A few days ago Lexus announced that they will be revealing the all-new 2013 GS 350 model on August 18th at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. They also invited some of the journalists from Motor Trend, Autoweek and Car & Driver to take the car for a test drive. Obviously, the exterior of the prototype test cars was wrapped around in plastic, but the interior was mostly free of camouflage. The design of the interior cabin looks like a more edgy LF-A-esque styling with a huge 12.3-inch information screen located above the center console and plenty of stitched leather on the dashboard.
Lexus told the aforementioned magazines that the new generation of the GS features an updated platform that measures the same 112.2-inch wheelbase like the outgoing model, while the overall length has increased to 190.9 from the previous 190 inches. In addition, width is also up by 0.8-inches and the roof is now 1.2-incher taller than it previously was. The 2013 GS is also 157 pounds (71 kg) lighter than the model it replaces and has a curb weight of 3,638 kg (1,650 kg).
The car will be powered by an updated version of the V6 3.5-liter engine and will be mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox that will send all of the hp to the wheels in the back. There won’t be any V8 engines available for the car but Lexus promised to bring at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September a performance-tuned hybrid that will be based on the V6 3.5-liter unit. Later on, the Japanese automaker will roll out an F-sport trim level with both performance and styling upgrades. The car will be exhibited at the SEMA aftermarket show that will be held in Las Vegas.
Source: Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Autoweek via Carscoop
Post tags: Tags: Lexus, lexus gs, lexus gs 350
In the last three months, Mercedes has been the top premium brand as far as sales are concerned in the United States. The German automaker managed to sell 21,484 units this March, which is 9.4% more than they did in same period of 2010.
Post tags: Tags: Lexus, mercedes, Sales
Welcome back to the third and final part of our extensive article about the most important cars that will delight us at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. Let’s start with Land Rover and their Range Rover Evoque.
The car will be available in 2-door and 4-door variants, both of them featuring the same engine, which will be a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged that outputs 240 hp, linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The Evoque will come with an all-wheel drive system as well as the company’s new Terrain Response System.
One of my personal favorites, Lexus, will bring the CT 200h which is a 4-door / 5-passenger hybrid hatchback, featuring a conventional 4-cylinder 1.8-liter gasoline engine and a battery-powered electric motor, both of them offering a combined power of 134 hp. The new C200h will use a CVT – Continuously Variable Transmission and can run on one or both of the power sources (without having to charge it).
Mercedes will be heading out to Chicago where they will have three new production models: the beautiful 2012 SLK, the 2012 CLS and the 2012 C-Class. We’ve talked about the SLK on rpmGO.com before; it will be available in two variants: the SLK250 and the SLK350. The entry-level model will be fitted with a 4-cylinder 1.8-liter that outputs 201 hp, linked to either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automatic gearbox. The SLK350 is going to have a more powerful V6 3.5-liter engine, good for 302 hp. This model will be available with a 7-speed automatic transmission.
The CLS will be available in two models: CLS550 and the AMG CLS63. The first one has a V8 4.7-liter turbocharged engine that outputs 402 hp while the other comes with a V8 5.5-liter turbocharged engine that produces 518 hp. The CLS550 has a 7-speed automatic gearbox while the CLS630 AMG will get a 7-speed automated manual gearbox.
The 2012 C250 will be offered in two trim levels: Luxury and Sport, both of them featuring a 4-cylinder 1.8-liter unit that churns 201 hp. The C300 will have the same trim levels, but it will be equipped with a V6 3.0-liter engine, good for 228 hp. The C350 will have the same engine, but this time it will output 302 hp. The high-end model will be the AMG version C63 which will most likely come with a V8 6.2-liter that outputs 451 hp.
Mini will be bringing their 2011 Countryman, which will be the first four full-sized doors Mini model sold in the United States. The car will be available in two trim levels: Base and S. The entry-level will get a 4-cylinder 1.6-engine that churns 120 hp while the high-end variant will feature a 4-cylinder 1.6-liter that produces 180 hp. Both of the models will get front-wheel drive and a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Mitsubishi will show us their Outlander Sport model which will be available in two trim levels: ES and SE. Both of the versions will pack a front-wheel drive system and a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter that outputs 148 hp. The ES will come with a 5-speed manual gearbox while the SE will get a CVT transmission and steering-wheel paddles for manual changing.
