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  1. It may not seem like big news that late last month that Lexus launched the seventh-generation ES in Japan. But it becomes that when you consider that Lexus has never sold the ES outside of the U.S. and China for most of its life. Plus, Lexus has only been on sale in Japan since 2005. The introduction of the ES is somewhat surprising, considering sales of full-size cars are falling in the country. But Lexus believes the ES can buck that trend as there is "expanding demand for premium rides", and the vehicle being aimed at executives between their 40s or 50s. The company is also planning to ramp up marketing efforts on the sedan. One example is hour-long test drives of every Lexus model at the Lexus Meets lounge in Tokyo. It seems to be paying off as Automotive News reports that model has 2,000 preorders - 70 percent of those are current Lexus customers. Lexus has set a sales of 350 models per month. "We are still a young brand. We will offer experiences that surprise new customers through marketing and step up our exposure," said Lexus International President Yoshihiro Sawa. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  2. The Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX 570 are part of an endangered species: SUVs designed with the purpose of going off-road. It may seem somewhat mad to describe most SUVs as not off-road oriented, but most buyers don’t really take SUVs off the beaten path. Automakers have responded in kind by providing a minimum four-wheel capability while improving on-road behavior. The Land Cruiser and LX 570 haven’t gone down this path as they have a small, but loyal owner base that would cry foul if Toyota/Lexus decided to do this. But as I found out during my week with them, Toyota and Lexus need to do some serious thinking about the future of these models if they want to keep them around. Exterior Both the Land Cruiser and LX 570 share the same boxy shape with a slightly angled front end, large area of glass, and a split opening tailgate. Where the two differentiate is in the details. Toyota plays it safe with a large rectangular grille and chrome bars that separate the front headlights. The set of 18-inch alloy wheels look somewhat small on the Land Cruiser, mostly due to the large size of the off-road tires. The LX 570 is very extroverted as evidenced by the front end styling. It features the largest version of Lexus’ spindle grille that gives it an intense look. A set of LED headlights with a unique lamp design sit on either side. Multi-spoke 20-inch wheels are standard and seem suited to fit the large size of the SUV. Interior Considering the $84k+ price tag of this Land Cruiser, it is slightly disappointing that Toyota went for a very utilitarian look. It doesn’t have the flash or elegance and you’ll find in competitors such as the Range Rover or Mercedes-Benz GLS. Material quality is what you expect for the price with an abundance of soft-touch plastic, leather upholstery, wood trim, and faux metal used all around. The Lexus LX 570 takes a different approach with the interior, feeling more like a real contender to the likes of the Germans and Range Rover. The dash design is very modern with a short center stack, a widescreen display for the infotainment system, and glossy wood trim. Both models have a button-ladened center stack, but I found the LX 570’s easier to use as the buttons weren’t tightly packed. Getting inside either SUV is somewhat tough due to the tall ride height. But thanks to doorsteps and pull handles, entering both models becomes easier. The front seats are some of best I have sat in, offering plenty of cushioning and support for any trip length. Power adjustments and memory come standard on both models. The second-row offers plenty of head and legroom for passengers. You can slide the seat to either increase legroom or cargo space. The third-row should only be used for small kids as there is only a minuscule amount of legroom. The lack of padding also makes third-row best for short trips. One quirk about the Land Cruiser and LX 570’s third-row is that the seats don’t fold into the floor. Instead, the seats flip towards the side. Not only does it make it slightly awkward to load cargo into either model, but it also makes for a small cargo area. Measurements for the two models are 16.1 cubic feet with all three-rows up, 44.7 with the third-row folded, and 81.7 with the second-row folded. For 2018, Lexus did introduce a two-row version that increases space by 5.8 cubic feet - bringing the total to 50.5 cubic feet. Infotainment Lexus has fitted one the of largest infotainment screens in the class into the LX 570. Measuring 12.3-inches, this allows for a split-screen capability where you can have various functions up at the same time. For example, you can have navigation on one side and audio on the other. Some of the configuration options Lexus offers are strange to say in the least like having two maps of the navigation system up at the same time. Where the LX 570 falls short is the Remote Touch controller. The joystick controller is a pain to use as it feels quite vague when moving around and causes you to overshoot when trying to select something. This is very problematic when you’re driving as you’ll find yourself paying more attention to the system than the road. In the Land Cruiser, you’ll find a smaller 9-inch infotainment system with Toyota’s Entune system. Thankfully, Toyota had decided to use a touchscreen instead of a frustrating controller. Moving around in Entune is easy thanks to a simple interface with large touchscreen buttons and a set of physical shortcut buttons underneath. I did notice that Entune was a few ticks slower than the system found in the LX 570. Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is not available on either model. Powertrain Under the hoods of the Land Cruiser and LX 570 is a 5.7L V8. The Land Cruiser gets 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. The LX 570 features 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. This is teamed with an eight-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel drive system. Interestingly, the Land Cruiser feels slightly faster than the LX 570. Outlets who have timed both models say the Land Cruiser is about 0.5 seconds quicker to 60 than the LX 570. This is a bit surprising considering the two models are nearly identical in power and weight. But the LX 570 has a noticeable pause when accelerating. It feels like the engine was asleep and was startled by the throttle being prodded, before realizing it needed to get to work. The eight-speed automatic delivers rapid and smooth upshifts, but stumbles somewhat when it comes to downshifts. Both models come fully-equipped to take on whatever Mother Nature decides to dish out. This includes a two-speed transfer case, locking center differential, crawl-control system, terrain selection system, and an adjustable suspension system. Sadly, I didn’t get the chance to take either model off the paved road to see what they are capable of. Fuel Economy EPA rates the 2018 Land Cruiser and LX 570 at 13 City/18 Highway/15 Combined. My average in both vehicles landed around 14.9 mpg in a 50/50 mix of city and highway driving. Ride and Handling These SUVs prefer the roads to be straight as there is significant body motion when cornering. Blame the tall ride height and soft-suspension tuning. Steering feels very numb and slow, making it somewhat tough to figure out how much input is needed when turning. When the road is straight, both vehicles provide a smooth ride. I did find that on the highway, I needed to make constant corrections with the steering to keep it in the middle of the lane. One major difference between the two is braking. The LX 570’s braking system felt very discombobulated. It was very difficult to modulate the pedal to provide a smooth stop. Either the vehicle wasn’t slowing down or the braking system would enter panic stop mode and passengers being thrown from their seats. I thought this was an issue that was limited to my LX, but other people who have driven different LXs have reported similar behavior. The Land Cruiser didn’t experience any of this during my week. Value The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser begins at $83,665, while the LX 570 begins at $85,630 for the two-row variant and $89,980 for the three-row model. Both models come generously equipped with a number of standard features such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, heated and ventilated front seats; power tilt-telescoping steering wheel, and three-zone climate control. The vehicles tested here came lightly optioned. The Land Cruiser featured a set of optional floor mats, bringing the as-tested price to $85,185. For the LX 570, it came with a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and center console cool box to bring its as-tested price to $93,350. The best value of the two models has to be the two-row LX 570 as you get a nicer interior and more cargo space, for not much more money than the three-row Land Cruiser. But if you really want three-rows, then the Land Cruiser is your best bet. Verdict Unless your daily commute includes traversing the Rocky Mountains or driving through Death Valley, I cannot recommend either of these SUVs. They have a number of flaws such as middling fuel economy, small cargo area, and needing constant steering corrections on the highway. But the LX 570 comes off slightly worse as it has some issues with the powertrain and brakes need to be addressed quickly. Besides, the Land Cruiser offers many of the features of LX 570, albeit in a more utilitarian package for a couple of grand less. But for some people, the off-road capability and legendary reliability of these two models are more than enough to excuse the faults. That group of people though we have to think is getting smaller as time goes on and makes us wonder if the next-generation of the Land Cruiser and LX 570 will go through a dramatic change or not. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Lexus Model: LX 570 Trim: N/A Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC, Dual VVT-i V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 383 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 403 @ 3,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/18/15 Curb Weight: 5,815 lbs Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Japan Base Price: $89,980 As Tested Price: $93,350 (Includes $1,195.00 Destination Charge) Options: Dual-Screen DVD Rear-Entertainment System - $2,005.00 Cool Box - $170.00 Year: 2018 Make: Toyota Model: Land Cruiser Trim: N/A Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC, Dual VVT-i V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 381@ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 401 @ 3,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/18/15 Curb Weight: 5,815 lbs Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Japan Base Price: $83,685 As Tested Price: $85,185 (Includes $1,295.00 Destination Charge) Options: Carpet Floor/Cargo Mat Set - $225.00
  3. Lexus will soon be joining the subscription service fray. Roadshow reports that Lexus will introduce Complete Lease for the first quarter of 2019 to coincide with the launch of the UX crossover. The service will offer two-year leases with a 20,000-mile limit for one non-negotiable price. This price includes lease payment, insurance, and maintenance coverage. Lexus will launch Complete Lease in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. According to Cynthia Tenhouse, Lexus general manager of product and consumer marketing, these locations were chosen in part to UX is aimed at those living in the city, and the high insurance costs in those cities make a subscription service that includes insurance very appealing. There are still a number of details that Lexus is keeping quiet on, such as how much it will cost, who will be providing the insurance, and whether a buyer needs to go into a dealership to order their UX. Source: Roadshow
