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Lexus News: Toyota Exec Admits Lexus' Sedans Need to Step Up

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It has been the ongoing story for a couple of years; buyers flocking to crossovers and sales of sedans falling down. While some automakers it seems are giving up on sedans, others are trying to figure out ways to make them more appealing.

Tokuo Fukuichi, Toyota Motor Corp.'s global branding chief tells Automotive News the brand will be employing two strategies to help keep their sedans relevant -  improve the driving dynamics and be more daring in terms of design.

"Unless we can really offer a sedan experience you cannot have with an SUV or crossover, I think the sedan may not be able to survive if it does not evolve," said Fukuichi.

"At a certain point of time, the traditional, square, three-box sedan will go away."

The LC coupe is the first model that is taking these ideas and running with it. It features a low ride height, the highest torsional stiffness of any Lexus model in history (partly due to the new GA-L platform), and a design that stands out. The all-new LS is following its footsteps as it features more of a fastback look than the standard three-box silhouette.

Intriguingly, Fukuichi dropped the idea of there being a station wagon in Lexus' lineup. It could take some ideas found on Porsche's Panamera Sport Turismo in terms of design. Before you get your hopes, there are no plans for a wagon at this time.

"Personally, I would like to have a Lexus wagon if we had enough resources. Maybe not as tall as an SUV but not as short as a wagon. There could be some optimized packaging," said Fukuichi.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)


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In other news, water is wet,. it gets dark at night, and the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

 

Nice cars, but yes, they do need to up their game....just like every other player in the luxury market.  Not impressed with our current luxury crop.

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Build a car with the driving dynamics and space of my Trailblazer SS AWD and I might be interested, otherwise, cars are dead men walking to me.

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You are the consummate SUV guy...

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7 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

You are the consummate SUV guy...

Happens when your 280lbs 6'6" tall. Cars after the mid 90's lost the space and comfort for us big guys. After all the ultimate Cadillac that was roomy and comfortable to me was the 1993 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham! 

1993CadillacFleetwoodBrougham.jpg

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Problem with Lexus sedans is they don't drive great and they are ugly on the outside and have Toyota level interiors inside.  Lexus doesn't make good sedans, crossover buyers aren't as worried about driving dynamics they buy what they know and they know the RX.  

But you can't make sedans with sloping roof lines less head room, less cargo space, etc, that is why people are leaving sedans.  You need to keep space in sedans, a liftback like the 4-series has vs a traditional trunk might help with cargo capacity for example.

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28 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

Problem with Lexus sedans is they don't drive great and they are ugly on the outside and have Toyota level interiors inside.  Lexus doesn't make good sedans, crossover buyers aren't as worried about driving dynamics they buy what they know and they know the RX.  

But you can't make sedans with sloping roof lines less head room, less cargo space, etc, that is why people are leaving sedans.  You need to keep space in sedans, a liftback like the 4-series has vs a traditional trunk might help with cargo capacity for example.

You are so right, took my sister auto shopping and she insisted she test drive a Lexus cuv. After driving it, she asked some questions to the sales person about why the interior was so identical to her friends Toyota, the sales person tried to say it was not and this is what luxury looks like. She took his card and we left, she then test drove the Buick Envision and loved it and said this is what Luxury is like, quiet, quality interior, what she would expect from Lexus. 

End result she has bought her Buick Envision, ordered the way she wants it.

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37 minutes ago, dfelt said:

You are so right, took my sister auto shopping and she insisted she test drive a Lexus cuv. After driving it, she asked some questions to the sales person about why the interior was so identical to her friends Toyota, the sales person tried to say it was not and this is what luxury looks like. She took his card and we left, she then test drove the Buick Envision and loved it and said this is what Luxury is like, quiet, quality interior, what she would expect from Lexus. 

End result she has bought her Buick Envision, ordered the way she wants it.

Lexus interior aren't even attractive.  The early to mid 2000s Lexus interior were at least un-offensive, they were pretty straight forward, buttons were easy to find, yes the switcher was right out of a Camry, but they gave you some soft leather and wood trim to forget about it.  The current Lexus interiors have so many angles and lines, they are overly busy and annoying.  And a lot of plastic, when the rest of the industry has moved on.

Even if they got their interiors up to par, I don't seem them offering performance in their Crossovers or Sedans to really stand out.  This is why their sedan sales are in the tank, sub-par performance on top of ugly styling.  Why buy them?   They already said the GS is dying, the ES could be next and that was a big seller for a lot of years for them.  But they don't need and IS and an ES at the same price, and how long will the Avalon last?  If the Avalon goes away, bye bye ES.

 

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Smk4565, The Lexus ES is a same-year Toyota Camry XLE V6 upgraded with the Lexus package.  It has been that way since day one.  If the Avalon were to become a casualty of the crossover revolution, that would be sad.  Nowhere nearly as sad as the demise of the LaCrosse and/or Impala, but just as bad.  It would mean the end of large sedans in general.

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3 hours ago, riviera74 said:

Smk4565, The Lexus ES is a same-year Toyota Camry XLE V6 upgraded with the Lexus package.  It has been that way since day one.  If the Avalon were to become a casualty of the crossover revolution, that would be sad.  Nowhere nearly as sad as the demise of the LaCrosse and/or Impala, but just as bad.  It would mean the end of large sedans in general.

