Lexus is launching their long awaited small crossover at this month’s Beijing Auto Show. Dubbed the NX, it will be the first Lexus product with a turbocharged engine.
Several Toyota models dominated this year’s Consumer Reports list of used car recommendations, with 11 out of 28 overall belonging to the automaker’s Scion, Lexus and namesake brands.
Last time TTAC looked at the Lexus GS Hybrid, Jack and I descended upon Vegas, drank too much, shared too much and one of us got purse-slapped (it wasn’t Jack). In other news, Jack found the GS a willing partner on the track, I kept drawing comparisons to the Volvo S80 T6 and Hyundai Genesis, and both of us agreed the GS 450h would be the car we’d buy. Despite telling you all that we would have a full review in “a few months,” it has in fact been “a few years.” Since that pair of articles hit, the luxury hybrid landscape has changed dramatically.
Though quality and performance have improved as of late for products made by the Detroit Three, they still have a ways to go to beat the Japanese brands dominating Consumer Reports‘ current rankings.
The 2014 Chicago Auto Show marks the 25th anniversary of the introduction of two of God’s most perfect creations: The Mazda Miata and the Acura NSX. Long-time readers will know that I have a strong affinity for both of these cars. The Miata was the first car I ever owned, while the NSX remains a focal point in my relationship with the automobile.
Both Infiniti and Lexus know how to ruin a car. The Lexus GS 450h and the Infiniti M Hybrid are what results from taking a fundamentally good car and adding a bustle full of batteries. It’s more galling now because of what’s happened to these two. For years, both the M and the GS were mildly interesting also-rans that couldn’t compete with the established segment leaders on any measure but price/value. But now, you’ve got an Eastern Jaguar and a crisp Arleigh-Burke class sedan that are mounting a more credible challenge against the benchmark Germans. The M and GS have learned how to control dynamics to deliver the Patris, fillii et Spiritius Sancti of performance, handling and luxury. Hybrid versions of these cars seriously blunt the excellence, and it’s a damn shame.
From the same division that birthed the Lexus IS-F and LFA comes the RC-F Coupe, which will turn up next week during the 2014 Detroit Auto Show to punch both BMW and Mercedes-AMG in the face.
It’s happened, all in a neat confluence of threes. By my decree, the third generation of the Lexus IS has surpassed the BMW 3 Series. While BMW has been busying itself creating niches for increasingly grotesque vehicle-type-things, Lexus has turned out a pair of legitimately great sports sedans, first in the GS and now in the new 2014 IS. This from a company who’s top sellers are Camry cousins.
OK, so the granddaddy of oval car logos must be the Ford blue oval, but they sure do have a lot of imitators. So, how about a Vellum Venom on Comparative Oval Logos in the Automotive Industry? Or if you don’t like this pitch, maybe put Sanjeev on it. I bet he’d do this article. (Read More…)
Speaking at a preview event for the next-generation Hyundai Genesis, Hyundai CEO John Krafcik defended his company’s decision to forgo establishing a seperate luxury channel for cars like the Genesis and Equus. While the rationale put forth usually revolves around the exorbitantly expensive pricetag for launching a new brand and an all-new sales network, Krafcik put it from another angle.
While other automotive sites are patting themselves on the back for their comprehensive blanket coverage of the Los Angeles and Tokyo Auto Show, the TTAC Staff robot has been burning the midnight oil to bring you news from the third major auto show being held this week, Auto Guangzhou, held in China’s third largest city. While not yet at the rank of LA and Tokyo, the Guangzhou show is major enough that Lexus decided to debut the new Lexus CT200h, the first major update to Toyota’s luxury version of the Prius hybrid since the CT200h was introduced in 2010. It gets cosmetic changes, being the last Lexus model to get the corporate “spindle” grille, as well as better structural rigidity, suspension refinements, better aero and improved NVH levels. Despite the sportier look, the CT200h continues with the same 134 horsepower 1.8 liter version of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system, driving the car through a continuously variable transmission. Lexus estimates EPA gas mileage of 43/40 mpg city/highway and 42 mpg combined. Lexus is offering the CT200h in red for the first time, and you can also opt for a two-tone finish with a contrasting black roof. (Read More…)
Toyota has been teasing a Lexus coupe for a couple of years now with the LF-FC concepts. At the Tokyo Auto Show introduced two versions of the new RC coupe, one oriented towards performance, the other with green cred, slated to go on sale some time in 2014. Based on the GS platform, the RC 350 sports a 314 horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 gasoline engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid RC 300h, has a combined 217 hp, from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine matched with a 105 kw electric motor, driving through a continuously variable transmission. Both RCs use double wishbones up front and a multilink rear suspension.
After taking a sales hit due to tsunami-related production woes, Lexus has been trying to regain their mojo with a new product offensive. Things started out with the new Lexus GS sedan that Jack Baruth and I loved on and off the track, followed by a revised RX. With the redesigned IS, the bulk of their lineup has been overhauled. Initially, I was a little concerned that the Lexus IS sedan would receive nothing more than a new nose and some LED lights for 2014 but the Japanese 3-Series fighter came out swinging when we were invited to the launch event earlier in the year. I came away impressed with the IS 350′s road manners, but most buyers will be shopping for the less powerful IS 250 and it’s taken us this long to get our hands on one.