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Archive for the ‘Lexus’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Lexus LC 500

The Lexus LF-LC originally debuted at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and since then, Lexus debuted the LF-LC Concept 2. Later in 2015, we got our hands on some spy photos of the LF-LC testing under camo in production form. It has been few years of constant teasing, but Lexus has finally unveiled the Lexus LC500 – the production variant of the LF-LC that we’ve been waiting for.

As you can see from a quick look, the LC500 isn’t all that different from the previous LF-LC concepts that we’ve seen. It is still the same low-sitting, dramatically styled coupe that will probably prove to be the best thing to come out of Lexus in a long time. With its unveiling, we’ve learned a lot about the 2+2 coupe that promises to be the future of Lexus, and to be honest, I can’t wait to see it on the street.

Akio Toyoda, a Master Driver and Chief Brand Officer for Lexus, said, “The LC 500 has been an important product for Lexus and me personally. A few years ago, we decided to guide the future of the brand with products that had more passion and distinction in the luxury market. This flagship luxury coupe’s proportions, stunning design and performance make a strong statement about our brand’s emotional direction and will grow the Lexus luxury appeal globally.”

Of course, it’s not like you’ll see one at every corner. We’re not aware of pricing yet, but given the dramatic design and the details at hand, the car is sure to be reserved for those of the wealthier population. With that said, let’s take a look at Lexus’ new flagship luxury coupe and all the greatness that is Lexus LC500.

Update 3/20/2017: Lexus has announced pricing for the Lexus LC 500 and LC 500H. Check out our prices section below for all of the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Lexus LF-LC.

PostHeaderIcon The 2018 Lexus LS 500h Is Further Proof That The Hybrids Are Taking Over

Attention all you lovers of the naturally aspirated, un-electrified internal combustion engine: your days in the sun are numbered. Yep, the hybrids are coming, and in a big, big way, too. What started as a means to extend the range provided by the liquefied dinosaur juice known as gasoline has now turned into a full-fledged assault across all segments. First it was with commuters, like the Prius. Then we got outrageous hypercars like the LaFerrari, McLaren P1, and Porsche 918 Spyder. Then it was SUVs and wagons, and now, Lexus has added hybridity to the premium sedan niche with the new LS 500h.

The big reveal just occurred at theGeneva International Motor Show, and was preceded by similar announcements from other makes also going hybrid. Porsche is one example of this, giving us the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, a top-shelf sports sedan laying down a whopping 680 horses thanks to its battery-boosted twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8. Check out our full review on the new range-topping Panamera by clicking here.

Now we get this, an electrified iteration of Lexus’ brand-new four-door flagship. We first got a look at the new LS in 500 guise earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show, boasting 415 horses from a twin-turbo V-6. Meanwhile, the 500h gets all the good stuff as the more traditional LWB luxury sedan, but with addition of hybrid power under the hood.

Of course, anyone who’s familiar with the history of the LS nameplate shouldn’t be all that surprised. The model has traditionally been a bastion of new technology and innovation, but I feel like this model is indicative of a larger trend in the industry to, well, hybrid all the things. Continue reading to see what I’m on about.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus RC F GT3

Lexus debuted the RC F coupe, and it took no time at all for the brands racing division to come up with the RC F GT500, a car that’s been around since late 2014 and was actually quite successful last season. It dominated the Super GT series in Japan and earned Team SARD team and drivers’ championship titles in the GT500 category. Now, as the 2017 racing season kicks off, Lexus is at it again with another RC F-based racecar, this time called the RC F GT 3.

Slated to competing in the U.S. GTD class of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship, and the GT300 class of the Super GT Series in Japan. It’s powered by a 5.4-liter V-8 (0.4-liters larger than that of the road-going RC F) and is said to deliver 500+ horsepower through a six-speed sequential racing transmission. If the success of the GT500 is any indication, Lexus likely has another winner on its hands, but we’ll see more of that in the coming months.

