Auto shows are the perfect place for an car builder to get a feel for the market by showing off the best of what they have to offer and then judge how far the hoards of automotive enthusiasts’ jaw are hanging from the floor as they stare up at these beauties on a pedestal. So aside from the Lexus LF Ch concept that we teased you with yesterday, the Japanese luxury automaker will also bring a few other new faces to the Frankfurt Motor Show in the form of a LS , a GS , an IS , and the almighty IS-F models fresh off the operating table.
The new LS600h will feature updates to the exterior as well as the desing of the interior with a new seating configuration, significantly updated equipment and enhanced driving dynamics. The 2010 GS model range features enhanced safety features, new exterior and interior colours while the GS 450h’s status as the model range flagship has now been further reinforced through several bespoke styling cues. The gas/electric Lexus GS450h remains the world’s only full hybrid model in the premium mid-size segment.
For the more compact IS model range, Lexus has added a few new features in the form of navigation and audio, two must have items for a desirable luxury car. The Japanese automaker is also offering a new F Sport trim package and the revised Lexus IS-F high performance sports sedan now comes equipped with a Limited Slip Differential. Although we are still waiting to see some more about the Evolution .
The SZ will separate itself from normal LS models by a pair of redesigned more aggressive front and rear bumpers as well as lower side sills. However the touch that sets the SZ apart from the rest of the LS sedans will be the black chrome grille. Keeping in line with the sporty theme, the sedan will also feature a Brembo high performance braking system and a set of stylish BBS alloy wheels.
According to the Japanese magazine, the car will be priced at around 9,000,000 yen (that’s about $95K). It seems like Lexus is trying to single handedly bring back the VIP trend with this factory hot rod. It appears that the LS wearing an SZ badge is nothing more than an appearance package with a nice set of shoes, but we are positive that a company like Lexus, with the racing history of Toyota, has something very special planed to go under the hood.
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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