Video: TMG’s super Lexus LS Sports 650 gets track tested

Filed under: Motorsports, Sedan, Performance, Videos, Lexus, Luxury

XCAR drives the Lexus TMG Sports 650 on track.

The people at Toyota Motorsport GmbH have been responsible for the Japanese automaker’s motorsports efforts since the 1970s, but since Toyota pulled out of Formula One after the 2009 season, the tuning shop has been developing a super sedan based on the Lexus LS called the Sports 650. Details on TMG’s first road car have been scarce, but XCAR was recently invited to drive the 641-horsepower Lexus on track.

Here’s what we know: the Sports 650 has enough power to sprint to 60 miles per hour in under four seconds, tops out at 199 mph, weighs over two tons and utilizes LFA brakes. Oh, and its twin-turbo V8 bellows like an AMG V8. That last part isn’t surprising when considering TMG could become Toyota’s in-house tuning arm – like AMG is to Mercedes-Benz. As for the bespoke body kit, fender flares and stacked exhaust pipes? They fit the car well and even remind us a bit of Lexus’ other high-performance sedan, the IS F. Currently there are no plans for the Sports 650 to be made into a production car, but we doubt TMG is devoting this much effort developing the LS into a road-rocket for nothing.

Check out XCAR‘s video below to see the AMG-fighter wrung out on track, and then ponder what could be if TMG were let loose to fiddle with other cars in Lexus’ lineup. Now that’s something we could get used to!

Continue reading TMG’s super Lexus LS Sports 650 gets track tested

TMG’s super Lexus LS Sports 650 gets track tested originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: TMG’s super Lexus LS Sports 650 gets track tested

Filed under: Motorsports, Sedan, Performance, Videos, Lexus, Luxury

XCAR drives the Lexus TMG Sports 650 on track.

The people at Toyota Motorsport GmbH have been responsible for the Japanese automaker’s motorsports efforts since the 1970s, but since Toyota pulled out of Formula One after the 2009 season, the tuning shop has been developing a super sedan based on the Lexus LS called the Sports 650. Details on TMG’s first road car have been scarce, but XCAR was recently invited to drive the 641-horsepower Lexus on track.

Here’s what we know: the Sports 650 has enough power to sprint to 60 miles per hour in under four seconds, tops out at 199 mph, weighs over two tons and utilizes LFA brakes. Oh, and its twin-turbo V8 bellows like an AMG V8. That last part isn’t surprising when considering TMG could become Toyota’s in-house tuning arm – like AMG is to Mercedes-Benz. As for the bespoke body kit, fender flares and stacked exhaust pipes? They fit the car well and even remind us a bit of Lexus’ other high-performance sedan, the IS F. Currently there are no plans for the Sports 650 to be made into a production car, but we doubt TMG is devoting this much effort developing the LS into a road-rocket for nothing.

Check out XCAR‘s video below to see the AMG-fighter wrung out on track, and then ponder what could be if TMG were let loose to fiddle with other cars in Lexus’ lineup. Now that’s something we could get used to!

Continue reading TMG’s super Lexus LS Sports 650 gets track tested

TMG’s super Lexus LS Sports 650 gets track tested originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: 2015 Lexus GS F is camo-free and frisky

Filed under: Spy Photos, Sedan, Performance, Lexus, Luxury

Lexus GS F Spy shots

Other than some missing badges and (hopefully) a not-yet-finished rear fascia, what you see here is an undisguised look at the long-awaited Lexus GS F high-performance sedan. Lexus’ answer to the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, the GS F has been spotted again.

Unlike our previous spy shots, though, this time around, the sporty Lexus has been caught testing on the Nürburgring, so our spy shooters have managed to get a look at the car from all angles. Building on the aggressive styling of the GS F-Sport, the GS F gets bigger air intakes and a lower chin spoiler up front. Like before, we see the signature stacked exhaust outlets, but they still seemed roughed into rear fascia, which gets an aero-aiding diffuser.

We still only have guesses as to what will be under the hood, but a 465-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 sounds good to us. Expect to see the production GS F on the road by 2015.

2015 Lexus GS F is camo-free and frisky originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: 2015 Lexus GS F is camo-free and frisky

Filed under: Spy Photos, Sedan, Performance, Lexus, Luxury

Lexus GS F Spy shots

Other than some missing badges and (hopefully) a not-yet-finished rear fascia, what you see here is an undisguised look at the long-awaited Lexus GS F high-performance sedan. Lexus’ answer to the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, the GS F has been spotted again.