For now, we know that 3GT Racing team here in the U.S. will put the GT3 to the test at the WeatherTech Championship while the LM Corsa team will be fielding two examples of the car in the Super GT Series. But, will the new GT3 car have what it takes to be dominating like the GT500 was last year? Well, let’s take a closer look at it and see what it brings to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Lexus RC F GT3.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus LS 500h

The Lexus LS became an instant halo car when it was released in 1990 and was the very basis of which the Lexus brand was able to grow. Fast forward to today and the LS entered its fifth generation for the 2018 model year with an all-new platform, new twin-turbo V-6 drivetrain, 10-speed automatic transmission, and a sweet but sexy look with the newest iteration of Lexus’ spindle grille. But, with the introduction of a new LS Sedan, comes the introduction of a hybrid version that’s called that LS 500h – a car that sheds a bit of it’s V-8, high-performance hybrid roots in the name of economy. Yeah, that’s right, no V-8 Hybrid system here, but we’ll talk more about that later on.

For now, we don’t know a whole lot about the next-gen LS 500h outside of what we can see in the one teaser image that’s been released and the knowledge that it will be quite similar to its non-hybrid sibling. Lexus brought the standard LS to the Detroit Auto Show but has been saving the LS 500h for the Geneva Auto Show that kicks off on March 7th. With that said, let’s take a look at the teaser image and talk more about the new hybrid before Lexus beats us to the punch and spills all the beans.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lexus LS 500h.

PostHeaderIcon Get Ready, The Lexus LC F Is Coming

The Lexus LC is shaping up to be a legitimate contender to the established order of German sports cars, but as well-developed as the LC currently is, it still doesn’t have a range-topping model to call its own. Well, that’s all about to change now that parent company Toyota has officially filed trademarks to the names “LC F” and “Lexus LC F.

Granted, trademark filings aren’t automatic signs that a company is going to use the names it’s securing for a soon-to-be-released production model. For all we know, Toyota’s simply protecting the names so that other companies can’t use it. This is different though. The Lexus LC F is a car that’s on it’s way. You can take that to the bank.

Consider this: Lexus wants the LC to become its answer to established sports cars like the Porsche 911. It’s an ambitious goal, but it can be done if the automaker has the horses to make the 911 sweat. Here’s the thing though. The current LC lineup peaks with the LC 500 and its 471-horsepower and 398-pound-feet of torque numbers. Those are good numbers, but not good enough if Lexus hopes to truly compete against a car like the Porsche 911, let alone its two top-dog variants, the 540-horsepower 911 Turbo and the 580-horsepower 911 Turbo S.

A range-topping LC F would help fill that void for Lexus. It’s going to have to develop the heck out of it, but with the options it has at its disposal – don’t sleep on the LC F getting some form of turbos or even hybrid assistance – it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to see the LC F packing some serious punch that can knock down a German titan or two.

Remember, these trademarks filings aren’t clear indications of the LC F. But let’s not kid ourselves either. The model is coming and it’s coming for Germany’s finest.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon In Case You Missed Them, Here Are All The Super Bowl Car Adverts

In the off chance you’ve been on a remote island for the last several weeks and are only now reestablishing a connection with civilization, I’ll start by saying Super Bowl LI took place over the weekend, and it was quite the event. I guess there were a few points scored and something about a comeback, but I was in it for the car advertisements. After all, these aren’t your normal adverts – companies pay upwards of $170,000 per second to get their product front and center for the big game, and that means we saw the major makes go full-bore with the commercial gloss. Tons of car-related adverts were aired, and we’ve got ‘em all right here.

Some were funny and goofy, others were dramatic and heartfelt, and some were just straight up weird. But hey, that’s how it goes when vying for the attention of consumers soaked in beer and guacamole.

Which advertisements caught your eye? Let us know in the comments!

Continue reading to see all the car adverts from Super Bowl LI.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus LS 500

The LS full-size luxury sedan is an extremely important model for Lexus. First introduced for the 1990 model year, the LS is essentially the torchbearer for Lexus’ values, offering the greatest possible comfort, style, and technology that the brand can muster. In case you were unaware, the LS nameplate stands for “luxury sedan,” and as the company’s flagship, it basically helped usher in the Lexus brand nearly three decades ago. Now, with a debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, there’s a next-gen model on deck for the 2018 model year, and it’s got a coupe-like exterior design, a roomy four-door interior, a new platform under the skin, a new twin-turbo V-6 and 10-speed automatic, and optional cutting-edge safety technology.