Another Japanese automaker that will be heading out to Chicago this year will be Nissan with three models: the award-winning Leaf, the funky Juke and the sporty 2012 GT-R. We talked about the Leaf thousands of times, but here is a small presentation. The car will be available with two trims levels – SV and SL. Both of them will have the same lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor that outputs 107 hp. It can be charged at either a 110-volt or a 220-volt outlet. For the first type it will need 20 hours while for the second type it will need only 8 hours.
The guys over at Porsche will be bringing their 2012 Cayman R. This two-seater sports coupe will come with the third and newest trim, dubbed “R”. Unlike the entry-level trim or the S mode, the R has a 6-cylinder 3.4-liter power unit that outputs 330 hp, linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard. It is also available with an optional 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox.
If you can’t afford the Aston Martin Cygnet, the next best thing is the Scion iQ. Featuring a 4-cylinder 1.3-liter engine that outputs 90 hp, this certainly won’t be the most powerful car at the Chicago Auto Show.
Scion will also be bringing the 2011 tC 2-door hatchback coupe which will be fitted with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder power unit that cranks up 180 hp, mated to either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
Scion will not be going to Chicago without its parent company Toyota. Despite the fact that the Japanese automaker is the largest manufacturer in the world, they will be bringing only one model here (one that they already took to Detroit) – 2012 Prius v. The heart of the car will be a conventional 1.8-liter gasoline engine which will be paired with a battery-powered electric motor. The combined power will be 134 hp.
The German automaker Volkswagen will be heading out to Chicago with the recently-launched 2012 Passat and the 2012 Eos. Presented first at Detroit, the Passat will be available in three different trim levels: S, SE and SEL. Engine options include the 4-cylinder 2.0-liter unit with 140 hp, 5-cylinder 2.5-liter with 170 hp and the high-end V6 3.6-liter with 280 ponies. The diesels will be available with either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed dual-clutch automated-manual gearbox. The 5-cylinder 2.5-liter will get either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The V6 engine will be fitted with a 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox.
The EOS will come with a power-retractable hardtop with an integrated sunroof. Under the hood it will feature a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter that produces 200 hp, mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch automated-manual transmission.
Sweden will be represented at Chicago by Volvo with their sexy 2011 S60 model. This premium-midsize car will benefit from a 6-cylinder 3.0-liter turbocharged engine that will produce 300 hp and will be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. At first, the car will be available in one single trim level, the T6. Later on this year, the Swedish automaker will be introducing the T6 R-Design which should be a real looker.
These are the most important cars that will be presented at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. Some of them you might have already seen while others are a premiere (not many unfortunately). From February 9th to February 20th, the automotive capital of the world will be Chicago. Next month we will have another important auto show to review at Geneva. Stay tuned for a comprehensive coverage.
PS: Part 1 and 2 of the article are here and here. Enjoy the reading.
Post tags: Tags: auto-show, Land Rover, Lexus, mercedes, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, scion, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo
First Lexus LF-A Is Done
In the last few years, we have seen the beautiful Lexus LF-A in many colors and shapes, making us dream about how would the production model look like and if it will be ever released. During all these years, the LF-A was only a just a prototype as the Japanese automaker didn’t made a production version yet.
Things took a turn for the better on December 15th when the company officially started on working on a production model LF-A at the Motomachi plant in Japan. A month has passed since then and you are looking at the first production model of the Lexus LF-A finished with a bright orange livery.
The work on this beautiful car is done by 170 people and all of them has specific roles as far as building the LF-A. To give you an example, there are a couple of specialists that only handle the very delicate (and expensive) carbon fiber components of the vehicle. More than that, all of the subsequent procedures accomplished on each and every car will be recorded and stored on journals which will have about 3,500 pages.
Being a very important car for Lexus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they are being so meticulous about the LF-A model. Although it took them a couple of years and many prototypes to get to this point when they are able to offer a production model, we are glad that they have sorted everything out and the model has entered its production stage.
