The North American Lexus NX vs. Other World Markets: Explaining the Front End Difference

Lexus NX North America

Top Gear from the Phillippines has the answer to why the North American Lexus NX front end is different from other parts of the world — here’s Paul Williamsen, the Lexus global manager of technical education and training, with an explanation:

Paul-san (what people at Lexus call him) explained that it had to do with the Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations in the US–popularly known as CAFE. The CAFE is more or less the average fuel economy of a carmaker’s fleet being sold in the US market. If a manufacturer’s CAFE falls below a certain figure, the carmaker is penalized.

So Lexus will classify the NX as a light truck in the US because this category has a lower fuel economy standard than the car/sedan segment. Thus, the impact on Toyota’s overall CAFE (in CAFE terms, Toyota, Scion and Lexus count as one entity) will be minimized. How does this concern the altered NX nose? Well, there are several parameters for classifying a vehicle as a light truck. One is simply to have a certain approach angle. That’s why the US NX has a slanted nose.

To illustrate the difference, I made this short video showing the world market NX morphing into the US version:

(This also explains why the standard NX in North America does not offer the side-illuminating foglights.)

Read more about the different NX faces at Top Gear

Video: Lexus RC F SPORT Driving Dynamics

Lexus RC F SPORT Driving Dynamics

Lexus International has released a new video interview with RC chief engineer Eiichi Kusama, focusing on the driving dynamics of the RC F SPORT:

Next-Generation Lexus LS in 2016?

Next Generation Lexus LS

Jonny Lieberman of Motor Trend is keeping the rumor train running with new speculation on the next-generation Lexus LS:

While the LS has traditionally been something of a rival to the Mercedes S-Class, people I spoke with at Lexus have been hinting that the new big Lexus will in fact target the sportier end of the segment — think Jaguar XJ and Porsche Panamera. Further proof that Mercedes ought to go ahead and write, “Can’t Touch This” on their new S-Class.

Regardless, the new LS will look to take on the S63 AMG by also using the 600-hp twin-turbo V-8 in what will be called the LS F. You can expect the LS 600hL to return (probably as the LS H), with the same Bavarian-flavored hybrid setup found in the SC H.

The base LS will get the 5.0-liter V-8. The new LS will launch in 2016 as a 2017 model.

Transforming the LS into something even sportier than the current F SPORT model would certainly fit the new look Lexus — there’s nothing wrong with boosting the performance, as long as it doesn’t affect the qualities that make the LS special (refinement, ride quality, & interior comfort springs to mind).

(The more I hear about this rumored engine lineup, the more I like it — at least three engine options for every Lexus model would be a welcome change.)

[Source: Motor Trend]

Lexus is the Fastest Growing Luxury Automotive Brand in Europe

Lexus IS 300h

Lexus Europe have released their sales report for the first half of 2014, and the results are encouraging — 24,586 vehicles have been sold across Europe so far this year, an increase of 25.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

Leading the pack is the new IS, with sales up nine-fold at 6,923 units sold. The IS 300h was the dominate engine choice, making up 77.5% of total sales. The 2.5L hybrid engine also made a big difference in GS sales, which were up 75 percent to 1,290 units sold.

This puts Lexus as the Europe’s fastest growing luxury automotive brand in 2014, where the average industry growth is hovering around 5 percent.

[Source: Lexus Europe] (Thanks Pedro!)

600 Horsepower Lexus RC FS Coming in 2017?

Lexus RC FS Super Speed

More rumors from Motor Trend, this time regarding a special edition ultra-performance Lexus RC F:

In 2017 you can expect to see a super version of the RC F packing the 600-hp twin-turbo V-8. Think of it as an Infiniti Eau Rogue-fighter with a price tag to match — about $120,000. However, since Johan de Nysschen has left Infiniti, it’s doubtful the Eau Rogue will see the light of day. So think of the Super RC F as a C63 AMG Black Series-fighter. Seeing as how the Benz cost about $110,000 and “only” made 510 hp, $10K more for 600 hp (or more) makes sense.

We’re hearing RC FS as the name, with “FS” becoming Lexus’s answer to AMG’s Black Series and (Audi) Quattro GmbH’s RS.

The LFA V10 engine was a blessing and a curse — it made a statement that Lexus was serious about performance, but cost so much money that there was no way to use it another car.

That’s why more than anything here, I hope this 600 horsepower engine rumor is true, and that it’s used in every model where it makes sense (RC, SC, LS, GS).

(One thing I don’t understand — wouldn’t the rumored SC F with this engine be called the SC FS?)

[Source: Motor Trend]