It’s called the LS 500, and it promises the “greatest-ever LS agility and comfort.” Lexus is also touting the new LS as the embodiment of traditional Japanese philosophies of hospitality and craftsmanship.

Lexus will begin selling the new LS late this year as a 2018 model, bringing it globally to 90 different markets. The most important market will be the U.S., but there’s no shortage of competition in this segment, so rest assured the brand won’t be pulling any punches.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Lexus LS.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus Is Set To Promote The LC With New Super Bowl Ad

Super Bowl LI is less than two weeks away. We all know what time it is then, right? A number of automakers are already gearing up for the Big Game with their Super Bowl commercials, and as the days wind down to February 5, 2017, we’re going to see more brands roll out their ads in one of the year’s biggest night in advertising. For now, Lexus seems to be the first to the party after unveiling its 60-second extended spot for the Super Bowl, titled “Man & Machine.”

The star of the ad is the new Lexus LC, the same performance coupe that Lexus hopes will pose a strong challenge to established rivals like the Porsche 911. That goal won’t be realized overnight, but at the very least, Lexus wants the LC to make a strong impression to the American buying public, which is why the automaker pulled out all the stops to make this ad as meaningful and as memorable as possible.

The treatment of the ad itself is indicative of Lexus’ mood for the LC. There are no cute storyboards or witty lines. There are no gimmicks or cheap pops either. There’s only the coupe taking center stage with noted street dancer Lil Buck providing the entertainment with his trademark style of dancing to the tune of Sia’s “Move Your Body.” A voice-over joins in half-way through the ad with a short comment about how some machines can inspire emotion, alluding, of course, to the Lexus LC and the reactions people get upon seeing the car and the emotions felt when driving it.

As far as the whole commercial goes, it’s not the kind of hard-sell ad that we’ve come to expect from Super Bowl commercials. Instead, it takes a different approach in establishing the LC as a car that’s worth our attention. On that level, the ad succeeds in doing just that, for better or worse.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Five Cool Design Features That Lexus Introduced with the New LS

As the first model to wear the Lexus badge and the company’s oldest nameplate (introduced in 1989), the LS is arguably the most important vehicle for Toyota’s luxury division. Despite this, it took Lexus quite a few years to replace the fourth-generation model. While the first three iterations were sold for five to six years, the fourth-gen sedan soldiered on for more than a decade. Granted, Lexus introduced updates in 2009 and 2012, but the LS was a bit long in the tooth compared to its competitors. Come 2017 and the fifth-gen LS was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show, and I finally understand why it took so long for the new full-size sedan to arrive.

Much like most redesigned cars, the LS boasts a ton of new features inside and out, as well as new underpinnings and a new drivetrain. However, nothing says revolution more than the new design language that Lexus introduced with the fifth-gen four-door. Okay, maybe it’s not all that new given that specific cues can be seen on existing Lexus cars, but there are quite a few new features worth mentioning. And if current design strategies are any indication, these new elements will probably find their way in other Lexus models too.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus Sriracha IS

Special edition cars can go in a variety of different ways depending on the person who’s looking at them. There are some models like the 2013 BMW 760Li Sterling Robbe & Berking Edition that inspired universal acclaim. On the flip side, some special edition versions like the DS3 Givenchy Le MakeUp were panned for one reason or another. Somewhere in the middle of this vast expanse of special edition models sits the Lexus Sriracha IS, a unique iteration of the Japanese automaker’s luxury sedan that’s inspired by the Sriracha sauce made famous by the California-based hot sauce company Huy Fong Foods.

Yep, hell has frozen over now that cars are being inspired by food condiments.

