• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    Lexus Passes On Competing With The Mercedes-Benz CLA


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    December 12, 2013

    Since Mercedes-Benz has introduced the new CLA-Class, many luxury automakers are joining in as a way to bring in younger buyers and drive up sales. One automaker you'll not see partaking in this display is Lexus.

    Group Vice President and General Manager of Lexus, Jeff Bracken tells Automotive News that the automaker will not build a competitor to the CLA.

    "We will not head down below $30,000. We have Toyota and Scion to handle that price level for us," said Bracken.

    Now Bracken does admit that the CLA is a huge success in the U.S.

    "They are off to a great start. They are really doing well, and it has probably not only impacted their overall volume with CLA, but also brought in some traffic for some of the other series that they represent, and clearly helping drive the luxury segment in total," said Bracken.

    In November, Mercedes-Benz reported sales of 34,376 vehicles, an increase of 13 percent. A majority of that increase came from the CLA.

    Bracken also says not having a true competitor to the CLA would make it very difficult for the Lexus to get back the crown of best-selling luxury it held for eleven years. The closest competitor Lexus has is the CT 200h hatchback which costs $32,050, just a hair over $2,000 more when compared to the CLA's starting price tag of $29,900.

    But Bob Carter, senior vice president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. points out that with the upcoming 2016 CAFE Regulations, Mercedes-Benz and other luxury manufacturers need to build smaller, entry-level models to meet. Lexus doesn't need to worry about them as much as they have Toyota and Scion to meet those.

    "By not diluting its brand image, Lexus will stay focused. It lets Lexus hit on higher levels, in segments more traditionally associated with luxury," said Carter.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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

    0


    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    Interesting take. I would say that the CT200H already competes in this space and was actually there before Mercedes was. I doubt most CLAs sell exactly at base price and typically have at least $2k worth of options.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Interesting take. I would say that the CT200H already competes in this space and was actually there before Mercedes was. I doubt most CLAs sell exactly at base price and typically have at least $2k worth of options.

    I would agree. I don't think any Mercedes hits dealerships without the premium 1 package on it, so depending on the model that will add $2-4k to the base price. Plus the CLA can easily be optioned to $40,000 and that is where most IS and ES sell, not that they are direct competitors but they are in the same price point. And Lexus has almost no sales above $50,000 the Lexus Land Cruiser bombed and the LS460 has class average sales with the lowest price in the class besides the Equus. In the "segments traditionally associated with luxury" the E-class and S-class are crushing Lexus.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor




  • Popular Stories

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Carguy
      Carguy
      (47 years old)
    2. Elitedragon27
      Elitedragon27
      (30 years old)
  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      Lexus executives admit there are some holes in their lineup such as not having a subcompact or three-row crossover. Speaking with Automotive News, Lexus General Manager Jeff Bracken said the brand is losing as many as 70,000 potential vehicle sales by not competing in certain segments. 
      "We do think there's room to fill some gaps that still exist for Lexus," said Bracken.
      One possibility is introducing a subcompact crossover possibly with a production version of the UX concept.
      "That's a gap we are watching very closely. We're very fixated on trying to move that conversation forward with our parent corporation." 
      Also up for consideration is a three-row crossover and expanding the F-series performance family - might include an LC-F.
      One surprise to come out is Lexus doing an electric vehicle. According to Bracken, the brand started investigating possibilities after the Paris Motor Show where many European luxury automakers pushed this idea.
      "It was amazingly focused. Subsequent to that show, from my standpoint, we began conversations with our product planners," said Bracken.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Lexus executives admit there are some holes in their lineup such as not having a subcompact or three-row crossover. Speaking with Automotive News, Lexus General Manager Jeff Bracken said the brand is losing as many as 70,000 potential vehicle sales by not competing in certain segments. 
      "We do think there's room to fill some gaps that still exist for Lexus," said Bracken.
      One possibility is introducing a subcompact crossover possibly with a production version of the UX concept.
      "That's a gap we are watching very closely. We're very fixated on trying to move that conversation forward with our parent corporation." 
      Also up for consideration is a three-row crossover and expanding the F-series performance family - might include an LC-F.
      One surprise to come out is Lexus doing an electric vehicle. According to Bracken, the brand started investigating possibilities after the Paris Motor Show where many European luxury automakers pushed this idea.
      "It was amazingly focused. Subsequent to that show, from my standpoint, we began conversations with our product planners," said Bracken.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    • By William Maley
      Almost three decades ago at the Detroit Auto Show, Toyota shocked the establishment with the introduction of Lexus and LS 400 flagship. Lexus hopes with the 2018 LS introduced this morning in Detroit is able to recapture some of that shock.
      The look of the 2018 LS is familiar and somehow different. The profile is the similar to the current LS, but Lexus made a number of changes to make it stand out. There is a more aggressive take on the spindle grille, a crease running along the doors, lower ride height, and larger wheels. The new GA-L platform that made it's debut last year on the LC coupe underpins the LS. It has been stretched and widened to provide measurements of 206.1-inches long 74.8-inches wide, and 57.1-inches tall. This makes it about the same size as a BMW 7-Series long-wheelbase.
      Power comes from an all-new 3.5L twin-turbo V6 engine with 415 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with a new ten-speed automatic. Lexus says the LS with this engine will hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. It is unknown whether or not a V8 or hybrid option will be introduced down the road. The front and rear multilink suspension setup from the LC is employed on the LS. An air suspension system is optional.
      The interior takes some ideas from the LC with a similar instrument cluster with traction control and drive mode selectors sitting on either side. The seats have been redesigned and now feature 28-way power adjustments for those sitting up front. Rear seat passengers can get reclining seats, an ottoman, and Shiatsu massage functionality. Tech-wise, there is a new version of Lexus' remote touch system with a 12.3-inch infotainment system and optional 24" color heads-up display which the automaker claims is the largest in the world.
      The 2018 Lexus LS is expected to go on sale towards the end of the year.
      Source: Lexus
      Press Release is on Page 2