  4. Lexus' F performance sub-brand has relied on V8 power. But the head of Lexus, Yoshihiro Sawa tells Auto Express that F needs to "embrace different powertrain choices" to stay relevant in the future. “F is very important; with F we have to think of our own original way. One solution could be a pure F GT car, which could be a hybrid with an electric motor and a strong engine, giving a different kind of drive feel. We don’t stick to V8, V10, twin-turbocharged; they’re important but we’re looking at the future. We’d like to find a way to connect to the next era,” said Sawa. “I think that now, we’re in a transitional period. At this moment people say EVs are trendy but three years later, who knows? People like the sound, the dynamics [of combustion engines]. I think we cannot stick to the one solution when it comes to providing emotion.” Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz have announced plans to add electrified powertrains to their future high-performance models. Source: Auto Express
  5. Lexus finds itself in a bit of a bind. With demand for crossovers growing, Lexus is doing a serious look at its product lineup and deciding what needs to be added and what needs to taken out. "We're more focused on maximizing the opportunities we have than comparing ourselves," said David Christ, the new general manager for Lexus to Automotive News. "Our product plan is what I would call a work in progress." The current focus for Lexus is the upcoming launches of the ES and the subcompact UX crossover. The ES is expected to keep current Lexus owners happy, but the new F-Sport package will hopefully bring in younger people - Lexus expects a quarter of ES sales to be the F-sport. The UX though is seen as what will bring the majority of young buyers to the brand. But this focus has Lexus doing "a strategic look" at two of their older models, the IS and GS. Both models are late into their lifecycles: IS was launched in 2013, while GS dates back to 2011. The two aren't big sellers either. In 2017, Lexus only moved 7,773 GS models and 26,482 IS models. Rumor has it that the GS could go away if the ES gets all-wheel drive. Christ wouldn't comment on that. "We can't do it all at once, but we're certainly evaluating both vehicles," said Christ. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  6. The Lexus ES has always been the safe, conservative choice in the midsize class. There was nothing controversial or exciting about it. But that is changing with the seventh-generation model that made its debut today at Auto China. Lexus has already given us a preview of what most of the ES looks like last week, but we weren't sure about what the back end looks like. We now know and it looks very similar to the current GS with a short trunk lid, triangular taillights that extend into the rear fenders, and sculpting on the bumper. This generation of the ES will also get for the first time an F-Sport package with a mesh grille, body kit, and new wheels. In terms of dimensions, the 2019 ES sees a 2.6-inch increase in overall length, 2-inch increase in wheelbase, and a 1.8-inch increase in width. The interior borrows a fair amount of ideas from the LS and LC with a trapezoidal gauge cluster and control knobs sitting on either side; real wood and aluminum dash accents, and a large infotainment screen measuring out 8- or 12-inches. The ES will be the first Lexus model to get (finally) Apple CarPlay intergration. Those with Android phones are just out of luck. Lexus will offer two engines for the U.S. market. The ES 350 packs a 3.5L V6 producing 302 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. For those who care about fuel efficiency have the ES 300h which pairs a 2.5L four-cylinder with an electric motor to produce a total output of 215. The V6 gets an eight-speed automatic, while the ES 300h makes do with a CVT. Platform-wise, the ES uses a variant of the GA-K platform found in the new Camry and Avalon. Lexus added extra reinforcement for the ES to improve overall rigidity. The 2019 ES arrives at Lexus dealers in September. Source: Lexus A New Level of Performance and Sophistication—The Next Generation Lexus ES Emotional Design Reflects New Dynamic Capabilities Introduction of the First F SPORT Model in the ES Lineup Hybrid Model Delivers Exceptional Mileage and Improved Performance BEIJING, April 25, 2018 — After six generations of unprecedented success in the entry-luxury sedan category, the next-generation Lexus ES is forging a new, more ambitious path. Long known for its unparalleled comfort, refinement and luxury appointments, the seventh-generation ES builds on its strengths with an all-new chassis that allows for a more dynamic exterior design and the introduction of the first ES F SPORT. Representing the third vehicle in the Future Chapter of Lexus that started with the LC coupe and LS sedan, the new ES expands that vision of the brand’s future to a broader audience. Traditional buyers will find the new ES more spacious, quieter and safer than ever before while a new generation of customers will be introduced to a sedan with sharpened performance, class-leading active safety technology and a level of craftsmanship rarely found in this segment. The New Dimension of ES Design Built on the all-new Global Architecture – K (GA-K) platform, the new ES pushes the limits of design in the luxury sedan class. This ES is longer (+2.6 in), lower (-.2 in) and wider (+1.8 in.) than before with wheels that have been pushed closer to the corners thanks to a two-inch longer wheelbase and wider tracks front (+.4 in) and rear (+1.5 in). Its stance and proportions reflect its newfound performance capabilities and give the ES the kind of eye-catching appearance that will make owners take a second look as they walk away. Project Chief Designer, Yasuo Kajino, describes the look of the ES as “provocative elegance”. “The ES has always been an elegant luxury sedan. For this generation, we have added daring design elements that challenge the traditional expectations of buyers.” To create a dynamic yet fluid shape, Kaijino’s team used the low hood enabled by the new ES platform to produce a distinctive silhouette emphasized by an aggressive downward slant. Up front, the ES offers two dramatically different grille designs. The standard ES 350 and the ES 300h use elegant vertical bars that radiate out from the center while the ES 350 F SPORT model adopts a blacked out pattern consisting of “L”-shaped clusters with corresponding cut outs at each corner of the fascia. In a break with ES models of the past, the seventh-generation design uses a fast roofline that emphasizes its lower stance and slippery aerodynamics. The rear end is clean and sharply chiseled, with LED taillamps that wrap around the quarter panels to provide a continuous styling line from any angle. F SPORT models add a rear spoiler, additional rear badging and a dark lower valance to further refine the look. There are three different wheel designs (standard 17-inch, two 18-inch) for the ES 350 and ES 300h while the ES 350 F SPORT gets standard 19-inch wheels with a design similar to that found on the LC coupe. A dozen colors make up the exterior paint palette including two new shades, one green and one beige, that are anything but typical. Moonbeam Beige Metallic was designed to mimic light reflecting off fresh snow, while Sunlit Green replicates the color of ocean water brightened by the sun. F SPORT models get an exclusive Ultra Sonic Blue Mica 2.0 color that complements its high-energy design. The Future of Lexus Interiors When designing the look and feel of the ES’s interior, Kajino’s team started with the Lexus Future Interior concept which blends a driver-centric cockpit with a spacious and comfortable area for the front passenger. In the ES, the driver’s focus is kept on the road ahead by placing the center display screen, instrument panel and available heads up display in a tight cluster in the driver’s field of view. Front passengers, on the other hand, get a more open and spacious environment that promotes relaxation. Rear seat passenger comfort has long been a hallmark of the ES and the seventh-generation model still prioritizes rear package capability despite the sleeker exterior roofline. A lower hip point and a carefully configured headliner preserve headroom while the longer wheelbase delivers generous legroom. To create an entirely different appearance for the inside of new F SPORT model, an all-new kind of metallic cabin trim was developed that is unlike anything else Lexus has done before. Inspired by the making of a traditional Japanese sword, Hadori aluminum trim features fluctuating wave patterns that give it a three-dimensional appearance that varies depending on the viewing angle. The effect is subtle yet indicative of the level of detail and craftsmanship that Kajino’s team put into giving the F SPORT a unique place in the lineup. The standard ES 350 and ES 300h will continue to offer traditional materials like Matte Bamboo, Linear Dark Mocha and Linear Espresso wood which give the ES a hand-crafted appearance that luxury buyers expect in this category. A New Era of Performance The engineering team led by Yasuhiro Sakakibara had one clear goal when it came to the ES: transform the image of the ES. That meant turning a sedan known primarily for comfort and quietness into one that is equally capable of delivering class-leading handling and power that you can feel and hear. According to Sakakibara, this ES was built to deliver a fundamentally higher level of performance than any of its predecessors. “We knew that this ES had to feel responsive and easy to drive, no matter what kind of road it was on and that can only be achieved with a solid foundation.” The starting point was the newly developed GA-K chassis. It’s an exceptionally rigid front-wheel drive chassis, rivalling the GA-L rear-wheel drive platform used for the LC coupe and LS sedan in terms of torsional stiffness. Various grades of high-tensile steel reduce weight versus previous platforms while additional enhancements like an all-new multi-link rear suspension design, rack-mounted electric power steering and a V-brace mounted behind the rear seat gave the engineers the flexibility to tune the ES with a newfound level of precision. All of the upgrades to the chassis were designed to deliver a sense of comforting predictability coupled with a feeling of quick response to every movement. Yoshiaki Ito, chief test driver for Lexus, describes the ES’s heightened level and refined definition of comfort by saying: “We want every kind of driver to feel a sense of complete control when they are behind the wheel of the ES. It’s a level of comfort that goes beyond merely delivering a smooth ride.” For an enhanced level of dynamic performance, F SPORT models offer an Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) similar to that found on the LC coupe. AVS adds adjustable dampers at each corner that feature 650 levels of damping force for the ultimate in control over any surface. Another F SPORT exclusive is a Sport+ mode for the Drive Mode Select system that selects the most aggressive engine, transmission and suspension settings for maximum performance. A new Engine Sound Enhancement feature is also activated in Sport+ mode that adds an additional layer of engine noise that enhances the natural rhythms of the spirited driving. Standard V6 Power and a New 8-Speed Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission All ES 350s are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that