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2015 Detroit Auto Show: Best in Show

2015 Detroit Auto Show: Best in Show

As all the champagne glasses have been emptied and spotlights have been downgraded to regular indoor lighting, the 2015 edition of the North American International Auto Show is now welcoming regular folks instead of hungry journalists hunting for each and every press conference and its subsequent car launch. Unlike other editions, this year it was probably the most surprising in terms of premieres, mainly because the general consensus spoke about a very Ford-centric car show. Sure, there were plenty of worth-mentioning world premieres from every other American carmaker stables, with GM showing its 2016 Chevrolet Volt and the bonkers 2016 Cadillac CTS-V, while the 2015 Chevrolet Bolt Concept stopped a reasonable amount of presses as well.

The truth of the matter is that Ford pretty much stole the show, with the GT Concept even outshining the much-expected production version of the 2016 Acura NSX, while the 2016 Mustang GT350R and 2017 Ford Raptor were more than worthy sidekicks. With that being said, a number of other carmakers also brought a fair share of worthy premieres. Alfa Romeo showed everyone their all-new 2016 4C Spider, ready to complement the coupe version in being the first new Alfas in a long time to be officially available in the U.S., while Buick showed a very cool-looking but sadly futureless 2015 Avenir Concept.

Even though most trucks aren’t actually meant to be beauty queens, Nissan brought a somewhat visually-challenged new Titan in Detroit, but its Cummins V-8 with 555 pound-feet of torque will probably be more than enough to keep people from saying that it looks like a Chinese copy of the Ford F150. Speaking of new vehicles falling from the ugly tree, Audi premiered the all-new Q7 SUV, which comes packed with technology and a gigantic loss of weight to counteract its less-than-stellar looks, while Mercedes-Benz brought the 2016 GL63 Coupe to steal some sales from the latest BMW X6M. There were plenty of other cool or less-than-cool novelties in Detroit, but we figured we’d just choose the five best-of-show vehicles in the following list.

Click past the jump to learn which cars we find the best of show this year.

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Lexus GS F Flexes its Muscles on the Detroit Auto Show Floor

Lexus GS F Flexes its Muscles on the Detroit Auto Show Floor

The recently-unveiled 2016 Lexus GS F was finally launched at the 2015 edition of the North American International Auto Show, with Lexus giving it a reveal worthy of a super sports car. Following in the footsteps of the IS F compact sedan and the 2015 RC F coupe, the all-new Lexus GS F sedan comes with every intention of battling established performance sedans like the BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG and the Cadillac CTS-V. Unfortunately, there is a rather long road between intention and actual delivery, as the new Lexus is down in both power and performance compared to any one of its competitors.

The GS F is powered by the exact same engine as the RC F coupe and based on the midsize GS sedan. Its 5.0-liter, naturally aspirated, high-revving V-8 delivers 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque, both figures being obviously put to shame by any of its turbocharged or supercharged rivals. Paired with a sport-tuned eight-speed automatic transmission, the new Lexus GS F can hit 60 mph from a standing start in a yet-to-be-disclosed amount of time, but my money is on around 4.6 seconds considering the not-exactly-extraordinary power-to-weight ratio.

As far as the styling goes, probably no one will ever call it understated, as the F Sport bodykit is extreme from just about every angle, with the car looking like it wants to prey on small Toyotas. "The styling philosophy of the GS F is one of form following function. For example, the GS F’s spindle grille was born to further enhance the car’s aerodynamics and cooling, while the air outlets in the front fenders, first applied in the IS F and then the RC F, have been adopted in the GS F because of its efficiency. The styling direction of the GS F is one that promotes Lexus’ commitment to ‘Progressive Luxury,’ and I feel this car conveys that brand message flawlessly." said Yoshiharu Nakajima, project chief designer, Lexus Design Division. I can’t but agree with most of that.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Lexus GS F.