Unlike our previous spy shots, though, this time around, the sporty Lexus has been caught testing on the Nürburgring, so our spy shooters have managed to get a look at the car from all angles. Building on the aggressive styling of the GS F-Sport, the GS F gets bigger air intakes and a lower chin spoiler up front. Like before, we see the signature stacked exhaust outlets, but they still seemed roughed into rear fascia, which gets an aero-aiding diffuser.

We still only have guesses as to what will be under the hood, but a 465-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 sounds good to us. Expect to see the production GS F on the road by 2015.

2015 Lexus GS F is camo-free and frisky originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Toyota’s refreshed Sai is a Lexus HS by any other name

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Japan, Toyota

Toyota Sai

Toyota first launched Lexus in the United States back in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2005 that it brought the luxury marque home to roost. But don’t think that Toyota didn’t find a way of selling many of its premium models in the Japanese Domestic Market in the meantime. The Lexus LS was sold as the Toyota Celsion, the ES as the Vista and Camry Prominent, and the SC as the Soarer. (We could go on, but you get the point.)

These days Lexus sells in markets around the world, including Japan, but Toyota still spins off its own versions of Lexus models to sell domestically as well. Like the new Sai, for example. Sharing its platform, hybrid propulsion and much more with the Lexus HS (which you may remember as the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid until it was pulled from the market early last year), the Sai was introduced to Japan at the same time as the HS was rolled out around the world. Now nearly four years on the market, Toyota has given it a bit of a refresh.

Boasting a far more aggressive front end and a restyled rear, the revised Sai features LED headlights, 16-inch alloys and a higher-quality interior in which JDM buyers will find a new center console and trim, along with an optional 10-speaker infotainment system. Toyota also boasts that the new Sai is made of 20-percent Ecological Plastic and recycled resin.

Power still comes from the same 150-horsepower 2.4-liter inline-four and 143-hp electric motor for a combined maximum output of 190 hp. Toyota anticipates selling 2,000 of these every month in Japan. Read all the details in Toyota’s official press release below.

Continue reading Toyota’s refreshed Sai is a Lexus HS by any other name

Toyota’s refreshed Sai is a Lexus HS by any other name originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Toyota’s refreshed Sai is a Lexus HS by any other name

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Japan, Toyota

Toyota Sai

Toyota first launched Lexus in the United States back in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2005 that it brought the luxury marque home to roost. But don’t think that Toyota didn’t find a way of selling many of its premium models in the Japanese Domestic Market in the meantime. The Lexus LS was sold as the Toyota Celsion, the ES as the Vista and Camry Prominent, and the SC as the Soarer. (We could go on, but you get the point.)

These days Lexus sells in markets around the world, including Japan, but Toyota still spins off its own versions of Lexus models to sell domestically as well. Like the new Sai, for example. Sharing its platform, hybrid propulsion and much more with the Lexus HS (which you may remember as the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid until it was pulled from the market early last year), the Sai was introduced to Japan at the same time as the HS was rolled out around the world. Now nearly four years on the market, Toyota has given it a bit of a refresh.

Boasting a far more aggressive front end and a restyled rear, the revised Sai features LED headlights, 16-inch alloys and a higher-quality interior in which JDM buyers will find a new center console and trim, along with an optional 10-speaker infotainment system. Toyota also boasts that the new Sai is made of 20-percent Ecological Plastic and recycled resin.

Power still comes from the same 150-horsepower 2.4-liter inline-four and 143-hp electric motor for a combined maximum output of 190 hp. Toyota anticipates selling 2,000 of these every month in Japan. Read all the details in Toyota’s official press release below.

Continue reading Toyota’s refreshed Sai is a Lexus HS by any other name

Toyota’s refreshed Sai is a Lexus HS by any other name originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Filed under: Convertible, Hybrid, Sedan, Recalls, Safety, Crossover, Lexus, Luxury

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

When it rains, it pours. Toyota has announced a pair of separate but voluntary North America recalls covering approximately 235,000 vehicles built between 2006 and 2011. The larger of the two recalls targets Toyota’s hybridized crossovers, the Lexus RX400h and Toyota Highlander Hybrid. 133,000 units, including 2006-2010 Highlander and 2006-2008 RX crossovers are covered in the campaign. The other recall affects 102,000 IS350 sedans, IS350C convertibles and GS350 sedans built between 2006 and 2011.

With the CUVs, the faults in the parallel circuits of the transistors can cause heat damage in the inverter assembly, triggering an abundance of warning lamps and sending the vehicle into limp mode. The Lexus sedans are being recalled due to loose bolts on the variable valve timing controller. Detected by unusual underhood sounds on startup, the issue can cause the engine to stop while driving. The inverter issue is also triggering similar recalls in Japan and Europe.