To be fair, the Sriracha IS doesn’t look too bad. It actually has some appeal to it if you’re the type who appreciates a red car with green accents on it. At the very least, it is eye-catching, which I suppose is the reaction West Coast Customs was looking for when it was enlisted by Lexus to work on the IS and give it the Sriracha treatment in time for its debut, which occurred at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Give West Coast Customs this much; the custom features on the IS are really something else. The paint job itself took some time to plan and execute and the accompanying green accents are both bold and consistent with the color scheme of the hot sauce company. Even the interior is dressed up to be completely in tune with the hot sauce company’s identity, something I never thought I’d get to write, let alone see in my lifetime.

About the only thing disappointing about the Lexus Sriracha IS is that West Coast Customs didn’t do something to spice up the sedan’s 3.5-liter V-6 engine. It still packs 255 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque on account of the IS 300 AWD badge on the sedan. I just would’ve preferred it if Lexus instead based the Sriracha IS on the range-topping IS 350. At least that has 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque on tap. Or, you know, Lexus could just bring back the IS F. Speaking of which, what’s the word on that, Lexus?

Continue after the jump to read more about the Lexus Sriracha IS.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus UX Concept Showcases Vision for an "Inside-Out" Future

Lexus joined this year’s Paris Motor Show with no fewer than four vehicles, but none is as intriguing as the UX Concept. Essentially a preview for the company’s upcoming compact crossover, which will slot under the NX and compete against the newly-launched Audi Q2, the UX Concept also showcases some of Lexus’ future styling language. The Japanese brand calls it “inside-out” and describes it as a “synergy between exterior and interior styling” represented by an “X-shaped movement in the architecture from the cabin outwards and vice-versa.”

Sounds pretty confusing huh? Well, in order to make it simple, let’s skip the PR talk and have a closer look at the UX’s design.

The first thing that catches the eye is massive “Spindle” grille up front. Granted, this isn’t a new feature, but if you look closely you’ll notice that its quite different from the element seen on production cars. First, the mesh is new and features a spectacular 3D-like layout that makes the grille look like it’s wearing hedgehog spines. Second, the upper arms extend well into the hood, giving the engine more room to breathe on top of making the front fascia seen downright menacing.

Another feature we have yet to see on production Lexus cars are the way the front fenders flow seamlessly into the cabin to form housings for the screens that display images from door-mounted cameras. The wheel arches are also incredibly muscular, while the the rear fenders are shaped like an armored truck. Granted, we probably won’t see a production UX with such aggressive lines, but some of these features could make it into dealerships in a less exaggerated form. The rear is also pretty wild with its high-mounted red LED strips and big, rectangular exhaust pipes.

Inside, the UX Concept looks like a spaceship. The cabin is made of organic design features that look as if they could catch life in any given moment. The spaceship-like atmosphere is also fed by the blue displays in the dashboard and center console. I can’t decide whether it’s cool or scary, but this interior definitely won’t be approved for production anytime soon.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Cosmetic Improvements Put The Spotlight On The Lexus NX Sport

The Lexus NX Sport has arrived at the 2016 Paris Motor Show and just like the Lexus CT and IS before it, the NX comes to the event wearing the “Sport” trim. Lexus touts the NX Sport trim as a unique variant of its crossover model, largely because of the exterior and interior modifications the model has been given to showcase a more aggressive side to the NX. In a nutshell, it’s still an NX, but it’s a sportier and more menacing looking NX that comes with an inherent confidence about itself.

Subtle cosmetic upgrades is the name of the game with the NX Sport. The exterior, for instance, gets a blacked-out front spindle grille and grille frame, which strikes a far more imposing visual appeal than its chrome counterpart. The crossover’s mirror housings have also been finished in black, and the special set of 18-inch black alloy wheels finish off the exterior additions to the NX’s makeup. Move inside the cabin of the NX and you’ll be greeted with a few silver inserts and a leather upholstery that can be dressed in either black or a unique fabric that Lexus is exclusively offering for the Sport trim.