The current ES shares platform and wheelbase with the Avalon, shares powertrain too.  So they are now more closely related than it is to the Camry, even though it shared all that with the Camry V6 from the 90s until 2012.

The Camry platform underpins the Avalon, Highlander, Sienna, ES, and RX, and Venza which I think is now dead.  So they get a lot out of that one platform.  I hadn't looked at Lexus sales recently so I just did, the ES is their number 1 selling sedan and outsells the Avalon.  So actually they could dump the Avalon and just push more sales to the ES350.  And the Avalon isn't much bigger than a Camry, anyone Avalon shopping that doesn't want to pay Lexus money can get a Camry.

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About the only Lexus models I've ever really liked are the original very unique SC and first 3 or so generations of LS...anonymous, '90s Mercedes-esque styling but w/ Toyota reliability.    Today's Lexus models are so aggressively ugly, IMO...

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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9 hours ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

About the only Lexus models I've ever really liked are the original very unique SC and first 3 or so generations of LS...anonymous, '90s Mercedes-esque styling but w/ Toyota reliability.    Today's Lexus models are so aggressively ugly, IMO...

My son owns a rather unique Sc 300, it is a 2000 which is the final year for the car, probably less than 200 made for the Us market, how many remain...neat car!

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So I am not the only one who thinks that the Lexus's Predator-like grill is ugly as . . . . sin.

Personally, I am glad that somebody said YES to the Buick and not just NO to the Lexus crossover.  If I had to buy a crossover, I would probably go for the Envision since the Encore is way too small and the Enclave has Family Vehicle written all over it (a very stylish one though).  Both the GS and the LS could stand having that grill replaced, but I think their real problem can be summed up in two words: Cadillac and Genesis.  Cadillac is back (with rising sales) and the Genesis G80 and G90 make Lexus seem rather expensive without any sound reason to buy either the GS or the LS anymore. This is 2017, not 2002, when Cadillac still had issues and there was no Genesis at all.

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1 hour ago, riviera74 said:

So I am not the only one who thinks that the Lexus's Predator-like grill is ugly as . . . . sin.

It's the Edsel of the 21st Century. But FAR worse.

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9 hours ago, balthazar said:

It's the Edsel of the 21st Century. But FAR worse.

There are likeable aspects of both the Edsel and the Lexus though.

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Lexus does have nice interiors, though.   It's good you can't see the front end from the driver's seat.. ;) 

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On 5/3/2017 at 9:27 PM, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

Lexus does have nice interiors, though.   It's good you can't see the front end from the driver's seat.. ;) 

Eh.... The RWD ones maybe. The FWD are too close to Camry for comfort.

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15 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Eh.... The RWD ones maybe. The FWD are too close to Camry for comfort.

Agreed, plus the driving dynamics of the Lexus FWD cars are nothing to write home about at all.

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On 5/3/2017 at 9:32 AM, A Horse With No Name said:

There are likeable aspects of both the Edsel and the Lexus though.

True... in the case of the Edsel. ;) There the grille is pleasantly & organically radiused.

But Lexus's is only describable as 'pinched', 'dented' or 'collapsing'. "Spindle" ?? No.

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2 hours ago, balthazar said:

True... in the case of the Edsel. ;) There the grille is pleasantly & organically radiused.

But Lexus's is only describable as 'pinched', 'dented' or 'collapsing'. "Spindle" ?? No.

 I actually still have fantasy of owning an Edsel... especially a 1960 wagon or convertible, both of which are quite uncommon.

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Forced to pick, I'd go '59 I think. '60 just makes me immediately think '59 Pontiac (a MILES better & more appealing car), and '58 has some major quirks for me. Ford, having aced the '30s and '40s for the most part, had lost it's styling mojo in the late '50s. Having seen a 2-headlight '57 Merc for sale today, that opinion is pretty well cemented.

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On 5/5/2017 at 9:54 PM, balthazar said:

Forced to pick, I'd go '59 I think. '60 just makes me immediately think '59 Pontiac (a MILES better & more appealing car), and '58 has some major quirks for me. Ford, having aced the '30s and '40s for the most part, had lost it's styling mojo in the late '50s. Having seen a 2-headlight '57 Merc for sale today, that opinion is pretty well cemented.

I can see that.  You ahve gotten me more interested in cars from that immediate era...lots of neat stuff built during that time frame.  I like some of the old Mopar wagons of the era also.

On 5/5/2017 at 4:37 PM, balthazar said:

True... in the case of the Edsel. ;) There the grille is pleasantly & organically radiused.

But Lexus's is only describable as 'pinched', 'dented' or 'collapsing'. "Spindle" ?? No.

Ingested a Klingon....?

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23 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Wrong alien...

th.jpg

I did not knwo being uglier than Klingons existed, i stand corrected!

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Who blessed with the gift of sight would willingly drive this ???

351249.jpg

 

I don't find this remotely pleasant from a design standpoint, yet it's 1000 times better than the above repulsive monster :

61 Ply.jpg

 

Huh. Looking at these 2 together, I'm struck by the similarity. Was Toyota inspired by the '61 Plymouth?? I need to plant this very seed around the internet! :ph34r:

Edited by balthazar
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