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New Lexus RC F Video from Japan

Lexus RC F Carbon Package

The RC F has also officially launched in Japan — the Lexus Japan website has been updated, and there’s a new track video well worth watching:

TRD Japan Releases Lexus RC F SPORT Aero Kit

Lexus RC F SPORT TRD Parts

Official Lexus tuner TRD Japan has released images of the world’s first RC F SPORT aero kit:

The kit starts off with a front underspoiler and side skirts:

Lexus RC F SPORT Front & Side

There’s a carbon fiber rear spoiler and a rear diffuser with a quad-exhaust muffler setup:

Lexus RC F SPORT Rear Spoiler

A set of 19-inch forged aluminum wheels complete the options:

Lexus TRD Aluminum Fordged WHeels

The front underspoiler is a reasonable ¥48,600 ($455 USD), and the side skirts are in the same ballpark at ¥64,800 ($608 USD).

Get into the rear options and things get expensive fast — the carbon fiber spoiler is ¥135,000 ($1,266 USD) and the rear diffuser with sport exhausts come in at ¥263,520 ($2,472 USD).

The 19-inch wheels will retail for an astounding ¥542,700 ($5,091 USD).

[Source: TRD Japan]

New Lexus RC F SPORT Video from Japan

Lexus RC F SPORT Japan

The RC & RC F SPORT have officially launched in Japan — the Lexus Japan website has been updated, and a new (and unusual) video has been released:

Lexus IS 350 F SPORT Participates in Car & Driver’s Lightning Lap Test

Lexus IS F SPORT Lightning Lap

The Lexus IS 350 F SPORT participated in the 2014 edition of the Car & Driver Lightning Lap, and performed quite well:

Finally, a world-class sports sedan from Lexus.

Its weakness here is power, or lack of it, relative to weight. With 12.2 pounds for each one of its 306 quiet, Camry-hum horsepower (alas, it’s still a Toyota), it is the only LL2-class car with LL1 stats. It could also use a little more grip, as the 0.89-g Turn One cornering force lands it fifth from the bottom in the overall ranking.

Power and grip are two items that are easy to fix, however; core structural and chassis competence aren’t. And it’s these that the IS350 gets so right.

The IS 350 F SPORT ended up finishing 21st overall, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of considering the competition.

One interesting fact — the IS F SPORT’s Virginia International Raceway lap time of 3:13.4 was actually faster than the 2008 IS F, and only .2 seconds shy of the BMW 335i test last year.

(You can also watch video from the IS 350 F SPORT lap on the Car & Driver website.)

Read about the Car & Driver Lightning Lap

Lexus NX Scores High in Motor Trend SUV of the Year Award Rankings

Lexus NX SUV of the Year Motor Trend Finalist

The Lexus NX was a finalist in the Motor Trend SUV of the Year award rankings — here’s a quote from Jonny Lieberman’s write-up:

The looks were obviously polarizing, and that’s exactly the point. You don’t make your mini-ute look like a mashup of a Cylon and Predator because you want a wallflower. [Editor Angus] MacKenzie was the NX’s biggest aesthetic detractor. I wish we had room to publish everything he wrote, but this is the highlight, “Here’s a direct appeal to Akio Toyoda: Tell the guys enough with the spindle grille, already. It just doesn’t work, no matter how much your designers tweak it.” Ouch.

I’ll be the nice guy and state that this is by far the best-looking spindle grille on the market. The interior is the latest interpretation of the LFA’s fighter jet cockpit. We dig it.

The NX was joined by seven other SUVs in the finalist category: the Subaru Outback, Porsche Macan, Nissan Rogue, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, Lincoln MKC, Jeep Cherokee and Chevrolet Suburban all lost out to the eventual winner — the Honda CR-V.

Read the full Motor Trend SUV of the Year article