      With the All-New 2018 LS, Lexus Reimagines Global Flagship Sedan
      Radical new design with coupe-like silhouette, yet spaciousness of prestige sedan New platform for greatest-ever LS agility and comfort All-new twin-turbo V6 with 415 horsepower 10-speed automatic transmission All-new available Lexus Advanced Safety Package New level of flagship luxury in every aspect Interior inspired by traditional Japanese aesthetics On sale in U.S. near the end of 2017 DETROIT, January 9, 2017 — It is possible that no single automobile has, upon introduction, upended its category as decisively as the first Lexus LS did when it launched the luxury brand 28 years ago. The 1990 LS 400 was the original luxury disruptor, winning critical acclaim and astonishing customers by setting new benchmarks for comfort, powertrain performance and smoothness, quietness, build quality, attention to detail, and dependability. The brand supported that groundbreaking vehicle by setting and maintaining new standards for customer service and satisfaction.
       
      Now, Lexus is about to repeat history with the introduction of the all-new, fifth-generation LS flagship sedan for 2018, unveiled at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Inside and out, the new LS reflects a strong, uniquely Japanese identity and approach to luxury. Yet, the LS was designed to be the brand’s latest global citizen, available in about 90 countries.
       
      “Not only will the LS symbolize the Lexus brand, it will become the definitive new-generation luxury car embodying Japanese tradition and culture,” said Toshio Asahi, chief engineer for the new LS. “As such, this global pinnacle must go far beyond what the world expects from a luxury car.”
       
      Longer, Lower, Wider – and More Exciting
       
      Longer and lower than the sedan it replaces, the all-new LS debuts a strikingly bold design with a coupe-like silhouette punctuated by the Lexus design language. A new driver-centric performance feel comes from building the LS on the company’s all-new global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA–L). This premium rear-wheel drive platform, an extended version of the one used for the stunning new Lexus LC 500 coupe, will offer a more dynamic experience on the road while further elevating renowned Lexus comfort. 
       
      The original Lexus LS won acclaim by anticipating what luxury customers would want, rather than simply amplifying what established luxury automobile brands offered at the time. In that spirit, the 2018 LS sedan’s spacious cabin, unique appointments and visionary technology will once again surprise customers by resetting expectations for a global flagship sedan.
       
      “We set previously unheard of targets and resolutely pushed ahead towards these ambitious goals,” said LS chief engineer, Asahi. “The customers who are going to want to own a Lexus flagship are already surrounded by luxury on a daily basis, people who have a sharp eye for authenticity to begin with. We wouldn’t turn their heads with a conventional premium product.”
       
      A Flagship Reborn
       
      Just as the original LS launched the Lexus brand, the all-new 2018 LS continues the brand’s more dynamic direction. Each generation of LS sedans leading up to this iteration advanced luxury, craftsmanship, performance and safety in their own way, with the most recent also introducing a far more emotional design and engaging on-road performance.
       
      To create the all-new LS, Lexus took the approach of starting from new, reimagining what a flagship sedan should be, as if launching the brand all over again. The goal was not to improve on what Lexus has done, but to exceed expectations of global luxury customers.
       
      A common thread going through all LS models remains: Omotenashi, the concept of Japanese hospitality. Applied to a luxury automobile, it means taking care of the driver and passengers, anticipating their needs, attending to their comfort and helping to protect them from hazards.
       
      Vehicle Dynamics
       
      More than ever before, luxury sedan drivers demand greater handling agility and performance feel without sacrificing comfort. It’s one of the most difficult balances to achieve in a vehicle, yet the new Lexus global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA–L) meets the challenge. The new platform debuted in the LC 500 coupe and now, with a longer wheelbase, underpins the new LS. To enhance center of gravity height and weight distribution, the new LS has a wide and low design.
       
      The GA-L platform is the stiffest in Lexus history, setting the stage for enhanced handling, ride smoothness and cabin quietness. The 123-inch wheelbase is 1.3-inch longer than the current LS long-wheelbase model.
       
      Helping to provide the uncanny ride and handling balance in the new LS is the latest generation of a chassis control technology known as Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM). This 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. Handling can be further enhanced by active stabilizer bars and the Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) System with independent front and rear steering. VDIM is capable of aiding stability when the car is traversing split-friction surfaces, such as dry pavement and ice.
       
      In creating the new LS, engineers used lightweight materials including ultra-high tensile steel sheet and aluminum to carve over 200 pounds from the current LS platform and body. These savings, along with the implementation of the new V6 engine and enhanced body rigidity, allow for a more dynamic driving experience. 
       
      Critical to its driving performance, the new platform lowers the car’s center of gravity by placing most of the mass, including the engine and the occupants, in a position more centralized and lower in the chassis. Special braces in the engine compartment, stiff aluminum front and rear suspension towers, and other features help bolster the strength of key chassis structures.
       
      The LS has a history of outstanding suspension compliance, yet Lexus saw opportunity for new gains in this realm as well. For example, the multilink suspension employs double ball joints on the upper and lower control arms to help 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 yield more precise steering response with better initial effort. To reduce unsprung weight and therefore aid agility and comfort, aluminum is used extensively in the suspension.
       