The Lexus LF-A can be yours if you can spare $375,000.
Post tags: Tags: Lexus, lf-a
The United States trucks and cars sales rose by 17% in November, raising high hopes that the automotive market will end on a very high note, creating a solid momentum for 2011. Last month, the number of light vehicle sales went up to 873,407 cars, which is the 11th market advance in the past 12 months. The car sales until November, reached 10.45 million units, topping the 2009 sales figures that totaled 10.43 million.
The United States sales, for the second consecutive month achieved an annual selling rate of 12.26 million units, according to the information revealed by AutoData Corporation. In 2009, the light vehicles delivered reached an annual rate of only 10.86 million vehicles. According to Edmunds.com, larger vehicles, crossovers and pickup trucks are more popular among buyers. The redesigned or new models coming from Hyundai, Nissan, VW as well as other car manufacturers, helped raise the sales figures.
Ford sold 20% more trucks and cars in comparison to 2009. GM’s sales also went up by 12% and its four remaining brands grew by 21%. According to the Chrysler Group, the November request for new cars rose by 17%.
Today, the General Motors officials predicted that a gradual economic recovery will most likely continue to strengthen the request for new vehicles. Jim Bunnell, who is the general manager of U.S. sales for General Motors, stated that “the economy is continuing to gain traction. We believe we will see meaningful job creation in the coming months.”
Moving on, the Hyundai Group (and Kia), sold this November 41% more cars. The demand for Honda cars in the United States grew by 21%. Porsche also is doing well, benefiting from 49% more sales. Jaguar Land Rover sales climbed by 22%. Nissan is also benefiting from an increased number of sales, the deliveries for their vehicles rose by 27%.
On the contrary, Toyota sales, including Scion and Lexus, went down by 3% in November, totaling 129,137 cars, although the company spent more on incentives in comparison to 2009. The situation clearly illustrates the problems the Japanese automaker is having in winning back the trust of the United States customers, after more than a year since the automaker started recalling millions of cars that shattered Toyota’s good image for manufacturing high quality cars that are very safe on the road. Toyota and Mazda were the only two manufacturers that did not post double-digit sales gains in November; Mazda’s sales went up by only 7%.
Almost all of the General Motors cars shipped were 2011 models, which allowed the company to increase the average transaction prices, according to Don Johnson, who is GM’s vice president of United States sales operations. Through last month, the average price of a GM car went up by $1,300 in comparison to the similar period of 2009. Johnson added that the incentives averaged 10.4% of GM’s transaction prices, which is just about the same as the rest of the industry.
Volkswagen AG sold 24.2% more cars last month, the Jetta Sedan being the most successful model as sales grew by a healthy 49%. Analysts affirm that the sales made in the final weekend of the month went up due to the Thanksgiving holiday deals that were sponsored by individual manufacturers and dealers, including Nissan and Toyota.
|Chrysler Group LLC
|Ford Motor Co.***
|Jaguar Land Rover
|Saab Cars North America‡
|Volvo Cars North America‡‡‡‡
Numbers in this table are calculated by Automotive News based on actual monthly sales reported by the manufacturers and may differ from numbers reported elsewhere.
Source: Automotive News Data Center
Note: Other includes estimates for Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Lotus
*Includes Mini and Rolls-Royce
**Includes Maybach, Mercedes-Benz and Smart
***Includes Volvo through July 2010
****Includes Saab through February 2010
‡The sale of Saab was final on February 23, 2010
‡‡Includes Lexus and Scion
‡‡‡Includes Audi and Bentley
‡‡‡‡The sale of Volvo to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group was final on Aug. 2, 2010
Post tags: Tags: Audi, Bentley, General Motors, Lexus, vw
Toyota’s upmarket Lexus brand is aiming for the compact segment with the recently revealed CT 200h hatchback.
Built on top of the Prius platform and its hybrid synergy drive technology, the Lexus CT 200h promises to deliver a more premium experience for those that still want to save the planet by driving a hybrid.
Now, after seeing it at the Geneva Motor Show at the beginning of the year, the CT 200h has been further detailed ahead of its debut at the Paris Motor Show.