is designed to deliver commanding acceleration along with an invigorating sound. With an update to D4-S fuel injection, the impressively smooth engine now develops 302 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Both of those numbers are up significantly (+34 hp, +19 lb-ft) compared to the previous generation V6. In addition to the boost in power, the ES 350 also benefits from a new eight-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission. It uses an ultra-thin torque converter and a multi-plate lock up clutch to more efficiently transfer power to the front wheels, and has been tuned to deliver crisp, precisely timed shifts with quick responses. With a wider spread of ratios, the new eight speed is able to utilize high torque gears on the low end for quick starts and tall gearing on the high end for optimum efficiency. Fourth Generation Hybrid Drive System Not to be outdone by its gasoline siblings, the ES 300h is capable of delivering exceptional fuel efficiency, responsive performance and minimal emissions for an entry-level luxury sedan. A new, fourth-generation Hybrid Drive System couples an ultra-efficient, Atkinson cycle 2.5-liter, four-cylinder gas engine with a lighter, more compact, more power dense electric motor and self-charging hybrid system. Together they deliver a combined 215 total system horsepower and a preliminary estimate of 44 mpg in combined driving. An all-new engine, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder incorporates fast-burn combustion technology that makes it one of the most thermally efficient engines ever offered in a Lexus. The result is more power without increasing emissions or fuel consumption. Various methods were used to achieve such impressive results including straight intake ports, increased valve angles and laser-clad valve seats. A variable capacity oil pump, multihole injectors, VVTi-E on the intake valves and a variable cooling system also contribute to the engine’s impressive heat and combustion management. Overall drivability of the ES 300h has been improved thanks to a more sophisticated hybrid system control computer that is better able to mimic the feel and power delivery of a standard gas engine. An all-new nickel metal hydride battery is smaller than before which allows it to be mounted underneath the back seat so it doesn’t infringe on trunk space. Unparalleled Safety Comes Standard One element of the ES that hasn’t been radically transformed is its dedication to safety. All versions of the seventh-generation ES feature the new Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 as standard equipment. Already one of the most sophisticated systems of its kind, LSS+ 2.0 adds new features that further expand its capabilities. One such feature is daytime bicyclist detection which is part of the comprehensive Pre-Collision System (PCS). Already designed to detect an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian, the PCS system’s ability to potentially detect a bicyclist addresses a common accident scenario. PCS has also been enhanced to help better detect a pedestrian at night by increasing the radar’s sensitivity and dynamic range. Technology That Connects and Simplifies Staying connected has never been so important to ES owners, so there are now multiple ways to engage with technology in a safe and convenient manner. For example, the seventh-generation ES is the first Lexus product to offer Apple CarPlay™ phone functionality, enabling drivers to control their iPhones® through the dashboard display screen or with Siri Eyes Free® voice control. The ES is also Amazon Alexa®-enabled, so drivers can use natural language commands to control a variety of functions. That functionality includes car-to-home and home-to-car commands, so owners who have Alexa enabled devices in their home can interact with their ES before they ever get behind the wheel. On board Wi-fi powered by Verizon is also available on the ES as part of an optional navigation system that includes an easy-to-read 12.3-inch wide dashboard display. Along with its on-board data set, the navigation system is also capable of receiving over-the-air updates for improved routing and the latest Points of Interest (POIs). Models without navigation will use an 8-inch display and all interactions will be controlled through the Remote Touch Interface (RTI) trackpad. The Next Chapter of ES When it goes on sale in September, the 2019 Lexus ES will usher in a new era for one of the brand’s most popular models. Much like the flagship LS, the new ES sedan addresses the need to engage a broader range of customers. It delivers everything that traditional Lexus buyers expect along with elements that will draw in those who haven’t considered the brand before. Bolder styling, more dynamic performance, unique cabin materials and the latest technology add a chapter to the ES story that hasn’t been told, but that all changes in 2018.
  7. Next week at Auto China 2018 in Beijing, Lexus will be debuting the 2019 ES sedan. This is a big deal for Lexus as this will be the first ES model that will be sold worldwide. Lexus has dropped both a teaser video and a photo showing off most of the ES' exterior. It shares a lot of design cues with the flagship LS with a wider version of the spindle grille, aggressive bumper, and narrower headlights. The side profile looks similar to the current ES. It's expected that the 2019 ES will be underpinned by the TGNA modular platform. We'll have more details next week. Source: Lexus
  8. Lexus offers two powertains for the LS; a twin-turbo V6 producing 415 horsepower and a hybrid system featuring a 3.5L V6 that makes 354 horsepower. But Lexus is considering adding more powertains to their flagship sedan. Toshio Asahi, chief engineer for the LS told Australian outlet GoAuto that all powertrain options including a plug-in hybrid, hydrogen, and electric were “all on the table” for the current model. The most likely reason for this is competitors such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have plug-in hybrid models of their flagship sedans and are working on new electric models. There is also the elephant in the room known as the Tesla Model S. Hydrogen isn't that much a surprise. Parent company Toyota has been pushing hydrogen for a number of years. But the lack of an extensive hydrogen infrastructure has limited its appeal and caused Toyota to put more focus on electrics. It should be noted that the LF-FC concept shown in 2015 was a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. On the electric front, Toyota has been working on solid-state batteries that promise more range and quicker charging. Plans are to have batteries go into production beginning in 2022. Asahi also mentioned that engineers are looking into improving the current hybrid powertrain - possibly adding more power. Source: GoAuto
  9. "We had no intention of turning it into a production car. But your positive reaction, as well as the reaction of our customers, changed our minds. We listened, and we made it real.” That was Toyota President Akio Toyoda speaking at the Lexus LC 500 debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. Four years before, Lexus unveiled the LF-LC concept to the world. It was striking to say in the least with a design that empathized curves and deep cuts. There was no chance that this sleek concept would make it into production. It was too daring for a brand that liked to play it safe. But the LF-LC did make it into production and retained most of the design. But what is the rest of the car like? When an automaker takes a car from concept to production, something is usually lost in the translation due to regulations or costs. But Lexus was somehow able to carry over the design of the LF-LC concept to the LC 500. The front end is set very low and features the brand’s spindle grille and aggressive cuts in the bumper for the LED fog lights. Channels along the hood flow gently into either side of the grille. For the side, the door handles are flush with the doors and will pop out to allow entry into the vehicle. The rear fenders are quite wide to make room for larger tires and brake vents. The back stands out with narrow taillights that extend into the fenders and chrome exhaust surrounds. Wearing a dark grey finish, the LC 500 looks very sinister. The interior is a treat for the eyes. It’s a minimalist design with few buttons and knobs on the dash and door panels. There are some special design touches such as handles that float on the door panels and a grab handle that extends from the center stack to the console for the front seat passenger. Material quality is very impressive with leather, Alcantara, carbon fiber, and metal used throughout. My tester came with a set of sport seats with eight-way power seats. The seats feature increased bolstering to hold driver and passenger during a bout of exuberant driving. However, some people will not be able to fully fit into the seats because of the added bolstering. I would like to see Lexus offer some sort of adjustable bolstering down the road. The back seat is best used for storage. There is barely enough head and legroom for a small kid. A 10.3-inch screen sitting in the center stack features the latest version of Lexus Enform. The system features an updated interface with revised graphics and new color palate that makes it very easy to read at a glance. Controlling this is Lexus’ Remote Touchpad controller. Compared to other vehicles with the Touchpad, the LC brings a couple of key improvements. There are a set of shortcut buttons to common functions such as the radio and navigation. Lexus has also implemented a pause over each icon to prevent you from selecting another one because your finger slipped. Despite the improvements, Remote Touchpad is still very distracting to use when driving. You need to give your full attention to the system and not the road to make sure you’re turning on the heated seat for example. At least the LC 500 collision mitigation system with automatic braking to give you a bit of a safety net when using this system. Pop up the hood to find the heart of the LC 500; a 5.0L naturally-aspirated V8 producing 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. The powertrain has a Dr.Jekyll/Mr.Hyde personality. Driven normally, the 5.0L V8 emits a low growl and delivers power in a smooth fashion. Gear changes from the 10-speed are unobtrusive. Drive it with some aggression and the LC becomes an animal. The V8 emits a roar similar to a muscle car and will throw you back into the seat as power comes on rapidly. The 10-speed automatic delivers fast shifts to keep the engine in its sweet spot of power. I found myself having a stupid grin on my face every time I would floor the accelerator just to hear the lovely sounds of the V8. EPA fuel economy figures for the 2018 Lexus LC 500 are 16 City/26 Highway/19 Combined. My average for the week landed around 18.6 mpg. The LC 500 is quite surprising on a winding road. Despite the large size and weight, the LC seems to glide from bend to bend with little body roll. Some of this can be attributed to the rear-wheel steering system that is part of an optional performance package that makes the coupe feel smaller. This package also adds the variable gear-ratio steering system which adjusts the number of turns to reach steering lock helps the LC feel nimble. The only downside is the steering lacking the feedback some driving enthusiasts want. On a cruise, the LC 500 settles down and provides a somewhat relaxing ride. A small number of bumps make their way inside due to the 21-inch forged aluminum wheels. The smaller 20-inch wheels do improve ride quality somewhat. Road and wind noise are kept to minimum levels. Possibly the big surprise is how much the LC 500 will set you back. The base is $92,000 and our test vehicle came with an as-tested price of $101,715 with destination. Considering how much performance and luxuries you get for the price, the LC 500 is quite the steal. Lexus took quite the gamble with the LC 500 and their efforts paid off. The sharp exterior styling hides a very impressive chassis that somehow balances sporty handling and comfort. Plus, the V8 engine provides one of the most impressive sounds. Lexus Enform and Remote Touch spoil the LC somewhat as it is distracting to use. In a way, the LC is a modern incarnation of the SC coupe from the 90s. Both were a departure for Lexus as they offered a sleek design, smooth and powerful engines, and a balance between comfort and support. The two coupes also gave Lexus something it was lacking, a soul. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the LC 500, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Lexus Model: LC Trim: 500 Engine: 5.0L DOHC 32-Valve, Dual VVT-i V8 Driveline: Ten-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 471 @ 7,100 Torque @ RPM: 398 @ 4,800 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/26/19 Curb Weight: 4,280 lbs Location of Manufacture: Motomachi, Yokohama, Japan Base Price: $92,000 As Tested Price: $101,715 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge) Options: Performance Package with Carbon - $5,960.00 Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound System - $1,220.00 Color Heads-Up Display - $900.00 Torsen Limited-Slip Rear Differential - $390.00 All-Weather Trim Package - $250.00