      LS Performance and Smoothness Redefined: Twin-Turbo V6 and 10-Speed Transmission
       
      For both high power and excellent fuel efficiency, Lexus designed an all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine specifically for the new LS with all-new twin turbos developed through the company’s F1 technology. This new engine in the LS is indicative of the more dynamic approach being taken by Lexus, offering V8-level power without sacrificing fuel economy—all while minimizing noise and vibration. The new LS engine offers the output one would expect in a flagship sedan: 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, sizeable gains over the current LS model’s V8. The long stroke and optimized stroke-to-bore ratio contribute to high-speed combustion and the efficiency of the twin turbos, which assist the LS with a projected 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds (RWD).     
       
      Perhaps more critical is how Lexus tuned the engine and transmission to deliver instant acceleration and a constant buildup of torque toward the engine’s redline.
       
      A ladder frame structure in the cylinder block, redesigned engine mounts, electric wastegates and numerous other features help ensure the remarkable powertrain smoothness, a Lexus hallmark. The driver will be able to tailor powertrain response and feel by choosing from Normal to Sport to Sport+ modes, and just enough of the exhaust note can be heard to enhance the sporty feel.
       
      The first-ever 10-speed automatic transmission for a premium passenger car, having already debuted in the Lexus LC 500, is also used in the new LS flagship sedan. It is a torque-converter automatic, yet with shift times that rival those of dual-clutch transmissions. The wide bandwidth afforded by ten closely spaced ratios is ideal for all forms of driving, helping to provide an optimal gear for all conditions.
       
      Shifting via paddles is available, yet many will prefer the advanced electronic control system, which anticipates the driver’s input. The system chooses the ideal ratio by monitoring the acceleration, braking and lateral-g forces.
       
      For starting acceleration, the close ratios of the low gears and the shortened shift time enable a rhythmical and exhilarating acceleration feel. The high torque of the twin-turbo engine matches ideally with the higher gear ratios for effortless, serene highway cruising, yet very quick downshifts yield direct acceleration with no lag in G response.
       
      Torque converter lock-up activates in all ranges except when starting off to provide a direct feel, while also supporting fuel efficiency.
       
      Crafting a Unique Identity
       
      “The LS is the flagship of the Lexus brand,” said chief designer, Koichi Suga. “More than any other model, it embodies the history and image of Lexus and serves as a symbol for everything the brand stands for.”
       
      Following the “Yet” philosophy that has been passed on since the first-generation LS, Lexus created a design offering the room and comfort of a prestige “three-box” sedan, yet with the stylish silhouette of a four-door coupe that holds stronger appeal for younger luxury customers.
       
      Lexus designers took full advantage of the new platform, with its lower profile and length on par with that of a prestige long-wheelbase sedan, to give the new LS a stretched, ground-hugging appearance. Compared to the current LS, the new model is about .6 inches lower, while the hood and trunk are approximately 1.2 inches and 1.6 inches lower, respectively. The new LS is the first Lexus sedan with a six- side window design. Also a first for a Lexus sedan, the flush-surface windows smoothly integrate with the side pillar.
       
      To preserve headroom with the lower profile, the new LS features an outer slide-type moonroof. The unique rendition of the spindle grille mesh, with a texture that seemingly changes in different light, is the result of both intense CAD development and hand-adjusting thousands of individual surfaces.
       
      The LS debuts five wheel designs, including two new 19- and three 20-inch wheel designs. The 20-inch premium wheels employ a brilliant appearance created using an electroplating technique known as sputtering. All but one of the wheel designs feature a hollow rim structure that helps reduce the resonance sound generated by the tires.
       
      Progressive Comfort with Traditional Inspiration
       
      Creating a new standard of flagship luxury is not simply a matter of adding more features. Inspired by the omotenashi principle, Lexus sought to instill the new LS cabin with luxury that welcomes and envelops the occupants while treating the driver like a partner.
       
      “I suggest that you simply open the door and experience that immediate, intuitive sense that you’re looking at an interior that is unlike any luxury car before,” said chief designer Suga.
       
      New seating designs, including available 28-way power front seats that feature heating, cooling and massage, exemplify this approach. The organically shaped dash design clusters information displays at uniform height to support the “seat-in-control” layout that emphasizes the driver’s ability to operate all systems without the need to change posture.
       
      While making the new LS even more of a driver’s car, Lexus also lavished attention to the rear seat, developing a design that creates seamless, enveloping continuity between the trim and seatbacks for passenger egress.
       
      Options for heating, cooling and massage make the rear seat a welcoming environment. The available power front and rear seat with Shiatsu massage and a raised ottoman, part of a wider rear seat luxury package, offers the most legroom of any previous-generation LS. In addition, the seat behind the front passenger in this optional package can be reclined up to 48 degrees, and can be raised up to 24 degrees to help assist the rear-seat passenger in exiting the vehicle.
       
      Because the new LS is lower than previous versions, Lexus, for the first time, equipped the available air suspension with an access function. Activated by unlocking the car with the smart key, access mode automatically raises the vehicle and opens the seat bolsters to welcome drivers behind the wheel.
       
      The Intersection of Tradition and Technology
       
      Lighting and attention to detail express a unique aesthetic in the LS. A new approach to creating trim elements again turned to Japanese culture, combining traditional Japanese aesthetic with advanced manufacturing techniques. This is reflected in signature touches, such as beautiful interior ambient lighting inspired by Japanese lanterns and armrests that appear to float next to the door panel.
       
