Posts tagged Lexus
Every year Lexus goes above and beyond with pushing the envelope when it comes innovation. Their latest is a game changer. There will probably never ever be something like it ever again. Lexus just recently announced their V-LCRO Technology. And the world will never be the same.
This tech puts man and machine together in a way that no one ever thought of before. Using carbon fiber to create a lightweight chassis to the special alloys employed in their engines, they work tirelessly to improve our vehicles’ performance. So with that they presented the next advancement in man-machine interface: the Lexus V-LCRO Performance Driving Seat for the Lexus RC F and GS F.
There is a ton of tech terms that I don’t even understand so I am just going to say watch the video below and prepare to be amazed.
There are March Madness brackets and then there are March Madness brackets. Lexus is teaming up with Yahoo Sports so you can win a Lexus GS F-inspired luxury vacation. Just fill out on at the Yahoo Sports’ Tourney Pick’em site. It centers around the all-new 2016 Lexus GS F, the brand’s most powerful performance sedan that goes from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds.
With the GS F The Bracket, it is not about who wins the game, it’s about how fast they play. Just go to www.GSFTheBracket.com. Each round, select which matchup will reach a combined 60 points the fastest. If you guess correctly and you could win a GS F-inspired luxury vacation. Don’t worry about busting your bracket after the first round. Lexus’ bracket can be played until the finals.
Do you answer your critics or double down on what got you there?
That’s the question facing Lexus these days. Every few years since 1998 Lexus has launched a new RX in the American market. Each version is lauded as the pinnacle of comfort and practicality and gently dismissed as lacking performance and excitement.
The RX then spends another year at the top of the Luxury Crossover SUV segment, often selling 100,000 units and beating the market by a wide margin.
This year, more than ever before, the RX looked to answer the criticism with a renewed emphasis on driver experience and performance.
The new RX has ditched the egg shaped profile of its past, leaving previous models looking a bit tame by comparison. The redesign lets us read the tea leaves into the next 5 years of design from the Toyota Motor Corp. They have embraced sharp angles and masculine lines and gone all in on their now signature spindle grille. This younger, more masculine look will undoubtedly move down the line until finally landing on the Corolla. Notes like L shaped LED daytime running lamps give a brightness to the front end of the car. The vehicle uses long, pronounced lines and the appearance of a floating roof to make it look as though more than 5″ has been added to last years model.
Even more than the visual redesign, this is where Lexus tried to address their critics the most. Easily the biggest improvement in the F Sport trim level is the addition of the Adaptive Variable Suspension. This allows you to adjust the ride to “S+” mode, which lowers the vehicle by nearly an inch and tightens the shocks. This stiffens the ride, allowing for a better driver experience with tighter turning and less body roll. The winding roads of Marin County and the Pacific Coast Highway proved a fine testing ground for the 25 extra horsepower and tightened suspension. For a vehicle with a curb weight of almost 4,400 pounds it performed well in and out of turns and provided enough acceleration to pass slower traffic with ease. Though far from a sports car, the improvements to handling and acceleration are noticeable and worthy of the F Sport badge.
Classy. Pronounced stitching and premium materials give the interior a very posh appearance. The optional 12.3″ navigation system (8″ standard) perches atop the center of the dash and communicates all of the entertainment, climate control and navigation information clearly. The Remote Touch makes a slightly less clunky reappearance. The software now predicts what you’re trying to interact with to varying degrees of success. As you get used to the tendencies it gets easier but the industry wide struggle for intuitive controls continues another year. The 2016 edition builds on the success of its previous incarnations with a comfortable and luxurious ride up front with just enough space in back for average sized adults. The driver centered cabin helps the operator and vehicle communicate safely and comfortably.
It’s not often I get into a car and get surprised by a new bell or whistle. The empirical nature of auto design gives away the surprise a little at a time every year, so by the time a feature is in place it’s already been hinted at for years.
