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Lexus LF-LC Concept Offers a Good Look at Luxury Brand’s Future

Show car boasts curvaceous design, hydrogen powertrain, gesture controls and a hologram.

by on Oct.28, 2015

The Lexus LF-LC concept rolls onto the stage at the Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday.

Luxury brand Lexus has rolled out a number of concept vehicles in recent years but, with only a few, rare exceptions, they’ve been little more than fantasies in chrome. But the new Lexus LF-LC unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday is likely to be one of those exceptions.

From a design standpoint, what you see is likely to be – close to — what you’ll get with the next-generation Lexus LS sedan, a senior official told Whether we’ll also see such features as gesture-control electronics and a “hologram guide,” never mind the hydrogen fuel-cell drivetrain, well, that’s another matter entirely

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The luxury arm of Toyota is “constantly striving to deliver awe-inspiring experiences,” said Tokuo Fukuichi, Lexus International President, as the current rolled back to reveal the LF-LC Concept vehicle.


The Dozen Biggest Debuts Coming from Tokyo Motor Show

From a phone booth on wheels to an assortment of battery vehicles.

by on Oct.27, 2015

Mazda offers a tease of the sports car it will debut at the Tokyo Motor Show this week.

The biennial Tokyo Motor Show has a history of introducing some wild, weird and wacky vehicles, and this year will be no exception. Honda, for one, will be introducing its Wander Walker, a concept vehicle that bears an uncanny resemblance to a phone booth on wheels.

But don’t let the crazy concepts fool you. There’s a serious side to the Tokyo Motor Show, as well, and this year’s event will bring out an assortment of luxury sedans, sports cars and alternative-fuel vehicles that will have a big impact on the global industry in the years to come.

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While foreign makers will have a minimal presence at the 2015 show, Japanese makers such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda will more than offset that absence. Here are a dozen of the most important debuts to come in Tokyo this week:


Hyundai May Follow 2014 Equus Update With New Luxury Models

Facelifted Equus to launch at NY Auto Show.

by on Mar.14, 2013

The undisguised 2014 Hyundai Equus.

Hyundai landed an unexpected body blow to the luxury car segment when it introduced its first-generation Genesis and followed with the well-received Equus, the big sedan taking on the likes of the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

An updated version of the Hyundai Equus is scheduled to debut at the New York Auto Show later this month but the Korean carmaker doesn’t appear ready to stop there, sources both inside and outside the company telling that an expanded line-up of luxury models could follow in the not-too-distant future.

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But it now appears extremely unlikely that Hyundai will now follow up with a separate luxury channel for the American market, something it has agonized over in recent years.


Hyundai Teases Update of 2014 Equus Update

Big sedan to get more technology, improved interior, subtle design revisions.

by on Mar.07, 2013 has pulled out a few more details than we originally saw in this teaser image of the 2014 Hyundai Equus.

Like most of our automotive media colleagues, we’ll be heading back from Geneva about the time you read this report. That doesn’t mean the automotive world will take a breather and await our return. Certainly not Hyundai, which has dropped this image into our e-mail which we’re accessing by long-distance WiFi.

We’ve also enhanced the image just a wee bit to try to bring out a little more detail on what we’re told is the 2014 Hyundai Equus, the mid-cycle update of the flagship sedan the Korean carmaker introduced here almost four years ago. It will make its debut at the New York Auto Show less than three weeks from now.

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Hyundai promises “exterior and interior design” enhancements.  Though it’s difficult to spot many specific details, that appears to include updated headlights and revised LED accent lamps, as well as tweaks to the front fascia, bumper and foglamps. The turbine-style wheels also appear to be new.


First Look: 2014 Lexus IS

Pumping up the passion meter in an entry-lux sedan.

by on Jan.09, 2013

Lexus returns to Detroit for the reveal of its 2014 IS.

While it may be located in the Motor City, Lexus has always had an affinity for the North American International Auto Show. And more than two decades after debuting its original two offerings in Detroit, the Toyota luxury brand will be back to pull the wraps off the all-new 2014 Lexus IS.

As the entry offering in the brand, the IS plays a critical role and, arguably, could be even more important going forward.  Lexus has been struggling to regain momentum over the last few years as luxury brands BMW and Mercedes-Benz push past it in the market and second-tier brands such as Audi and Infiniti – never mind Cadillac and Lincoln – start taking aim.

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The outgoing IS was, if anything, an example of why.  It was a competent but far from inspiring product, according to most analysts, attracting buyers who were more interested in quality statistics than 0 to 60 times. But as other makers have improved their own reliability that has become less of an advantage.