The Sport trim will be available for both the NX 200t and the NX 300h. Current owners of either variant can also oder the Sport package if they so desire. Just don’t expect anything more than the promised upgrades on the exterior and interior. The Lexus NX Sport is all about the giving the NX a fresher and sportier look, both in the body and in the cabin. Nothing more, nothing less.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus UX Concept

The Paris Auto Show is right around the corner, so new car and concept announcements are flying off our printers at record speed. Lexus already gave us a teaser shot of the UX Concept that is set to be the highlight of its stand in Paris, but the luxury brand has finally dropped more details about it and given us a good look at the interior. In Lexus’ original release, it said that the concept showcases “imaginative technologies for an immersive driver experience, while the interior marries traditional craftsmanship with high-tech manufacturing techniques.” The first part of that statement is right, but after looking at the inside, there’s nothing traditional about that craftsmanship. In fact, it’s the most futuristic concept that we’ve seen in quite a while.

When I say futuristic, I’m not just talking about technology. There is a lot of that, and this model does have a few holograms inside, but the overall design of the cabin itself is out of this world. It looks like a combination of a personal space shuttle and a futuristic race car all tied together.

Stephan Rasmussen, a designer at the ED2 European Design Center, said, “Our brief was to create a new genre of compact crossover; a vehicle that could create something unique from a customer’s point of view—an innovative, three-dimensional, fully immersive user experience.”

Well give him credit, as this concept is about as unique as you can get, and it’s definitely three-dimensional. Does it preview a compact SUV of the future as Lexus says it does? Maybe in the distant future, but let’s dive on in and take a better look.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lexus UX Concept.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus Drivers Get Their Own Parking Spots Now?

It seems more like a move you would expect from more overzealous manufacturers like Rolls-Royce or Bentley, who’s vehicles often serve as a status symbol for the greedy and overly wealthy. But as it turns out, even Lexus owners can have a little bit of status flare with the new parking spots at Edmonton’s International Airport. A total of 30 parking spots inside the parkade at EIA have been purchased by Lexus and are reserved for – you guessed it – those who drive Lexus vehicles. Does it sound crazy? Well, even if it does, it’s 100-percent true.

As it turns out, Lexus thought that its customers near EIA deserve special amenities and signed a contract for the short-term purchase of parking spots near pedways and elevators. For what it’s worth, the 30 parking spots are just a small percentage of the 2,200 spaces available inside the parkade and an even smaller chunk of the 13,000 available on EIA property, but some of the general public is already lashing out.

Twitter feeds have been blowing up over the new parking spots, with the general public claiming that these reserved parking spots are “elitist” and even reinforce the stereotypes about people who drive and market expensive cars. Be that as it may, Lexus of Edmonton said told the Global News that the purchase of these parking spots is “a way to offer a unique experience to Lexus owners in the city.”

Matt Miller – the General Manager of Lexus of Edmonton – said, “What we look to do is offer Lexus drivers a great ownership experience. So it is the amenities that we offer in the dealership and now finding ways to offer great amenities to them outside of the dealership as well.”

I know some of you are already about to jump on the complaint wagon and assume that parking spots for the handicapped have been used to create these spots, but EIA says that isn’t the case – claiming no handicapped parking stalls have been moved. The contract between Lexus and EIA is only valid until March of 2017, but there is an option to extend the contract should the dealership decide to do so. EIA also notes that it is open to contracts with other vehicle brands as well, should any other brand want to jump on board.

Is this the beginning of something new? If this idea takes off, what will it mean for those of us who don’t drive luxury vehicles? Keep reading to hear my thoughts. Come on – you know it will be entertaining.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Latest Rumors About Toyota and Lexus Point to an All-New Engine for the next Supra

The rumor mill is churning over at Toyota with reports that the Japanese automaker is finally building a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine, codenamed 943F, that it plans to use on the fifth-generation Lexus GS. The model is scheduled to make its debut in late 2017 or early 2018 and will be marketed as a 2019 model. But, according to Japanese media outlet Mag-X, the big takeaway from the fifth-gen GS is the turbocharged V-6, the first production V-6 that Toyota will build in its long and illustrious history.

While there hasn’t been any confirmation coming from either Toyota or Lexus, there is an argument to be made for Lexus to get a turbo V-6, none more so than the increased importance being placed by automakers in downsizing their engines as a way of addressing the increasingly stringent emissions regulations. For its part, Lexus also needs a forced induction V-6 because a lot of its competitors already utilize a similar engine in some form or capacity. It may be time for Toyota’s premium brand to join the fray in that regard and expand its V-6 offerings past the turbocharged inline-sixes that it has used in the past.