      Inspired by Shimamoku wood patterns, the new forms that combine the artistic combination of natural woodwork and application of Japan’s sophisticated sliced wood and laser cutting manufacturing technologies can be seen in the new LS. New patterns include Art Wood Organic, Art Wood Herringbone, and Gray Sapele Wood with Aluminum. Compared to the straight-grain Shimamoku pattern, the new LS cross-grain is a larger pattern featuring bolder contrasts between light and dark, giving the wood a more vibrant appearance.
       
      The Sounds of Near Silence – or Great Music
       
      Lexus tuned the LS exhaust to convey a more authoritative tone, yet also designed the cabin to ensure utterly quiet cruising. New sound suppression methods further hush the environment compared to previous LS models. Active Noise Control quiets the cabin even more by detecting the sound of the engine coming into the vehicle and cancelling certain frequencies using antiphase sound from the audio speakers.
       
      The serenity of the LS cabin provides an ideal stage for the standard premium audio system or the audiophile-worthy available 3D surround Mark Levinson audio package with in-ceiling array speakers. The package features a more inviting graphic user interface. Its next-generation remote touch is designed to mimic smartphone operation, also supporting handwritten input. In addition to its 12.3-inch wide navigation display, the LS can incorporate an optional 24-inch color heads-up display (HUD)—the largest in the world—that projects a variety of information onto the driver’s forward view.
       
      Advanced Safety Features and Driver Support
       
      Structurally, the all-new Lexus LS offers a high degree of passive safety for occupant protection in collisions. Lexus has also equipped the LS with technologies that can possibly help prevent crashes from occurring or mitigate their effects.
       
      The LS will feature the brand’s Lexus Safety System + and offer the Advanced Safety Package, which features the world’s first system with Intuitive Pedestrian Detection with Active Steering within the lane. With this system, if a pedestrian is detected in the lane ahead and a collision is imminent, the LS is designed to automatically brake and potentially steer around the person while staying in the lane. The available color HUD is utilized in alerting the driver.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Almost three decades ago at the Detroit Auto Show, Toyota shocked the establishment with the introduction of Lexus and LS 400 flagship. Lexus hopes with the 2018 LS introduced this morning in Detroit is able to recapture some of that shock.
      The look of the 2018 LS is familiar and somehow different. The profile is the similar to the current LS, but Lexus made a number of changes to make it stand out. There is a more aggressive take on the spindle grille, a crease running along the doors, lower ride height, and larger wheels. The new GA-L platform that made it's debut last year on the LC coupe underpins the LS. It has been stretched and widened to provide measurements of 206.1-inches long 74.8-inches wide, and 57.1-inches tall. This makes it about the same size as a BMW 7-Series long-wheelbase.
      Power comes from an all-new 3.5L twin-turbo V6 engine with 415 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with a new ten-speed automatic. Lexus says the LS with this engine will hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. It is unknown whether or not a V8 or hybrid option will be introduced down the road. The front and rear multilink suspension setup from the LC is employed on the LS. An air suspension system is optional.
      The interior takes some ideas from the LC with a similar instrument cluster with traction control and drive mode selectors sitting on either side. The seats have been redesigned and now feature 28-way power adjustments for those sitting up front. Rear seat passengers can get reclining seats, an ottoman, and Shiatsu massage functionality. Tech-wise, there is a new version of Lexus' remote touch system with a 12.3-inch infotainment system and optional 24" color heads-up display which the automaker claims is the largest in the world.
      The 2018 Lexus LS is expected to go on sale towards the end of the year.
      Source: Lexus
      Press Release is on Page 2


      With the All-New 2018 LS, Lexus Reimagines Global Flagship Sedan
      Radical new design with coupe-like silhouette, yet spaciousness of prestige sedan New platform for greatest-ever LS agility and comfort All-new twin-turbo V6 with 415 horsepower 10-speed automatic transmission All-new available Lexus Advanced Safety Package New level of flagship luxury in every aspect Interior inspired by traditional Japanese aesthetics On sale in U.S. near the end of 2017 DETROIT, January 9, 2017 — It is possible that no single automobile has, upon introduction, upended its category as decisively as the first Lexus LS did when it launched the luxury brand 28 years ago. The 1990 LS 400 was the original luxury disruptor, winning critical acclaim and astonishing customers by setting new benchmarks for comfort, powertrain performance and smoothness, quietness, build quality, attention to detail, and dependability. The brand supported that groundbreaking vehicle by setting and maintaining new standards for customer service and satisfaction.
       
      Now, Lexus is about to repeat history with the introduction of the all-new, fifth-generation LS flagship sedan for 2018, unveiled at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Inside and out, the new LS reflects a strong, uniquely Japanese identity and approach to luxury. Yet, the LS was designed to be the brand’s latest global citizen, available in about 90 countries.
       
      “Not only will the LS symbolize the Lexus brand, it will become the definitive new-generation luxury car embodying Japanese tradition and culture,” said Toshio Asahi, chief engineer for the new LS. “As such, this global pinnacle must go far beyond what the world expects from a luxury car.”
       
      Longer, Lower, Wider – and More Exciting
       
      Longer and lower than the sedan it replaces, the all-new LS debuts a strikingly bold design with a coupe-like silhouette punctuated by the Lexus design language. A new driver-centric performance feel comes from building the LS on the company’s all-new global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA–L). This premium rear-wheel drive platform, an extended version of the one used for the stunning new Lexus LC 500 coupe, will offer a more dynamic experience on the road while further elevating renowned Lexus comfort. 
       
      The original Lexus LS won acclaim by anticipating what luxury customers would want, rather than simply amplifying what established luxury automobile brands offered at the time. In that spirit, the 2018 LS sedan’s spacious cabin, unique appointments and visionary technology will once again surprise customers by resetting expectations for a global flagship sedan.
       
