New Country Lexus of Latham Press
Lexus Displays New Design Philosophy in Detroit
LF-LC Sport Coupe Concept, Refreshed LX 570 Take New Styling Direction
LATHAM, N.Y., Jan. 17, 2012 – Luxury automakers aren’t well known for deviating far from longstanding designs, but Lexus showed that it will be taking more liberties with its styling at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show last week. There, Lexus revealed its dynamic LF-LC hybrid sport coupe concept and the production version of the redesigned 2013 LX 570 luxury SUV that will begin arriving at Lexus dealerships in February.
Both the Lexus LX 570 and LF-LC sported the automaker’s new spindle grille, a mark of the more aggressive nature of Lexus’ most recent designs. The LX 570 also received new LED daytime running lights, 20-inch alloy wheels, refreshed bumpers and other small yet notable changes. On the other hand, the LF-LC concept, which was “crafted from a clean sheet of paper” at Lexus' Calty design studio in California, pushed design boundaries more aggressively.
“The LX 570 received more of a facelift than reconstructive surgery, and the effect is subtle yet surprising,” said Eric Rosen, general manager of New Country Lexus of Latham, an Upstate New York Lexus dealer. “By making just a few small tweaks, Lexus really updated the feel of the LX 570. And, with the LF-LC, they’ve shown that they’re serious about taking the brand to a new level stylistically and technologically.”
The LF-LC concept showed off an abundance of glass and curves at its global debut in Detroit. Capped by a glass roof, the organically inspired interior of the hybrid featured more sweeping shapes and premium stitched seating. Along with twin 12.3-inch LCD information and navigational displays, Lexus included touch screens on each door to operate windows, mirrors, seat adjustments and personalized entertainment system settings. The LF-LC was built with a front-engine rear-wheel-drive hybrid powertrain that the automaker says will deliver high performance and fuel efficiency simultaneously.
Lexus also provided the 2013 LX 570 with a technological boost, giving it a new Easy Access system that retracts the steering wheel and driver’s seat when the car is off, making it easier to enter and exit the vehicle. The eight-seat LX 570 also received a middle-row 120-volt power outlet, mahogany wood trim, side-mirror turn signals, an improved cooling system for the front seats and wider body side moldings.
While the Lexus LF-LC concept takes a new direction with its hybrid drivetrain, the automaker decided not to replace the LX 570’s standard 5.7-liter V8 engine, which provides 90 percent of its 403 pound-feet of torque at 2,200 rpm, a crucial feature for heavy-duty towers. This means that the 383-horsepower engine, still paired with Lexus’ six-speed automatic transmission, will retain its 7,000-pound towing capacity.
“Lexus certainly took some design risks in Detroit, but they didn’t really mess with the powerful core of the LX 570,” added Rosen. “It’s always good to see a refreshed version of a model, especially when it reflects the new direction of the entire brand, but there are just some vehicles whose performance shouldn’t be messed with.”
2013 Lexus GS 450h Beats Fuel-Economy Expectations with EPA Rating
Luxury Automaker’s Updated Hybrid Sedan Returns 34 MPG
LATHAM, N.Y., Dec. 6, 2011 – When Lexus set out to improve its GS 450h luxury hybrid sedan, it expected to improve fuel efficiency by 30 percent, but recent EPA ratings show Lexus’ engineers outdid themselves, netting an impressive 35-percent increase. The next-generation 2013 Lexus GS 450h will get up to 34 mpg on the highway when it reaches Lexus dealerships next spring, adding yet another option for luxury car drivers looking for fuel-efficient performance.
Lexus didn’t achieve the jump in fuel economy through big changes, but rather took a detailed approach to refining the drivetrain of the 2013 GS 450h. From a revised fuel-injector system that improves efficiency while idling or on the move, to a lighter timing chain that reduces drag and vibration, Lexus engineers took many molehills and turned them into a mountain of efficiency.
“Increasing fuel efficiency by 35 percent is a pretty remarkable feat, even with all the advancements in technology happening in the industry,” said Eric Rosen, general manager of New Country Lexus of Latham, an upstate New York Lexus dealer. “Other automakers are happy with 10- or 15-percent gains, but Lexus is committed to providing luxury buyers with the most efficient vehicles on the market, and the 2013 GS 450h goes a long way toward achieving that goal.”
