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2019 Lexus ES - Driven

2019 Lexus ES - Driven

A welcome break from the European status quo

The Lexus ES enters its seventh generation this year, offering a new design, fresh underpinnings, an updated engine lineup (including a hybrid), the latest infotainment goodies, and for the first time, a more engaging F Sport model variant. Framed as Lexus’ entry-level midsize luxury sedan, the ES is the most popular four-door in the brand’s stable, selling in 90 countries across the globe. However, does it have what it takes to compete with rivals from Europe? To find out, Lexus flew me out to Nashville, Tennessee, to give it a drive.

Continue reading to learn more about 2019 Lexus ES.

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Lexus Considering New Powertrain Options for the LS Sedan

Lexus Considering New Powertrain Options for the LS Sedan

You’ve got to keep up with the Jones’

Lexus recently launched the LS Sedan in Australia and during a press conference, Chief Engineer, Toshio Asahi, confirmed that additional powertrains are on the table. Another unknown executive claimed that the hydrogen powertrain from the LF-LC Concept is heading to production “sooner than you think.” All big news from Toyota’s luxury arm, but what does it all mean?

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2018 Lexus LS Pricing Unveiled in Detroit: Significantly More Affordable Than Mercedes S-Class

2018 Lexus LS Pricing Unveiled in Detroit: Significantly More Affordable Than Mercedes S-Class

Five optional upgrade packages are offered

Lexus just unveiled pricing for the new-generation LS sedan at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The Japanese four-door is significantly more affordable than its German counterpart, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series. Redesigned from the ground up on a new platform, the latest LS has a sportier design, the most luxurious interior yet, and new V-6 and hybrid drivetrains. Pricing starts from $75,000 before options and special packages.

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Toyota to Show Up At CES 2018 with a Next-Gen Lexus-Based Autonomous Concept

Toyota to Show Up At CES 2018 with a Next-Gen Lexus-Based Autonomous Concept

Say goodbye to sensor and camera appendages!

The Toyota Research Institute has announced plans to bring its next-generation Platform 3.0 automated driving vehicle to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. Platform 3.0 is an autonomous test car that’s built on a real-life Lexus LS600hL. According to TRI, the test car incorporates sensors and cameras into its body, a development that does away with today’s setup of installing these elements as attachments on the body of the car. In addition, Platform 3.0 also has a panel of sensors on the roof that helps it become one of the most perceptive autonomous test vehicles on the road today.

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Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept Coming To Detroit as Flagship SUV

Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept Coming To Detroit as Flagship SUV

Preview next-generation LX

Lexus confirmed it will bring a new concept car at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show in January and already released a couple of teasers. While the first image showed the rear end of a crossover with thin headlamps and a sporty tailgate, the second video gives us a glimpse at the vehicle’s front end. Described as a "flagship crossover," the LF-1 Limitless boasts an evolution of the company’s current design language, sporting a huge "Spindle" grille and a very aggressive headlamps design. While still somewhat similar to the existing units due to the Z-shaped layout of the LED strips, the concept car also features orange lights that descend into the bumper, on the outer edges. It’s a unique look and a clear hint that Lexus is using this concept car to introduce its next-generation design language.

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2018 Lexus LX Two-Row Only Available in One Trim; Limited Options

2018 Lexus LX Two-Row Only Available in One Trim; Limited Options

Toyota/Lexus has a history of “mono-spec” vehicles

If you’ve ever shopped for a Toyota 86 or anything under the now-defunct Scion brand, you’ll know they only come in one trim level and options are very scarce. It’s Toyota’s way of simplifying the purchase experience while making production easier thanks to far fewer build combinations. Well, Lexus is at it again with the 2018 LX 570 Two-Row.

If you haven’t heard, Lexus is now offering its swanky LX 570 without the third-row seats at a $5,000 reduced price. The mono-spec trim accompanies the changes by including the four-zone climate control system normally included with the $1,190 Luxury Package. Unfortunately, it seems the optional heated and vented second-row seats are not available or is the dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system.

Still, the 2018 Lexus LX 570 offers a laundry list of standard comfort and convenience items expected with an $85,000 price tag. Thankfully, the LX 570 Two-Row doesn’t lose any off-road prowess. It continues to come with the full-time 4WD system, locking center differential, CRAWL Control, Multi-Terrain Select, Turn Assist, and hill descent and hill start assist. The familiar 5.7-liter V-8 remains and continues to produce 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. Though it has an eight-speed automatic transmission, the LX 570 can only muster 13 mpg city, 18 mpg highway, and 15 mpg combined on premium gas.