Not so with the 360 degree view shown when you put the RX in reverse. Four cameras are used, one in the grille, one under each side mirror and the backup camera in the rear. The resulting image is stitched together by all four, giving you a helicopter style view in tight spaces. Think the original Grand Theft Auto overhead view. I called it my validation cam. Get into a tight spot, engage the overhead camera and see how great (or terrible) of a parking job you did. The usefulness of the technology really shines when reversing out of parking spaces into busy streets or lots. The Rear Cross Traffic Alert warns of any bogeys coming in from the side, the overhead camera gives a 360 degree view and the parking assist shows the line that the car will continue on if the wheels are set in that direction. For a car with a big hood and a long body these features are invaluable for visibility. Absolutely loved them and used them constantly.
Then there’s All Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Alphabet soup, I know. That rather wordy feature is new to the RX and can be summed up easily. It is quite simply the future of driving. Set the maximum speed you wish the car to attain and let your foot off the gas. The vehicle will maintain a safe follow distance up to that speed without any input from the driver. On a long road trip this feature is an absolute game changer. Set the control to 73 and rest your legs. The car will sense when the vehicle in front slows down and adjust speed safely until the desired follow distance is achieved.
This feature works with normal traffic and unexpected stops alike. If necessary it is capable of bringing the car to a complete stop.
Anyone who has driven the 5 Freeway through central California just salivated a little at the idea. I felt fresh as a daisy and never strayed too far over the speed limit. As an enthusiast I can’t say I looked forward to the driverless car but this feature got me thinking.
For Lexus, and every automaker, design and engineering is a balancing act. Go too far to the new and they lose their roots. Too much performance usually means too much comfort, too much comfort makes for a pedestrian ride. A vehicle that sits squarely in the middle will be accused of being vanilla and lacking identity. This years Lexus RX is a great redesign in that respect. They manage to push back against their detractors without losing much of what a hundred thousand buyers a year are looking for.
Now, about those self driving cars…
2016 Lexus RX 350 F Sport
3.5L V6 Engine with 295 HP
8 speed automatic transmission
0-60 6.9 seconds
$55,645 – $59,325
It seems that were are a ton of cop shows out there. Colin Quinn feels the same way. The Saturday Night Live alum recently debuted Season 2 of his popular mock docuseries Cop Show on L/Studio, the Lexus-owned digital content channel. Season 2 features guest stars Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Buscemi, Seth Meyers, Irina Shayk, Jim Norton, Steve Guttenberg and many others.
“Cop Show has gone to a new level this time. A level not thought about since Dante’s literary masterpiece,” said Colin Quinn. “Cop Show is to the cops what The Godfather is to the mafia. Most shows get so caught up in trying to entertain, they forget what they’re really supposed to be doing.”
Following the success of season 1, L/Studio picked up the comedic Web series for two more seasons, a 16-episode order that demonstrates the platform’s commitment to support passion projects and deliver creative entertainment. Watch the second season, and catch up on season 1, here: http://www.lstudio.com/.
The 2016 North American International Auto Show has been creating a buzz of excitement with the recent cars that were revealed for the first time. Lexus is no stranger to having people flock to their presentations. When the Lexus LF-LC Concept debuted at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, the press, loyal customers, and enthusiasts wondered if the concept’s arresting styling and dramatic proportions could ever evolve into a production 2+2 coupe. Today, four years after the debut of the breakthrough concept that inspired it, Lexus has revealed the all-new LC 500 luxury coupe. This provocative, athletic flagship coupe makes the strongest statement yet about Lexus’ future product direction.
The past five years have seen Lexus evolve rapidly with the creation of the luxury brand’s globally-focused organization, Lexus International. Exciting new models involving elevated levels of emotional styling and dynamic driving characteristics such as NX, RC, and IS have also helped Lexus’ brand shift with consumers. Akio Toyoda has been at the center of the Lexus global expansion, personally driving a heightened level of collaboration among design, engineering and marketing teams to help build a luxury brand better suited to meet the needs of the next generation of consumers.
“The LC 500 has been an important product for Lexus and me personally,” said Akio Toyoda, Chief Branding Officer and Master Driver for Lexus. “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.”
Beyond its styling and impactful performance, the new LC 500 serves as a symbol of the achievement that can result from heightened collaboration between design and engineering groups and their commitment to help overcome each other’s hurdles. When Akio Toyoda challenged these development groups to produce this special car, it meant surpassing many manufacturing, design, material, and dynamic obstacles that could typically compromise a vehicle’s targets or design vision.