Lexus gave the GS 450h a 3.5-liter V6 engine coupled with a compact permanent-magnet electric motor, which combine to shoot the car from zero to 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds. That sporty performance is matched by the GS 450h’s aggressive exterior styling, which is shared with the GS 350 sports sedan and represents Lexus’ new design approach. The 2013 GS 450h will be the newest face in Lexus’ impressive hybrid lineup, which runs the gamut from compact cars to SUVs like the 2012 Lexus RX 450h that recently won a 2012 Best Resale Value Award from Kelley Blue Book. Lexus was also named Best Luxury Brand when it comes to resale value by the automotive researcher.
Kelley Blue Book based its Best Resale Value Awards on vehicle and sales data, market conditions, competition within vehicle segments, future economy expectations and the combined experience of their staff. The award, which was revealed at the LA Auto Show in November, couldn’t come at a better time for Lexus. After production shortages stemming from the March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, the luxury automaker is looking to bounce back in sales with its annual December to Remember sales event, its biggest promotion of the year.
“Production has finally returned to normal and just in time for the December to Remember event,” Rosen noted. “It’s a coincidence that we have the largest inventory we’ve had in months right when Lexus is offering big incentives on new vehicles, but it’s a coincidence we’re very happy about.”
To bolster 2011 sales, Lexus expanded its annual sales event into November, giving customers an even longer timeframe to buy or lease a new Lexus vehicle with special incentives like low APR financing and attractive lease options. Featured vehicles include the 2012 Lexus IS 250 AWD, ES 350, RX 350 AWD and the hybrid 2012 CT 200h.
Lexus Hybrids Lead Green Vehicles in Perceived Quality
Automaker Earns Top Spot on ALG Alternative-Powertrain List
LATHAM, N.Y., Nov. 7, 2011 - It takes a lot to stand out in the increasingly crowded market of alternatively powered vehicles, but according to Automotive Lease Guide (ALG), Lexus hybrids are doing just that. In its fall 2011 Alternative Powertrain Vehicles Perceived Quality Study, ALG reports that the hybrids available at Lexus dealers are perceived to be of better quality than any other manufacturer’s alternative-powertrain vehicles.
ALG surveys 3,000 to 4,000 consumers twice a year to compile research about automotive industry trends, and this is the second year that it has collected opinions about alternative-powertrain vehicles. Despite not appearing in ALG’s alternative-powertrain survey last year, Lexus debuted with a strong showing in the newly released survey, achieving a leading Perceived Quality Score (PQS) of 89.8 out of 100. Helping to sway consumer opinions were five hybrid Lexus vehicles, including the new sporty Lexus CT 200h that went on sale earlier this year.
“Lexus hybrids defy consumers’ perceptions that all alternative-powertrain vehicles are weak and boring,” said Eric Rosen, general manager of New Country Lexus of Latham, an upstate New York Lexus dealer. “The CT 200h gets the most miles per gallon of any luxury vehicle, but it also offers four different drive modes so you can have the kind of fun you’d expect to have in a luxury car.”
The 2012 Lexus CT 200h is capable of a combined 42 mpg in the city and on the highway thanks to its high-output, permanent-magnet, electric-drive motor. The hybrid hatchback adds a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine for a combined 135 horsepower that is distributed through an electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission. A popular vehicle with consumers and industry experts alike, the CT 200h was recently named to the NADAguides Must Consider List for Fall 2011 for its combination of quality engineering, design and features.
Last week, car enthusiasts witnessed the edgier side of the Lexus CT 200h at the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas. Aftermarket specialists Five Axis modified the hybrid, giving it a widebody conversion and upgrades like a TEIN flex coilover suspension system, high-performance brakes and a stealthy black paint job. Lexus also showed off its new 2012 CT 200h F Sport Special Edition trim at the show, which sported 17-inch alloy wheels, a new suspension, a larger rear spoiler, black interior trim and F Sport grille inserts and badges.
“Lexus proved at SEMA that hybrid vehicles can get performance-hungry consumers excited too thanks to the CT 200h’s aftermarket capability,” added Rosen. “Whether you’re talking in terms of eco-friendly vehicles or tricked-out cars, Lexus’ reputation precedes itself, and that is because its vehicles always live up to those high expectations.”
