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Lexus LF-NX Creates Buzz – and Plenty of Controversy

Compact crossover is “a stake in the ground,” said Lexus boss Templin.

by on Sep.11, 2013

The Lexus LF-NX may be the single most controversial vehicle to debut in Frankfurt this year.

Lexus has been hinting for some time that it would like to enter the fast-growing compact crossover segment.  While that is far from a controversial decision, the LF-NX compact crossover concept it unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show is an entirely different matter.

While the show car was the object of much interest and attention during the Frankfurt media preview — journalists and competitors alike lining up to take the design in and snap pictures – few vehicles in recent memory generated nearly as much debate or derision.

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“Lexus has seven concept cars at the show – but they’re all in one vehicle,” cracked a senior designer at a major European luxury maker, asking not to be identified by name.

The object of that scorn – and a few kudos, as well, one needs to point out – is the first in what senior Lexus officials suggest will be a series of concept cars designed to test the waters and confirm that Lexus does belong in the compact crossover segment.

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Lexus Explores Compact Crossover Options with LF-NX Concept

Debut scheduled for Frankfurt Motor Show next week.

by on Sep.04, 2013

Lexus is introducing its new LF-NX Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

While its key European competitors have rapidly expanded their line-ups in recent years, Lexus has motored along with a relative handful of offerings. But, as TheDetroitBureau.com previously reported, it has been studying its options in the fast-growing compact crossover niche.

We should get a good sense of what Lexus has in mind during its news conference at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week when the Toyota luxury division lifts the covers off the Lexus LF-NX show car.

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“This concept explores the potential for a compact crossover within the Lexus model range,” the maker said in a terse news release accompanying these teaser images. (more…)

First Look: Lexus CT200h F-Sport

Adding a bolder look - but no more muscle - to the hybrid line.

by on Sep.16, 2011

With the Lexus CT200h F-Sport the difference is in the eyes of the beholder. Nothing changes under the skin.

Say the word, “hybrid,” and you’re likely to respond with, “Toyota.”  And for good reason, considering the maker accounts for 75% of the gas-electric vehicles currently on the road, primarily in the form of the Toyota Prius.  But the Japanese maker’s luxury marque has arguably made an even bigger commitment to hybrid technology, with a mix of models already accounting for nearly 15% of its total volume.

That includes the CT200h, which plugged into the Lexus line-up last year.  If anything, the CT seems to have been designed primarily with the European market in mind, the hybrid generating 30,000 sales in less than a year on the market there.  But, if anything, critics have found it a bit wanting.  And Lexus hopes to address those concerns with the Frankfurt Motor Show preview of the revised CT200h F-Sport.

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Don’t get your hopes up too high, however.  Early on, Lexus seemed intent on emphasizing performance, as much as fuel-efficiency, with hybrids like the original GS450h.  It has since shifted the focus to mileage.  So, despite being designated an F-Sport — a designation that’s supposed to signal the most peppy models in the Lexus line-up — the CT200h will remain a more luxurious version of the less-than-thrilling Toyota Prius and not a vehicle whose driving behavior will call to mind the word “sporty.”

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First Look: 2013 Lexus GS 450h

Charging in with a more fuel-sipping, second-generation hybrid.

by on Sep.14, 2011

Lexus aimed to improve fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance with the gen-2 2013 Lexus GS 450h hybrid.

Barely a month after lifting the covers on the second-generation of its mid-luxury sedan Lexus is back and charging into the Frankfurt Motor Show with the updated 2013 Lexus GS 450h hybrid.

During a Pebble Beach preview, Toyota Motor Co. CEO Akio Toyoda underscored the importance of the Lexus GS line.  Though it might not be the luxury brand’s flagship – a space reserved for the bigger LS – the GS has been as close as it comes to the heart and soul of the Lexus division.

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The GS 350 shown last month is a fair bit sportier and more refined than the original sedan.  And the Lexus GS 450h is no different there.  But there’s been a bit of a shift in its mission.  The original hybrid put the emphasis on performance and was actually a bit quicker than the standard-issue GS sedan.  This time, Lexus is focusing on fuel-efficiency and claims the GS 450h delivers a 30% improvement over the gas-powered model.

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