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Lexus Teases New F High Performance Model for Detroit

Lexus Teases New F High Performance Model for Detroit

Lexus has officially announced it will be bringing a new F-branded vehicle to the 2015 North American International Auto Show this coming January. The new vehicle will accompany the recently launched RC F in the automaker’s growing lineup of performance-oriented cars. However, the two teaser shots here are all the details Lexus has provided.

The images, combined with the recent sightings of a camo-covered – but still obviously sportier — Lexus GS sedan, adds fuel to the fire of an upcoming GS F. Judging by the photos, the character lines and size of the teased car seems to indicate this as well.

So what can we expect? Well Lexus will likely use the same 5.0-liter V-8 found in the RC F, along with its close-ratio, eight-speed automatic transmission. Expect the same 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque routed to the rear wheels. Then again, Lexus could add some extra ponies to compensate for the larger sedan-sized packaging. The RC F hits 60 in 4.4 seconds; any slower and the GS F runs the risk of not being taken seriously.

While speculating is fun, we can also glean other information from the two pictures. The car will have massive four-piston calipers with slotted rotors surrounded by a beautiful double-spoke-style wheels with matte and bright finishes, all wrapped in performance rubber.

Also included is an updated grille design with a new style of fishhook LED daytime running lights The headlights are also Lexus’ new style of LED bulbs. It should make for an attractive appearance both day and night.

Click past the jump to learn what this model could be.

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Lexus Could Bring Two New Models To 2015 Detroit Auto Show

Lexus Could Bring Two New Models To 2015 Detroit Auto Show

Lexus’ product offensive appears to have no sign of easing up any time soon. As if the reported arrival of the SC sports car isn’t exciting enough, we’re now being told that the Japanese automaker is planning to bring “at least one, if not two new models" to the 2015 North American International Auto Show in January 2015.

Lexus Group Vice President Jeff Bracken told WardsAuto of the company’s plans, even if he didn’t specifically say which models are going to Detroit. It’s extremely unlikely that the Lexus SC would make an appearance, but a far more plausible scenario would be the debuts of the next generation RX and the new GS F.

Details on the next generation RX are limited at this point but past reports have suggested that the crossover could evolve into a seven-seater in order to accommodate the growing demand for three-row crossovers in the US market. The arrival of the well-received NX also gives Lexus the chance to tinker with the RX in order to differentiate the two models.

As far as the GS F is concerned, we actually saw a prototype of the car doing some test runs back in September 2014. It’s clear that Lexus is preparing the car to become the four-door equivalent of the RC F and serve as a competitor to the BMW M5 and the Jaguar XF-R. The prototype definitely had the proportions of a beefed-up GS and the inclusion of the quad exhaust pipes are clear indications that the model has high-performance written all over it. Lexus has said that the new GS F will arrive as a 2016 model so the timing is perfect for the car to make its debut at Detroit in January before going on sale later in the year.

Click past the jump to read more about Lexus’ future two models.

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2015 Lexus RC F

2015 Lexus RC F

The Lexus IS dates back to 1998, when it was introduced as an entry-level luxury car mainly in Japan and the United States. Initially launched as a four-door sedan and five-door wagon, the IS didn’t receive a two-door version until the second-generation model came in 2006. However, the Japanese only built a convertible, postponing the coupe for a few more years. The much-anticipated coupe has finally arrived for the 2015 model year, about 12 months after Lexus unveiled the third-generation IS. But unlike the latter, the coupe carries the RC F nameplate.

Although it borrows most of its styling from the IS sedan, the RC F features a more aggressive design, which is supposed to pay tribute to Lexus’ only supercar as of 2014, the LFA. The RC F, however, is not intended to compete with the likes of the Nissan GT-R, but rather take on the BMW M4, the upcoming Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe and the Audi RS5. Does it have what it takes to play with Germany’s main weapons for the sports coupe market? Read on to find out.

Updated 08/18/2015: Car Buyer took a spin in a U.K.-spec Lexus RC-F and the reviewer was pretty impressed with the model. Enjoy the video!

