Rumors about Lexus working on a new generation IS sedan have been around for awhile, but this is the first time a mule of the next IS has been caught testing. The mule is still wearing a modified body of the current generation, but it sits on a new platform, a new drivetrain, and a new suspension.
This beginner mule was the first move towards keeping the new design language hidden from all of us camera-happy journalists, but it still can’t keep us from speculating a bit on the new model. The next IS will feature the same design language as the recently announced GS and LS. Under the hood, it has been rumored to feature a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder and/or a 3.6-liter flat-6 engine. The 2014 Lexus IS F will continue with a high-powered V-8 with an output of more than 400 HP. The IS-F will sprint from 0 to 60 mph sprint in about 4.5 seconds and will hit a top speed of about 170 mph.
The idea of supply and demand has always been a key ingredient in any successful business, and automakers know that just as much as any leading entrepreneur currently raking in millions of dollars. Take Lexus, for example. Their LF-A took some heat for being much more expensive than leading supercars in the market, but the company didn’t have any problems finding customers to hand over the $375,000 for it, instead of dishing out the $225,000 for the Ferrari 458 Italia. Bottomline, this was Japan’s first supercar ever and only 500 units were going to be built, meaning people will pay for exclusivity, no matter the cost.
Now it seems as though Lexus is taking the demand for the Lexus LF-A to a whole new level by working on a second generation for the LF-A with double the features and only one fifth of the units. Needless to say, the price for this bad boy just jumped to double the original. A source close to the company has passed information along to AutoGuide stating that the upcoming LF-A II will be vastly more impressive in terms of performance, but will also be vastly more expensive. This source confirmed that the new supercar will deliver a significantly higher performance level, but the price will be somewhere in the range of $800,000 to $1 million. Oh and the number of units dwindled down to 100 in case math isn’t your strong suit.
This is one of those cases where we think some customers may just settle for the first generation.
The Lexus RX range entered the market back in 1998 and, in 2005, a hybrid version was offered for the first time. Now, the RX 450h has been redesigned for the 2013 model year with a new, more elegant and aggressive frontal design, as well as a new Sport mode, supplementing the full hybrid powertrain’s Normal, Eco, and EV (electric only) drive modes.
The new Lexus RX 450h has received a bold, elegant, and highly individual frontal treatment which was inspired by the latest generation GS sedan. Lexus has combined the trapezoid upper grille and slanted lower grille into just one element, while the lower grille now features horizontal bars and is finished in black. The rear lamp clusters have been redesigned with a stronger, more sweeping horizontal emphasis.
Under the hood, Lexus placed the usual 3.5-liter V-6 engine combined with two electric motors for a total of 295 HP. However, compared to the previous model, the RX 450h adds a new Sport mode that further improves the performance and dynamic ability of the RX 450h.
UPDATE 04/10/2012: Lexus has announced the US prices for the 2013 RX450h set to arrive in dealerships this month. The RX 450h FWD version will be priced from $45,910, while the AWD version will be priced $47,310, an increase of 1.5% and 1.0% respectively over the previous year.
Hit the jump to read more about the new Lexus RX 450h. Full story
Lexus unveiled the fifth generation ES luxury sedan in 2006 and has battled it out with the Buick LaCrosse ever since. Now, the sixth generation ES has made its debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show in hopes of getting the upperhand on the LaCrosse.
Next to a progressive new design and enhanced handling, the sixth generation ES will be offered for the first time with Lexus Hybrid Drive that offers an incredible 40 mpg. The standard ES350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine with Dual VVT-i combined with a six-speed automatic driving the front wheels.
The exterior design looks similar to the recently announced GS: a new spindle grille, new LED daytime running lights, dual exhaust pipes in the rear bumper, and an integrated spoiler. On the interior, the instrument panel also resembles the one in the GS. It features a big LCD screen and the Lexus Remote Touch Interface controller.
UPDATE 04/05/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images for the Lexus ES.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Lexus ES350 and the ES 300h. Full story
There are a lot of new car scams in the world and most of them are initiated by the new car dealer, not the buyer. A group of buyers flipped the script on several Los Angeles dealerships, by using fake identities to purchase 20 cars and were shipping them to Hong Kong and Vietnam to sell them for two to three times their U.S. value.
It was a laundry list of luxury vehicles, such as a $280,000 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia, an Audi Quattro, 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, along with several Mercedes, Lexus, Infiniti, and BMW SUVs among others. For some reason, the thieves even threw in a Toyota Tundra.
The one that got these fraudsters busted was the Ferrari 458 Italia, as Ferrari fitted the supercar with a GPS system as standard, which Ferrari used to track the car once they found out they were defrauded. This led U.S. Customs and the California highway Patrol to conduct a full investigation and find the cars on a ship that had already pulled away from the port.
Needless to say, that ship was forced to come back and all but four of the cars were recovered. The four non-recovered cars are due to be shipped back by Vietnamese Customs.