The LC 500 was driven by a strong, appealing fundamental design target (LF-LC), and engineering teams worked tirelessly to find new solutions to maintain as much of the concept in the production car as possible. Likewise, vehicle designers were very involved from the earliest stages of the dynamic development process to understand the engineering targets and collaborate with design viewpoints and potential solutions. With LC 500, additional levels of prototype vehicle build also allowed both teams to better study design or engineering ideas and refine key elements. For Lexus, the LC 500 project became much more than simply the development of a new coupe. The LC 500, with the shift in engineering processes and design ideologies it represents, symbolizes the beginning of a new phase for the Lexus brand.
“Design and engineering sides worked together on issues and obstacles that were overcome one by one. I feel we achieved something greater than simply preserving the spirit of the concept’s design,” said Chief Engineer Koji Sato.
For those who never got that remote control they always wanted for Christmas this is for you. Check out the Lexus RC F Ready-To-Run Remote Control Car. It sells for $350.00 and is created exclusively for Barneys, the limited-edition Lexus RC F remote control sports car is this year’s ultimate holiday toy for kids big and small.
This miniature, high-performance vehicle is built on an all-wheel drive Apex chassis and driven by the powerful Reedy 3300k V 540 brushless motor. High-grip racing tires wrapped around 20-spoke rims put that power to the ground, and detailed brake components complete the aggressive look.
The Barneys-only edition of this performance coupe replica features fully operational LED headlights and taillights in a silver and black finish, colors that aren’t available anywhere else. The vehicle is fully assembled and ready-to-run with batteries included.
The Lexus RC F remote control car is approximately 16.0″ length x 7.5″ width x 5.5″ height, and recommended for those ages 14 and up. This specialty holiday gift item is only available in the Barneys New York holiday catalog, in the retailer’s New York and Beverly Hills stores and on Barneys.com.
Lexus jumps head first into the luxury coupe marketplace with the inaugural version of the RC-F.
Something I learned right away, the Lexus RC-F is not a “sporty” car.
It does not have “racing inspired” handling or a “peppy” engine. This was not going to be a review about a car with “sport in its DNA”. With rear wheel drive, a big front engine and tires made for canyon carving, the 2015 Lexus RC-F is a legitimate sports car with the stones to make some moves on the perennial champion BMW M4.
Looking at the RC-F is an interesting experience. I alternated characters in my language, inventing The Autosommelier, “Big and vibrant with pepper on the nose” The Horse Track Announcer Guy-”Look at the strength in the rear quarter” and the Lexus PR Guy -”In addition to the trademarked spindle grill which emphasizes the humble roots of the Lexus brand, the 2015 Lexus RC-F embraces the challenges…”
After an hour or two of this I started doing some research. Turns out, the familiar look was easily explained. The front half borrows heavily from its little brother, the GS and the back of the car is taken from the IS and IS convertible. If the people of California and Western Nevada are any indication the look of the car is a big success. I was approached at every gas station and grocery store parking lot I visited.. Men and women alike wanted to ask about the car and talk about the cars they’ve owned over the years. One woman in Mojave made the very astute observation that it reminds her of a bigger, stronger Mazda 6. Good catch by Patty from Lancaster. Not an immediate comparison but an accurate one with a tilt of the head and a squint of the eyes. Motortrend called it a Frankencoup, which technically is accurate, I guess.
In spite of, or maybe because of its blended frame and considerable heft, the Lexus RC-F manages a bold and impressive look. The flare of the lower front and the brake cooling vents anchor a line that sweeps over the hood with length and grace. Whenever the design threatens to become too fluid and ladylike another element rolls its shoulders and takes its seat.
In a word, the car is hot.
5.0 Liter Naturally Aspirated V8 with a 471hp engine.
In a Lexus.
I drove in constant fear of speed traps. At one point I had convinced myself that I was about to be pulled over for the smart ass move of driving at exactly the speed limit. Driving 65 in an RC-F feels like some rude joke. I drafted mental letters to State Senators, deploring them to consider an Autobahn approach to California travel. While the man had me down I debated the societal benefits of speed limits vs a merit based approach. With myself.
