Lexus’ Bimmer/Audi fighter has a history dating back to the late 90s, with the IS sedan and wagon, also known as the Toyota Altezza in other markets. The aftermarket took to the IS quickly, with performance packages that enhanced the entry-level luxury car’s engine and suspension, not to mention a countless array of truly awful taillights that offered a knock off version of the Altezza rear end for just about every make and model ever created.
Nowadays, the Altezza’s big brother, the RC F, has matured a bit over its sibling. It’s more expensive, heavier, and more powerful than the IS, plus it comes with all kinds of cool gadgets and amenities, like 19-inch wheels, a speed-sensing rear spoiler, and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. The top-range Carbon Model also features a torque-vectoring rear differential, carbon-fiber roof, and premium stereo system.
Even though the RC F is essentially an enhanced IS sporting some very nice equipment, the aftermarket can’t be stopped in its never-ending quest for an upgrade.
Enter VIP Auto Salon. Stationed out of southern California in the city of Orange, VIP was first established in 2006, and specializes in Toyota/Lexus performance and luxury. This past SEMA, VIP brought its modified RC F to the now-closed 2014 SEMA show as a showpiece for what happens when premium aftermarket parts meets crowd-sourced decision making.
The result is something unique, but not entirely out of line from what you’d get from the factory. Every aspect of the car has seen at least a little attention, and that’s good. I like the RC F as an alternative to the standard Bavarian sporting luxury, and I think there’s a good chance that anyone who picks one up might be inclined to invest some money back into it. The M4 and RS5 are both great cars, but anyone looking for something special should think about taking a trip to the Lexus dealership, followed by a quick jaunt over to VIP.
Click past the jump to read more about Lexus RC F By VIP Auto Salon.
The Lexus RC is a car that’s made for a show like SEMA. I’m pretty certain that I’m not the only with that opinion. I’ve been one of the biggest fans of the RC since it first made its debut at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show and I haven’t second guessed it since. Now, it’s headed to the SEMA Auto Show, thanks to the collaboration of noted aftermarket companies LexusTuned, GReddy, Toyo Tires, and Rocket Bunny.
You would think that I’d be a fan of this heavily modified Lexus RC. But actually, I’m not. I know, shocker...
To be clear, I understand why the RC was modified to look like this. It’s the objective of nearly every tuner at SEMA to show up with something intense, but there’s something to be said for going a little too far with it and robbing the car of its personality.
I think that’s what happened to this RC. A lot of the character lines I loved on the standard version have been replaced with a wide-body kit that makes the RC look about as appealing as a fading actress with too many facelifts. The rear section, specifically the spoiler and the custom diffuser, does add a more aggressive look to the sports coupe, but overall, the kit didn’t accentuate the RC’s sexiness.
Updated 11/04/2014: Lexus unveiled the official images of this very cool RC 350 F developed by Gordon Ting in cooperation with Beyond Marketing. Details after the jump.
Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus RC By LexusTuned, GReddy, Toyo Tires And Rocket Bunny.
Lexus has come a long way with its reinvention. It’s done a great job at establishing an identity of its own and has succeeded in stepping out of the enormous shadow of Toyota. The new Lexus NX is a great example of that, but even this new SUV needs some upgrades. That’s where Toyota Racing Development (TRD) comes into the picture. Toyota’s in-house performance team has a bunch of new accessories for the Lexus NX. It’s not going to take a lot to add more aggression to the already-menacing look of the NX, but at least TRD is giving us the option to do so if we wanted.
It’s a pretty comprehensive kit that provides an impressive visual upgrade to the NX, especially the SUV’s F Sport variant. That’s not really a tall order considering the aggressive look the NX already has, but adding some upgrades here and there does help out a bit.
The new NX F Sport TRD kit is available for either the NX 200t or the NX 300h. Unfortunately, however, it looks like this kit is offered exclusively in Japan.
We’re holding out hope that Lexus brings the TRD kit to the US, but only if it costs less than what it’s going for in Japan. $8,000 for a pretty simple TRD kit isn’t a purchase we’re inclined to make anytime soon.
Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus NX By TRD.
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!
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!
