Shortly after the Los Angeles Auto Show closes its doors, the 2012 Essen Motor Show — basically the European version of the SEMA Show — will kick off. Despite its relative coolness, the vast majority of people outside of Europe don’t pay it much attention. However, we have to tell you that this year’s edition is looking like it will be pretty amazing.
One Essen-bound model that has our automotive hearts pumping is Lexus’ LS-based TS-650 package. To make things even more interesting, Lexus has just dropped the first teaser images of this upcoming show car.
The new TS-650 prototype will feature an aerodynamics package that includes a carbon-fiber hood and several other carbon-fiber components, a set of BBS alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport tires and a set of carbon-ceramic brakes.
Under the hood there will be a 5.0-liter V-8 engine with a pair of turbochargers strapped to it. Unfortunately, the output hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we certainly hope that the "650" in its name is a reference to the horsepower.
Updated 11/27/2012: With just three days before its official debut at the Essen Motor Show, TMG has released the first images and details on its TMG Sports 650 concept. This high-end limousine-sized car is powered by a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that delivers a total of 650 horsepower — just like its name suggests. The engine is mated to an eight-speed high-torque-capacity transmission and the car sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, while top speed is limited to 198 mph.
Fox Marketing knows how to put together aftermarket programs for Lexus vehicles. Apparently, it also knows how to develop a good nickname for it.
This program for the Lexus IS F Twin Turbo is dubbed the “Black Mamba,” an appropriate name given just how dark and foreboding the project is. For this program, which was commissioned by a customer, Fox Marketing gave it some extra character that belies the car’s sporty and aggressive nature.
To begin with, the aftermarket specialist gave the IS-F Turbo dual wastegates with dunk tubes, a pair of rear-mounted Turbonetics turbochargers and an intercooler. Hanging out of the back end are four stacked exhaust tips, bringing an end to the total of 114 feet of custom piping used in this customize IS-F.
On top of the performance upgrades, full sheet metal fender flares, a plastic welded rear bumper, side skirts, new headlights with daytime running lights, and smoked rear taillights painted in BASF Refinish R-M Oynx HD Waterborne Black paint all provide an improved look and feel to the sports sedan. Rounding out the exterior modifications is a set of 20-inch iForged Performance alloy wheels that have been reinforced with Alpine White bolts and wrapped in 20-inch T1R Toyo Tires.
As for the interior, Fox Marketing again went with the Alpine White treatment, dressing it up in such a way that not only contrasts the exterior look, but greatly complements it too.
The total output of this program has not been provided, but we expect Fox Marketing to release the information sometime soon, so stay tuned!
It’s not hard to have an ego about yourself if you’re a supercar. You belong to that elite class that represents the fastest and most powerful cars in the world. Naturally, you feel like you can take on just about any challenge that comes your way, even if said challenge involves a plane.
The Lexus LF-A Nürburgring Edition found out firsthand what happens when you decide that all comers are worthy opponents. In this video, the Japanese supercar went toe to toe – tire to wing, if you want to get specific – with an Eclipse 500 business jet.
Not one to lack in confidence, the Scott Pruett-driven LF-A went about and handled its business pretty impressively, beating the Eclipse 500 Jet by 2.1 seconds after posting a time of 56 seconds.
Of course, circumstances - like the jet’s steep bank turn on the last leg - might have caused some variables in this race to change. Be that as it may, the Eclipse 500 still had a 150 mph head start compared to the LF-A starting the race idle.
Now we need to see how the Lexus supercar handles its business against an F-22.
At the Paris Auto Show back in September, Lexus unveiled the LF-CC concept. We have just learned that Lexus has trademarked the RC 350 nameplate, which is believed to be a production version of this concept. If produced, this new coupe in Lexus’ lineup will target models like Audi A5, Mercedes C-Class Coupe and the upcoming BMW 4-Series Coupe.
The "R" in the nameplate suggests we are talking about a mid-size model, while the "C" suggests either a convertible like in the IS 250C or a coupe, like the earlier U.S.-market SC 400 model. The "350" is likely an indicator of what engine will be under the hood: a 3.5 liter petrol engine. The engine is most likely a version of the 2GR-FSE V-6 engine currently found in several Lexus models.
When asked about this new trademark, Lexus Australia’s Tony Cramb said: "We did confirm that the LF-CC is the basis for a D-segment coupe in the future, but we didn’t confirm that it’s necessarily IS-related."
Stay tuned for more updates.
In the past few months, we have seen three different Lexus LF-A prototypes testing around Nurburgring: the AD-A, the AD-B, and the AD-X. Our hopes were dashed when we realized these prototypes were nothing but special one-off models and that they would not provide any indication of what the future held for an LF-A special edition, but social media has come through for us again.
Lexus race car driver, Akira Iida, has posted a cool teaser video for a future LF-A GTE Race Car on his Twitter account. The first details suggest that this race car will be used in the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans, but it is also rumored to be battling the lines at the Nurburgring 24 Hours. One thing is for sure, though, Akira Iida will be behind the wheel no matter which race this vehicle stars in!