I did not pass others, I dismissed them. I spent hours in cruise control only to burst out with the flick of a toe. I felt like Mike Trout in a high school game. These fools can’t hang with me. I toy with them out of boredom and necessity, planning my jail breaks with some police per mile hack algebra and a prayer they wouldn’t double up on me. 0-65 is nice (4.4 seconds) but what about 65-100? And beyond? Not that I would… right?
Truth is the car is fast. It’s always waiting for you. It wants you to speed. It challenges you to speed. The struggle is real. Somehow I survived the week without a ticket. . In dash lap times and G-Force vectors help nudge you to a private track. On a long enough timeline, if you own this car, you will end up taking a track day. It’s inevitable. They should be sold with a day at the autocross. Lexus can contact me for more marketing ideas. They know where to find me.
On straightaways and mountain curves the RC-F performed very well. The TVD (Torque Vectoring Differential) settings of “track” and “slalom” made for miles of fun testing the difference in power and throttle availability over the road. Ultimately I spent more time in “Slalom”, I found it well balanced and suited for many road conditions. The nimble steering is responsive and accurate, the brakes effective and stable.
The 8 speed automatic transmission performed best in sport and sport + modes. At times I felt like I was waking it up from a cat nap when in “ECO” or “Normal”. It got there, it just took an extra second. The paddle shifters and manual style hand shifter give nice engine control in the hills and turns and reverts back to full automatic in an intuitive amount of time.
Stylish and functional interior design with luxury level comfort in a sports coupe. No real departures from the accessible luxury you expect from the Lexus brand. The automatic seats kept me comfortable for a pair of day long drives and the high bolstering held me in close during the more aggressive drives. The infotainment system relies on a mostly successful app suite that integrates your phone’s data connection. Cool dials and buttons that actually change the look and feel of the car are always fun too. In a car with primary focus on the engine and appearance, the RC-F’s interior holds up. It’s comfortable and stylish but traditional enough to offset the very bold exterior design.
5.0L 32 Valve V8
8 speed automatic transmission
10 way power seats
Lexus now has two more golfers on their sponsorship team. Who is it? The two new guys are brothers. They are George Bryan IV, age 26, and Wesley Bryan, age 24. For those who don’t know the Bryan Brothers are trick-shot golf masters whose videos went viral. They look to create a balance between precision and fun.
George and Wesley are known for doing unbelievable trick shots that defy logic. The Bryan Brothers hope to represent the next generation of golfers. They started filming trick shots as a hobby and now have thousands of subscribers on their YouTube channel. Their progressive approach to the game aligns with Lexus’ continued pursuit to push boundaries.
For those keeping score Lexus also currently sponsors Jason Day, Charles Howell, III, Peter Jacobsen, Mark O’Meara, Mark Pfeil, Annika Sorenstam, Natalie Gulbis, Johnny Miller, Patrick Cantlay, Billy Horshel and Jamie Sadlowski.
Check out their story below.
1. That it even exists at all
As recently as 2014 Lexus had a total of zero offerings in the “Luxury Compact SUV” class. The closest it came was the RX, an extremely comfortable and capable car that sorely lacked in the performance category. No more.
2. Looks. This cah looks wicked shahhp
The NX looks like an RX that just finished cross fit boot camp. (I know, I know, the first rule of cross fit is you
NEVER ALWAYS talk about cross fit) The NX has pinched lines, sharp flares and a very athletic stance. It’s not quite the head turner of say, the new Porsche Macan, but it’s damn close.
The 2.0L 235HP Turbo Engine gives the NX a certain punch on the road that it’s bigger siblings lack. You won’t win many races off the line but when it comes time to pass a semi you’ll find the NX is up to the task.
4. Did you say TURBO?!
Finally a turbo engine in a luxury sports model. I’m a fan.
Performance by it’s very nature means a stiffer ride. Part of the charm of a responsive car is feeling every bump and line in the pavement. The NX manages to mix luxury and sport quite nicely, the stiff body really lengthens out against the road at speed. The well constructed interior is free of rattles and noise. Little body roll in the turns and just enough road feedback to keep the driver connected.
6. The 10 Way Power Seat
Speaking of comfort, there’s that whole chair you’re sitting in thing. In what remains one of my favorite features of most new luxury cars, the seat automatically moves to your preset standards of perfection. You slide forward while the steering wheel telescopes into your waiting hands. It’s a truly personal touch, one that gives you ownership of the car from your first moments behind the wheel.
