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2013 Lexus RX 450h

2013 Lexus RX 450h

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.

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2013 Lexus RX 450h F-Sport

2013 Lexus RX 450h F-Sport

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.

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2013 Lexus RX F-Sport

2013 Lexus RX F-Sport

One of the two new vehicles Lexus brought to the 2012 Geneva Motor Show is the Lexus RX F-Sport, which joins the face-lifted 2013 Lexus RX in the Japanese automaker’s booth. The former appears to carry a lot of Lexus’ new design language and, in particular, the new spindle grille looks pretty aggressive and menacing. These features provide more evidence of an aggressive new look for the high-performance crossover that’s a far departure from the more subdued versions of the past. In addition to the spindle grille, the RX F-Sport also comes with a new front lip spoiler, new fog lamps, new LED daytime running lights, and plenty of F-Sport accessories to match everything else the crossover has.

The Lexus RX F-Sport is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces an output of 270 horsepower at 6,200 rpm, which is joined by a lateral performance damper system that has been designed to absorb and minimize undesirable body vibrations, thus contributing to a more comfortable ride.

UPDATE 03/07/2012: This review has been updated with official specs and photos for the Lexus RX F-Sport.

Find out more about the Lexus RX F-Sport after the jump.

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2013 Lexus RX

2013 Lexus RX

Lexus’ big-boy crossover, the RX, made its official debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show as a face-lifted 2013 model. This confirmed the long-standing rumor that the Japanese automaker would bring two new models to the show that would be launched in 2012.

Joining the RX in Lexus’ Geneva Motor Show booth was the all-new RX F Sport based on the RX 450h hybrid. Leading up to its Geneva debut, leaked images picked up from a Lexus brochure by Minkara clearly show the crossover in almost every conceivable angle. Looking at the photos, it appears that the face lifted RX carries more styling changes than we initially thought, bringing in the company’s new aggressive design, including a new front lip spoiler, the inclusion of a sports steering wheel, aluminum pedals, and special badging.

UPDATE 03/08/2012: This review has been updated with official specs and photos from Lexus.

Find out more about the Lexus RX after the jump.

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2012 Lexus CT 200h by Meguiars

2012 Lexus CT 200h by Meguiars

The Lexus CT200h talks a big game about being an environmentally friendly sports hatchback that defies the typically bland designs of other hybrids on the markets.

The car’s attendance at the SEMA Auto Show certainly adds more credence to the car’s tuning worthiness and Meguiars’, known for being one of the best auto surface care companies in the world, has decided to bring their own iteration of the Lexus sports hybrid hatchback.

The look of the render suggests that the Meguiar’s CT200h will be decked in a two-tone paint color featuring a vibrant yellow body paint with a gloss black paint on the bonnet, roof, and pillars of the hatchback. According to Meguiars, the color scheme was inspired by Meguiars Ultimate Wash and Wax product line. In building the car, Meguiars enlisted the help and assistance of some of the aftermarket industry’s heavyweights, including Glasurit Paint Systems, Rotiform, Falken Tires, CKS Suspension, Street Concepts, and Shoreline Motoring.

The powertrain of the CT200h appears to be the same - a 1.8-liter VVT-i petrol engine with a powerful electric motor that produces 134 horsepower - but even if there doesn’t seem to have any performance modifications, the true essence of the CT200h sports hybrid hatch is uncompromising and efficient performance with drop-dead good looks.

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2012 Lexus CT 200h by Five Axis

2012 Lexus CT 200h by Five Axis

The Lexus CT 200h was developed as a means to get greater fuel efficiency without too much thought put into the sportiness of the vehicle. That’s the typical thought process involved in producing a hybrid, but Five Axis has a different way of thinking. They have developed a new tuning package for the hybrid hatchback just in time for one of the greatest tuning events in the world: the 2011 SEMA Auto Show. Their package shows that even hybrids can look great combining an aggressive exterior look with a sporty interior and that same tremendous fuel economy of the CT 200h.