The final output is rated at 134 HP, but the 1.8-liter gasoline engine is capable of 98 HP while the electric motor can output as much as 80 HP. Even with this pretty potent power rating, 0 to 62 is achieved in 9.8 seconds.
The car has been specifically tuned for improved efficiency, meaning low rolling resistance tires, a special suspension and a hood and tailgate made from aluminum to keep weight down were fitted. All of these things enable an EPA-rated fuel estimate of 42 mpg.
You will be able to enjoy a custom interior, and the car will let you choose two driving ‘moods’ Dynamic or Relaxing, and four modes: EV, ECO, Normal and Sport.
More details are set to be unveiled in Paris. The Lexus CT 200h hybrid hatchback will be launched around the world in the following months.
Post tags: Tags: details, Hybrid, launch, Lexus, lexus ct 200h, paris motor show
Up until now, rumors about the upcoming revival of the Lotus Esprit were pretty dry, limiting to saying that the new Esprit will be more upmarket, in order to rival models from Ferrari or Aston Martin.
Now, courtesy of InsideLine, things have gotten a lot more interesting. It seems that Lotus will be using two very special Lexus engines for the new Esprit. How special? Rumors say that the Lexus LFA‘s massive 552 HP V10 will be available for the top spec, while the Lexus IS-F’s 416 HP V8 will be powering a cheaper version of the new Elise.
Rumors about Lotus using these performance engines from Toyota have been floating around for some time, but it seems that this time it might just come true. Lotus is under a new leadership, set to take the sportscar company to profit, and in order to do so, more upmarket models are needed.
We’ll know more as the Paris Motor Show gets underway, so stay tuned for more Lotus details.
Post tags: Tags: Lexus, lexus lfa, Lotus, lotus esprit, paris motor show
Just as people were seemingly forgetting about the problems of the 2010 Lexus GX460 and its drift-happy attitude, the Japanese luxury carmaker has revealed a brand new recall, regarding one of its older SUVs.
This new recall affects Lexus LX 470 models, manufactured between 2003 and 2007. 39,000 vehicles are affected by a problem with the steering column, specifically the snap ring, which can disengage when a severe shock is applied to the wheels (hitting a pot hole, for example).
As you can imagine, having the snap ring disengage effectively leaves you with no control over the steering of the car.
Fortunately, no incidents were reported because of this problem. A new snap ring will be fitted in authorized Toyota and Lexus dealerships, as well as a new component. Customers will be notified in the middle of August. Until then, you can contact Lexus for more details at 1-800-255-3987.
Post tags: Tags: Lexus, lexus lx 470, problem.steering, Recalls, suv
Seeing as how the huge recalls from the beginning of the year are slowly being forgotten and that it has paid a $16.4 million fine in order to please the US authorities, you would think Toyota has a bright future ahead of it once more.
Well, you’re wrong, as the Japanese company has just announced a global recall, affecting 237,000 models. The cause of the recall comes from a batch of faulty engines, specifically the 3.5-liter V6 and the 4.6-liter V8, which contained bad valve springs, that can lead to engine stalling.
The models are affected include the Toyota Crown, Lexus LS460, Lexus LS600h, Lexus LS600hL, Lexus GS350, Lexus GS450h, Lexus GS460 and Lexus IS350.
Owners will be notified all around the world, and a fix will be implemented as soon as possible.
Post tags: Tags: global, Lexus, lexus gs, lexus is, lexus ls, Recalls, Toyota
Even though it wasn’t among the biggest recalls in history, the 1970s Ford Pinto call back was among the most infamous, gaining widespread media coverage. At that time, if a rear end collision occurred, the Pinto’s fuel tank was prone to excessive leakage of the flammable fuel.
Now, it seems that Lexus has the same problem with its HS 250h model, as if a rear-end collision happens at over 50 mph, the gas tank could rupture, leading to fuel being spread all over the road and on the car. Needless to say, a big, flammable mass of fuel is pretty bad in any condition.
Around 17,000 HS 250h models are affected by this recall, and customers will be informed as soon as possible. Sadly, Lexus engineers have yet to find a solution to this problem, but Toyota assures everyone that a fix will be implemented.
Until then, just be careful around Lexus HS 250h cars OK?