At the moment, it’s unclear if any of these issues have caused any crashes or injuries. Toyota says it plans to notify owners of the recall via snail mail. Additional information for owners can be found on the recall sites for Toyota and Lexus or by calling Toyota’s customer service line, at 1-800-331-4331. Scroll down for the complete recall notice from Toyota.

Continue reading Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Filed under: Convertible, Hybrid, Sedan, Recalls, Safety, Crossover, Lexus, Luxury

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

When it rains, it pours. Toyota has announced a pair of separate but voluntary North America recalls covering approximately 235,000 vehicles built between 2006 and 2011. The larger of the two recalls targets Toyota’s hybridized crossovers, the Lexus RX400h and Toyota Highlander Hybrid. 133,000 units, including 2006-2010 Highlander and 2006-2008 RX crossovers are covered in the campaign. The other recall affects 102,000 IS350 sedans, IS350C convertibles and GS350 sedans built between 2006 and 2011.

With the CUVs, the faults in the parallel circuits of the transistors can cause heat damage in the inverter assembly, triggering an abundance of warning lamps and sending the vehicle into limp mode. The Lexus sedans are being recalled due to loose bolts on the variable valve timing controller. Detected by unusual underhood sounds on startup, the issue can cause the engine to stop while driving. The inverter issue is also triggering similar recalls in Japan and Europe.

At the moment, it’s unclear if any of these issues have caused any crashes or injuries. Toyota says it plans to notify owners of the recall via snail mail. Additional information for owners can be found on the recall sites for Toyota and Lexus or by calling Toyota’s customer service line, at 1-800-331-4331. Scroll down for the complete recall notice from Toyota.

Continue reading Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Lexus reveals LF-NX crossover concept for Frankfurt

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Hybrid, Crossover, Lexus, Luxury

Lexus LF-NX

Compact luxury crossovers are becoming big business for upscale automakers. Mercedes is slotting the new GLA beneath the GLK, BMW has the X1 below the X3, Audi has downsized from the Q5 to the Q3, and Lexus is keen to get in on the game. And to that end, Toyota’s luxury division is coming to the Frankfurt Motor Show this year with the concept crossover you see here.

Previewed a couple of weeks ago with an enigmatic teaser, the LF-NX concept, in the company’s own words, “explores the potential for a compact crossover within the Lexus model range.” The latest adaptation of the “L-finesse” design language could be the sharpest and most stylistically Japanese we’ve seen yet, with the sharp creases of the signature spindle grille repeated all around for a razor-sharp look. Lexus only released one shot of the cabin, but it looks as sharp as the exterior and, while clearly stylized, looks essentially more production-ready than most show cars.

Lexus hasn’t revealed much about the powertrain, saying only that it incorporates “a new variant of the Lexus Hybrid Drive system tuned for SUV performance.” Whether it actually has an engine that Lexus will detail at the show remains to be seen, but you can delve into the press release below for more and scope out the five images released thus far in the gallery above for a closer look.

Continue reading Lexus reveals LF-NX crossover concept for Frankfurt

Lexus reveals LF-NX crossover concept for Frankfurt originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 05:11:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Lexus reveals LF-NX crossover concept for Frankfurt

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Hybrid, Crossover, Lexus, Luxury

Lexus LF-NX

Compact luxury crossovers are becoming big business for upscale automakers. Mercedes is slotting the new GLA beneath the GLK, BMW has the X1 below the X3, Audi has downsized from the Q5 to the Q3, and Lexus is keen to get in on the game. And to that end, Toyota’s luxury division is coming to the Frankfurt Motor Show this year with the concept crossover you see here.

Previewed a couple of weeks ago with an enigmatic teaser, the LF-NX concept, in the company’s own words, “explores the potential for a compact crossover within the Lexus model range.” The latest adaptation of the “L-finesse” design language could be the sharpest and most stylistically Japanese we’ve seen yet, with the sharp creases of the signature spindle grille repeated all around for a razor-sharp look. Lexus only released one shot of the cabin, but it looks as sharp as the exterior and, while clearly stylized, looks essentially more production-ready than most show cars.

Lexus hasn’t revealed much about the powertrain, saying only that it incorporates “a new variant of the Lexus Hybrid Drive system tuned for SUV performance.” Whether it actually has an engine that Lexus will detail at the show remains to be seen, but you can delve into the press release below for more and scope out the five images released thus far in the gallery above for a closer look.

Continue reading Lexus reveals LF-NX crossover concept for Frankfurt

Lexus reveals LF-NX crossover concept for Frankfurt originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 05:11:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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