With Lexus recently confirming that the two mysterious LFA prototypes spotted near the Nurburgring will never hit production, PUR Wheels recently took matters into their own hands by creating one of their most tasteful projects thus far: ‘Project Reignfire.’
Fitting a set of 21”, three-piece, forged aluminum 4OUR DEPTH wheels to this stunning red LFA helps to really bring the entire Japanese supercar package together by adding to the overall street appeal of this particular LFA immensely.
Finished in gloss Lumiere grey, the 4OUR DEPTH wheels help to accentuate the lines of the LFA, with the low profile tires also doing wonders for the overall look of the car.
No performance tuning has been conducted on this particular LFA, but after looking at the LFA’s stock spec sheet, it’s no wonder that PUR wheels decided to keep all the mechanics stock! Featuring a 4.8-liter V10 engine, the size of a traditional V8 and the weight of a V6, that delivers 552 horsepower at 8,800 rpm and 354 lb-ft of torque at 6,800 rpm, the LFA is unquestionably a true performance car.
Launched late in 2011, the Lexus GS F-Sports has only received an upgrade package from Five Axis. The main reason for that, of course, is that the sports sedan doesn’t look like it needs any upgrades, unless you’re looking at it through the eyes of Wald International.
The Japanese tuner’s new "Executive Line" aero package is based mostly on upgrading the exterior of the vehicle. It consists of a new front spoiler, darkened headlamp and taillight bezels, new side skirts, and a rear apron with a diffuser. The car also comes with a new set of alloy wheels and, upon request, Wald International will add a larger boot spoiler and a new suspension kit.
To be honest, we would have loved a boost in power; maybe next time. For now, customers will have to settle for the standard 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 306 HP.
Prices for the new Lexus GS-F Sport by Wald International will be announced at a later date.
Five Axis was the first tuning company to come out with an upgrade package for the new generation Lexus GS, specifically the GS 350 F-Sport, but now Toyota Racing Developments (TRD) is getting in on the action with a full list of accessories for the GS. The package can be applied to both the GS 350 and GS 450h models, but buyers beware, it’s going to get expensive. For example, just a new set of wheels will run the customer $6,574.
Aside from the pricey wheels, TRD is offering a pretty impressive aero kit that includes a front under-spoiler, side skirts, a trunk spoiler, and a rear diffuser. Customers can also opt for a quad-exhaust sports muffler and a new set of 19" forged aluminum wheels that are lighter than the standard and help improve rigidity, contributing to the high dynamic performance and elegant comfort of the GS.
In addition to these features, the Lexus GS’ ride was superbly balanced with a new sport suspension that helps change the damping force of the spring and damper stiffness stabilizer from a revised rate.
The 2011 SEMA Show gave JT Grey Racing the opportunity to take on Lexus’ mighty LX 570. Their package is as rough and tough as any other, ready to take on the sand-filled crusade of the Baja 1000.
The LX570 by JT Grey Racing was hooked up with a HeadFirst Design graphic design, Blue Media/3M vehicle wrap, and 6 KC Hilites- 70w carbon fiber HID off road lighting. Large 17" F-Sport forged Off-Road wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich Baja TA 37"x 12.50 race tires will help it survive in any gnarly desert conditions. The interior of the LX570 was also upgraded with Sparco USA- EVO seats, a Sparco USA steering wheel, Lowrance HD7 / LMF 400 GPS navigation, and Kenwood 110 with PCI radio/intercom.
The Baja Series is no joke, so JT Grey Racing also upped the performance ante with new OE/TRD pads brakes, a King Racing Shocks suspension system, and a Flowmaster/Geiser exhaust system.
The final product looks to kill, but Toyota has already penned the Long Beach Racers Tacoma as their entrant into the Baja Series. As far as we know, the company isn’t looking to change their mind. That being said, JT Grey Racing is planning to enter the LX 570 in next year’s race.
Lexus employees have barely finished buffing out the brand spanking new GS 350 F-Sport and there’s already a tuner prepared to debut the vehicle’s first tuning package. Through the eyes of Five Axis comes the Project GS F Sport with some aesthetic and mechanical updates to wow the SEMA showgoers.