      “We set previously unheard of targets and resolutely pushed ahead towards these ambitious goals,” said LS chief engineer, Asahi. “The customers who are going to want to own a Lexus flagship are already surrounded by luxury on a daily basis, people who have a sharp eye for authenticity to begin with. We wouldn’t turn their heads with a conventional premium product.”
       
      A Flagship Reborn
       
      Just as the original LS launched the Lexus brand, the all-new 2018 LS continues the brand’s more dynamic direction. Each generation of LS sedans leading up to this iteration advanced luxury, craftsmanship, performance and safety in their own way, with the most recent also introducing a far more emotional design and engaging on-road performance.
       
      To create the all-new LS, Lexus took the approach of starting from new, reimagining what a flagship sedan should be, as if launching the brand all over again. The goal was not to improve on what Lexus has done, but to exceed expectations of global luxury customers.
       
      A common thread going through all LS models remains: Omotenashi, the concept of Japanese hospitality. Applied to a luxury automobile, it means taking care of the driver and passengers, anticipating their needs, attending to their comfort and helping to protect them from hazards.
       
      Vehicle Dynamics
       
      More than ever before, luxury sedan drivers demand greater handling agility and performance feel without sacrificing comfort. It’s one of the most difficult balances to achieve in a vehicle, yet the new Lexus global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA–L) meets the challenge. The new platform debuted in the LC 500 coupe and now, with a longer wheelbase, underpins the new LS. To enhance center of gravity height and weight distribution, the new LS has a wide and low design.
       
      The GA-L platform is the stiffest in Lexus history, setting the stage for enhanced handling, ride smoothness and cabin quietness. The 123-inch wheelbase is 1.3-inch longer than the current LS long-wheelbase model.
       
      Helping to provide the uncanny ride and handling balance in the new LS is the latest generation of a chassis control technology known as Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM). This 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. Handling can be further enhanced by active stabilizer bars and the Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) System with independent front and rear steering. VDIM is capable of aiding stability when the car is traversing split-friction surfaces, such as dry pavement and ice.
       
      In creating the new LS, engineers used lightweight materials including ultra-high tensile steel sheet and aluminum to carve over 200 pounds from the current LS platform and body. These savings, along with the implementation of the new V6 engine and enhanced body rigidity, allow for a more dynamic driving experience. 
       
      Critical to its driving performance, the new platform lowers the car’s center of gravity by placing most of the mass, including the engine and the occupants, in a position more centralized and lower in the chassis. Special braces in the engine compartment, stiff aluminum front and rear suspension towers, and other features help bolster the strength of key chassis structures.
       
      The LS has a history of outstanding suspension compliance, yet Lexus saw opportunity for new gains in this realm as well. For example, the multilink suspension employs double ball joints on the upper and lower control arms to help 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 yield more precise steering response with better initial effort. To reduce unsprung weight and therefore aid agility and comfort, aluminum is used extensively in the suspension.
       
      LS Performance and Smoothness Redefined: Twin-Turbo V6 and 10-Speed Transmission
       
      For both high power and excellent fuel efficiency, Lexus designed an all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine specifically for the new LS with all-new twin turbos developed through the company’s F1 technology. This new engine in the LS is indicative of the more dynamic approach being taken by Lexus, offering V8-level power without sacrificing fuel economy—all while minimizing noise and vibration. The new LS engine offers the output one would expect in a flagship sedan: 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, sizeable gains over the current LS model’s V8. The long stroke and optimized stroke-to-bore ratio contribute to high-speed combustion and the efficiency of the twin turbos, which assist the LS with a projected 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds (RWD).     
       
      Perhaps more critical is how Lexus tuned the engine and transmission to deliver instant acceleration and a constant buildup of torque toward the engine’s redline.
       
      A ladder frame structure in the cylinder block, redesigned engine mounts, electric wastegates and numerous other features help ensure the remarkable powertrain smoothness, a Lexus hallmark. The driver will be able to tailor powertrain response and feel by choosing from Normal to Sport to Sport+ modes, and just enough of the exhaust note can be heard to enhance the sporty feel.
       
      The first-ever 10-speed automatic transmission for a premium passenger car, having already debuted in the Lexus LC 500, is also used in the new LS flagship sedan. It is a torque-converter automatic, yet with shift times that rival those of dual-clutch transmissions. The wide bandwidth afforded by ten closely spaced ratios is ideal for all forms of driving, helping to provide an optimal gear for all conditions.
       
      Shifting via paddles is available, yet many will prefer the advanced electronic control system, which anticipates the driver’s input. The system chooses the ideal ratio by monitoring the acceleration, braking and lateral-g forces.
       
      For starting acceleration, the close ratios of the low gears and the shortened shift time enable a rhythmical and exhilarating acceleration feel. The high torque of the twin-turbo engine matches ideally with the higher gear ratios for effortless, serene highway cruising, yet very quick downshifts yield direct acceleration with no lag in G response.
       
      Torque converter lock-up activates in all ranges except when starting off to provide a direct feel, while also supporting fuel efficiency.
       
      Crafting a Unique Identity
       
      “The LS is the flagship of the Lexus brand,” said chief designer, Koichi Suga. “More than any other model, it embodies the history and image of Lexus and serves as a symbol for everything the brand stands for.”
       
      Following the “Yet” philosophy that has been passed on since the first-generation LS, Lexus created a design offering the room and comfort of a prestige “three-box” sedan, yet with the stylish silhouette of a four-door coupe that holds stronger appeal for younger luxury customers.
       