The look begins with a custom widebody conversion and a mysterious JDSU "Dark Passage" paint combined with custom black accents. The interior gets a touch more spunk with bright orange accents, uniquely appointed seats with laser etched Ultrasuede EcoDesign inserts, custom illuminated headliner with Ultrasuede EcoDesign Upholstery, and upholstery by Turinmodel, Inc., and 3M Crystalline window film by The Tint Factory. The technological factor was also boosted with a custom Touchscreen Interface center console. A set of 19" forged wheels complete the vehicle’s overall look, while a new Stop Tech high performance big brake kit and a TEIN Flex Coilover suspension system provide a better stability.

The engine for the Lexus CT 200h remains the same, but the 134 hp 1.8 liter VVT-i petrol engine, powerful electric motor, generator, high performance battery, power control unit, and power split device is enough of a setup to leave alone for now. After all, a responsible and environmentally friendly vehicle with a touch of sport and fun? Sign us up!

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2012 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport Special Edition

2012 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport Special Edition

Shortly after releasing details on the 2012 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport Package, Lexus has unveiled the CT 200h F-Sport Special Edition exclusively for the US market. Only 900 units of this model will be built, and they are scheduled to arrive in dealerships in November 2011 with a price tag of $37,995.

The new Lexus CT200h F-Sport Special Edition will be offered in the new Nebula Gray Pearl color, as well as Starfire Pearl and Tungsten Pearl. Each model will come with a new set of F-Sport 17" alloy wheels in a Liquid Silver finish. The exterior will be further distinguished by a unique front mesh grille, a larger rear spoiler, and an F-Sport exterior badge.

The interior of the F-Sport Special Edition also gets a number of additions including Ocean Blue NuLuxe trimmed seats, black F-Sport floor mats with blue contrast stitching, metal front scuff plates, and aluminum sport pedals. Metallic trim was then added to the dash panel, highlighting the black headliner. The interior is completed with a perforated leather-trimmed steering wheel with F-Sport logo and a leather-trimmed shift knob.

The Lexus CT 200h F Sport Special Edition will still be offered with the F-Sport suspension with anti-sway bar and springs, but Lexus is also throwing in a Navigation Package and a Premium Audio Package as standard (these are optional in the standard F-Sport Package).

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Lexus releases teasers for the GS-F and GS450h

Lexus releases teasers for the GS-F and GS450h

Lexus has been rolling out their new fleet of vehicles over the past couple of weeks, highlighted by the presentation of the 2013 GS 350 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. You would think that after what’s been a busy two weeks, Toyota’s premium brand would be slowing down a bit to catch their breaths.

Apparently not.

The Japanese automaker is now gearing up for the world debuts of two new vehicles, the GS F-Sport and GS 450h.

No word yet as to what these cars will bring when the covers are pulled off, but all indications are that the GS 450h will be making its world presentation at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Among other things, the GS 450h will carry a hybrid powertrain that features a V6 engine combined with an electric motor.

Meanwhile, the GS F-Sport will carry plenty of aerodynamic accessories, not the least of which include a redesigned front bumper and judging from the teaser photo, a honeycomb grille and a new set of alloy wheels to go with a new suspension set-up.

Though it’s possible that we’re going to see the GS F-Sport alongside the GS450h in Frankfurt, don’t be surprised if Lexus keeps the former under the covers for now with an eye towards the 2011 SEMA show in Las Vegas.

At the rate they’re going, it’s probably best for these guys to bring one up at a time. SEMA’s scheduled for November anyway and after the month they’ve had and the busy September coming up, these guys have every right in the world to keep the GS F-Sport behind the curtains until then.

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2012 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport Package

2012 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport Package

When we were introduced to the 2011 Lexus CT 200h last year, it offered a very interesting conundrum that led us to think of the untapped potential this car could have if it wasn’t a hybrid. Make no mistake, Lexus has continued to dominate the luxury hybrid market so there really was no reason for them to veer off course with the 2012 model. Heck, they even brought back the F-Sport Package to underline the fact that they’re front and center when it comes to luxury hybrids.