Post tags: Tags: ford pinto, fuel, Lexus, lexus hs 250h, Recalls
Lexus SC430 set to be axed in July, may return in 2014 as V8 hybrid
The Lexus SC430 has had its demise rumored for quite some time. Now, it seems that it is all-but-confirmed to get the axe this July.
Still, as with the upcoming death of the Mercury brand, we’re pretty sure not a lot of people will mourn its death. According to sales figures, just 1,000 SC430 models were sold last year.
As such, Toyota and Lexus are going to cut the convertible model from the lineup.
Don’t be sad though, as rumors from Automobile magazine, as well as some earlier voices, say that a new generation will appear around 2014, boasting an upgraded 5.0-liter V8 engine plus a hybrid assembly, capable of around 400 to 500 HP. This so-called Lexus SC600h will most definitely attract new customers to the range.
Until then, if you want a luxury convertible, then you’re going to have to find another model (from sales figures, you already did).
Post tags: Tags: convertible, Lexus, lexus sc, lexus sc430
Lexus really impressed a lot of people last week when it used its supercar, the LFA, to shatter a glass using only the exhaust pitch from that mighty V10 engine.
As you can imagine, that video left a lot of people amazed. Now, in order to really showcase how it all went down, the Japanese company has released a fresh ‘behind the scenes’ look at the science and the filming of the Lexus LFA Pitch ad.
From the physicist that found the correct glass shattering frequence to the race driver that needed to control the LFA V10, it’s all in there, so hit the jump and check it out.
Post tags: Tags: ad, commercial, Lexus, lexus lfa, supercar, Video
The Lexus LFA supercar burst onto the scene late last year, with its 552 HP V10 engine and its $375,000 asking price.
Now, the Japanese luxury carmaker decided to showcase the LFA’s power through a more different type of ad than the previous one. As such, it has hired a special physicist to figure out what type of glass would shatter from the exhaust note of the LFA.
The company then put a champagne glass from that material in the same room as the LFA. The result? It was pretty … shattering (pardon the pun).
Still, don’t get to excited about zipping around Monte Carlo and breaking store displays with the LFA, as the car is already all sold old. According to Automotive News, all 500 LFA models have been reserved by many people with deep pockets.
That shouldn’t stop you from hitting the jump and checking out the video of the Lexus LFA shattering a champagne glass, so get to it.
Post tags: Tags: ad, Lexus, lexus lfa, supercar, Video
Toyota has learned from its previous mistakes and is now treating every recall with the upmost respect.
Among the measures it is taking with each new defect is releasing videos of the problems and, subsequently, with the fixes implemented to resolve the problems.
We’ve seen it done with the recent 2010 Lexus GX460 SUV and its drift-inclined side and now with the latest Lexus recall, for the 2010 LS 460 and LS 600h limousines.
As you know, the steering system has a defect where if you turn the wheel full tilt to one side, and then rapidly turn it back, the wheel will be off centered. The system eventually centers the wheel, but it does take some time.
Hit the jump to check out the video of the 2010 Lexus LS steering defect.
Post tags: Tags: Lexus, lexus ls, lexus ls 460, lexus ls 600h, Recalls, Toyota, Video
Lexus LS 460 and 600h officially recalled, sales stopped
As was rumored last week, Lexus officially announced that it is going to recall all 2009 and 2010 model year LS 460 and 600h models (both in standard and long wheelbase formats), as well as stop the sale of current vehicles due to a problem with the steering system.
It seems that the electronics in the aforementioned steering system can suffer from glitches, causing the wheel to become off-centered. This usually goes away on its own in about five seconds, according to the Japanese luxury carmaker, but that doesn’t make it less dangerous.
The fix for this problem is already implemented in the cars that are being manufactured in Japan, but until those cars arrive in the US (around the middle of June), the company has stopped the sales of any Lexus LS model. The existing 3,800 owners will be notified as soon as possible and a free fix will be offered in existing dealerships.
No injuries or incidents were reported as of yet, but it might be best to not take your chances. You can contact Toyota for more info at 1-800-331-4331.
Post tags: Tags: Lexus, lexus ls, lexus ls 460, lexus ls 600h, Recalls