  10. Lexus' crossover lineup has a new family member in the form of the UX. We've already given some details on the exterior last week, but now we have details on the rest of the vehicle. The UX is the first Lexus model that is underpinned by Toyota's GA-C (Global Architecture-Compact). This platform, which also underpins the Toyota C-HR, promises to have lowest center of gravity in the class. The UX 200 uses a new 2.0L Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine that is said to improve thermal efficiency by 40 percent. This in turn means better fuel economy. Horsepower is rated at 168. A new Direct Shift CVT uses an additional gearset to make acceleration feel more linear and quicker. The UX 250h takes the 2.0L four-cylinder and pairs with two electric motors for a total output of 176 horsepower. The 250h will be the only UX model to come with AWD. One interesting feature exclusive to the UX 250h is Predictive Efficient Drive. This system is said to analyze various data points to boost regenerative braking functionality where a driver has been known to stop frequently to increase regeneration charge for the batteries. An F-Sport package will be available and include a number of visual tweaks, revised springs and anti-roll bars, and optional adaptive dampers. The interior features a minimalistic and simple dash design with two rows of buttons on the center stack. Quilted leather upholstery will be available as an option, along with a trim pattern inspired by a type of Japanese paper called washi. The 2019 Lexus UX arrives in the U.S. sometime this fall. Source: Lexus Press Release is on Page 2 All-New Lexus UX Crossover Makes Its World Debut in Geneva The first-ever Lexus compact luxury crossover Bold “Urban Explorer” design First Lexus built on the new GA–C global platform UX 200 features all-new 2.0-liter engine coupled with Direct Shift Continuously Variable Transmission UX 250h combines new gas engine with 4th generation hybrid system GENEVA, March 6, 2018 – Following recent launches of its stunning new LC flagship coupe, LS flagship sedan and three-row RX luxury utility vehicle, Lexus is opening a new gateway into the brand with the UX, its first-ever compact luxury crossover. Making its world debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the UX introduces a bold new design, ultra-efficient new powertrains and innovative luxury features. “The first-ever Lexus UX is designed for the modern urban explorer seeking a fresh, contemporary and dynamic take on luxury driving,” said Chika Kako, executive vice president of Lexus International and chief engineer of the UX. “We designed the UX to appeal to buyers in their 30s who seek not only what is new and exciting, but what is also relevant to their lifestyles.” The UX is the first Lexus to use the brand’s GA-C (Global Architecture – Compact) platform. The super-rigid structure and low center of gravity help the UX deliver exemplary handling agility and ride comfort, along with a distinctive driving personality. The 2019 Lexus UX will be available in two versions: the UX 200 introduces a new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine coupled with a new Direct-Shift continuously variable transmission (CVT), while the UX 250h pairs the same 2.0-liter gas engine with a new fourth generation hybrid drive system. New technology that networks with navigation allows the UX 250h to proactively optimize hybrid operation by learning, and adapting to the driver’s routes and driving habits.
  11. A week out before the start of the Geneva Motor show, Lexus has decided to pull the curtain back on their showing, the new UX crossover. The UX will sit underneath the NX in the Lexus family, becoming the new entry-level model. The UX's exterior might be Lexus' most polarizing design to date. Up front sits a massive spindle grille, raked front headlights, and deep cuts into the bumper. The side profile shows off squared-off wheel wells and sculpting along the side. Lexus dropped a short video which gives us a sneak peek into the UX's interior, looking somewhat similar to the LC with a wide infotainment screen and a small row of buttons for the climate control. We'll have more details on the UX when it debuts on March 6th. Source: Leuxs Press Release is on Page 2 Revealed: First Official Image and Video of the UX, the First Urban Crossover from Lexus February 27, 2018: The eagerly anticipated Lexus UX urban compact crossover has broken cover with the release of the first official image and video clip ahead of its world debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show on March 6th. These first visuals reveal the UX’s bold and stylish design that blends expressive bodywork with a compact size. Its crossover credentials are signaled by its muscular haunches and high beltline, yet underneath the skin there’s an all-new platform that gives the UX exceptional body rigidity and a low center of gravity for exceptional handling. The look inside the cabin combines a highly focused driver’s cockpit with a wide and inviting passenger space. With its brave design and intuitive technology features, the UX will serve as a gateway model for Lexus in a dynamic and growing part of the market. The Lexus Press Conference will be hosted by the new Head of Lexus Europe, Pascal Ruch, and will take place on March 6th at 10AM on the Lexus stand at the Palexpo in Geneva.
  12. 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Lexus' F performance brand and to celebrate, the Japanese automaker will introducing special editions of the GS F and RC F to North America at this week's Chicago Auto Show. The two models made their debut last year at the Tokyo Motor Show where Lexus announced they would build a combined total of 500 GS F and RC F 10th anniversary edition models for the Japanese market. In the U.S. Lexus will only build a total of 340 10th anniversary models - 240 RC Fs and 100 GS Fs. What makes the 10th anniversary models standout from the standard ones? It begins outside with a Nebula Gray matte-finish paint and a set of 19-inch, multi-spoke wheels finished in black. A set of blue brake calipers provide the finishing touch. The interior features a lot of blue; blue leather trim, carbon fiber accents with a hint of blue, and seats upholstered in blue and white leather. Don't expect any changes with the 5.0L V8 as it will still provide 467 horsepower in both models. No word on pricing, but the 10th anniversary GS F and RC F arrive at dealers this summer. Source: Lexus Press Release is on Page 2 A Decade of Lexus Performance Special Edition GS F and RC F Models Commemorate Ten Years of “F” Cars CHICAGO (Feb. 5, 2018) – The purest expression of Lexus performance, that was the goal of the Lexus “F” performance brand when it was introduced in 2008. Every vehicle with an “F” badge would set new standards for Lexus performance and help redefine the brand for a new generation of customers. Today, Lexus adds another chapter to the “F” performance story with the introduction of the 2019 Lexus GS F and 2019 RC F 10th anniversary special editions that will be displayed for the first time in the U.S. at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. Set to arrive at dealers this summer, these limited-edition models come standard with unique features that make them stand out beyond their already exceptional performance. The transformation of both cars starts with a coat of matte finish Nebula Gray paint. It’s the first use of matte paint on a production vehicle since the LFA supercar. Particular care was taken to assure that the unique finish was durable enough for the rigors of everyday use, including the ability to withstand the average mechanized car wash without degrading the quality of the finish. The dark gray finish contrasts with the standard polished black multispoke wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires. Blue brake calipers peek out from behind the 19-inch wheels to add a splash of color and hint at the changes found inside. Open the door and you’re greeted by unique blue carbon fiber trim on the window switch panel and dashboard along with blue leather accents that give the interior the look of a custom-made exotic. It’s not an illusion either, as each car also gets engraved plaques certifying its limited-edition status. Only 240 10th anniversary RC Fs will be built, corresponding to the current number of U.S. Lexus dealers, while the 10th anniversary GS F is limited to just 100 units. In the RC F coupe, the front sport seats get blue leather with white accents along with a blue accented shift knob, steering wheel and instrument panel hood. An embossed headliner is also part of the package to give the coupe’s interior an even more personalized appearance. For the GS F sedan, the front seats mimic those in the RC while the rear seats also get a splash of blue leather on the side bolsters. Additional blue carbon trim is used on the center console along with blue suede dash trim and blue seatbelt straps. There is additional blue leather trim on the steering wheel, console and shift knob, although the GS F doesn’t get the same embossed headliner as the RC F. All RC F coupes feature a 467-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 that sends power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s capable of going from 0-to-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. A Torsen limited slip differential is standard along with variable dampers and multiple drive modes. A torque vectoring differential is also available as an option. The GS F sedan also comes with a 467-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8, an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear wheel drive. A torque vectoring rear differential comes standard. The GS F is capable of delivering a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds and up to 24 mpg on the highway. Variable dampers offer a choice between a smooth highway ride or a more responsive feel for spirited driving. A range of drive modes, including a full custom setting, allows the driver to adjust multiple settings with the turn of one knob. Additional options packages will be required on both 10th anniversary models, but final pricing has not been determined.