      Lexus designers took full advantage of the new platform, with its lower profile and length on par with that of a prestige long-wheelbase sedan, to give the new LS a stretched, ground-hugging appearance. Compared to the current LS, the new model is about .6 inches lower, while the hood and trunk are approximately 1.2 inches and 1.6 inches lower, respectively. The new LS is the first Lexus sedan with a six- side window design. Also a first for a Lexus sedan, the flush-surface windows smoothly integrate with the side pillar.
       
      To preserve headroom with the lower profile, the new LS features an outer slide-type moonroof. The unique rendition of the spindle grille mesh, with a texture that seemingly changes in different light, is the result of both intense CAD development and hand-adjusting thousands of individual surfaces.
       
      The LS debuts five wheel designs, including two new 19- and three 20-inch wheel designs. The 20-inch premium wheels employ a brilliant appearance created using an electroplating technique known as sputtering. All but one of the wheel designs feature a hollow rim structure that helps reduce the resonance sound generated by the tires.
       
      Progressive Comfort with Traditional Inspiration
       
      Creating a new standard of flagship luxury is not simply a matter of adding more features. Inspired by the omotenashi principle, Lexus sought to instill the new LS cabin with luxury that welcomes and envelops the occupants while treating the driver like a partner.
       
      “I suggest that you simply open the door and experience that immediate, intuitive sense that you’re looking at an interior that is unlike any luxury car before,” said chief designer Suga.
       
      New seating designs, including available 28-way power front seats that feature heating, cooling and massage, exemplify this approach. The organically shaped dash design clusters information displays at uniform height to support the “seat-in-control” layout that emphasizes the driver’s ability to operate all systems without the need to change posture.
       
      While making the new LS even more of a driver’s car, Lexus also lavished attention to the rear seat, developing a design that creates seamless, enveloping continuity between the trim and seatbacks for passenger egress.
       
      Options for heating, cooling and massage make the rear seat a welcoming environment. The available power front and rear seat with Shiatsu massage and a raised ottoman, part of a wider rear seat luxury package, offers the most legroom of any previous-generation LS. In addition, the seat behind the front passenger in this optional package can be reclined up to 48 degrees, and can be raised up to 24 degrees to help assist the rear-seat passenger in exiting the vehicle.
       
      Because the new LS is lower than previous versions, Lexus, for the first time, equipped the available air suspension with an access function. Activated by unlocking the car with the smart key, access mode automatically raises the vehicle and opens the seat bolsters to welcome drivers behind the wheel.
       
      The Intersection of Tradition and Technology
       
      Lighting and attention to detail express a unique aesthetic in the LS. A new approach to creating trim elements again turned to Japanese culture, combining traditional Japanese aesthetic with advanced manufacturing techniques. This is reflected in signature touches, such as beautiful interior ambient lighting inspired by Japanese lanterns and armrests that appear to float next to the door panel.
       
      Inspired by Shimamoku wood patterns, the new forms that combine the artistic combination of natural woodwork and application of Japan’s sophisticated sliced wood and laser cutting manufacturing technologies can be seen in the new LS. New patterns include Art Wood Organic, Art Wood Herringbone, and Gray Sapele Wood with Aluminum. Compared to the straight-grain Shimamoku pattern, the new LS cross-grain is a larger pattern featuring bolder contrasts between light and dark, giving the wood a more vibrant appearance.
       
      The Sounds of Near Silence – or Great Music
       
      Lexus tuned the LS exhaust to convey a more authoritative tone, yet also designed the cabin to ensure utterly quiet cruising. New sound suppression methods further hush the environment compared to previous LS models. Active Noise Control quiets the cabin even more by detecting the sound of the engine coming into the vehicle and cancelling certain frequencies using antiphase sound from the audio speakers.
       
      The serenity of the LS cabin provides an ideal stage for the standard premium audio system or the audiophile-worthy available 3D surround Mark Levinson audio package with in-ceiling array speakers. The package features a more inviting graphic user interface. Its next-generation remote touch is designed to mimic smartphone operation, also supporting handwritten input. In addition to its 12.3-inch wide navigation display, the LS can incorporate an optional 24-inch color heads-up display (HUD)—the largest in the world—that projects a variety of information onto the driver’s forward view.
       
      Advanced Safety Features and Driver Support
       
      Structurally, the all-new Lexus LS offers a high degree of passive safety for occupant protection in collisions. Lexus has also equipped the LS with technologies that can possibly help prevent crashes from occurring or mitigate their effects.
       
      The LS will feature the brand’s Lexus Safety System + and offer the Advanced Safety Package, which features the world’s first system with Intuitive Pedestrian Detection with Active Steering within the lane. With this system, if a pedestrian is detected in the lane ahead and a collision is imminent, the LS is designed to automatically brake and potentially steer around the person while staying in the lane. The available color HUD is utilized in alerting the driver.
    • By William Maley
      This year at the Detroit Auto Show saw Mercedes-Benz introduce the new E-Class sedan and this kicked off a year-long introduction of other E-Class variants such as the wagon and AMG models. Next year at Detroit, Mercedes will finish up the E-Class with the all-new coupe.
      The E-Class coupe follows the same design formula as the C and S-Class coupes. This means a diamond-shaped grille up front, a b-pillarless side profile, and an uncluttered rear end. Inside is the same as the E-Class sedan with two screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment system, uncluttered center stack, and seats wrapped in leather. Space is said to be increased for passengers thanks to a 4.4-inch longer wheelbase and a 2.9-inch increase in width.
      For the U.S., the E-Class coupe will only come with a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 (E400) producing 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. This will come paired with a nine-speed automatic. There will be a choice of either rear-wheel or 4Matic all-wheel drive. Don't be surprised if there are AMG variants coming around the corner.
      Mercedes will begin E-Class coupe deliveries to dealers this summer.
      Source: Mercedes-Benz
      Press Release is on Page 2