If Toyota does take this step, don’t sleep on the possibility of another model eventually using the same engine. Again, this is all speculation but if Toyota wants to maximize the seemingly limitless potential of the returning Supra sports car, having a turbocharged V-6 as an engine option is a great way to do it. At the very least, it would be able to make a big statement in differentiating the sports car with the Toyota GT 86, which currently uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. That’s been one of Toyota’s goals anyway so it only makes sense for the company to give the Supra the same turbo V-6 that it is reportedly developing for the Lexus GS.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Motor Trend Pits The 2016 Cadillac CTS-V Against The 2016 Lexus GS F

On one side you have the all-American powerhouse and on the other you have the Japanese spitfire. It wasn’t always the case that we could describe a Cadillac and a Lexus in such glowing terms, but the times have definitely changed. The premium performance sedan segment isn’t just an exclusively European party anymore, not when you have both the Cadillac CTS-V and the Lexus GS F lurking in the background and ready to pounce. These two gnarly machines still have a ways to go before it can claim to being on the same plane as the BMW M5 and the Mercedes-AMG E63, but for what Cadillac and Lexus have come up with, that timetable may be sooner than later.

The boys at MotorTrend aren’t ones to waste an opportunity to line up two competing cars against one another and not surprisingly, that’s what we get here with the 2016 CTS-V and the 2016 GS F. Both models have their share of strengths, just as they do their warts. The CTS-V, for instance, packs a lot of power and drives wonderfully. The GS F, on the other hand, is one of the best handling cars in its segment and it also received a bump in power.

But which of the two is better? As is the case with match-ups like this one, it’ll probably boil down to a matter of preference for the customer. But that’s not going to stop MotorTrend from discussing what to look for when the choice boils down to the CTS-V and the GS F. Which is better on the road? Which handles its business on the track? This 26-minute episode has all the answers, so go check it out.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus CT200h May Not Get Successor, Hybrid Crossover Could Take Its Place

The Lexus CT 200h is by no means a flop of a car. It routinely sells 10,000 units a year, which is a healthy number for a car of different circumstances. Unfortunately, for the CT 200h, it belongs in the premium compact market that’s worth around 750,000 cars in Europe alone. So in that respect, the CT 200h has failed to live up to the expectations of Lexus, so much so that that Lexus Europe chief Alain Uyttenhoven admitted that there’s talk of ending the CT 200h’s production when its lifespan concludes in 2018. No immediate successor has been identified, but according to Autocar, there is some sentiment that a production version of the LF-SA Concept that was shown at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show could eventually take the spot that will presumably be vacated by the CT 200h.

For Lexus, the rationale behind this big move is simple, at least if it does end up happening. The CT 200h isn’t selling as well as Lexus hoped relative to the segment it’s in. The company could develop a successor that’s better in every way, or it could just leave the segment entirely and concentrate on a more lucrative crossover/SUV market whose growth hasn’t shown signs of slowing down anytime soon.

The numbers even back it up because of the 652,000 units that Lexus sold all over the world in 2015, the Lexus NX and RX accounted for close to half of that number with both models selling roughly 150,000 units apiece. Lexus even expects the NX and RX to add to those sales numbers in 2016 to about 170,000 and 200,000 units, respectively.

Having a hybrid crossover to slot below the NX isn’t a guarantee of booming sales, but with customers tripping over themselves to buy crossovers and SUVs, the ceiling for a new model would be significantly higher compared to a successor to the CT 200h, even if the premium compact market is healthy in its own right.

And don’t be fooled by the robust sales numbers because Lexus isn’t doing as well as it likes in Europe, where it sold only 64,000 units across the board in 2015. That’s less than 10 percent of the company’s total sales volume. Uyttenhoven even said that the rough going across the pond is largely tied to the company having only one model – the CT 200h – in the sub-€40,000 ($45,000) bracket, which he adds accounts for “50 percent of the European luxury car market.”

