In 1989 Toyota launched something the world had never seen before, a Lexus. Six years earlier, Toyota Chairman Eiji Toyoda called a secret meeting where he posed the question, Can Toyota produce a luxury vehicle that is capable of taking on the best that the world, mainly Germany, has to offer? Immediately after the team of engineers, designers and marketing professionals commenced Toyota’s billion dollar F1 program. The result of their Flagship 1 program, the Lexus LS 400 was a luxury vehicle that would expand Toyota’s product line, securing the Japanese automaker a foothold in the premium automobile segment and provide both longtime Toyota and soon to be luxury car customers an upscale offering from Japan. That same year sales figures for the German luxury automobile manufacturers BMW and Mercedes-Benz dropped 29% and 19% respectively in the U.S. market. The luxury car was widely praised for its well-appointed and ergonomic interior, engine performance, build quality and value when it was introduced stateside with a very affordable $38,000 price tag.
Twenty years have passed and the Lexus LS is still being praised. The Japanese luxury car maker now operates its own design, engineering, and manufacturing centers, solely responsible for the production of Lexus vehicles. The model that started it all, the LS, is in its fourth generation and looking better than ever.
Lexus is sick of having people still think that the company is just a German wannabe, and the best way to put that idea to bed is with a performance car big enough for an executive and all of his/her "yes" men.
Although the plans for the GS-F and the LF-A have been delayed, it seems that Toyota’s luxury brand is still planning a high performance "F" version of the LS sedan. The LS-F might even get some serious muscle if it receives the V10 engine from the LF-A (hey, Lexus has got to get its money’s worth somewhere.)
Then again maybe Lexus does know what its doing. A few Lexus executives told Autoblog that the IS-F outsold both the Mercedes-Benz C63 and BMW M3 sedan last month.
Lexus unveiled the AWD version of its luxury LS 460 at the Moscow Motor Show, and today the company announced it will be available on the US market starting October. The AWD system will be available for both LS 460 and LS 460 L versions.
The AWD LS 460 and LS 460 L are powered by a 4.6-liter V8 mated to the world’s first eight-speed automatic transmission - identical to its rear-wheel drive equivalent. The AWD versions will produce 357 horsepower and 344 lb.-ft of torque and can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in about 5.9 seconds.
During normal driving conditions, the front and rear torque distribution ratio is set at a rear-bias 40:60. The total variation in the AWD system can vary between 30:70 and 50:50 depending on driving conditions.
Lexus unveiled today at the Moscow Motor Show the LS 460 All-Wheel Drive, a new version that will go on sale starting November.
The all-wheel drive system is a three differential configuration featuring a highly compact TORSEN® Limited Slip Differential (LSD) – shared with the LS 600h - which distributes drive torque between the front and rear axles with a 40:60 rear axle bias in torque distribution.
Under the hood there is a 4.6-liter V8 engine that delivers 381 hp (same as in the standard model).
Lexus is celebrating double success in the 2008 Fleet World Honours, winning the Security Award and, for the second year running, the Best Luxury Car title for the LS.
The Security Award reflects Lexus’s attention to detail in providing the highest levels of protection against theft of or from its vehicles, a commitment that is also recognised by high ratings from Thatcham, the UK insurance industry’s research body.
George Emmerson, chairman of the judging panel, said Lexus “does more than anyone else in the market” in terms of effective anti-theft provisions.
Retaining its Best Luxury Car title confirms the Lexus LS’s status as a flagship limousine that delivers exceptional comfort, refinement and technical brilliance, not least in the seamless performance of the hybrid power LS 600h.
When Lexus launched the luxury LS600h they expected to sell around 2000 units all around the world, mainly because the hybrid model is quite expensive: you need to pay more than $100.000 for a fully equipped car.
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If you were waiting for the June to come to get your new Lexus LS 600h L, you will be upset to hear that Toyota has decided to delay the production with at least one month. This means that you won’t see the luxury hybrid sedan into sale until late July or early August. Toyota officials in Japan did not give a reason for the delay.
"It was to be late spring or early summer," Greg Thome said. "Now they’ve said that it’s going to be summer."
The hybrid-drive system in the LS 600h L builds (...) > Full story
How easy is for you to choose the sexist man or woman in the world. I’m sure is not that hard with women like Angelina Jolie or Jessica Alba, and with men like Sean Connery or Brad Pitt. But they are unique, in the cars world is totally different. Because there are multiple Ferraris, Mercedes, Aston Martins, Porsches, Audis and many many more. So which one is the sexist from all this?
To make it easier for you, Forbes made their own list with the top ten sexiest cars: Sexiest Car for (...) > Full story