  13. I have been on record of not liking the 2.0L turbo-four Lexus uses in a number of their vehicles. Previous reviews have highlighted the horrendous turbo lag and power falling off a cliff after a certain point on the rpm band. But after spending a week with the 2017 Lexus GS 200t, I found that Lexus may have fixed one of the big issues with this engine. A quick refresher on the turbo 2.0L. The engine has ratings of 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission on offer. The engine feels quite punchy when the boost kicks in as it moves the 3,805 pound sedan without breaking a sweat. Another positive is how quiet and refined the engine is during acceleration and at cruise. There are a couple of downsides. As I mentioned in the RC 200t review, the engine does run out of steam at higher rpms which makes merging onto a freeway slightly tricky. The transmission programming in the ‘Normal’ drive mode leans heavily towards boosting fuel economy with rapid upshifts and slow downshifts. This was easily remedied by putting the GS into the ‘Sport’ drive mode. EPA fuel economy figures for the GS 200t at 22 City/32 Highway/26 Combined. I only averaged a very disappointing 19.2 mpg for the week. A lot of this can be attributed to the cold snap where the high temperature at the times was around 10 to 15 degrees. This meant I was running the vehicle at idle for a fair amount of time to warm it up. The GS 200t’s suspension provides a mostly smooth ride with only a couple of bumps making their way inside. Road and wind noise are almost nonexistent. I cannot really comment on the GS 200t’s handling as most of the roads were snow-covered during the week and the Michelin GreenX tires were more keen on spinning in the snow than actually getting the car moving. A set of all-seasons or snow tires would have done wonders for it. Reading through some other reviews, the consensus seems to be the GS shows little body roll and has decent steering weight. Lexus updated the GS’ styling back in 2016 with a revised front end, complete with a spindle grille and upside-down eyelash LED lighting. I’m usually not a fan of the standard insert for the spindle grille - like the mesh insert on the F-Sport. But I will admit the slat grille on this particular model works quite well. Other changes include new wheels (18-inches on our tester) and taillights. The interior hasn’t really changed since I last drove the GS back in 2013. In certain respects, this is ok. The design still holds up with the brushed-metal accents and textured black trim. Material quality is top notch as well with many surfaces being covered in soft-touch plastics and leather. Seating offers the right amount of support and comfort needed for long trips. The only downside is the large transmission tunnel that eats into rear legroom. The GS still uses the first-generation Lexus Enform infotainment system, complete with the joystick controller. The controller is a pain to use with an inconsistent feeling when using it to move around the system. At times, you’ll find yourself either overshooting or not selecting the function because of the vague feeling provided by the controller. This hurts an otherwise pretty good system with a modern design and large 12.3-inch screen with the ability of split-screen viewing. The base price of the 2017 GS 200t is $46,310. Our test vehicle came equipped with a few options such as navigation, 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, power trunk, and 18-inch wheels that raised the price to a very reasonable $52,295. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the GS 200t, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: Lexus Model: GS Trim: 200t Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve with Dual VVT-iW Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 241 @ 5,800 Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,650-4,400 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/32/26 Curb Weight: 3,805 lbs Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japan Base Price: $46,310 As Tested Price: $52,295 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge and $1,730 Navigation Package Credit) Options: Navigation w/12.3-inch screen with Lexus Enform - $1,730.00 Premium Package - $1,400.00 Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System - $1,380.00 18" All Season Tires - $905.00 Intuitive Park Assist - $500.00 Illuminated Door Sills - $425.00 One-Touch Power Trunk - $400.00
  14. The drips of teasers leading up to the 2018 Detroit Auto Show are picking up steam. Last week Lexus released a teaser of Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept rear hatch area. Today Lexus released a frontal image plus a short video of the light up sequence. (See gallery below) Lexus says that the LF-1 Limitless Concept will redefine the boundaries of luxury and would be a flagship crossover for the brand. The Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept will be revealed at 8:35 am on January 15th at the Cobo Center, Detroit. Click here to follow all 2018 Detroit Auto Show News Click here to follow Lexus News
  15. Lexus released teaser images of a concept crossover that will be shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The crossover was created by the Toyota's CALTY design studio in Newport Beach, California. The concept, called the Lexus LF-1 Limitless will preview Lexus' interpretation of a flagship luxury crossover, one they claim will redefine the boundaries of luxury. We will have more in the Lexus LF-1 Limitless from the show in January. Click here follow all Detroit North American International Auto Show News
  16. Luxury crossovers and SUVs were a dominant feature at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. Here is a recap of the releases from the show. 2018 Lexus RX-L The Details: Lexus has been the leader in the mid-size luxury crossover segment since it was birthed. Where Lexus missed was in offering a 3-row version of their hot seller. Surprisingly belatedly, Lexus finally came through by extending the RX 4.3 inches and updating the roofline to stuff a 3rd row in the back. Powertrain carries over from the standard RX with a 290 hp V6 standard for the RX 350L and the 308 hp Hybrid available only on the RX 450hL. Why it Matters: It is surprising that Lexus took this long to add a commonly sought after option in this segment. Ten years ago, this would have been bigger news, but with the industry pivoting towards smaller crossovers, I expect response to be mutted. The RX does two things, it gives Lexus an entry into the 3-row segment at minimal development and marketing costs, and it puts Lexus in the same league with BMW for absurd model trim names. Click here for more information on the 2018 Lexus RX-L Competitors: Volvo XC90, Infiniti QX60, Acura MDX, Buick Enclave, Lincoln MKX/Nautilus 2018 Lexus LX 570 Two-Row The Details: The Lexus version of the Toyota Land Cruiser drops the third-row seats in favor of a larger cargo area. Two-row option only comes in a single trim level Why it Matters: It really doesn’t unless you’re a wealthy DINK with no friends. As far as vehicle platforms go, the LX and Land Cruiser are ancient, debuting back in 2007. Already on its fourth remodel since arriving, we don’t see much life left. Lexus only sells about 600 LXs per month. Competitors: Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes-Benz GLS, Audi Q7, Infiniti QX80 (all come with 3-rows) Up Next: Lincoln Nautilus and Lincoln MKC 2019 Lincoln Nautilus The Details: The Nautilus is a refreshed Lincoln MKX, but the most refreshing part about it is the return to a real name. Power changes include a switch to an all turbocharged engine lineup. Base engine is a 2.3 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder producing 245 horsepower, optional is a 2.7 liter V6 with 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are coupled to a front-wheel drive 8-speed automatic with all-wheel drive standard. Automatic stop/start is standard. Why it Matters: The MKX was already an excellent entry in the segment. While overall dimensions are unchanged, the Nautilus looks longer and sleeker than its MKX predecessor. Bringing the MKX up to date with the new Lincoln look was essential, but going back to a real name shows that Lincoln is ready to carve out a firm identity for itself. Click Here for more information on the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus Competitors: Lexus RX, Audi Q5, Cadillac XT5, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Acura MDX 2019 Lincoln MKC The Details: MKC moves to the new Lincoln look, but product planners didn’t come up with a name in time. Aside from that, the interior and mechanical features carry over. Why it Matters: This one is a head scratcher. I can only think that for some reason Lincoln didn’t think there were enough changes to the MKC to warrant a name change. People are inherently visual though, so even if there wasn’t an engine change under the hood, the visual change is distinctive enough that now is probably time to do a name change like the Lincoln Nautilus. The MKC sells well, and with this handsome new update, I expect it to do even better. Click here for more information on the 2019 Lincoln MKC Next Up: Infiniti QX50 and QX80 2019 Infiniti QX50 The Details: Infiniti finally replaces the old G37 based QX50, but that necessitates a move to front-wheel drive. The QX50 is the launch platform for Infiniti’s revolutionary new engine that is capable of a variable compression ratio. The new 2.0T with VC can change the compression ratio from 8:1 to 14:1. Why it Matters: I’ll be sad to see the old QX50 go. In spite of its aging platform and interior electronics, it had a butter smoothness and great handling. It never really got a foothold in the market. But auto enthusiast feelings aside, this new QX50 is likely to be the bread and butter of Infiniti’s lineup for the foreseeable future. It hits right in the bullseye of the compact luxury crossover market and does so with a compelling performance argument and a fantastic looking