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Lexus RC F.

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Lexus May Have Previewed the Production LF-NX at the 2014 NAIAS

Lexus May Have Previewed the Production LF-NX at the 2014 NAIAS

We’ve never been the type to jump the gun on early conclusions on anything and we’re not going to do it on this instance.

Having said that, Toyota CEO Jim Lentz’s presentation just before the 2014 North American International Auto Show showed what appeared to be a production version of the LF-NX Concept that we were raving about last year. The image of the production version got us thinking, which of course, led to this question.

That’s it?

Granted, it has all of the Lexus dimensions and styling cues you’d come to expect from the company’s current, and admittedly, fantastic design language. But the LF-NX Concept was just so incredible to look at — it looked like straight out of Transformers! — that we hoped the company would translate at least some of it into the production model.

Instead, we’re looking at a enormously toned down version of the LF-NX that, quite frankly, bears little resemblance to the concept. The sharp edges, the mean-looking headlights, and even the fancy polished gray color of the concept was taken out and replaced with a whole lot of traditional styling — sigh.

We’re still holding out hope that the final version of the production model looks more like the concept than this "preview" of sorts. Then again, we’re not holding out hope that something like that could happen, or at the very least be entertained by Lexus’ top brass.

Click past the jump to watch Jim Lentz’ address at the NAIAS and to read more about the Lexus LF-NX Concept

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Lexus F-Range to Spawn Hybrid Sports Cars

Lexus F-Range to Spawn Hybrid Sports Cars

Autocar recently had the opportunity to chat with a lead engineer from Lexus and according to the ex-development lead of the Lexus LF-A project, there are a few new high-performance models lined up for the future. The interaction with Haruhiko Tanahashi also raised rumors about a V-8 powered RC F coupe that could be headed for the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

So, although an LF-A replacement won’t happen in the near future, a couple of F models may provide some excitement. That is until a more reasonably priced LF-A enters the fray.

The new ’F products’ would form the Japanese car maker’s premium high-performance range, starting with the RC F, GS-F and IS F. Lexus is gearing-up to introduce the second-generation IS F sedan for a later date, while the RC Coupe could get a V-8 engine transplant soon.

On top of all of these in-the-works goodies, Lexus officials also hint of performance hybrids being a part of the F-product lineup. That is sure to get anybody amped up — gratuitous electricity pun very much intended.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus’ F lineup

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Lexus Teases New F Model for 2014 Detroit Auto Show

Lexus Teases New F Model for 2014 Detroit Auto Show

Lexus just dropped the first teaser image on a new F model that will be unveiled next month at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. All the image shows in the front wheel, fender and part of the headlight, but most the model in question is likely the F variant of the recently launched 2015 Lexus RC.

While no concrete details were offered, Lexus did describe the new model as "engineered from scratch, one performance layer at a time, the newest F model promises a bold, gritty, experience synonymous with the famed Lexus F heritage."

The RC F was caught testing plenty of times, and it will be offered as a cheaper alternative to the likes of the BMW M4 Coupe and Audi RS5.

If the model shown here is indeed the RC F, then you should expect it to simply look like an RC updated with the usual F model elements, like the more aggressive body kit, the larger wheels, sports suspension, high-performance brakes and the obligatory more potent engine.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Lexus RC F.

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2014 Lexus IS F-Sport

2014 Lexus IS F-Sport

Lexus will unveil Show the new IS sedan next week at the 2013 Detroit Auto and, as no surprise to anyone, alongside the standard sedan, we will also see the F Sport version. To wet our whistles a little, Lexus has dropped the first official images on the new generation IS and, surprisingly, they reveal the F-Sport version.

When compared to a standard version, the F-Sport variant will add a more aggressive look, featuring special grille and front bumper design, an enhanced three-dimensional mesh grille, larger cooling openings, a black grille surround and, of course, an exclusive set of wheels. The model will also be equipped with a tuned chassis, a lowered suspension and a sportier interior with sports seats made using an integrated foaming method that ensures there are no gaps between the upholstery and the filling.

