclamation point on this signature model with the new F SPORT model. The LS 500 F SPORT, unveiled today and on display this week at the New York International Auto Show, moves the driving emotion needle even farther with handling enhancements and a performance-infused design outside and in.
      The original luxury disruptor when it debuted to launch the brand, the Lexus LS has for nearly three decades set benchmarks for powertrain smoothness, ride quietness, craftsmanship, attention to detail, and long-term quality. The 2018 LS 500 will offer the most dynamic driving experience in the model’s history; now it has the possibility of being enhanced further with the new F SPORT model.
      Within the Lexus lineup, the F models, including GS F and RC F, are the track-tuned maximum performance machines. The F SPORT versions, meanwhile, imbue the standard models with a more engaging driving spirit through carefully applied chassis tuning and enhancements, while still emphasizing exceptional comfort. On the new LS, the F SPORT model will be available with gas and hybrid powertrains, and those choosing the RWD V6TT model will have the option of adding the F SPORT Handling Package to bring a level of liveliness never before seen on the flagship sedan.
      F SPORT Look
      Lexus designers didn’t hold back when giving the LS 500 its coupe-like silhouette and dramatic rendition of the Lexus signature spindle grille that shows even greater intricacy in the design. Developing the F SPORT grille took computer-aided design (CAD) operators some five months to achieve the desired texture and interaction with light. Even then, they adjusted 7,100 individual surfaces to achieve the desired look and texture (compared to 5,000 for the standard model’s grille). And when combined with the sporty enlarged side grille, it is functional as well, helping to maintain the vehicle’s cooling performance.
      The special F SPORT front grille, rocker panel, and trunk moldings accentuate the sedan’s rakish profile, while F SPORT badging on fenders and exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels complete the exterior transformation. For those looking to really stand out, Ultra White is offered as an F SPORT-exclusive exterior color.
      F SPORT Inside
      As it did with the exterior, Lexus shifted the LS 500 cabin into F SPORT spec by applying trim and features exclusive to this version. A common thread through all LS models remains: Omotenashi, the concept of Japanese hospitality. Applied to the LS 500, it means taking care of the driver and passengers, anticipating their needs, attending to their comfort and helping to protect them from hazards. The F SPORT adds a performance attitude to the mix.
      The F SPORT persona shines throughout the cabin, starting with the F SPORT-exclusive front seat, which provides enhanced support for dynamic driving. A perforated-grill pattern on seating surfaces and unique scored aluminum trim elements add additional sporty flair.
      The driver faces a special F SPORT steering wheel as well as a speedometer and tachometer in a movable meter with a ring that slides to display information—a design adapted from the limited-production Lexus LFA supercar and a further expression of the car’s dynamic intentions. Attention to detail shows in the aluminum accelerator, brake and footrest pedals, as well as the F SPORT perforated shift handle and footrest. Ultrasuede in the seats and headliner is the crowning touch. For those desiring the ultimate sporty look, a new Circuit Red interior is available exclusively on F SPORT models.
      LS 500 Chassis Details
      2018 LS F SPORT models feature the latest generation of the brand’s advanced chassis control technology, Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), which has been refined since its debut more than a decade ago.
      In 2004, Lexus introduced the first integrated control system that combined the previously independent ABS, traction control, vehicle stability control, and EPS, as well as other functions, into a single system. In 2012, the brand adopted the four-wheel active steering integrated control system—known as Lexus Dynamic Handling, or LDH—from the GS for enhanced safety and driving performance that responds to the driver’s intention.
      The new VDIM system implements cooperative control of all vehicle subsystems – braking, steering, powertrain, and suspension – to control basic longitudinal, lateral and vertical motion as well as yaw, roll and pitch. Optimal control of these motions helps to enable exceptional ride comfort, enhanced traction and safety and handling agility, and allows for enriched flat vehicle posture during cornering as well as a more comfortable and stable ride overall.
      Sporting Genes
      The LS 500 is based on an extended version of the brand’s premium global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA–L) platform from the new Lexus LC 500 coupe. The stiffest platform that Lexus has ever developed, GA-L sets the stage for enhanced handling, ride smoothness and cabin quietness. The LS F SPORT capitalizes on the platform’s responsiveness and agility.
      Equipping the LS 500 F SPORT with standard 20-inch wheels and 245/45RF20+ 275/40RF20 tires, (summer tires for RWD) along with larger front and rear brakes (6-piston calipers on front and 4 pistons on rear), unlocks more of the platform’s intrinsic performance capability. Opting for the available F SPORT Handling Package (RWD gas model) equips the LS 500 F SPORT with Lexus Dynamic Handling (Variable Gear Ratio Steering and Active Rear Steering), Active Stabilizer, and sport-tuned air suspension with rapid height function. The result is a full-size premium luxury sedan that responds more like a sports coupe through curves, helping to underline what F SPORT stands for.
      415-Horsepower Heart with a 10-Speed Partner
      Lexus designed an all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine specifically for the new 2018 LS 500, using twin turbochargers developed through the company’s F1 technology. This new twin-turbo V6 offers V8-level performance – 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque – paired with the first-ever 10-speed automatic transmission in luxury sedan.
      The engine yields a broad torque curve and, perfectly in tune with the F SPORT spirit, the new engine and transmission deliver instant acceleration and a constant buildup of torque toward the vehicle’s redline. The LS 500 is undeniably quick, with a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds (gas RWD). An electric wastegate is among the features that contribute to the engine’s rapid responses. The driver can tailor powertrain response and feel by choosing from Normal, Sport S or Sport S+ modes, and just enough of the exhaust note is heard to enhance the sporty feel.
      F SPORT Performance, Hybrid Efficiency
      The LS 500h F SPORT infuses high efficiency into the sporting formula. The new Multi Stage Hybrid System combines a naturally aspirated Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with two electric motor/generators and uses a compact, lightweight lithium-ion battery. The V6 engine uses D-4S direct fuel injection, and lightweight valvetrain components, with Dual VVT-i ensuring ample torque across the engine speed range. Combined system output is 354 hp.
      The new system adapts the planetary-type continuously variable transmission from Lexus Hybrid Drive and also adds a unique four-speed automatic transmission. Working in concert, the two gearsets alter output in four stages to utilize the V6 engine across the entire speed range. In manual mode, the two gearsets act together to provide the effect of 10 ratios, giving the LS 500h F SPORT an enhanced dynamic feel on the road and allowing the driver to shift through the ratios with paddle shifters. The Multi Stage Hybrid System allows for more electric assist at lower vehicle speeds.
      What’s more, this system allows the RWD LS 500h to propel from 0-60 in 5.2 seconds – which is on par with the previous-generation V8-powered LS 460 and 3 /10th of a second faster than the AWD LS 600h.

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