Mercedes Aesthetics S Concept To Offer Hint of Next-Gen S-Class

“Sensual shapes and stylish sportiness.”

by on Sep.06, 2012

What a relief...the Aesthetic S is more bas relief than traditional concept car.

It’s getting crowded at the top.  All manner of new premium luxury sedans are coming to market and not to be outdone, Mercedes-Benz is offering a hint of what its next-generation S-Class will look like with the upcoming Aesthetics S Concept.

Set for a formal debut at the Paris Motor Show, later this month, the Aesthetics S isn’t your typical show car, however, but the automotive equivalent of a bas relief sculpture, which the automaker describes as “an artistic glimpse of the design of the luxury saloon of the foreseeable future.”

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How much of the next S-Class can we see in the images the maker has released?  That remains to be seen, of course, but it clearly continues the steady move away from the heavy-handed, Teutonic barges of decades past, evolving into a sleek and elegant, wind-cheating form that nonetheless maintains a sense of power and prestige in the almost coupe-like roof and wide rear haunches.


Hybrids, Supercars and Compact Crossovers: Lexus Looking at Future Product Options

But don’t expect the Japanese luxury maker to keep up with its German rivals.

by on Aug.10, 2012

Expect to see the Lexus "spindle" grille on more products in the future.

Shifting market trends have changed the face of the automotive luxury market – leading some manufacturers to flood showrooms with new models. By comparison to its German rivals, Lexus has taken a relatively cautious approach to product proliferation but that may have to change, suggested the Toyota luxury brands top U.S. executive.

While Mark Templin, general manager of the Toyota luxury brand, insists he is “not a big fan of” the rampant product proliferation “that calls for having 100 different models in your line-up,” he told that Lexus is closely evaluating market trends and may very well need to add new models in the not-too-distant future.

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The biggest challenge, he laughed, is that, “We’re running out of the alphabet,” as makers not only add more models but shift to alphanumeric naming policies.


Lexus Tease Suggests New LS is Smoking Hot

by on Jul.20, 2012

Smoke...but no mirrors. Lexus teases the next-generation LS it officially reveals later this month.

With the brand facing increasingly aggressive competition from its upscale European competitors. Lexus has a lot riding on the upcoming launch of the newly redesigned LS.  Parent Toyota’s CEO Akio Toyoda has promised to put more “passion” into future models and a new teaser of the flagship sedan suggests that it is, indeed, smoking hot.

The 2013 Lexus LS will be formally unveiled in San Francisco on July 30th during what the maker describes as an “invitation only” event, with automotive scribes to get a closer look during a first-drive event in early August.

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The first of what are likely to be several more teasers suggests that the new model will not start from the proverbial clean sheet of paper, though the silhouette appears to feature a bit more sporty styling than the decidedly stodgy current model.


Lexus To Unveil New “Flagship” at “Invitation-Only” Event

Next-gen LS to offer more passionate styling, hybrid, sport and long-wheelbase variants.

by on Jul.09, 2012

Expect to see some key elements of the newest Lexus GS carry over into the 5th-generation LS - notably including the "spindle grille."

Toyota President Akio Toyoda has been promising to put more “passion” into his company’s products – providing a hint of this new direction with offerings as varied as the new Toyota Avalon, Scion FR-S and the 2012 Lexus GS.  But the real test will come when, late this month, the maker’s luxury division lifts the covers off an all-new version of its flagship LS line.

A terse news advisory from Lexus reveals Lexus will unveil the fifth generation of that flagship sedan at an “invitation-only” event taking place in San Francisco on July 30th.

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The release notes that the next-gen Lexus LS will be offered in standard and long-wheelbase versions, with an updated version of the LS 600h hybrid and an all-new LS 460 F Sport on tap, as well.  Beyond that, it’s a matter of wait-and-see but some insight can be glimmered from recent moves the marque has been making.


Acura Pushing For 45% Sales Growth in 2012

Maker betting on new ILX, redesigned RDX for big surge.

by on Mar.23, 2012

The 2013 Acura ILX will be a critical piece of the brand's turnaround strategy.

After years of struggle, Japan’s first luxury car brand is forecasting a 45% surge in demand this year that will help it challenge top-tier rivals.

Acura officials say they’re counting on new and updated models – notably the entry-luxury ILK sedan and redesigned RDX crossover — to provide the moment that will boost sales to 180,000 for the year.  An all-new flagship scheduled to debut at the New York Auto Show next month should also add momentum.


“This is where we think we would have been” were it not for the impact of last year’s Japanese earthquake and tsunami, said Acura marketing chief Jeff Conrad.