All that’s great and Toyota’s luxury brand should be jumping through hoops with the 2012 model. However, we still feel a little lost while looking at the car for the simple reason that we think it’s really a hot hatch that’s been trapped with a hybrid system. Just imagine the possibilities of a CT 200 with a real noise-maker of an engine.

But getting back on track, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with how the 2012 CT 200h was conceived, especially with the growing trend of hybrids and electric cars these days. After all, Lexus still has to cover their bases in the right market.

Find out more about the 2012 Lexus CT 200h F-Sport Package after the jump.

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2013 Lexus CX

2013 Lexus CX

Lexus is planning to capitalize on the success of the CT 200h by introducing yet another full hybrid model. This time, however, the luxury automaker is entering the crossover market with the long-rumored Lexus CX. Expect the new CX to be launched at the end of 2012 as a 2013 model.

The new Lexus CX will be built on the same platform as the Toyota RAV4 and will serve as a competitor for models like the BMW X1, the Audi Q3, and the Mercedes GLK. The new CX will only feature a hybrid drivetrain that combines a four-cylinder engine with a powerful electric motor, a generator, a high performance battery, a power control unit, and a power split device. This system will deliver about 200 HP and a fuel economy of about 47 mpg. As a comparison, the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3 can only achieve 45 mpg at best in their diesel offerings.

No additional details for the future Lexus CX have been offered as of now, but we believe the exterior design language will combine elements from all the latest Lexus models.

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2011 Lexus LS 600h Landaulet

2011 Lexus LS 600h Landaulet

Lexus struck it big with the Royal Wedding when it was announced that Prince Albert of Monaco would be riding in an LS 600H for the royal affair. The experience must have been exquisite for the Prince because Lexus has created a Landaulet version of the hybrid for him to ride in with his future wife, Miss Charlene Wittstock, during their very own wedding.

The Lexus LS 600h Landaulet will be a one-off coach built limousine equipped with a one-piece transparent polycarbonate roof. This roof took about 2,000 hours to be completed with the help of a French company that specializes in supplying similar components to the aerospace industry, such as helicopter windscreens and fighter jet canopies. The building process was extensive because a honeycomb structure and carbon fiber template was created first to validate the roof’s shape and structural integrity and to ensure a perfect fit with tolerances of less than 1mm. Once the design was complete, robotic tools were used to produce the canopy and fit it to the Landaulet in a completely automated process. The final stage of the conversion, re-assembly, and finishing took a team of 10 specialists working with Lexus engineers more than two weeks to complete, to ensure the highest quality levels were achieved. The final product is a roof that is just 57 lbs and is fixed to the body through two intermediary parts which allow for a perfect view in and out of the car.

Check out the Lexus Landaulet and the second royal wedding this year on July 2nd!

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2011 Lexus CT 200h Race Car by Gazoo Racing

2011 Lexus CT 200h Race Car by Gazoo Racing

Just when you thought the Lexus CT200h wasn’t going to get another race-inspired version, the people over at Gazoo Racing have unveiled their own racing version of the compact sports hybrid. Seems appropriate considering that Gazoo Racing isn’t a stranger to Lexus race cars, counting the LF-A supercar as one of the racers in its stable.

As for the CT200h, Gazoo Racing will be entering it into the SP4 Class of the Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy - a six-hour endurance race at the Nurburgring that will be attended by around 200 other cars. Piloting the Gazoo Racing CT during the endurance race will be the three-man team of Kumi Sato, Masahiko Kageyama, and Minoru Takaki.

To give the CT200h the proper race specs, Gazoo Racing went to work on the car’s performance attributes, opting against using the 1.8 liter VVT-I petrol engine that comes with the standard version of the CT200h and instead using a much larger 2.4-liter version with an electric motor, a generator, a high performance battery, a power control unit, and a power split device. During start-ups and braking, the CT200h will only use its electric motor, saving all the energy expended by the VVT-I engine for higher speeds. Even more impressive about the car is that it will require less fuel and will emit less carbon dioxide and NOx gases compared to all other race cars of its class.

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