Under the hood, the IS F-Sport will keep the same engines found in the standard IS, meaning a choice of 2.5-liter and 3.5-liter V-6 engines.

Full details will be unveiled during the car’s official debut in Detroit.

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Video: Jay Leno Gets an Exclusive Look at the 2013 Lexus IS

Video: Jay Leno Gets an Exclusive Look at the 2013 Lexus IS

Obtaining exclusive access to test mules is an opportunity that manufacturers grant once in a blue moon. Some would consider it for the lucky few while some would simply snare at the idea. Lexus, however, was kind enough to let celebrity car collector, Jay Leno, take a look at the unannounced 2013 Lexus IS. Looks like beat every other journalist to it...

Though the car is wrapped in camouflage, it does show some elements of the final design that were inspired by the LF-CC concept. Jay also reveals some facts like the longer wheelbase and the 8-speed automatic gearbox, which was only available on the previous gen IS-F. Nothing more can be said. So we will have to stay mum just like the engineer in the video. At least until its 2013 unveil!

The mule Jay got to drive was powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that produces 306 horsepower. What’s surprising is the noise it makes. For a modest V-6 engine, it sure sounds like a V-8 engine. Lexus used to be famous for completely deleting the engine noise, but now it’s the other way around. Lexus sure is going in the right direction when it comes to driver-oriented cars. Watch out BMW!

With the LF-CC concept in mind and a picture of this mule, you can render what it would look in full metal and wait to see if you’ve rendered it correctly when Lexus officially unveils it at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.

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2012 Lexus LF-Lc

2012 Lexus LF-Lc

After seeing tons of teaser images in the past few weeks, we are finally able to get a good look at the new Lexus LF-LC concept during its world debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. The concept was designed by Lexus Calty design studio in Newport Beach, California and previews the future design language of Toyota’s luxury arm, bringing in elements from the LF-A supercar and the recently launched GS 350.

The concept features a bold interpretation of the signature Lexus spindle grille and rear architecture and is defined by a long engine hood, daytime running lights shaped like an "L", a 3D spindle grille, and functional air intakes in the bottom corners of the grille.

"Crafted from a clean sheet of paper at the request of Lexus headquarters in Japan, the LF-LC blends both high technology and organic shapes to connect the driver to the machine," said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "The clean lines of the vehicle emphasize motion, creating a distinctive look for this futuristic sport coupe."

UPDATE 01/26/12: Lexus has unveiled a new video that presents the designers talking about the interior and the exterior design of LF-LC concept. Enjoy!

UPDATE 10/18/12:Lexus has unveiled what’s effectively the LF-LC 2.0 at the 2012 Australian Motor Show. It’s called the LF-LC Blue Concept and we have a review for it, too! Good times!

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Lexus to unveil new Sport Concept in Detroit (UPDATE)

Lexus to unveil new Sport Concept in Detroit (UPDATE)

In the midst of the 2012 Detroit Auto Show previews, Lexus has thrown out its first teaser image of a new Sport Concept scheduled to be revealed on one of the two press days in Detroit. This sporty new concept is said to showcase the brand’s new design direction which will hopefully eliminate the stuffiness associated with Toyota’s luxury brand.

The teaser image is just that; a big, fat tease. However, we do see a bit of an aggressive line in the design, along with a slender headlight and a large air intake. There also seems to be design elements taken from the GS sedan unveiled earlier this year, which may mean this could be a preview of the new generation IS. Then again, the SC just performed a disappearing act a couple of years ago and Lexus was already rumored to be working on a more powerful successor.

The new sport concept was designed by Calty, the company’s design studio in Newport Beach, California. Its official details will be released on January 9, 2012, so stay tuned!

UPDATE 12/19/2011: Lexus has unveiled a new teaser image of their concept model to be unveiled in Detroit. This time the image offers a glimpse of the concept’s interior.

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