interior. Click here for more information on the 2019 Infiniti QX50 Competitors: Lincoln MKC, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Acura RDX, Lexus NX, Audi Q3, Land Rover Evoque, Jaguar E-Pace 2018 Infiniti QX80 The Details: QX80 gets an updated front clip and a massaged interior Why it Matters: Like the Lexus LX650, the QX80 rides on an older platform from a mass-market brand, in this case, the 2010 Nissan Patrol. The 2017 Armada had a face only a mother could love, but with the update for 2018 it has grown substantially more handsome. The interior has been coiffed with attractive new quilted and stitched leather, though technology has not been updated to include the likes of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Mechanically, the QX80 still uses the old 5.6 liter V8 producing 400 horsepower / 417 lb-ft of torque routed through a 7-speed automatic. Fuel economy is a 1997 like 15 mpg combined. Competitors: Lexus LX560, Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes-Benz GLS, Audi Q7 Next Up: Volvo XC40 and Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography 2018 Volvo XC40 The Details: The XC40 is the first vehicle on Volvo’s new CMA platform. It features a 248 hp 2 liter turbo four cylinder routing through an 8-speed automatic to all four wheels. People familiar with the controls from Volvo’s larger SPA platform vehicles like XC90 and S80 will feel right at home as most of touchy stuff is lifted straight from them. You will also be able to subscribe to the XC40 rather than buy or lease. Basically a 15,000 mile a year lease that includes all maintenance and insurance. Why it Matters: Another entry straight at the heart of the compact luxury crossover market. The recent Volvos have been a hit and I expect this one to be as well. The floor display had a few questionable interior materials and some visible exterior manufacturing defects, so I hope those get sorted soon as these XC40s are rolling down the manufacturing line already. Volvo’s policy of electrifying every vehicle that make means that a plug-in hybrid version of the XC40 is coming, however the Volvo rep I spoke to refused to confirm. Volvo’s subscription idea is intriguing and it will be interesting to see if it takes off. Click here for more information on the 2018 Volvo XC40 2018 Range Rover SVAutobiography The Details: An Ultra-Luxury Range Rover Why it Matters: Are you a Russian Oil Tycoon or an NBA star? If so, then it matters. If not, just look at it and dream from behind the velvet ropes while the booth attendants sneer at you. It has power close rear doors, executive seating, and a new infotainment system. There is a hidden refrigerator in between the rear seats that holds two wine bottles plus two glasses and opens with the touch of a button. The closest competitor I can think of isn't an SUV at all, but the S-Class Maybach. This is Land Rover's interpretation of the segment. Competitors: Mercedes Benz GLS550 Designo, Bentley Bentaga, S-Class Maybach
  17. At the 2017 Los Angeles Auto show today, Lexus unveiled a three-row version of their popular RX luxury crossover. The RX has been one of the best selling luxury vehicles since its introduction in 1997. To make the 6 and 7 passenger three-row version, Lexus stretched the vehicle 4.3 inches and used a steeper rear glass to improve headroom. Overall, the key look remains largely the same with the partially blacked out C-pillar, a now widespread industry styling trend, being the main visual distinction for the 3-row models. Powertrain hardware is largely unchanged for the L models, available in the standard V6 front-wheel drive, V6 all-wheel drive, and V6 Hybrid all-wheel drive configurations. The V6 is a 290 horsepower / 263 lb-ft unit with an advanced combination of variable valve timing technologies that allowed the engine to shift between Otto Cycle or Atkinson Cycle for optimum power and efficiency. The Hybrid version uses a rear mounted electric motor instead of a drive shaft to power the rear wheels and is only used when the vehicle detects slippage of the front tires. Like other hybrids in the Toyota-Lexus stable, the hybrid system allows for complete EV operation at low speeds for short distances. The 2018 RX350 L and RX450h L go on sale in December. Photos: Lexus Press release on page two Lexus RX Drivers Now Have the Power of Three (Rows) New RX L provides luxury and logistical liberty Choice of Six- or Seven-Passenger Models Available with V6 Gas or Hybrid Powertrains Power-Fold Third Row Seat Standard Leather Trimmed Seating on First Two Rows and Tri-Zone Climate Control Standard Optional Hands-Free Power Tailgate November 29, 2017 2018 RX L 350 Product Info Sheet 2018 RX L 450h Product Info Sheet 2018 Enform Remote RX L Infographic 2018 RX L Press Release LOS ANGELES – Nov. 29, 2017 – Families will now be able to enjoy more space with their luxury utility vehicle thanks to the new three-row Lexus RX L models. The RX created the luxury crossover segment 20 years ago and has reigned supreme as the most popular luxury utility vehicle on the market. The 2018 RX 350L and RX 450hL models retain their stylish figures, but now offer the choice of six or seven-passenger capability. Once in dealerships late this year, the RX 350L will have a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $47,670* (FWD) and $49,070* (AWD). Function and Fashion With the new RX L models, Lexus drivers will now have the option of a third row without compromising the sleek styling and easy maneuverability that they have long valued. With help through the mastery of vehicle packaging, Lexus extended the body length 4.3 inches (110 mm) at the rear and used a steeper tailgate window angle than on the two-row models – ensuring good headroom for third-row passengers. The standard seven-seat version uses a 40/20/40 split bench-type second row seat. Access to the third row is made easy with the touch of a lever that slides and folds the second seat forward. The available six-seat configuration features second-row captain’s chairs that make third-row ingress/egress easier with “walk-in” convenience. Lexus designed the third row of the RX L models to offer the same comfort and luxury as in the middle row. The positioning of the second row is slightly higher than the third row, creating more foot room for rear passengers. Standard leather-trimmed upholstery is standard for the first and second rows, in the choice of Black, Stratus Gray, Parchment or Noble Brown. A tri-zone climate control system gives third-row passengers separate heating and air conditioning vents, and for convenience, a power-folding third-row seat and power tailgate are both standard on the RX L models. Details that enhance three-row versatility in the RX L models include a flat load floor behind the folded third-row, two third-row cupholders, an easily stowable tonneau and covered slide rails. Lexus Signature Design The 2018 RX L models offer the same award-winning safety, style, luxury and performance as the two-row versions. The LUV trend-setting combination of SUV versatility and luxury sedan-like comfort comes packaged in the brand’s dramatic mix of sharp creases and curves. The Lexus signature spindle grille, a focal point, is set off by an elegant chrome-plated surround and standard Bi-LED headlights. Available premium LED headlights use three unique L-shaped elements per side. The RX L models’ elegantly blacked-out C-pillars create a floating-roof effect. The spindle theme repeats at the rear, with L-shaped LED taillights enveloping the tailgate and wrapping into the rear fenders. Available 20-inch wheel designs enhance the powerful-looking stance. All ten RX L paint colors feature a scratch-resistant self-restoring coat, using a high-performance macromolecular polymer. Lexus Safety In the 2018 RX L models, the full-length side curtain airbags cover all three rows. The standard Lexus Safety System+ includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist, Intelligent High Beams and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Blind Spot Monitor with Intuitive Parking Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Braking are also available. Panoramic View Monitor is an optional feature. RX 350L: 290-Horsepower V6 The 2018 Lexus RX 350L offers plenty of power to go with its six- or seven- passenger cabin and added cargo capacity. The 3.5-liter V6 employs the advanced D-4S fuel injection system, which combines direct and port fuel injection systems. To maximize efficiency, Variable Valve Timing – Intelligent Wide (VVT-iW) is used on the intake camshaft, along with VVT-i on the exhaust camshaft, allowing the engine to switch between Otto and Atkinson combustion cycles. The result is 290 hp and 263 lb.-ft. of torque, with performance and efficiency optimized by an eight-speed automatic transmission. Use of regular-grade gasoline is a boon to customer value. Using Drive Mode Select, the RX 350L driver can exert more control by choosing from among three driving modes. Normal provides an ideal everyday balance of performance and energy conservation, Sport puts an edge on powertrain responsiveness and Eco mode operates the powertrain at its most efficient level. As on the two-row RX 350, the RX 350L is available with front-wheel drive or available Dynamic Torque Control All Wheel Drive. Under normal cruising conditions, the system engages front-wheel drive to help reduce fuel consumption. Continuously taking input from various sensors (such as wheel speed, engine RPM, steering angle, throttle opening angle and yaw rate), Dynamic Torque Control AWD actively governs torque distribution to the rear wheels using an electromagnetically controlled coupling in the rear differential. When the vehicle is accelerating, the system automatically shifts to AWD to help prevent front-wheel slippage. While cruising, the system reverts to FWD, and when sensors detect wheel slippage, it can vary front to rear torque distribution from 100:0 to 50:50. The 4.2” TFT multi-information display conveys torque-distribution status (front to rear, and side to side). RX 450hL Hybrid with AWD Luxury buyers seeking an eco-advanced family three-row vehicle will find the ideal travel mate in the 2018 Lexus RX 450hL. The Lexus Hybrid Drive system pairs the D4-S injection 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with two high-torque electric drive motor-generators, producing 308 combined system horsepower for strong acceleration and passing performance. The standard AWD system is unique. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels used on the RX 350 AWD models, an independent rear-mounted electric motor drives the rear wheels when needed to help maintain optimal traction. In the RX 450hL, the Drive Mode Select system adds a fourth mode, EV, that enables the vehicle to drive under electric power at lower speeds for short distances. It’s an excellent way to navigate a large parking lot or garage, or to run a local errand. Ride and Handling All onboard the 6- or 7-passenger 2018 Lexus RX L models will experience the same luxuriously smooth, quiet ride as the two-row models offer. Front strut and rear double-wishbone type suspension systems ensure agility and exemplary ride compliance over all types of surfaces. Electric Power Steering (EPS) yields a light and comfortable steering feel with excellent feedback. Impeccable Cabin Design and Luxury The RX L cabin is designed with impeccable details, including form-fitting seats, and the available richly finished wood trim (Premium and Luxury Packages) that curves gently up from the center console toward the glove box. Available interior ornamentation includes Matte Bamboo, Espresso Walnut, Matte Linear Dark Mocha Wood, Striated Black Trim (standard) and laser-etched Gray Sapele Wood with Aluminum. For the Striated Black Trim on the base model, a glossy black three-dimensional embossed pattern is applied to create a high-quality film design with a sense of depth. An available full-color Heads-Up Display (HUD) incorporated into the design of the instrument panel can project key information on the windshield to help the driver focus on the road. Multimedia Powerhouse From powerful audio to cutting-edge displays, the multimedia choices available for the 2018 Lexus RX L models cover all needs. The standard Display Audio system includes an eight-inch screen, HD Radio™, Scout GPS Link, Bluetooth® audio, voice recognition, an AUX mini jack, two USB ports and nine speakers. The driver will find frequently used switches placed close at hand for convenience. Middle-row USB ports enable passengers to use and charge their own multimedia devices. The Navigation Package upgrades to a 12-speaker premium audio system. Also included, the 12.3-inch high-resolution split-screen multimedia display offers a full-screen navigation map or can provide simultaneous access to audio or climate controls and various systems; as well as the mouse-like Remote Touch Interface. The 2018 RX L models offer audiophile-quality mobile sound with the available 835-watt, 15-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround System in conjunction with the navigation system. Advanced Clari-Fi™ compressed music restoration technology instills new life into digital music files. The new three-row RX L models join the two-row, five-seat RX versions that continue for 2018. All RX models now offer Enform Safety Connect and Enform Service Connect complimentary for the first 10 years of vehicle ownership. Both were previously offered with a one-year trial. With the new RX 450hL Hybrid, the most powerful and most fuel-efficient RX model, owners will still reap the benefits of the two-row model, such as optional heated/ventilated front seats and Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Additional photos and video available at pressroom.lexus.com. Vehicle Details Engine/Transmission/Drivetrain/Performance RX 350L: 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine. 8-speed Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i). Available Active Torque Control AWD system uses an electronically controlled coupling ahead of the rear differential to vary torque distribution anywhere from 100:0 to 50:50 front to rear, depending on driving dynamics and road conditions. RX 450hL: Lexus Hybrid Drive with 3.5-liter V6 engine, Motor Generator 1, Motor Generator 2 and a planetary-type electronic continuously variable transmission. 308 total system horsepower. Standard AWD with independent rear electric motor-generator. 37 kW nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) hybrid battery. Chassis/Body/Suspension/ Brakes/Tires A number of cutting-edge technologies enhance structural rigidity, including high-tech body adhesives and laser screw welding; liberal use of high-tensile strength steel throughout the vehicle, and annular frame construction for strengthened frame sections around the front and rear doors. 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 235/65R18 tires. Two 20-inch wheel options: Split-Five-Spoke Alloy Wheels with Dark Silver and Machined Finish; Split-Five-Spoke Alloy Wheels with SuperChrome and Machined Finish and Interchangeable Painted Inserts (requires Luxury Package). Safety/Security Lexus Safety System+ includes Pre-Collision System, Lane Keep Assist, Intelligent High Beams and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Available Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Braking. For 2018, all RX and RX L models offer Enform Safety Connect and Enform Service Connect complimentary for the first 10 years of vehicle ownership. 10 SRS airbags including dual-stage and dual-chamber driver’s and front passenger airbags; driver’s and front passenger knee airbags; front side airbags; rear side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags for all three seat rows. 4-sensor, 4-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control (TRAC), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Hill-start Assist Control. Additionally, Smart Stop Technology automatically reduces engine power when there is simultaneous application of the brake pedal and accelerator pedal under certain conditions. Active front headrests help to reduce the severity of a whiplash injury in the event of certain types of lower speed rear collisions. Panoramic View Monitor (optional). Luxury/Comfort/Convenience (Highlights) 10-way power front leather seats with power lumbar adjustment. Memory settings standard (mirror, seat, steering wheel) Aluminum roof rails Power-folding autodimming mirrors with memory Rear armrest with storage box with two USB ports Acoustic glass windshield Customizable vehicle settings, including personal door-lock preferences, interior/exterior light adjustments, driver’s seat Easy Exit, and window-closure settings Tri-Zone automatic climate control with interior air filter Leather seating surfaces (first and second row) Leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel with integrated audio controls Lexus Display Audio with 8-inch color multimedia display and 9 speakers Power liftgate with optional hands-free operation Power tilt-and-telescopic steering column SmartAccess with push-button Start/Stop Subscription-free Traffic and Weather updates via HD Radio™ The RX 450hL enjoys the same standard equipment as the 350L, with the added feature of Captain’s Chairs as standard. Luxury Options (Highlights) Premium Package with moonroof and wood trim. Luxury Package includes contents of Premium Package plus 20-inch super chrome wheels, heated maple steering wheel, semi-aniline leather trimmed seating, manual rear door sun shades, LED ambient illumination, four-way power lumbar, cushion extender, laser-cut gray Sapele wood with aluminum and LED illuminated door sills. Navigation Package with 12.3-inch display, Remote Touch Interface, advanced voice control, Lexus Enform® App Suite, Lexus Enform® Destination Assist, HD Radio with iTunes®Tagging and more. 15-speaker Mark Levinson® Surround Sound system (with Navigation Package). Connected Technologies The 2018 Lexus RX L offers five available Enform services for enhanced convenience: Complimentary now for the first ten years, Lexus Enform Safety Connect includes an Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, and Stolen Vehicle Notification. The Lexus Enform response center operates 24/7/365. Lexus Enform Service Connect (complimentary 10-year subscription now included), enables the LS to send alerts for specific factory recommended maintenance, simultaneously alerting a preferred Lexus retailer. With Lexus Enform Remote (one-year trial subscription included), the customer can remotely view and control certain aspects of the vehicle using a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Once registered, the app can operate remote door lock/unlock; remote stop/start for the engine and climate control; vehicle finder, guest driver monitor, and more. The complimentary Lexus Enform App Suite app offer access to favorite mobile applications through the vehicle’s center console display, including Pandora®, iHeartRadio, Slacker and Yelp (with Navigation Package). Lexus Enform Destination Assist (complimentary for one year) acts as an in-car personal concierge, providing directions and destinations delivered by a live agent (with Navigation Package). Warranty 48-month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48 months/unlimited miles. 72 months/70,000 miles powertrain and restraint system coverage. 72 months corrosion perforation protection coverage, regardless of mileage. Hybrid System Warranty coverage is for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first, and covers the following components: hybrid control module, hybrid battery control module, hybrid battery and inverter with converter. *MSRP does not include a delivery, processing and handling fee of $995. Lexus' passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its customers. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 238 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With five models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers six F SPORT models and two F performance models.