In addition to having the highest score in ALG’s fall 2011 alternative-powertrain survey, Lexus also had the highest PQS in ALG’s most recent overall survey of all auto brands released last March.
One Year Older, Lexus IS Holds Its Youth Appeal
Luxury Compact Wins Second-Straight Motorist Choice Award for Youthfulness
LATHAM, N.Y., Oct. 6, 2011 - Though it may be impossible for drivers to stay forever young, the Lexus IS is doing its best to remain the choice for youthful drivers for as long as possible. For the second year in a row, automotive industry researchers AutoPacific and IntelliChoice have presented the compact luxury sedan with a Motorist Choice Award in the Youthful category for premium vehicles.
The winners of the 2011 Motorist Choice Awards were decided using data from the AutoPacific 2011 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards as well as the IntelliChoice 2011 Best Overall Value of the Year awards, which are based on five-year cost-of-ownership predictions. The Lexus IS scored favorably in the AutoPacific report and took home an award from IntelliChoice in the Premium Compact Car category, leading to its Motorist Choice Award this year.
Joining the Lexus IS, the Lexus HS hybrid was also presented with a 2011 Motorist Choice Award, topping the Value category for premium vehicles.
“Luxury vehicles have earned a reputation as land yachts for the middle aged, but the Lexus IS throws a kick into the mix,” said Eric Rosen, general manager of New Country Lexus of Latham, an upstate New York Lexus dealer. “It’s a performance-tuned luxury car that you’ll want to test out on every winding back road that New York has to offer.”
The 2012 Lexus IS features a class-leading turning radius that combines with a 204-horsepower, 2.5-liter V6 in the IS 250 and a 306-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 in the IS 350 to appeal both to the young and the young at heart. As one of the most affordable models at Lexus dealerships, behind only the new Lexus CT 200h hybrid, the IS also appeals to the wallets of young professionals seeking their first luxury vehicle.
For a young and sporty look on the Lexus IS, buyers can upgrade to the F-Sport package, which adds a more aggressive grille in addition to front-lip and rear-deck spoilers. Also included are wheels accented in dark graphite and a specially tuned suspension. The available Ultrasonic Blue exterior paint finish provides an eye-catching burst of color that younger drivers will want to show off.
Those who desire the absolute peak in performance will want to opt for the 2012 Lexus IS F, which features a 5.0-liter, 416-horsepower V8 engine. Built from the ground up for high performance, the IS F features an eight-speed transmission, a performance-tuned suspension system and a TORSEN torque-sensing limited-slip rear differential. While the souped-up sedan’s handling gets the adrenaline flowing, Lexus fans will enjoy luxury treatment from features like the voice-activated navigation system and a Mark Levinson surround sound audio package.
“One area where the Lexus IS shines is its ability to go from everyday commuter car to weekend fun machine, just by changing the passengers and stepping on the gas,” added Rosen. “It’s serious and impressive when it has to be, but it also has a playful side. It’s a grownup sedan for those who don’t want to feel like grownups.”
All-New Lexus GS 350 Gets High-Performance and Hybrid Siblings
Luxury Automaker’s New Direction Goes Deeper with GS F Sport and GS 450h Hybrid
LATHAM, N.Y., Sept. 8, 2011 – Lexus is adding more attitude to its lineup with the all-new 2013 Lexus GS 350, and now it is going two steps further with a high-performance 2013 GS F Sport and a sporty hybrid in the 2013 GS 450h. All three vehicles represent a change in Lexus’ design strategy aimed at capturing the thrill of the drive, and each is expected to arrive at Lexus dealerships early next year.
Because the Lexus GS 350 is a big piece of the brand’s future, the luxury automaker chose a big occasion for its world debut. Launched at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance held at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in California in August, on-lookers were treated to a new Lexus that pulls heavily from the dynamic Lexus LF-Gh concept car, giving the car an edgy look that matches its performance.
“Lexus is adding more attitude to its lineup with the GS 350, the GS F Sport, and even the GS 450h hybrid, which no one will be able to guess is a hybrid just by looking at it,” said Eric Rosen, general manager of New Country Lexus of Latham, an upstate New York Lexus dealer. “The strengths of the brand have always been cutting-edge technology, class-leading build quality and impeccable reliability, but these new sedans will add a bit more aggression to the lineup.”