      December 13, 2016 - Stuttgart
      With its expressive proportions, clear and sensual design and long-distance comfort for four people, the new E-Class Coupe combines the beauty and classic virtues of a grand tourer with state-of-the-art technology. It also offers the intelligence of the E-Class family with full smartphone integration, a widescreen cockpit and the latest driver assistance systems. A powerful engine and comfortable suspensions with selective damping guarantee a sporty and agile driving experience.
      Following the introduction of the world's most intelligent sedan and wagon, the E- Class family now welcomes another new member: the E-Class Coupe. "With its clear, aesthetic lines, our new E-Class Coupe appeals equally to the heart and mind. It combines contemporary luxury, agile sportiness and high-tech engineering into an automotive personality with spirit, offering exclusive, refined driving pleasure," says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
      Based technically on the sedan, the sportily exclusive Coupe marks a further step in the evolution of the Mercedes-Benz design language. With its attractive proportions, the new Coupe exhibits a puristic, surface-accentuated design with reduced lines and sensual forms. Both hot and cool, the reduced design idiom represents beauty and elegance while emphasizing the Coupe's sporty and luxurious  personality.
      The coupe proportions typical of Mercedes-Benz are characterized by a distinctive front end with a low-positioned sport grille and central star, a long hood with power domes, a rearward-shifted, elongated greenhouse and a muscular rear end. The dynamic looks are underlined by four frameless side windows and the absence of a B-pillar. With these clear forms, the design of the Coupe conveys an air of luxury and style alike.
      Thanks to innovative crystal optics, the taillamps also have a brilliant stardust appearance similar to the glow of a jet engine.
      Sporty, luxurious interior with refined details
      The interior of the new E-Class Coupe embodies the synthesis of sporty emotion and luxurious intelligence.
      The Coupe comes standard with a central 12.3-inch high-resolution COMAND® display. Another optionally available 12.3-inch widescreen instrument cluster– unique in this segment – is merged under a single lens to produce a widescreen cockpit that appears to float in space. The key design element emphasizes the width, as does the fascia-spanning trim. Positioned in the driver's direct field of vision, the digital instrument cluster shows virtual instruments, which can be selected by the driver in three different styles, "Classic," "Sport" and "Progressive," depending on which information and views the driver desires.
      A decidedly sporty note is set by the air vents, the form of which is heavily influenced by the look of a turbine engine. They are styled down to the smallest detail and finished in silver shadow.
      Touch Control Buttons on the steering wheel enable the driver to control the instrument cluster and multimedia system using finger swipes without having to take their hands off of the steering wheel. Additional controls come in the form of a touchpad and controller in the center console, which can also recognize handwriting, plus the voice control system. There are also direct-access buttons for controlling the air conditioning, for example, and for convenient activation and deactivation of certain driver assistance systems.
      The highly luxurious seats in the Coupe take their cue from the sedan. A wealth of extremely high-grade design details bear witness to the high standards required of a sporty luxury coupe.
      High-grade materials and contemporary colors come together to create a sporty, contemporary luxury look. Especially for the E-Class Coupe, there is a choice of two new innovative, light wood trim packages in natural grain and high-gloss finishes. Precisely executed seams emphasize the seat design of each equipment line. The impressive range of exterior paint finishes is harmoniously matched to the contemporary interior color scheme.
      The interior lighting makes exclusive use of durable, energy-saving LED technology in the standard enhanced ambient lighting with 64 color options to choose from.
      Diversity to suit every taste
      The standard equipment on the base E400 Coupe is abundantly configured. Additionally, the optionally available Sport Package adds edgier detail to such features as front and rear bumpers as well as side skirts and larger AMG-style wheels. The blocks in the diamond-block grille are chrome-tipped, and the interior boasts such features as an AMG leather sports steering wheel.
      Larger and more luxurious
      With a length of 190 inches, a width of 73.2 inches (without mirrors) and a height of 56.3 inches, the new E-Class Coupe clearly outstrips its predecessor in terms of length, width and height.
      Exterior dimensions
       
      E-Class Sedan
      E-Class Coupe
      Predecessor Coupe
      Difference
      Vehicle length (in)
      193.8
      190.0
      185.2
      +4.8
      Vehicle width (in)
      72.9
      73.2
      70.3
      +2.9
      Vehicle height (in)
      57.8
      56.3
      55.0
      +1.3
      Wheelbase (in)
      115.7
      113.1
      108.7
      +4.4
      The significantly larger footprint compared with the previous model is also to the benefit of passengers with extra spaciousness and comfort. They profit especially in terms of rear legroom, front and rear shoulder room as well as rear headroom. In each of the four fully fledged seats with coupe-specific individual seat character, the driver and passengers enjoy genuine comfort on long journeys as well as the classic virtues of a grand tourer.
      Performance with high-tech
      A powerful and efficient 3.0L V6 biturbo engine, equipped with ECO Start/Stop, provides lively performance and great fun behind the wheel.
      The U.S. E-Class Coupe model line-up at a glance:
       