According to the report, had the fraudsters not gone after the Ferrari, chances are they would have gotten away with this scam and made a ton of money in the process. The total amount of the vehicles seized by U.S. customs is estimated at $1.5 million, which would have pulled in around $3 million in Hong Kong and Vietnam.
We are still trying to figure out what in the world a Toyota Tundra was doing in the mix with all of these high-end luxury cars. We also wonder which thief drew the short straw and was stuck going to the Toyota dealership to pick this thing up?
A few days ago, Lexus Product Planning Chief, Karl Schlicht, offered up a few new details on the upcoming Lexus GS-F and confirmed that there was a 99% chance of them actually putting into production. With such a solid future ahead of the sports sedan, we had to get to the drawing board to sketch the future model.
The future Lexus GS-F will be offered as a competitor for models like the BMW M5 and the Mercedes E63 AMG. It will be powered by same V8 engine as found in the IS-F, but upgraded to deliver somewhere in the 450 HP range. As for the exterior changes, expect to see a raised hood, large brake cooling ducts, LED headlights, functional front fender air outlets with lower edges, four exhaust diffusers (two per side in a vertical arrangement), and 19" light alloy wheels.
Let us know what you think of the 2013 Lexus GS-F in the comments section below!
The Lexus LF-A Nurburgring Edition has been out for quite some time now, but the US market has just received its first unit. Lexus has placed a set of images of the first LF-A Nurburgring Edition during the car’s official delivery on the US land on their Facebook page.
While most may remember the Nurburgring package when it was placed on an LF-A with very cool orange exterior finish, it looks like the American customer opted for a white exterior paint combined with a bare carbon roof and a contrasting red interior. It still looks pretty amazing, though.
While a standard LF-A will cost you $375,000, the optional Nurbrugring Package will add an extra $70,000. For the money, customers will get an extra 10 HP and numerous carbon fiber elements: a larger front spoiler, fin-type side spoilers, and a fixed rear wing. The car has already lapped the famous Nurburgring in only 7 minutes and 14 seconds, so it’s definitely worth the money being dished out!
When Lexus unveiled the IS-F back in 2008, the world seemed to be impressed. While German automakers pointed and laughed at it, the model climbed its way up to be strong competitor on the market, and now Lexus is preparing another model fit to give its German competitors more reasons to fear. The Japanese market is preparing to launch the GS-F, a model that will take on vehicles like the BMW M5 and the Mercedes E63 AMG.
This isn’t the first time we see something about the GS-F, but this time, its official: an F version will be launched with the new generation GS set to be revealed sometime in 2012.
Expect the future GS-F to combine design elements from the future generation GS and F elements from the IS-F sports sedan. Under the hood there will be the same V8 engine as found in the IS-F, but upgraded to deliver somewhere in the 450 HP range.
UPDATE 03/26/2012: In an interview with Autocar, Karl Schlicht has offered new details on the production version GS-F super sedan. According to him, a final decision is yet to be made, but Lexus would love to see it put into production as "the final piece in a five-part product strategy to boost Lexus’s image and its sporting credentials." He also said that, if approved, the "GS-F would be as much a potent grand tourer as an out-and-out focused driving tool."
UPDATE 03/28/2012: Today we have a new rendering for you for the upcoming Lexus GS-F.
Hit the jump to read more about the future Lexus GS-F. Full story
On the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, the only supercar the Japanese market is currently offering was the star: the Lexus LF-A (that is, of course, if you don’t consider the Nissan GT-R a supercar). With only 170 units allocated for the US market, finding this car for something even as minor as a test is going to be rather difficult, but if anyone can do it, Leno can.
Jay Leno, next to Road & Track’s Patrick Hong, had the chance to review the LF-A and, most importantly, got to take it out on the road for a test drive. Find out whether he enjoyed the ride or not by watching the video!
As a refresher: the Lexus LF-A is powered by a 4.8 liter V10 that delivers a maximum output of 560 HP at 9,000 RPM and a peak torque of 354 lb-ft at 6,800 RPM. It can sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3.7 seconds and can hit a top speed of 202 MPH.
For the first time in Lexus history, Lexus is offering the full 2013 RX model range with another variant: an F-Sport package. Sitting beside the new RX F-Sport in the Lexus stand at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show was the new RX 450h F-Sport, along with both of their standard models. As is typical of any vehicle carrying the stylish F-Sport package, the RX 450h F-Sport gets enhanced dynamics and sporting character to try and attract more buyers.
The new F-Sport package adds a new front bumper with a bigger lower section, an aerodynamic spoiler for improved high speed stability, and F-Sport upper and lower grilles to the hybrid SUV. It also comes standard with an exclusive set of 19" shaded alloy wheels and a front wing with F-Sport badging.
The interior gets black, smooth leather upholstery with white grey perforations and contrast stitching, steel silver painted trim inserts, and a black ceiling. For the performance upgrades, Lexus has added a lateral performance damper system, which is designed to absorb and minimize undesirable body vibrations. This system features a front performance damper connecting the left and right front suspension towers, and a rear damper connecting the left and right sides of the rear lower back panel.