What started off as an F-Sport package for a few of Lexus’ models may just be taking off into a full line of sporty offerings from the luxury automaker. At first it was the Lexus IS-F getting all of the attention and then it was announced that the recently launched GS350 would also be getting its own F-version . Now, a new prototype caught testing at the Nurburgring is raising some eyebrows, particularly ours.
This sporty looking ride taking some test laps looks a bit like the luxury LS sedan, possibly in an F version. It was seen with Toyota Cologne plates and was stationed at the Toyota/Lexus garage at the Nürburgring which points to a true model variation and not the work of an aftermarket tuner.
So why an F version for the Lexus LS? Well, Lexus has been making some aggressive moves towards targeting the sportier models of its main competitors, competitors that have long mastered the combination of luxury and extreme performance - AKA BMW.
If our guess is on par, then we’re looking at an F-variant offering much more than the 380 HP and 367 lb-ft of torque coming out of the standard LS’ 4.6 liter V8. Following along with the theme of the IS-F and possibly the GS-F, the LS-F could be carrying the same 5.0 liter V8 engine developing around 450 HP.
This year has been a little lackluster for Lexus in terms of beating our their competition, but the luxury end of Toyota is getting back on track for what it says will be a couple of exciting years. With all its latest innovations, Lexus is planning a few big things to battle it out against the likes of BMW and Mercedes. This includes a full refresh of its luxury sedans, as well as a kick-the-competition-in-the-ass LF-A Roadster.
The passenger-car lineup will be made over by the spring of 2013, as the GS , ES , IS , and LS sedans will all be either redesigned or re-engineered. However, the biggest gun in the arsenal will be the LF-A supercar . The 500 units for the current LF-A coupe will be finished by 2013, then a roadster version will be unveiled in 2014. This model was actually previewed by the LF-A Roadster concept unveiled in 2008, but the production version will feature the company’s latest design language. Lexus hasn’t said anything about the more powerful version of their LF-A supercar rumored a while ago, but we hope that will be their secret weapon somewhere down the line.
In addition to the sedan redo and the drop top LF-A, Lexus also has plans for the future GS-F performance edition and the LS . The company has said that the high-performance version will not feature a conventional V8 engine, but a hybrid drivetrain. The LS will also be redesigned in 2013 - it will get weight-saving technology using premium materials and a new, more economical engine.
Lexus struck it big with the Royal Wedding when it was announced that Prince Albert of Monaco would be riding in an LS 600H for the royal affair. The experience must have been exquisite for the Prince because Lexus has created a Landaulet version of the hybrid for him to ride in with his future wife, Miss Charlene Wittstock, during their very own wedding.
The Lexus LS 600h Landaulet will be a one-off coach built limousine equipped with a one-piece transparent polycarbonate roof. This roof took about 2,000 hours to be completed with the help of a French company that specializes in supplying similar components to the aerospace industry, such as helicopter windscreens and fighter jet canopies. The building process was extensive because a honeycomb structure and carbon fiber template was created first to validate the roof’s shape and structural integrity and to ensure a perfect fit with tolerances of less than 1mm. Once the design was complete, robotic tools were used to produce the canopy and fit it to the Landaulet in a completely automated process. The final stage of the conversion, re-assembly, and finishing took a team of 10 specialists working with Lexus engineers more than two weeks to complete, to ensure the highest quality levels were achieved. The final product is a roof that is just 57 lbs and is fixed to the body through two intermediary parts which allow for a perfect view in and out of the car.
Check out the Lexus Landaulet and the second royal wedding this year on July 2nd!
Lexus wants a piece of the younger market pie just as much as the next full size sedan automaker. However, it seems as if the Japanese luxury automaker doesn’t have much in the way of successful options, so they’re left with attaching the words "Touring Edition" to their bland LS 460. The special, limited edition LS 460 Touring Edition will be available on the US market and will be offered in both Rear Wheel Drive and All-Wheel Drive versions. Sales will begin in late June/early July with prices starting at $73,000.
Not much changes for the LS 460 Touring Edition, which falls in nicely with the fact that the standard LS hasn’t changed much with time anyway. What the special edition does get is a Smoky Granite Mica exterior, a sport kit and grille, and 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels. The interior gets a touch more luxurious with black and tan leather-trimmed sports seats, a wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, matte brown wood trim, and premium floor mats. For a new sport trim, these changes aren’t all that exciting.
Mark Templin, Lexus Division group vice president and general manager said: "The Touring Edition adds excitement to our flagship sedan. The package on this car enhances styling and comfort, allowing us to attract younger buyers to the LS line-up. The LS 460 Touring Edition is a unique package of sporty exterior styling and comfort. With limited units available nationwide they’ll sell out fast to customers who want an all-inclusive luxury package."
BMW may have been joking when they came out with their M3 Royal Edition , but this next car, sadly, is no joke at all. Among the many cars used during the royal ceremony taking place between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, Prince Albert II of Monaco and his future wife, Miss Charlene Wittstock, will be riding along in a Lexus LS600h . This event will probably top any and all of Lexus’ marketing efforts for the hybrid sedan, so top execs over there are probably giggling like school girls with excitement.
This specially prepared LS600h will feature integrated flashing lights, a royal insignia, and an "MC 01" license plate. Under the hood there will be the standard 5.0-liter V8 petrol engine combined with an electric motor for a total output of 439 HP.
