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First Drive: 2018 Lexus LS 500h

Bold new exterior matches top performing powertrain.

by on Sep.26, 2017

The 2018 Lexus LS 500 features bold new exterior styling, which has been the focus of the company's higher ups.

Throughout the years, Lexus has built a reputation for reliability that has always inspired confidence if not loyalty among the increasingly fickle, affluent buyers, who use their car both for transportation and to make a statement about their status and accomplishments.

With the new latest versions of the LS, the LS 500 and LS 500h, Lexus is also serving notice that it prepared not only to move away from the boring styling that has characterized the brand’s vehicles in the recent years but also plans to give customers a genuine choice of powertrain technology by offering a hybrid right alongside gasoline version.

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Moreover, the 2018 LS 500h and heir to LS 600, which was one of the more compelling Lexus vehicles to debut in recent years, isn’t some afterthought but a well-planned and -equipped vehicle featuring a refined powertrain with a range of 600 miles, which is more than enough for most any weekend trip. (more…)

Lexus LS: Struggling for Relevance in a Rapidly Changing Market

Retaining an “upstart” mindset critical in an increasingly uncertain industry.

by on Sep.22, 2017

The 2018 Lexus LS 500 features bold new exterior styling, which has been the focus of the company's higher ups.

From automotive upstart to part of the industry’s elite — there’ve been a lot of changes since Lexus made its debut nearly three decades ago. Now, there are new players trying to shake up the established order and its Toyota’s luxury brand that’s on the defensive.

Nothing symbolizes the challenges the Japanese marque faces like the 2018 LS, the fifth-generation remake of its flagship sedan. Since Lexus made its debut in 1989, the LS has symbolized everything the brand stands for: affordable, elegant, high-tech – and green, the full-size sedan becoming the first in its segment offered with a hybrid drivetrain option.

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But at a time when SUVs, rather than sedans, have come to dominate the sales charts, is the LS still relevant? And is Lexus, more broadly, keeping pace with the changes reshaping the auto industry, including the race to electrify that has seen major manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz announce plans to offer battery-based options for every single product they build? (more…)

Lexus Reveals Updated NX in Shanghai

Design tweaks and a more responsive adaptive suspension.

by on Apr.19, 2017

Lexus updates its NX crossover for the first time since its 2014 debut.

Continuing its campaign to pump more “passion” into the line-up, Lexus has rolled out a newly updated version of the NX crossover at the Shanghai Motor Show.

Already one of the most angular and aggressive models in the brand’s growing SUV and CUV line-up, the 2018 Lexus NX reveals a number of modest but notable visual revisions, front and back. It also adds some welcome new technology and, the luxury arm of Toyota claims it has also taken steps to improve the handling of the compact crossover.

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We’ll let Shin Kamiura, a member of the Lexus Design Division, describe some of the salient exterior updates: “Starting at the spindle grille, the way the front edges connect to the front fenders results in a much bolder expression than before, clearly highlighting the NX’s style design architecture.”

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Lexus Mixing Speed With Pleasure in New F Sport

New LS F Sport offers multiple powertrains.

by on Apr.11, 2017

The 2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport brings the power element to the grace and style of the new flagship.

The styling evolution of the Lexus line-up, specifically the Japanese brand’s LS flagship portfolio, continues with the debut of the all-new LS F Sport at the 2017 New York International Auto Show.

The new F Sport comes on the heels of the debut of the LS 500 in Detroit and the LS 500h in Geneva. The previous models offered the comfort, style and efficiency capable in the LS group, however, the F Sport is all about the speed and performance.

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The all-new LS is based on an extended version of the brand’s premium global architecture for luxury vehicles, which is the stiffest that Lexus has ever developed. The result is enhanced handling, ride smoothness and cabin quietness. F Sport capitalizes on the platform’s responsiveness and agility to present the most engaging LS driving experience yet. (more…)

Automakers Doing Better Job of Satisfying Customers, Finds New JD Power Study

by on Mar.16, 2017

Lexus topped the 2017 CSI, but has growing competition, notably including U.S. brands like Buick.

While consumers have had to suffer through a modest increase in quality and reliability issues in recent years – most in the form of balky electronics – automakers appear to be doing a better job of keeping their owners happy, according to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates.

When it comes to servicing the vehicles they sell, Power shows a “significant” uptick in the 2017 Customer Satisfaction Index. The CSI focuses on how owners feel things went at franchised dealer and independent service facilities. The latest study calls out Lexus as tops among luxury brands, Buick among mainstream marques.

