Official: Like sands through the hourglass, so is the 2014 Lexus GX

Filed under: SUV, Lexus, Luxury, Off-Road

2014 Lexus GX 460 - front three-quarter view

Well, that didn’t take long. Just days after patent images leaked, Lexus has released pricing and images for its redesigned 2014 GX 460. Our first reaction is… wow, look at the front end on that! The updated luxury SUV features what Lexus calls “a new interpretation” of its now-trademark Spindle grille. The oversized hourglass shape is certainly unique, and whether for good or bad, it’s sure to make the GX stand out.

The redesigned GX is set to hit dealerships in September and it starts at $49,085 – nearly $5,000 less than the 2013 model. Along with the new grille, it comes with standard LED headlights and daytime running lights. Inside, the GX boasts a new eight-inch touchscreen display with backup monitor, HD radio with complimentary weather and traffic data, Bluetooth and a vehicle information display. New espresso wood with black trim is also available for 2014.

Of course, the Luxury model, which starts at $60,715, adds even more frills, including navigation, a new Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, adaptive air suspension and Intuitive Parking Assist. Some of these features are also available on the base model with the addition of the new Premium Package, which Lexus touts “will be at the same price as the base 2013 model year GX 460.”

With all the luxurious appointments, it might be easy to overlook that the GX is a bona fide trail runner, but let’s not forget that it also comes with a 4.6-liter V8 engine and standard full-time four-wheel drive, including a low range for off-roading. The powertrain appears to be carryover, with Lexus quoting the same 301 horsepower as last year’s model, as well as the same six-speed automatic gearbox. As before, the GX is equipped with Lexus’ so-called Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System to enhance handling both both on- and off-road, and for 2014, trailer sway control is a new addition. See the press release from Lexus below for the full details, and let us know what you think of that hourglass grille and the rest of the updates in Comments.

Continue reading Like sands through the hourglass, so is the 2014 Lexus GX

Like sands through the hourglass, so is the 2014 Lexus GX originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 24 Aug 2013 12:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Lexus to open stores with branded accessories [w/video]

Filed under: Car Buying, Japan, Marketing/Advertising, Lexus, Design/Style, Luxury

Lexus Intersect

Trying to build a boutique buying atmosphere with a large-volume premium brand isn’t easy, but Lexus is attempting to do just that by introducing its new Intersect By Lexus dealership experience. This aspect of Lexus retailing has nothing to do with cars and everything to do with luxury lifestyle accessories. Intersect By Lexus is effectively an all-in-one shopping destination for high-quality, hand-crafted designer products, many of them created specifically for the marque, right down to their “Crafted for Lexus” branding.

The first Intersect By Lexus store will open at the end of this month in Tokyo, with other stores planned for New York and Dubai. Going over the first store’s initial product list, it seems that each store will offer wares that reflect its location. Some of the products available at Intersect By Lexus Tokyo include a $400 minimalist LED desk light, hand-sewn $286 tablet cover and a $133 drip coffeemaker and cup set handmade from the ash of Japan’s Sakurajima volcano. Scroll down for a short video showing how some of these products were made.

Continue reading Lexus to open stores with branded accessories [w/video]

Lexus to open stores with branded accessories [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Aug 2013 16:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Lexus IS to get Deviant at SEMA

Filed under: Aftermarket, Concept Cars, SEMA Show, Sedan, Lexus, Luxury

It’s time to start gathering intel on SEMA, and it starts with this drawing of a modified 2014 Lexus IS. Lexus ran a competition on DeviantART, an online community for artists, to find a suitably modified IS that it could build and display at the temple of all things aftermarket in Las Vegas. The winner, as judged by a four-person panel from among more than 600 entries, is the IS rendered above by Rob Evans.

The winner looks like the beginning of a build for an IS entry into Japan’s Super GT series, with a seriously exaggerated front spoiler and rear diffuser and fender flares that aren’t just punched out, they’re throwing 12-punch combinations.

Evans will have his car built by VIP Auto Salon and plastered all over Lexus materials promoting its presence at the show. Oh, and he gets an IS F-Sport for a year, among other prizes. Second place went to Lucia Lee, third place to Guangho Huang. A press release below has more on the competition and the winner.

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Lexus IS to get Deviant at SEMA originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: TMG still developing Lexus LS Sports 650 [w/video]

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, Europe, Lexus, Toyota

TMG Sports 650

If you’re going to make a super sedan, you’d better do it in Germany. That’s where Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz do it, along with third parties like Alpina, Brabus and G-Power, among others. Deutschland is the epicenter of the movement, regularly churning out the most powerful four-door rockets in the world. It’s also where one of the racing divisions for Toyota has been hard at work on the TMG Sports 650.