7. Electrochromic Rear and Side View Mirrors
Say it with me… Electro-Chrome-ick. Fancy way of saying Auto Dimming. You know how when you’re on the road at night and one of those gaudy new cars comes up behind and nearly blinds you? Not in the NX. The mirrors automatically dim your pursuer’s floodlights to a level that will leave your retinas unscarred.
8. Cornering LED Headlights
No more leaps of faith as you travel a dark and winding road. The headlights on the NX turn into the road with your eyes. They could also illuminate a high school football game. Yea, I’m totally a part of the problem here. On one hand I curse the masses with their search light caliber headlights, on the other hand I say to my wife, “Look at how BRIGHT THE ROAD IS HONEY!” There’s a metaphor for modern society in here somewhere. I’ll leave it to you.
9.F SPORT TRIM LEVEL
Sorry for shouting. Thing is, these Lexus’ (Lexus’s? Lexi?) that I test drive are almost all the F Sport trim level. That means a veritable paragraph of features that aren’t available on the base model. Features like cornering headlights, 18” sport wheels and Drive Mode Select. If you’re one of the few and proud to read every car review I’ve ever written (hi Mom!) you’ll remember Drive Mode Select. While the NX lacks the S+ mode that its more nimble cousins have, the S mode on the dial definitely creates a different driving experience. The gears stretch longer, the engine revs louder and the car takes off just a little bit faster on command. Drive Mode Select lets you choose between the smooth and safe fuel economy of ECO, the traditional stability of Normal or the “Get me the heck out of here” oomph of Sport mode.
Lexus continues to embrace technological advancements in the NX. Standard back up camera and Infotainment system meet optional features like “Qi- Compatible” Wireless Charger in stride and help to create a largely intuitive and nearly seamless integration of modern technology into your drive.
Loaded with airbags and crumple zones, the best safety features are the ones that keep you out of an accident in the first place. Blind spot monitoring and Rear cross Traffic Alert join forces to keep you more aware of your surroundings than the naked eye ever could.
12. Intuitive Parking Assist
I don’t wrestle any bears and have never wielded an axe in battle but in todays urban battlefield, skills like parallel parking hold as much value as medieval warfare did in its time. The Intuitive Park Assist feature helps anyone become the William Wallace of parallel parking. Not that I needed it, I’m a tough guy. It was nice though, I could get used to it. Hey I’d like to see Mr. Wallace street park at Venice Beach on a holiday weekend.
13. Paddle Shifters
Paddle shifters get better every year. I use them constantly on the road to regulate my speed without moving my feet. These shifters changed gears seamlessly and instantly, reducing speed and increasing RPM’s with the flick of your hand.
Price? Am I about to say “only” about an extravagant sum of money? No! Ok, Maybe! You can buy a brand spanking new reasonably equipped Lexus NXt for $34k. Not bad at all if you consider what it stacks up against. Only the Acura RDX starts lower priced amongst it’s peers. A recent ranking by US News and World Report had the NX ranked at #2 in the class overall. The 1st place finisher starts at $50k. A fully maxed NX comes in shy of that by almost seven thousand dollars at $43k. Good value for the luxury segment.
Lexus must have heard the chorus of well fed writers quibbling about it’s standard infotainment system and Enform App Suite. I was one of them. The Remote Touch controller is still far from perfect but it’s certainly better than last year’s model. The ergonomic wrist support is a nice touch, the intuition of the mouse tracker is vastly improved and the entire interface is more useful and pleasant to interact with. Year to year improvement on a software and hardware level? I’ll take it.
Inspired by its social community’s overwhelming response to online videos posted just late last week, Lexus will be airing a new spot during the Super Bowl pre-game.
This spot features the remote-control car performing drift stunts and is then joined by a full-size RC 350. The spot ends by inviting viewers to see more amazing remote-control videos from Drift44 online, among them parallel parking, bowling, and one of the most amazing match-lighting techniques ever!
This video features a 1/10-scale remote-control version of Lexus’ first ever RC F performance coupe in amazing live-action drift stunts by remote-control expert Drift44.
We thought it was cool and we wanted to share it with you!