The Project GS F-Sport is sparkling in a Glacier White exterior paint with custom Slate Gray accents to offset the unique Silver textured accents for the interior. The vehicle is then given a little attitude with a Five Axis widebody conversion kit and a new set of wheels - size 20x9.5" at front and 20x10.5" at rear - wrapped in Yokohama Advan Sport tires.
The gleaming aesthetic changes are matched up with tools for better stability on the road. The Project GS F-Sport comes equipped with a new Stoptech Brake Kit with six-piston opposed calipers up front and four at the rear, an AirRunner TC-5 Air suspension system, and a custom fabricated exhaust with dual finishers by Five Axis for that clean engine sound. Speaking of the engine, Five Axis left the 3.5-liter V6 engine of the standard model untouched so owner will still be riding away using 306 HP.
The Lexus GS F-Sport’s first tuning package may not contain all of the bells and whistles of the average kit, but the result seems to be astounding nonetheless.
UPDATE 11/07/2011: If you wanted to see what the GS F Sport by Five Axis looks like in real life, then check out our live images from SEMA!
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.
In its standard version, the Lexus IS 350C is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that delivers 306 HP, but at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show, VIP Auto Salon is going to show what the convertible is truly capable. Their new tuning package for the IS 350C will push out an additional 80 HP, as well as look exceptional good doing it.
The kit starts off right where we like it: the engine. VIP Auto Salon installed a power enterprise Rotex Supercharger kit by Apexi x VIP Auto Salon and a PTS Joe Z Series header back exhaust system to get a total output of 386 HP. The performance will undoubtedly be improved with this extra power, as well as the custom carbon fiber styling package including a front lip spoiler, side diffusers, rear diffusers, a rear trunk spoiler, eye lines, and a Seibon carbon fiber hood.
The exterior looks exquisite in a cool Chameleon paint by K&W enhanced by a Huper Optik ceramic film by STM. The final touch for the exterior is laid out with a new set of 19" Full-Face forged alloy wheels. The interior is then updated with custom seat inserts by Top Stitch, an F-Sport carbon shift knob, F-Sport floor mats, and an F-Sport carbon fiber engine cover.
All told, the Lexus IS 350C is a convertible we can all see ourselves driving to the beach in.
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!
Tuning an SUV is something often left to companies that make them more off-road capable. Some luxury SUV platforms, like those from Land Rover, receive the ultra-luxury treatment, but have you ever seen a Lexus SUV makeover from a renowned tuner? Wald International has been building body kits and upgrading all sorts of luxury automakers offerings for years and has now set their sights on the LX570.
This big Lexus is the brother of Toyota’s legendary LandCruiser model, but receives a more elegant exterior and interior. This model is meant to compete in the big leagues with the Range Rover and Mercedes G550, but often falls to the bottom of anyone’s wish list. Sure it’s not as flashy as the other offerings, but the luxury quotient is certainly there. It is also extremely versatile in any road condition just like the G550. In order to make this car more appealing to the style conscious, Wald has given the LX570 its Black Bison makeover.
Details on the Lexus LX570 Black Bison Edition after the jump.
Dressed in a burnt orange paint finish and looking shiny and smug, Fox Marketing’s take on the Lexus CT 200h is what we call a smoking hot hatch ready to rumble with the best of ‘em.
The car was introduced at the New York Auto Show where Fox Marketing showed off the reworked Japanese hot hybrid hatch with a new Eaton supercharger and a Climax Racing intake manifold. When added to the CT 200h’s 1.8-liter VVT-i petrol engine, these elements can turn the hot hatch into a 300-horsepower piece of hybrid awesomeness. Since it’s a hybrid, Fox also gave the car’s batteries a good upgrade, although details of that remain unknown - at least for now.
With the added ponies under the hood, Fox also gave the CT 200h a new and customized suspension system with 13” Baer brakes to go with a set of 20” wheels wrapped in 225/30-series tires. And just to give it more aesthetic spunk, Fox also dressed up the car with some new duds. On top of the metallic burnt orange paint, the aftermarket company gave the CT 200h a wide body kit with three-inch fender flares, a set of Yonaka racing seats, and LED Lexus logos on the door panels.
Save for a few, we don’t have a whole big fascination for hatchbacks, but if this is what a reworked Lexus CT 200h is going to look like, then sign us up!