  18. Rumors have been flying for the past year or about Lexus introducing a three-row variant of their RX crossover and it appears to be materializing. Today, Lexus released a teaser photo of the RX L that will be debuting a couple weeks at the LA Auto Show. We can't make out any details as the picture just shows the nameplate. It will be offered with the 3.5L V6 (RX 350L) and hybrid powertrain (RX 450hL). It is expected that the RX L will have the same wheelbase length as the standard RX, but have a longer rear overhang to make room for the third-row. Source: Lexus Press Release is on Page 2 The Power of Three: All-new 3-row Lexus RXL to Debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show LOS ANGELES, Nov. 15, 2017 – How can the top-selling Lexus RX get even better? Make more of it. The all-new 2018 RX 350L, now featuring three rows, will make its World Premiere at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. The hybrid model, the RX 450hL, will also be announced. The RX that paved the way for the luxury crossover segment 20 years ago will retain its stylish figure while also providing more flexibility for passengers. The RX 350L will be revealed at the Lexus Press Conference taking place on November 29, 2017 at 10:00 am PST in the South Hall at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
  19. Lexus might not be the first choice when it comes to a compact luxury coupe. But when I drove the RC 350 F-Sport back in 2015, we found it to be a very capable coupe. Aside from the creamsicle paint color, the RC impressed me with distinctive styling, punchy V6, and sharp handling. Two years later, I find myself revisiting the RC - this time with the base 2.0L turbo-four engine. As I would find out during our week, there is a lot to like about the standard RC. But there is one glaring issue that would make me look at a competitor. The standard RC’s design somehow balances a handsome shape with extroverted details. The front features the widest version of the spindle grille, slits in the front bumper, and LED lighting under the headlights. Bulging fenders and rounded roofline make the RC stand out from the crowd. There are only two things I would change about this RC. First is the color. The silver paint on our tester makes the RC a bit dull to look at. Something more vibrant such as a red would really help out. We would also swap the 5-spoke, 18-inch wheels for the wheels found on the F-Sport package. The interior hasn’t changed since we last drove the RC and that’s both a good and bad thing. The good is that the RC still has the IS’ dash design which makes the vehicle’s sporting intentions clear. It is easy to find a comfortable position in the front seats thanks to the power adjustments on offer. The bad? It begins with the infotainment system. A 7-inch screen is nestled far back in the dash, making it hard to read at a quick glance. I wished Lexus had upgraded the screen to the 10.2-inch version found in the refreshed IS. The optional Remote Touch system is a bit frustrating to use as you have be very precise when making your selection. One slip of the finger and you’ll end up with a different selection. Don’t expect to carry passengers in the RC’s backseat as leg room is non-existent. It's better to use it as a place for cargo. What is that glaring issue I mentioned at the beginning? That would be the turbo 2.0L. It produces 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Power delivery can best be described as the engine delivers enough oomph to move the vehicle from a stop, before falling off a cliff. There isn’t that rush of power throughout the rpm band that you would have in another model such as the Cadillac ATS 2.0T. On the upside, the 2.0L turbo in the RC didn’t have the horrendous turbo lag that I experienced in the IS 200t last year. The eight-speed automatic that comes standard on rear-drive models delivers smooth gear changes. I did find myself wishing the gear changes were somewhat quicker when the RC is put into the Sport mode via the drive selector. The standard RC fits the definition of a ‘Gran Tourer’. It may not handle as well as the RC 350 F-Sport in the bends - there is little bit more body roll and the steering isn’t as direct. But most people who drive it will be ok with that as it is ‘just right’. On rough roads, the RC 200t excels as bumps are smoothed over. Wind noise is mostly nonexistent, while there is a fair amount of road noise coming inside. The 2017 RC 200t begins at $40,155. With a modest amount of options such as navigation, blind spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control, the as-tested price came to $45,234. The RC 200t is mostly show and not much go. For some folks, that’s all they want. A coupe that stands out in and tells the world to look at me. For others, save up a bit more money and go for the 350. The added performance of the V6 gives the coupe the go it deserves. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the RC 200t, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: Lexus Model: RC Trim: 200t Engine: Turbo 2.0L DOHC 16-valve with Dual VVT-i Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 241 @ 5,800 Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,650-4,400 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/32/26 Curb Weight: 3,737 lbs Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan Base Price: $40,155 As Tested Price: $45,234 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge) Options: Navigation System - $1,470.00 Premium Package - $1,240.00 Dynamic Radar Cruise Control w/Pre-Collison - $500.00 Illuminated Door Sills - $449.00 Windshield Deicer and Headlamp Cleaner - $220.00 Door Edge Guards - $115.00 All-Weather Floormats - $110.00
  20. The CT 200h, the sole hybrid-only model in Lexus' lineup will be disappearing from the U.S. after 2017. The company told Car and Driver the hatchback will not be returning to the U.S. for 2018 model year. It will still be sold in other markets for the foreseeable future. The move isn't that surprising considering how the model hasn't changed significantly since its launch in 2011 and slow sales - 8,903 models sold in 2016. Not helping matters is the sister model, the Toyota Prius has been updated and beats the CT 200h in fuel economy - 52 mpg combined vs. 42 mpg combined. A subcompact crossover known as the UX is coming and a hybrid variant could act as the de-facto replacement for the CT. Source: Car and Driver Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers and Gears
  21. 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)
  22. 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)
  23. 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.
  24. We're just only month away before the Detroit Auto Show kicks off and automakers are beginning to tease out what they'll be showing. Today, Lexus has announced that the next-generation LS will debut at Detroit. Not much is known about the next LS aside from it using the all new Global Architecture-Luxury (GA-L) that debuted on the LC coupe this year. It would not be surprising if we see the 5.0L V8 (473 horsepower) with the 10-speed automatic and hybrid powertrains from LC being used in the LS. Source: Lexus Press Release is on Page 2 New Lexus LS Flagship Sedan to Make Global Debut at the 2017 NAIAS TORRANCE, Calif. (December 8, 2016) -- Lexus announced today that the all-new, fifth-generation LS flagship sedan will make its world debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show next month. The introduction of the LS 400 in 1989 in Detroit made automotive history as a world-class car for the United States. Not only did the vehicle make its mark by offering the drive performance, quietness, and luxury that consumers expected from a premium vehicle, but its unveiling also heralded the birth of the Lexus brand. Now, 28 years later, the all-new LS sedan will be a world-class car for more than 90 countries around the globe, boasting a bold new look with a coupe-like silhouette. Built on the company’s all-new global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA–L), the premium rear-wheel drive platform—an extended version of that used in the LC 500—will offer a more dynamic experience on the road. Inside the spacious cabin, luxurious appointments and visionary technology will provide drivers with the luxury experience they expect from a global flagship sedan.
  25. Most luxury SUVs will never go fully off-road. The closest they’ll ever get is driving down a gravel road. But that doesn’t mean some automakers aren’t filling them with the latest off-road for that one person who decides to. Case in point is the LX 570. Lexus’ variant of the Toyota Land Cruiser has been updated inside and out to try and draw buyers away from the usual suspects in the class. For 2016, Lexus has softened the LX’s boxy-shape with some rounded edges and more imposing fenders. The front grille has grown in size to match other Lexus vehicles, though to our eyes it looks more like the head from a Cylon in the 1980’s Battlestar Galactica tv show. The rear features new taillights and a reshaped tailgate. The interior has somehow become more opulent since the last LX we drove. A new dash design features real wood trim and more soft-touch materials. Our tester featured leather upholstery that can be described as red-orange. At first, I thought it was a bit much. But over the week I grew to like the color as it adds some personality. Sitting in either the front or second-row seats of the LX is a pleasant experience. There is plenty of head and legroom for both rows, along with heat. Front seats also get ventilation as standard. The third-row seat is a bit of joke. Getting back there in the first place is quite difficult due to the small gap when you move the second-row forward. Once back there, you find legroom is almost negligible. Finally, the way the third row folds up by side walls and not into the floor hampers cargo space - only offering 41 cubic feet. Lexus’ Remote Touch interface has arrived in the LX this year with a gargantuan 12.3-inch screen sitting on top of the dash. On the plus side, the screen is vibrant and easy to read. The negative is the remote touch controller as you’ll find yourself choosing the wrong function because the controller is very sensitive to inputs. Power comes from 5.7L V8 with 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and full-time four-wheel drive system. On paper, the V8 should move the LX 570 with no issue. But a curb weight of 6,000 pounds negates this. Performance can be described as ho-hum as it takes a few ticks longer to get up to speed. At least the eight-speed automatic transmission is a smooth operator and quick to respond when you stab the throttle. The LX 570 is chock full of clever off-road tech such as crawl control, hill start assist, 360-degree camera system, and multi-terrain select system that optimizes various parts of the powertrain and four-wheel drive system. Sadly, we didn’t get the chance to put any of these to the test. No matter the condition of the road, the LX 570 provides a smooth and relaxing ride. Impressive when you consider the LX is riding on a set of 21-inch wheels. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. Lexus added a set of adaptive dampers for the 2016 LX and you can adjust the firmness via a knob in the center console - Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. The dampers do help reduce body roll in corners, giving you a little bit more confidence. Steering is what you would expect in an SUV, light and numb. This makes the LX a bit cumbersome to move in certain places such as a parking lot. Compared to the last LX 570 we drove, the 2016 model has gone up in price. Base price now stands at $88,880 and our as-tested price comes in at $96,905. This one feels a bit a more worth of price tag that Lexus is asking for, but I still think a Cadillac Escalade or Range Rover are slightly better in terms of value. If you’re planning a trip to Death Valley or the Rocky Mountains and want something that can you there and back, along with providing all of the luxuries, look no further than the LX. Otherwise, there are a number of other luxury SUVs that make more sense if you’re planning to stay on the pavement. Year: 2016 Make: Lexus Model: LX 570 Trim: N/A Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC Dual VVT-i V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Full-Time Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 383 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 403 @ 3,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/18/15 Curb Weight: 6,000 lbs Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japn Base Price: $88,880 As Tested Price: $96,905 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge) Options: Mark Levinson Audio System - $2,150.00 Dual-Screen DVD Rear-Seat Entertainment System - $2,005.00 Luxury Package - $1,190.00 Heads-Up Display - $900.00 Cargo Mat, Net, Wheel Locks, & Key Glove - $250.00 All-Weather Floor Mats - $165.00 Heated Black Shimamoku Steering Wheel - $150.00 Wireless Charger - $75.00

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