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2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport & a NASCAR Roadtrip

2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport & a NASCAR Roadtrip

There are few things in this country more American than a NASCAR race. Sure, apple pie and baseball might outrank it, but neither of those can compete with stock cars thundering around a track at 200 mph while continually riding on the brink of catastrophe as they race just inches away from a concrete wall and other drivers gunning to win. So when the opportunity arose to become deeply immersed in the culture during the recent All-Star race, I jumped at the chance.

It all started a few months ago with an email invite from Toyota. It read something along the lines of, “how about joining us at the NASCAR All-Star race and tours of the Joe Gibbs Racing Center and NASCAR Hall of Fame?” My reply went something like, “Heck yeah, I’ll be there!”

I decided to skip the crowded airports for a 2014 Lexus IS350 F Sport and a seven-hour drive through the heart of the eastern seaboard. I viewed this almost like a pilgrimage; setting out on a roadtrip for a destination of racing importance located in the rolling hills of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Once on the road, my choice of chariot was immediately affirmed. Unlike my last Lexus experience, the front seat was perfectly molded, padded, and bolstered. The more I drove, the more the car seemed to shrink around me, making tight maneuvering a thing of ease. The stout 3.5-liter V-6 offered plenty of grunt while the tight steering and sport-tuned suspension made each corner a memorable event.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Lexus IS350 F Sport and about my time spent at Joe Gibbs Racing Center

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Motor Trend pits Lamborghini Aventador, Lexus LFA, and McLaren MP4-12C against Bugatti Veyron

Motor Trend pits Lamborghini Aventador, Lexus LFA, and McLaren MP4-12C against Bugatti Veyron

Acceleration is one of the key components which create a supercar. Getting that perfect launch requires a combination of an extensive list of factors, namely finding a car with perfectly suited horsepower and torque figures. Finding a supercar with enough grip and a fast enough transmission to whip through the gears is also extremely important in getting off the line and continuing through to the quarter mile.

In the latest episode of Head2Head on the Motor Trend YouTube channel, they pitted the latest generation of carbon fiber constructed supercars against the all-conquering Bugatti Veyron over the quarter mile to see just how close the competition has come and if the Veyron can finally be knocked off its seemingly everlasting pedestal.

Motor Trend gathered the Lexus LFA, the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, the McLaren MP4-12C, and a beautiful blue Bugatti Veyron Grandsport and took them to an abandoned runway in the depths of the U.S. They then conducted the review through two knockout rounds in order to find the Veyron’s closest competitor before pitting the remaining car against the Veyron.

So who won, you ask?

Well, we won’t ruin that for you as this video is definitely worth the 7 minutes it lasts.

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Video: Lexus LFA Nürburgring-Edition laps the 'Ring in 7:14.6

Video: Lexus LFA Nürburgring-Edition laps the ’Ring in 7:14.6

It was only four days ago that we caught wind of a new record set by the Lexus LFA Nürburgring-Edition and now we have confirmation of the wondrous feat. The LFA Nurburgring has lapped the famous Nurburgring in only 7 minutes and 14 seconds, just one year after Lexus’ longtime Chief Test Driver, Hiromu Naruse, died while test driving this very same car a short distance from the Nurburgring.

This new record was achieved at the hands of Akira Iida using the Bridgestone Potenza RE070 tires that come standard with the LFA Nurburgring Edition. The 7:14 time beats out the competition provided by the Porsche 911 GT2 RS (7:18), the Corvette ZR1 (7:19.63), and the Dodge Viper ACR (7:22.1).

Mr. Dr. Schmidt , the COO of the Nürburgring Automotive GmbH stated "‘For us, it is always very special when a car is developed to meet the needs of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. It shows us that the Nordschleife still is of particular importance for the automotive industry and that it still radiates a tremendous fascination. Lexus met the challenge Nordschleife by developing the Lexus LFA Nurburgring package."

"The lap time driven demonstrates impressively that Lexus have done an excellent job in matching the challenges of the track with the needs of an exclusive sports car. This is an outstanding result for Lexus and a reassurance of the excellent work done. We are very delighted by this."

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