      E400 Coupe
      E400 4MATIC Coupe
      Number of cylinders/ arrangement
      V6
      V6
      Displacement (cc)
      2,996
      2,996
      Rated output (hp @ rpm)
      329 @ 5,250 – 6,000
      329 @ 5,250 – 6,000
      Rated torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
      354 @ 3,500 – 5,250
      354 @ 3,500 – 5,250
      Acceleration 0-60 mph (sec)
      5.2
      5.5
      Top speed (mph)
      130*
      130*
      *Electronically limited
      Both the E400 and E400 4MATIC Coupes are equipped as standard with the 9G- TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission, which allows fast gearshifts along with lower engine speeds. This has a particularly beneficial effect on efficiency and noise.
      Suspension – sporty comfort
      The suspension on the new E-Class Coupe offers agile driving pleasure on winding roads together with exceptional ride comfort. The Coupe features a standard lowered suspension with selective damping.
      AIR BODY CONTROL suspension
      Alternatively, the new E-Class Coupe can be equipped with multi-chamber air suspension, including all-round roll/pitch/heave stabilization. Advantages of this system: three chambers of different sizes in the spring struts of the rear axle and two in the spring struts of the front axle make it possible to control the hardness of the suspension in three stages. In this way, the occupants enjoy a soft basic suspension, along with the secure feeling of good handling stability at higher speeds.
      The multi-chamber air suspension is augmented by a continuous, electronically controlled adaptive damping system. The damping at each individual wheel is adjusted fully automatically to suit the current driving situation and condition of the road – such as in the case of evasive maneuvers or on rough tracks. The system therefore delivers good ride comfort along with excellent driving dynamics.
      DYNAMIC SELECT – choose your own driving characteristics
      The standard DYNAMIC SELECT system not only makes it possible to select the suspension characteristics in combination with AIR BODY CONTROL, but it also enables the driver to influence other vehicle settings – such as throttle response, ECO Start/Stop function, transmission shift points and more. DYNAMIC SELECT provides the following transmission modes: “Comfort,” “ECO,” “Sport,” “Sport +” and “Individual.” The "Individual" mode allows the driver to configure their own preferred transmission modes.
      Full smartphone integration
      A new era of connectivity and digitalization is marked by the multimedia system in the E-Class Coupe with standard COMAND Navigation. This includes effortless integration of the smartphone into the vehicle's infotainment system by means of wireless pairing and wireless charging, eliminating the need to find a plug and connect a cable.
      Apple CarPlayTM and Android Auto
      If the vehicle is equipped with COMAND Navigation, it is possible to use Apple's CarPlay as well as Google's Android Auto. If a compatible smartphone is connected by USB, the customer can, if desired, switch to the CarPlay or Android Auto interface.
      mbrace Concierge: personalized attention
      A further comfort highlight is the Concierge Service, which is available on all carlines for customers with mbrace Connect and mbrace Secure. For participating customers, the range of services includes a host of personalized assistance options: from making a restaurant reservation to obtaining tips about tourist routes, information on cultural and sporting events and bookings through to sending navigation destinations directly to the vehicle.
      Access is straightforward - registered mbrace subscribers can call up the Concierge Service either via the iCall button in the vehicle or on the Mercedes me app. The personal assistant takes care of everything else.
      E-Class innovations on board
      As a member of the current E-Class family, the new Coupe is significantly more intelligent than its predecessor. It comes with many of the optional driver assistance features of the E-Class Sedan, the most intelligent sedan ever. Active Brake Assist comes as standard and is able to warn the driver of an imminent collision, provide optimum support with emergency braking and, if necessary, can also autonomously apply the brakes. In addition to slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles, it can also detect pedestrians crossing in the danger zone ahead of the vehicle.
      Other highlights include DRIVE PILOT: this system represents Mercedes-Benz's next step along the road to semi-autonomous driving. With Distance Pilot DISTRONIC®, it is not only able to keep the car at the correct distance behind vehicles in front on all types of road, but, for the first time, it can also automatically follow them at a speed of up to 130 mph.
      The E-Class Coupe is also optionally available with other intelligent technical systems, including:
      High-resolution LED Intelligent Light System. These headlamps, each with 72 individually activated high-performance LEDs, automatically activate and deactivate the high beams and illuminate curves. MAGIC VISION CONTROL® (standard on the E400 4MATIC Coupe) - an intelligent and highly efficient wash/wipe system for the windscreen. The wiper blade always delivers washer fluid directly in front of the wiping edge, via the water feed line integrated into the blade – and it does this in both wiping directions. The result is that there is no surge of water when fluid is sprayed, which can impair the driver's vision, and at the same time the maximum cleaning effect is achieved. The complete MAGIC VISION CONTROL system, including the wiper blades, is heated at low temperatures to prevent snow or ice from sticking in winter.
      E-Class Coupe with tradition
      As an exclusive and sporty coupe, the latest member of the E-Class family can look back on an almost fifty-year history. Its first ancestor was unveiled by Mercedes- Benz in 1968 (at that time known as the "Stroke Eight" coupe). Further model series followed – for a while also under the name CLK. Each generation combined superb design with agile sportiness and contemporary luxury at a high level.
      The all-new model year 2018 E-Class Coupe will have its World Premiere at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, and will go on sale in the U.S. in summer 2017.

      View full article
  • Recent Status Updates

    • Drew Dowdell

      It might not be VW's scandal that kills diesel, it might be Mazda. What if you could get diesel like fuel economy from a gasoline engine and none of the diesel emissions issues? Mazda just might have the solution. HCCI is a type of gas engine that can run in certain situations with the spark plugs off, making for very efficient operation.
      · 0 replies
    • regfootball

      THERE IS BIG INCENTIVES ON CHEVY CRUZE RIGHT NOW
      · 0 replies
    • FordCosworth

      Who thinks lending more money to a country that will NEVER be able to repay its existing loans is solid idea? Oh , right the EU of course ...
      · 0 replies
  • Who's Online (See full list)