So what’s the big deal? Well, it provides shoppers with an easier time at dealerships since the only choices are interior and exterior color options. Unlike its competitors like the Cadillac Escalade and Range Rover, the LX might be a godsend for the indecisive.

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Eject-O Seat-O: 2019 Lexus LX Drops Third Row and $5,000 Off the Sticker

Eject-O Seat-O: 2019 Lexus LX Drops Third Row and $5,000 Off the Sticker

The LX loses a seat, the RX gains a seat

Remember when Chevrolet announced the 2018 Tahoe Custom a few months ago? It comes without the third-row seats and a $3,750 cheaper price tag. Well, Lexus is running that exact play with its biggest SUV, the LX570. For 2019, Lexus is offering the LX in a two-row version with a whopping $5,000 off the MSRP.

It’s called the Lexus LX570 Two-Row, and it will start at $84,980. The uninspired name aside, the new model is aimed at customers who don’t need seating for seven or who need extra cargo space. A positive side effect of losing the rear seats is an added 5.8 cubic feet of cargo room for a new maximum of 50.5 cubic feet. Lexus also makes the roof rack and rails standard equipment here, too.

The rest of the 2019 Lexus LX 570 remains unchanged. Power comes from the venerable but outdated 5.7-liter V-8 making 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic feeds power to the full-time 4WD system. Towing remains at 7,000 pounds, and fuel economy is stagnate at 13 mpg city, 18 mpg highway, and 15 mpg combined. Premium gas is required, but that probably isn’t a concert for shoppers willing to spend $85,000 on a full-size, body-on-frame SUV.

Lexus will continue selling the seven-passenger, three-row LX 570 alongside the new two-row version. Expect to see both 2019 versions in dealerships sometime in mid-2018.

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2017 Lexus LS+ Concept

2017 Lexus LS+ Concept

Sign me up if this is what the Lexus LS is going to look like in the future

The fifth-generation Lexus LS just hit the market this year, but the Japanese automaker is already looking ahead into the future with a new concept for its flagship sedan that’s heavy on state-of-the-art technology. The concept is called the LS+, and if you were thinking it to be outlandish in the typical Lexus concept fashion, then you’d be right. The LS+ Concept is a feast for the senses in more ways than one.

We already have an idea of how Lexus does concept vehicles. The NX Concept from a few years ago blasted our expectations through the roof, and it’s nice to see that Toyota’s premium brand isn’t letting up. This car, Lexus says, is going to be a showcase of what the LS could look like down the road. It’s not a certainty that this blueprint will be put to use in the future, but as far as giving us a taste of what could come, then it hits all the right spots. It looks the part of a futuristic concept though more important than that are the litany of tech features that it comes with, including the curiously named “Highway Teammate” automated driving technology that brings autonomous driving tech to life. That’s just one of the technology goodies we can expect from the LS+ Concept, so expect a whole lot more now that the full-sized beauty is sitting pretty at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Lexus LS+ Concept

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2019 Lexus LS F

2019 Lexus LS F

Is Lexus finally giving us a competitor for the Mercedes-AMG S63?

The latest-generation Lexus LS was unveiled in early 2017, replacing a predecessor that was no less than 11 years old and quite dated compared to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7 Series. Redesigned from a clean sheet and gifted with a sporty, youthful exterior and loads of new tech inside, the fifth-gen LS also brought major changes under the hood, with the 5.0-liter V-8 engine replaced by a twin-turbo, 3.5-liter V-6. The same unit was combined with an electric motor to spawn the LS 500h, but it has yet to be used in a more powerful version, with the F Sport being just an appearance package. This is likely to change in the future, as our paparazzi spotted a full fledged LS F on public roads.

Although the LS has been around since 1990 and it’s one of the most successful full-size sedans built in Asia, it has yet to receive a proper performance update. There have been some special-edition models with sportier looks, but for some reason Lexus said no to a beefed-up drivetrain with each generation. But it seems that the fifth-generation will finally get the performance version it deserves, enabling the LS to finally compete with the likes of the Mercedes-AMG S63, BMW M760i xDrive and upcoming, much-rumored BMW M7 and Audi RS8. Let’s find out what it may bring to the table from the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lexus LS F.