So the question boils down to what the Lexus CT 200h can offer compared to a new hybrid crossover. From the looks of things, Lexus appears to be leaning towards the new crossover, a move that makes sense if it really wants to take a bigger piece of the crossover/SUV pie.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus IS

When the Lexus IS debuted for the 2013 model year, it was a sporty sedan that sold much better than even Lexus had expected. Now that the model is a few years old, Lexus took it upon itself to give its sporty little entry-level sedan a refresh.

There isn’t a whole lot that changed, but the headlight units take on a different shape, and the front fascia is sportier than ever. There are also new taillight units, new wheel designs, and even a couple new colors. On the inside, the infotainment display screen has received an update, and there are a few other refinements within the cabin. The IS’ safety equipment even got a little love with this refresh.

All of that sounds pretty good for a refresh, doesn’t it? It’s not the most elaborate refresh – the same engines carry over from before – but there is enough newness to keep the little sedan fresh until the next-generation model comes to life. But, the real question is: Will the refresh be enough to keep sales of Lexus’ entry-level sedan soaring as they have for the last three years? Only time will tell, but now that the refreshed IS has debuted at the Beijing Auto Show, let’s take a closer look at what Lexus did in hopes of maintaining the car’s overwhelming success.

Updated 04/25/2016: Lexus unveiled the revised IS at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Lexus IS.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus RC F GT Concept

Unveiled in 2014, the Lexus RC has already spawned a hot RC F version and three different race cars in either production or concept form. That’s quite a lot for a vehicle that has been around for only a couple of years, but apparently it’s not enough for Lexus. The Japanese automaker has announced that a new racing version of the RC F will be showcased at the 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach IndyCar race on April 17.

Dubbed RC F GT Concept, it is a further development of the vehicle with the same name that Justin Bell drove to fifth place in the Time Attack class at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in June 2015. As the name suggests, it’s only a concept car and Lexus didn’t say whether it will evolve into a full-fledged race car or spawn a track-ready, road-legal version of the coupe. The company did mention that it is positioned between the street-legal RC F and the full-bore RC F GT3 race car that will soon compete in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but that doesn’t mean much really.

Be that as it may, the new concept has received extensive modifications since the Pikes Peak race. Not only lighter, it also uses an improved drivetrain, a more competitive suspension system, and updated software. The RC F GT Concept will be driven at Long Beach by Lexus pro racers Scott Pruett, the winningest active driver in North American sports car racing, and Roger Yasukawa.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lexus RC F GT Concept.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus GS 450h F Sport – Driven

The Lexus GS has been on U.S. shores since 1993, and since then has grown both in size and in luxury. That growth has occurred over four generations with various mid-cycle refreshes in between. The first generational change took place in 1997. The design lasted until 2000 when a refresh debuted for the 2001 model year. Five years later, the third generation GS debuted for the 2006 model year. The fourth and current generation debuted for the 2013 model year and just recently received its mid-cycle refresh for the 2016 model year.

This most recent iteration of the GS sedan brings the large Lexus Spindle grille that’s found across the brand’s lineup. The new face is more aggressive and striking, suggesting the Lexus GS is no longer a soft, cushy cruiser built for the retirement crowd. In fact, the GS has broken that mold. The car’s more youthful and muscular stance now places it more squarely against competitors like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes.

Adding to that muscular stance is the optional F Sport package. Check that box and the grille trades its horizontal chrome trim for an X-pattern mesh and larger air inlets down low. F Sport-specific wheels and badges are also added. Comparably, the F Sport package is like BMW’s M Sport – both add sporty features but aren’t the range-topping performance iterations. Leave that to BMW’s M division and Lexus’ F brand. And yes, the GS does offer a full-on GS F version, all-new for 2016, with a 467-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8.

However, I recently found the 2016 GS 450h F Sport in my driveway. As you might suspect, the “h” stands for hybrid. This version packs a V-6 and a battery pack, along with the eagle-eyed F Sport package for good measure. In a sense, the GS 450h F Sport is a true jack-of-all-trades. Keep reading to see what it’s like to live with.

Continue reading for the full driven review

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