Toyota Motorsport GmbH started with a Lexus LS and turned it into a 641-horsepower, twin-turbocharged super sedan it revealed late last year at the Essen Motor Show. But though we haven’t heard much about it since then, the team behind Toyota’s F1 and Le Mans efforts are apparently still hard at work on the project.

Speaking with Lexus’ own UK blog, TMG chief Alastair Moffitt revealed that the project started way back in 2010, shortly after Toyota shut down its F1 program and left the racing team with nothing to do. The 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 was initially producing as much as 800 horsepower, but has since been refined to 650 so that it could theoretically be put into production and onto the road.

That’s something TMG hasn’t done before, but is keen to start, positioning itself alongside Toyota Racing Development in the US and Gazoo Racing in Japan as an in-house tuning division which Toyota and Lexus could rely on for this kind of project. To that end, TMG has been testing its prototype at the Nürburgring – less than an hour’s drive from its headquarters in Cologne – and has already found it’ll run to 60 in the same 3.9 seconds as the new Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG and top out at 200 mph.

The next step will be to set a hot lap on the Nordschleife, and we’ll be keeping an eye out to see how it does. In the meantime, check out the video below.

Continue reading TMG still developing Lexus LS Sports 650 [w/video]

TMG still developing Lexus LS Sports 650 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Lexus IS F avoids cancellation, priced from $63,350*

Filed under: Car Buying, Sedan, Performance, Lexus, Luxury

Ever since the redesigned Lexus IS hit the scene, we’ve been wondering about the 416-horsepower IS F model, and now we finally have some answers. For 2014, the IS F carries over with the previous bodystyle, and Lexus gives its sport sedan some small changes to go with a higher starting price of $63,350 (*not including $910 for destination) when it goes on sale in October. Compared to the 2013 model (shown above), the price has risen by $1,600.

For that extra money, buyers will get a couple styling changes like the new carbon fiber decklid spoiler and LED fog lights, as well as some minor interior updates like headrests embossed with the “F” logo, Alcantara trim added to the door panels and center console cover, semi-aniline leather replacing the black leather and black Alcantara seat-inserts added to cars equipped with the red leather seats.

The price hike for the IS F is considerably higher than the rest of the 2014 IS lineup such as the $885 increase for the new IS250 and the $855 drop for the IS350 while pricing for both IS Convertible models (IS250C and IS350C) went up by $100 each. Speaking of price increases, Lexus has also increased its destination charge slightly from $895 up to $910.

Continue reading Lexus IS F avoids cancellation, priced from $63,350*

Lexus IS F avoids cancellation, priced from $63,350* originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Aug 2013 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Lexus to replace GX SUV with new TX crossover

Filed under: SUV, Crossover, Lexus, Luxury

2012 Lexus GX

There’s been a lot of news regarding future Lexus products recently, including spy shots of new RC coupe and NX compact crossover, and reports that a 2+2 coupe based on the LF-LC concept is heading for production. Now, Automotive News says that Japan’s #1 luxury automaker is planning to replace the fullsize, body-on-frame Lexus GX SUV with a three-row crossover called the TX.

The article says that the GX, which is based on the foreign-market Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, will get a styling update for 2014 before being phased out in 2016. In a similar move as Infiniti made with its three-row JX/QX60, the new TX will be car-based, but details are still unknown as to whether it will be front-wheel-drive riding on the Toyota Avalon platform or rear-wheel-drive using the Lexus GS platform. Either way, this new luxury crossover could join the Lexus lineup as soon as late 2016.

Lexus to replace GX SUV with new TX crossover originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 31 Jul 2013 11:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: Are you the Lexus GS F?

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

Lexus GS F spy shot - rear three-quarter in garage

It’s been a while since we’ve heard rumors of the fabled high-performance Lexus GS F, but thanks to our eager spy photographers, this looks to be our first real proof of the machine’s existence. We don’t have the usual brace of photos from all angles to work with this time around, our spies saying that every time Lexus’ garage door opened, engineers jumped in front of the cameras to prevent the car from being photographed.

Even so, we have a pretty clear glimpse at some significant changes to this GS sedan, including the same staggered, quad-pipe exhaust found on the Lexus IS F. There’s also an air diffuser panel nestled between the exhaust outlets, as well as a larger lip spoiler and unique wheels (matching those of the RC coupe) wrapped in high-performance tires.