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“The quality of work—doing the job right the first time—can noticeably affect customer satisfaction and loyalty, but it shouldn’t be viewed in a vacuum,” said Chris Sutton, vice president, U.S. automotive retail practice at J.D. Power. “Proactive communication with the customer, especially while the car is being serviced, is one element that has a direct influence on loyalty.”

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Lexus to Add UX Concept to Line-Up

A large flagship ute may follow, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned.

by on Mar.14, 2017

The styling renaissance continues at Lexus with the debut of the UX Concept, although its likely it won't be a "concept" much longer.

Adapting to a rapidly shifting automotive environment, Lexus is reportedly set to transform the UX concept vehicle into its latest production SUV.

First revealed at the Paris Motor Show last September, the UX would join the best-selling RX, the full-size LX, and the relatively new NX in Lexus showrooms. But it could be just one of several new crossovers coming from the Japanese luxury brand, with Lexus also looking at a possible flagship model that would serve as a complement to the LS sedan.

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“We are doing (the UX), Lexus Executive Vice President Yoshihiro Sawa told Australia’s Motoring magazine. “It’s not so far away.” (more…)

Lexus Wants Buyers to Plug in with LS 500h Hybrid Flagship

Lighter, more advanced battery drive system merges with Japanese artisanal design.

by on Mar.07, 2017

The new 2018 Lexus LS 500h made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

Two months after unveiling its all-new LS flagship sedan, Lexus is back at it, rolling out the plug-in hybrid version at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Where the next-generation LS 500 – which debuted at the Detroit Auto Show – opted for a twin-turbo V-6, the Lexus LS 500h will be motivated by a complex new driveline that not only combines gas and electric power sources but also two separate gearboxes.

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The one thing that doesn’t change is the basic exterior design, which adopts the more aggressive look called for by parent Toyota Motor Corp. CEO Akio Toyoda who, in a visit to the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, declared Lexus would put more “passion” into both its design and driving dynamics. With its yawning spindle grille and creased sheet metal, both versions of the new LS offer a more exciting and distinctive design than the staid, classic Lexus cruisers of the past. (more…)

Lexus to Reveal New LS 500h Hybrid in Geneva

New body, new platform, new powertrain.

by on Feb.14, 2017

The new 2018 Lexus LS 500h will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

We got our first look at the next-generation Lexus LS during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Now, the automaker says it will roll out the hybrid version of its flagship sedan during the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

Like the gasoline-powered version, the 2018 Lexus LS 500h will adopt a new and much more aggressive body language. But the Japanese luxury brand is keeping mum about what it has in store under that more shapely hood, offering only this one teaser image.

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That said, some details about the new hybrid have begun leaking out. And expectations are that Lexus will try to boost the performance quotient with the new 500h, in keeping with broader market trends, rather than focusing solely on fuel efficiency. (more…)

First Drive: Lexus RC 350 F Sport

Really a coupe with a low-slung exterior that is sleek and harmonious.

by on Jan.27, 2017

The 2017 Lexus RC 350 F Sport is giving some luxury buyers a reason to come back to coupes.

Even as the sales and popularity of utility vehicles climb, manufacturers continue to entice consumers with passenger cars that blend styling, performance and technology into a nifty package.

A case in point is the 2017 Lexus RC 350 F Sport, which even on ordinary urban-area roads delivers spirited driving on a solid chassis. The car’s basic feeling for the road is enhanced by the powertrain and complemented by features that help keep the driver focused on the road and the traffic around the car.

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The RC 350 is a coupe, which really does mean the car has only two doors. But while Lexus parent company, Toyota Motor Co., has received a substantial amount of criticism over the years for designing cars with too many disparate elements, the basic exterior styling of the low-slung RC 350 is sleek and harmonious. (more…)

Lexus Aims to Set New Benchmark with 5th-Gen LS

But has the luxury world moved on?

by on Jan.10, 2017

The fifth-generation Lexus LS flagship may not be as impactful as when it debuted in 1989.

When the original Lexus LS made its debut at the 1989 North American International Auto Show, it stood the luxury automotive market on its head. Now the Japanese automaker is back at the NAIAS and hoping that the fifth-generation remake of its flagship sedan will once again set an industry benchmark.

But things have changed dramatically in the intervening years, and the question is whether the new 2018 Lexus will have the relevancy of the original, despite all its refinement and features and a design that is far more cutting edge than almost any other Lexus product before it.

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“It is the car that launched a company,” said Jeff Bracken, the U.S. manager of the Lexus brand, as the 2018 LS sedan rolled onto the stage at Detroit’s Cobo Center. (more…)