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Return of the Lexus SC?

Based on LF-LC concept, new supercar could nudge above 600-hp.

by on Jun.30, 2015

The Lexus LF-LC concept shown in Australia.

The Lexus SC nameplate has gone through a number of major iterations over the years, from the original sporty coupe to a quirky hardtop convertible and, if new reports prove accurate, it’s about to change again, this time becoming the production version of the LF-LC supercar concept.

Expected to reach showrooms sometime late next year, the next-generation Lexus SC would also serve as a long-awaited replacement for the brand’s first, limited-volume halo car, the Lexus LFA. Some sources suggest the new model will be offered in several different versions, including one that would push somewhere north of 600 horsepower.

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The revival of the SC as a new, high-performance flagship would fit in with the mandate of Toyota Motor Co. President Akio Toyoda, who has commanded that there be more “passion” in the luxury brand. How much you’d have to pay is a question generating plenty of debate, with some guesstimating it will nudge into $150,000 territory.


Lexus Confirms Detroit Launch of GS F Performance Sedan

Brand looking to transform staid image.

by on Jan.06, 2015

The Lexus GS F sedan, which combines a refined four-door package with the speed and agility of a premium sports car, will debut at the Detroit Auto Show.

With the Detroit Auto Show press preview just days away, Lexus has confirmed what was already one of the show’s worst-kept secrets: plans to launch an all-new high performance version of its mid-range GS sedan.

To be called the GS F, it is intended to help transform the staid image of a brand better known for its high-mileage hybrid models. The 2016 Lexus GS F will join the maker’s small but expanding performance line, alongside the RC F coupe launched last year.

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Lexus has hinted it has yet another high-performance model in the works, speculation focusing on a possible new supercar to replace the now out-of-production LFA. Some news could also be announced during the upcoming North American International Auto Show in Detroit. (more…)

Lexus Confirms “Track-Ready” Model Coming to Detroit

Likely to be new 2016 Lexus GS F.

by on Dec.18, 2014

Is this the 2016 Lexus GS F?

Hoping to add still more performance to its traditional mainstream luxury line-up, Lexus has confirmed it will introduce a second, “track-ready” model at the North American International Auto Show next month.

While it isn’t providing any specific details about the new model, there’ve been plenty of sightings of prototype Lexus GS F sedans running around, notably while undergoing testing at Germany’s famed Nurburgring race track.

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The new model would all but certainly share the basic 5.0-liter V-8 found under the hood of the 2015 Lexus RC F model launched over the summer. But given the bigger size and weight of a mid-range GS, the performance version will but certainly get a bump up from the 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of the smaller RC F model.


Lexus Updates LF-LC Concept

Opal blue hybrid supercar debuts at Australian auto show.

by on Oct.22, 2012

Lexus updates the LF-LC hybrid supercar concept for the 2012 Australian Motor Show.

Lexus officials continue to suggest that the LF-LC concept won’t simply disappear like the typical show car – and the latest hint comes from “Down Under,” an updated version of the hybrid supercar making its debut at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.

Inspired by the native semi-precious stone found in Outback, the updated LF-LC has been painted an “Opal Blue,” while the interior also gets a few new updates for its latest appearance, including a new touchscreen system that replaces the earlier joystick-operated infotainment system.

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The luxury arm of Toyota has also revealed specifics about the underlying powertrain – which it dubs the Advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive.  We’ve been hearing about a new gas-electric driveline that would overcome limits of the original Lexus system – basically the same hybrid technology that first appeared in the original Toyota Prius a dozen years ago.


Better Hurry; Lexus LFA Supercar Sold Out – Almost

“Down to single digits.”

by on Jun.15, 2012

Better hurry if Dad wants one for Father's Day.

Looking for an appropriate last minute Father’s Day present for your dad the hedge fund manager?

Better move fast if the $375,000 Lexus LFA is high on your list.  Even if the price tag doesn’t put it out of your reach, you may soon be out of luck, according to an official with Toyota’s luxury subsidiary.

After two years, it seems Lexus has just about run out of the 500 carbon-fiber supercars it built and isn’t planning to produce any more.

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“The supply is down to single digits,” said Tim Morrison, Lexus vice president of sales, and most of those are actually tied up by dealers.

Following the presentation of the decidedly more mundane Lexus ES, Morrison said LFA sales were considered a success since it created a huge, positive halo for the brand.


Lexus Says Concept Portends Future of Brand

Stunning luxury coupe would seem to have production intent.

by on Jan.10, 2012

Lexus unveiled the stunning LF-LC concept at the Detroit Auto Show Monday.

Lexus has unveiled a dramatic new concept coupe that draws a bit of its inspiration from the LFA supercar — but its power from a hybrid drivetrain.

It’s fairly normal for automaker executives to use a lot of hyperbole when discussing new concepts at the Detroit Auto Show, but Mark Templin, group vice president and general manager of Lexus, was obviously excited over the sleek new coupe.

“This is one hot lookin’ car,” Templin said as the Lexus LF-LC was unveiled in the Riverview Ballroom at Detroit’s Cobo Center.

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Drawn by designers at Toyota’s Calty Design in Newport Beach, Calif., the concept is powered by Toyota’s next-generation hybrid powertrain, although it didn’t provide additional details.

Also pointing toward the production possibilities for the concept is that Lexus has discontinued the unloved SC 430, as its once-avant garde styling failed to age gracefully, leaving the brand with no grand touring coupes or convertibles in its lineup.


Ford Launching World’s First Inflatable Belt

Debuting on new Explorer, but global roll-out to follow.

by on Nov.05, 2009

These child-sized crash dummies are wearing the new inflatable seatbelts Ford will introduce on the 2011 Explorer.

These child-sized crash dummies are wearing the new inflatable seatbelts Ford will introduce on the 2011 Explorer sport-utility vehicle.

What happens when you combine an airbag and a seatbelt?  Motorists will have the chance to find out, next year, when Ford Motor Co. launches the next-generation Explorer sport-utility vehicle, which will offer the world’s first inflatable seat belts.

The technology, which initially will be offered as an option on the 2011 SUV, will eventually roll out across Ford’s global product line-up, said the automaker’s director of safety, Sue Cischke.

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The inflatable belts “could help reduce head, neck and chest injuries,” explained Cischke, particularly among young children and the elderly, who are especially vulnerable to the impact forces of an automobile accident.


BMW and SGL Form Carbon Fiber Joint Venture

Goal to produce advanced “Megacity Vehicle” in next decade.

by on Oct.29, 2009

BMW has formed a new joint venture aimed at producing future "Megacity Vehicles," like this concept.

BMW has formed a new joint venture aimed at producing future "Megacity Vehicles," like this high-mileage concept.

BMW has formed a joint venture with SGL Group aimed at developing and producing carbon fiber, a strong yet super-light material that the German automaker plans to use to build its so-called Megacity Vehicle.

Key to the $133 million venture is transforming carbon fiber from a high-cost specialty material used only in the most expensive, limited-volume supercars and making it competitively priced for mass market products, the new partners noted.

BMW announced the Megacity project at its annual meeting, last March.  Targeted for production sometime during the first half of the next decade, CEO Norbert Reithofer described it as “the first of a range of near-zero emission vehicles.”  Also known as project-i, Reithofer said the Megacity program would produce both electric vehicles and those with highly efficient internal combustion engines.

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The first Megacity Vehicle is the battery-powered Mini-E prototype, of which BMW is currently planning to build and field test 500.  Eventually, such models could show up in the various BMW AG brands, including not only Mini but also BMW and possibly even Rolls-Royce.  Reithofer ruled out adding a new brand to the group.