Last time we heard rumors of the GS F’s existence, sources predicted that the M5-fighting sedan would use a tuned version of Lexus’ 5.0-liter V8, producing something like 465 horsepower. We have also heard that the automaker plans to reduce weight wherever possible, and that the final curb weight will be something like 3,700 pounds.

Of course, those earlier reports said we’d see the car as early as 2012, and that obviously didn’t happen. These days, our spies’ best guess is that the GS F will arrive in time for the 2015 model year.

Are you the Lexus GS F? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Next Lexus RX previewed with JDM Toyota Harrier?

Filed under: Japan, Crossover, Lexus, Toyota, Luxury

Next-Generation Toyota Harrier/Lexus RX front three-quarter

Japanese site CarWatch has revealed images of the next-generation Toyota Harrier, known to US and European buyers as the Lexus RX. The new model features a considerably more aggressive fascia in keeping with some of the latest Lexus design trends, while the back features a pair of wide, wraparound taillights.

The profile features a revised greenhouse, with a rather complex rear window treatment, while a subtle character line connects the front and rear taillights. According to the badging, the model shown features a hybrid powertrain, although there’s little information on which engine is being used. We’d wager it’s an evolution of the same 3.5-liter V6 hybrid found in the current RX450h.

This early look doesn’t have a great deal of other info, and there are no images of the interior. We’re not yet clear on how closely the North American RX will adhere to the Harrier seen here, but historically the two models have been quite close. That said, we’d expect a more prominent ‘spindle’ grille on the Lexus version than the baleen strainer on the vehicle shown here.

A page on Toyota’s Japanese website says the new Harrier/RX will receive a winter 2013 debut. That makes for a difficult determination of what auto show the new CUV will arrive at. Both the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show and 2013 Tokyo Motor Show (not to be confused with the Tokyo Auto Salon) take place at the end of November, but neither is technically a winter show.

Next Lexus RX previewed with JDM Toyota Harrier? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Jul 2013 11:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Lexus IS commercial made with Instagram photos

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Lexus, Luxury

Facebook was so 2010, so it’s no surprise that automakers are taking advantage of newer social media applications for their marketing purposes. Most recently, Lexus invited more than 200 followers on Instagram (“Instagrammers”), along with their smartphones, to make a commercial of the 2014 Lexus IS using hundreds of their photos of the car strung together into a video.

Instagram, taking advantage of smartphone cameras, is an application that allows users to shoot, edit and share photos or video online with friends and strangers alike. Lexus’s stop-motion Insta-commercial is unique as far as commercials go, with each photo in the sequence sporting a personal touch thanks to the app’s photo editor. But, even more impressive is the ability of social media to bring people together for, and involve them in, a commercial shoot. All of which you can watch below. Stay tuned after the commercial to get a look behind the scenes at the making of it all.

Continue reading Lexus IS commercial made with Instagram photos

Lexus IS commercial made with Instagram photos originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Followup: Lexus coupe caught in spy shots actually RC, headed for Tokyo reveal?

Filed under: Spy Photos, Sedan, Performance, Lexus

Lexus may have pulled a fast one on us. The car our spy shooters spotted yesterday may not, in fact, be an IS F Coupe as we indicated. Rather, the car shown above may be a new model, dubbed RC, that will arrive at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show.

Following a report from Automotive News, the RC is believed to be a pure coupe, rather than a hardtop convertible. This gels with information provided on the IS sedan’s launch, when Lexus spokespeople said the IS Convertible would remain on the current platform. With styling based on the LF-CC from the 2012 Paris show, the new car will share a rear-drive platform with the IS and GS sedans.

Power is expected to come from a 3.5-liter V6 that turns out 306 horsepower. That car will likely wear the RC 350 badge. A hybrid model is expected to follow, but in a twist, it won’t be coming to the US. The big news, though, is that the RC will spawn an RC F.

Sources told AN that a 460-hp V8 will replace the 416-hp mill found in the current IS F, allowing the RC F to really duke it out with Stuttgart, Munich, and Ingolstadt.

Where does that leave the IS F? We can’t be sure, but with Mercedes-Benz and BMW both offering (now or in the future) fast, compact sedans, we wouldn’t bet on Lexus sitting out. We can expect to see a production RC F at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, with examples arriving in dealers later that year.

Lexus coupe caught in spy shots actually RC, headed for Tokyo reveal? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Jul 2013 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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