Scheduled to debut at the SEMA auto show in October, the GS F Sport will become the fourth Lexus vehicle to be factory-built with a high-performance F Sport package, joining the Lexus IS 250 and 350 F Sport models and the CT 200h F Sport, which debuts in the United States in October. While Lexus hasn’t released details about what will power the GS F Sport, its styling will differ some from the GS 350, with a new front fascia and bumper, as well as unique F Sport badges.
The GS 450h is expected to more closely mirror the styling of the GS 350 when it debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 13. The Lexus hybrid is expected to receive a revamped version of the gasoline-electric drivetrain in the Lexus RX 450h hybrid, which currently includes a 3.5-liter V6 coupled with high-output electric motors.
Also featuring a 3.5-liter V6, minus the electric motors, the 2013 Lexus GS 350 produces 306 horsepower, enabling the car to sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in 5.7 seconds. The GS 350 features a paddle-shift transmission similar to the one found on the Lexus IS F sports car that blips the throttle on downshifts and provides earlier torque converter lockup to allow for four selectable driving modes. In addition to Normal mode, those driving options include ECO mode to save fuel, Sport S to sharpen responses and Sport S+, which is available on select models and adapts the suspension, steering system and vehicle stability control for the highest performance.
“The GS 350 is a Lexus turned up to 11,” Rosen added. “It’s everything a Lexus should be – luxurious, quiet, refined – but it adds the dynamic handling that German automakers would like you to think can only come from Bavaria. The GS 350 can do it all.”
Lexus LFA Could Lose Its Top
Supercar Tour de Force Rumored to be Adding Roadster Version
LATHAM, N.Y., Aug. 9, 2011 – Lexus’ groundbreaking LFA supercar has turned a lot of heads with its bulldog stance and curves resulting from countless hours spent in a wind tunnel, but a new roadster version could prove even more popular with discerning motorists. Potentially destined for Lexus dealerships in 2014, the LFA Roadster could be built in greater numbers than its hard-topped brother, according to Automotive News.
Lexus already revealed its concept LFA Roadster at the 2008 North American International Auto Show, which shared nearly all of its bodywork with the production LFA coupe, minus the roof of course. The majority of the Lexus LFA coupe is made out of carbon fiber, a lightweight yet high-strength material that has become the preferred choice for modern supercars.
“Lexus didn’t settle for the status quo when they designed the LFA supercar,” said Eric Rosen, general manager of New Country Lexus of Latham, an Upstate New York Lexus dealer. “Engineers found new ways to use existing technology, or in some cases, invented entirely new processes to create a truly state-of-the-art vehicle that serves as the crown jewel for the Lexus brand. And what better way to appreciate supercar performance than with the top down?”
When it comes to bragging rights, the LFA coupe’s engine, which will likely be shared by the upcoming roadster, can keep Lexus talking for quite a while. The automaker worked with Yamaha to develop the 4.8-liter V10 engine residing under the hood, crafting a beast capable of spinning out 552 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque while revving all the way up to 9,000 rpm. Adding to the engine’s pleasing hum is a tuned exhaust that produces tones more often found on the race track than the street.
That power means the LFA coupe can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds and can continue accelerating up to 202 mph. Acceleration and top speed for the open-top roadster have not been revealed, but Lexus has said that its LFA Roadster concept vehicle is also capable of breaking the 200-mph mark. A supercar requires balance though, so the brakes on the LFA coupe match its speedy performance. The front wheels cover 15.4-inch carbon ceramic brake rotors clamped by six-piston calipers, while the rear is slowed by 14.2-inch rotors and four-piston calipers. These parts combine to slow the LFA from 70 mph to a standstill in just 164 feet.
Only 500 versions of the LFA coupe are slated for production, and just 171 are destined for North America. Production began in December 2010, and the daunting $375,000 price tag reflects the rumored hundreds of millions of dollars invested into the LFA during a decade of research and in-house design. Pricing for the LFA Roadster has yet to be revealed.
“Just the thought of hearing that exhaust unimpeded by a roof gives me goose bumps,” Rosen added. “The LFA really is a car that has to be experienced because photos, videos and words just don’t do it justice. There’s a reason it’s called a supercar, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find another model that matches its presence.”