Lexus has yet to offer any details on their new race car, but Akira Iida seems to be the second-best source on the matter, so we’ll take his word for it. Stay tuned!
During the LF-CC’s North American at the 2012 SEMA Show, Lexus Marketing Boss Brian Bolain offered almost every possible detail on an upcoming performance two-door vehicle without necessarily confirming the production model. The new model will replace the outgoing SC and will most likely be offered with an IS-F Coupe nomenclature.
When talking about the sports car’s exterior design, Bolain said that the LF-CC Concept is a clear indication of what the future model will look like, especially when it comes to the monoform grille which will first be used in the upcoming 2014 IS F-Sport sedan. Also, the upcoming performance coupe will feature the company’s new signature Spindle Grille recently seen on the new GS sedan.
"Design is not something we’ve ever been given credit for. Design has got to become one of our hallmarks. With LF-LC and LF-CC we’re starting to prove to outsiders we can do it."
The future IS-F Coupe’s power source is still under consideration and Bolain confirmed that everything is possible, starting from a four-cylinder engine all the way up to a V8 engine.
Toyota North America has filled trademarks for two new models that apparently will join their line-up in the near future: NX 200t and NX 300h. Judging by their nomenclature, we believe these models will be added to the Lexus line-up, specifically their SUV line-up (taking the X in their names under consideration).
It is also not very difficult to understand that one trademark - the NX 200t - will be the gasoline version, while the other one - the NX 300h - is for a hybrid model. The NX 200t will be powered by the company’s new 2.0-liter, turbo-charged AR engine set to launch in 2014, while the 300h will get the same hybrid powertrain as in the Lexus ES 300h: a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle hybrid engine.
The new Lexus NX will be placed under the company’s current RX (pictured here) and will most likely debut on the market sometime in 2015.
The second generation Lexus IS was unveiled in 2005 and has been on sale ever since with only a minor refresh in 2009. If Lexus wants to keep up with the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, and Mercedes C-Class, they really needed to offer a change for their luxury sedan. These spy images show that the change is well on its way as the third generation IS has been caught testing again somewhere in Europe. This time, though, the new prototype has been caught with less cammo than before.
The new Lexus IS will be built on a shortened version of the GS platform and, while its overall dimensions don’t appear to be changing, Lexus will focus on reducing the car’s total weight by as much as possible.
On the exterior, the new IS will follow the same direction as the new GS and LS models and will adopt the company’s new spindle grille.
The sedan version is set to be unveiled sometime in 2013. It will be followed by a convertible version and a high powered IS-F version one year later.
Lexus’ contingent of vehicles headed to the 2012 SEMA Auto Show has a new addition in the form of a supercharged GS 350 F Sport. Anytime the word ’supercharged’ is being thrown out, you know that it’s a very good thing. Lexus and VIP Auto Salon certainly think so because this specially customized GS 350 F Sport is headed to SEMA to turn some heads.
On the outside, the Japanese automaker and its tuning partner fitted the GS 350 F Sport with a new body kit courtesy of noted Japanese tuner Wald International. The kit consists of a slew of new components, including a new front lip spoiler, revised side skirts, a fully-mounted trunk spoiler, and a roof spoiler. On top of that, VIP Auto Salon also added an RSR Super coilover suspension and a new set of 20" Vossen CV7 wheels wrapped in Yokohama S. Drive tires with complementing Brembo GT brakes.
At the heart of this customized GS 350 F Sport is a new Apexi CG SPL supercharger kit. Though Lexus didn’t release specific performance numbers, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that with this supercharger in tow to go, a Smart Accel throttle controller, and a PTS Joe Z Series true dual header-back exhaust system, you’re going to see a staggering increase in output from the model’s current 306-horsepower and 277 lb/ft of torque figures.
Lexus will drop the figures at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show so be sure to come back to get the full details.
Five Axis usually prepares some of the most amazing tuning packages for the SEMA Auto Show, and judging from the first details we have on their Lexus LS F-Sport, it looks like this year won’t be an exception.
Their Lexus LS 460 F Sport project is painted in a custom titanium matte finish and sits on a new set of custom alloy wheels size 22x9.0" at the front and 22x10.5" at the back. The exterior should be high;y recognizable to all considering it was inspired by the GS F Sport by Five Axis unveiled last year at the same show. The exterior kit will include huge fender vents and a new diffuser integrated into the rear bumper, among many other things. Five Axis also installed an AirRunner TC-5 air suspension system that will lower the car and will provide a sportier appearance.
Under the hood, Five Axis kept the usual 4.6-liter V-8 engine that delivers a total of 386 HP and 367 lb-ft of torque.
UPDATE 11/05/12: Toyota has released a new batch of photos of the Five Axis-tuned LS 460 F Sport. Check ’em out by hopping over to the gallery section below!