"His Serene Highness takes a keen interest in encouraging innovative solutions for environmental protection and sustainable development around the world, founding the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation in 2006. His Foundation supports more than 150 projects monitoring environmental evolution and protecting species endangered by climate change. It also provides assistance in water management in developing regions. With its pioneering state-of-the-art full hybrid technology delivering class-leading CO2 efficiency and environmental performances, Lexus is pleased to contribute to the objectives defined by His Serene Highness and to help the Principality of Monaco to become an international reference in terms of sustainable mobility."
Now all Lexus has to do is sit back and watch sales numbers peak.
Aftermarket extraordinaire, Wald International, is pulling out all the stops with the release of another styling package to go along with their masterful work on the Rolls Royce Phantom Extend Wheelbase . Though it’s not as luxurious as the Phantom, the Lexus LS600h and the LS600hL are shiny pieces of rides in their own right. And that’s before Wald International does its magic.
Once the tuning company adds their new “Sports Line Black Bison” package, then you end up with a sparkling sedan that’s as beautiful as it is imposing. Among the additions that make up the Wald International package, the LS600h was given a new front bumper spoiler, new side steps, sports fender ducts, LED daytime running lights, a new rear bumper spoiler, a roof spoiler, a trunk spoiler (Version 2), a new exhaust system, and a new set of black rims that complements the stealthy black exterior paint finish.
As a hybrid vehicle, Wald International spared any changes done on the powertrain, which means that the car retains the same 5.0-liter V8 gas engine and 165kW electric motor as the standard model. This powertrain, in turn, produces an output of 439 horsepower and 520Nm of torque with a top speed of 130 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds.
We’re rounding the bend on the first season of Top Gear USA and although it may have started off slow, the show is really getting into a groove and improving with every episode. If there was one thing we would want to complain about at this point in time is the continuous references to Top Gear USA NOT being a reality TV show. Okay, Adam, we get it, this is real TV and not just some lame attempt at sneaking a peek at rehearsed "real" lives. Let’s move on now, please.
In this episode, Tanner Foust is given a break from losing at competitions so that the other guys can get a feel for what it’s like to compete against a much slower mode of transportation and still lose. Tim Allen makes a spirited and entertaining guest as he tries his hand at the Suzuki SX4 and the guys try their hand at selling used cars, all while wearing some questionable attire.
Hit the jump to get the details on this week’s episode of Top Gear USA.
The Lexus LS has been the brand’s flagship for quite awhile now, but the car just lacks the style and finesse needed to really impress. Thankfully, tuners out there are getting their jobs done and preparing tuning packages to awe and inspire. We have already had a kit done for the Lexus LS460 by Job Design , and now we are getting a second one from the guys over at Platinum Motorsport. It may have less features than the package by Job, but it is rather impressive nonetheless.
The American tuner is offering a new front bumper with a performance-inspired lower area, a new front grille, and new side skirts. The rear bumper was left unchanged, but a new set of 22" Agetro W150 rims in a multi-spoke design were added to complete the design. The car’s exterior is painted in an impressive pearlescent blue finish that makes the car look more elegant than ever.
Like most of their other projects, Platinum Motorsport has left the engine for the LS460 untouched, but luxury is the name of the game for this Lexus, so we doubt many of its owners will be concerned with a boost in power. The standard V8 with 380 hp and 367 lb.-ft. of peak torque is more than enough.
It’s not very often we get the chance to see a beautifully tuned Lexus simply because the luxury behind every one of these high end Japanese cars exudes from their every nut and bolt. But if you want to take a luxury sedan like the Lexus LS 460 and turn it into something more than a family lugger, then Job Design may have a tuning package that’s fits your style.
The modification from ordinary to sporty begins with a new set of 22" VIP Modular wheels in a 5 spoke design and a custom big brake system with 6 inch lips in the rear. The luxury sedan also receives a new set of JIC Magic FLT-TAR Coil Overs and a new Phantom Cup Kit bag-less air suspension. Splash on a clean white exterior paint job and the car is left looking a step above what it was before.
Okay, so it’s not a Lexus LF-A , but when you have screaming kids in the backseat and you’re facing bumper to bumper traffic, you can rest assured that your Lexus LS 460 is just a notch cooler than the rest.
The Lexus LS 600h from Fox Marketing won’t be the only version of the luxury sedan attending the SEMA show this year. VIP Auto Salon will also be bringing their version of the 600h, as well as a couple of other models, to wow the hybrid world with their classy tuning.
The LS 600h by VIP may not be the most eye catching of all hybrids, but VIP was able to jazz it up a bit with the use of machined black polish wheels, 21x9-inch ET 33 front and 21x10-inch ET 40 rear, and a Performance Tube Systems Joe Z Series axle back exhaust system. Other modifications include a custom air suspension, WALD Mahora M11c, and Brembo high performance front brake kit with 15-inch disk and 6-piston monoblock calipers. The interior was customized by Vip Auto Salon and Top Stitch, but no real details were given as to what was done.
No changes were made to boost the power of this luxury hybrid sedan, but if Lexus ’ goal was to prove this automobile was already fun to drive then these modifications wouldn’t be necessary. But they could have chosen a different exterior paint job. That custom PPG Hue of Macadamia doesn’t exactly scream thrilling and fun. It was probably a good idea to have two versions of this hybrid on display because we’d take Fox Marketing’s black and red version of the LS 600h before we’d even glance at this one.