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2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport

2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport

Lexus adds sportier F Sport package to its range-topping sedan

Lexus’ oldest nameplate, having been launched in 1989, the LS moved into its fifth-generation in January 2017 at the Detroit Auto Show. Redesigned after a record ten years of minor changes, the LS is now sportier and more stylish than ever, and its interior is on par with what the competition has to offer. But, unlike its predecessor, a V-8 is no longer under the hood, having been replaced by a more powerful, yet more efficient V-6 drivetrain. Offered in both gasoline and hybrid variants, the LS is now also available in F Sport trim. But even though it has a somewhat more aggressive exterior and acts as a range topper, the F Sport isn’t as special as Lexus wants us to believe.

The reason for that is that the F Sport badge doesn’t bring much beyond the blacked-out exterior trim and a few special features on the inside. Sure, there are a few chassis tweaks to talk about, but the engine and transmission are as stock as they get. The problem with this is that the F Sport badge deserves a bit of extra oomph and it’s imperative that Lexus comes up with a way to give Mercedes-Benz and BMW a run for their money in the performance department too. With the new BMW M760Li and Mercedes-AMG S63 around with fresh gear, the LS 500 F Sport will have a hard time making a name for itself.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lexus LS 500 F Sport.

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Motor Trend Thrashes the 2016 Lexus LX 570 Off-Road

Motor Trend Thrashes the 2016 Lexus LX 570 Off-Road

Because most owners won’t see more than a gravel parking lot

Lexus’ most expensive vehicle, the LX 670, received a welcome refresh for the 2016 model year. Underneath however, the LX still rides on the same platform it has since 2007. That’s not to say Lexus hasn’t given this dolled-up Land Cruiser some mechanical updates, but it remains one of the aging stalwarts in the Lexus lineup.

Nevertheless, the 2016 model brings a new eight-speed automatic, Lexus’ corporate Spindle Grille, a reworked interior, and a few new off-road tech bits. Well, the guys over at Motor Trend decided to test the LX 570 for all it’s worth on the rocky ledges of the Nevada desert.

Make no mistake, the LX 570 has strong roots. Its frame is shared with the Toyota Tundra and Land Cruiser and it comes with a two-speed transfer case and a locking rear differential. But with its low-hanging face and street-biased tires, there’s only so much the Lexus is up for.

Sitting in front of Caesars Palace is something it’s very much up for. In fact, the Lexus is rather good at snagging attention. It sports Lexus’ fishhook LED daytime running lights, 20-inch wheels, and chrome accents all around. But can it handle what its cousin, the Toyota Land Cruiser, can handle off the paved streets of Las Vegas?

To find out Motor Trend took both SUVs through some terribly challenging terrain. Big rock outcroppings, ledges, crevasses, and sand all made for tough trails. In fact, the Lexus takes more than a few punches to the chin, damaging its faux-chrome grille and lower fascia.

For the official outcome of the test, you’ll have to watch the video. At just under 15 minutes, the cinematic short makes for a great lunch-break reprieve. Sit back and enjoy, folks.

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2016 Lexus GS F – Driven

2016 Lexus GS F – Driven

Big power, rear-drive, and impossible to miss

Lexus is working hard to rebrand itself as something far different than dolled-up Toyotas. That’s clearly apparent with its list of F-Sport and F cars, the polarizing RC coupe, and now this – the GS F. It’s a V-8-powered sedan with rear-wheel drive, paddle shifters, low-profile summer performance tires, massive brakes, and an aggressive appearance far beyond any sedan Lexus has made before.

The GS F is Lexus’ answer to cars like the BMW M5 and Cadillac CTS-V – bit bruisers in the segment with loads of horsepower and tons of brand cache. Lexus uses the same style recipe as BMW and Cadillac, too. All the performance and appearance goodies are added to a soft-riding, plush sedan built for those with high-class tastes. As such, the GS F is based on the standard Lexus GS sedan – the same one that comes with a V-6 and a hybrid option.

The differences, however, are all in the details. Up front is a 467-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 mated to a quick-shifting, eight-speed automatic transmission. Power is sent through Lexus’ proprietary Torque Vectoring Differential to 275-series Michelin Pilot Super Sport rear tires. The whole thing rides on Sach-sourced shock absorbers at each corner with a fully independent suspension system. Six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembos bring everything to a stop – and quickly.

I recently spent a week with the 2016 GS F, using it as a daily driver and highway cruiser like most folks typically would. However, a week before, I blasted around the infield track at the Texas Motor Speedway with another GS F example at a recent Texas Auto Writers Association event. The extensive seat time allowed the GS F’s true nature to be found. So what’s the GS F all about, you ask? Keep reading.

Continue reading for the full review.

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