Lexus Chief Engineer Wants NX F High Performance Crossover


Lexus NX F High Performance

Lexus NX chief engineer Takeaki Kato shares some interesting details in an interview with Australian website GoAuto:

[The 2.0-litre turbo] engine looks set to provide sparkling performance in the NX 200t, but an even more potent version has not been ruled out by Mr Kato – an amateur motor racer in his spare time.

He told GoAuto the four-cylinder engine had been designed for a variety of performance tunes in various applications across the Lexus range.

Asked if an extreme version to match the 265kW GLA45 AMG was on the cards, he replied: “I want one, yes.”

He stopped short of saying such a vehicle would make it into showrooms, but left the door open for the possibility.

There are two parts to this quote — the first being that the 2.0L turbo engine has multiple performance configurations. This is very exciting news, and makes me curious about what engine will show up in the IS & GS.

The second part is the NX F — the very idea runs counter to an earlier interview with Lexus F chief engineer Yukihiko Yaguchi — here’s a quote from Motoring Australia:

“To have an F badge, the car needs to have characteristics to be able to run on track and on race course,” he explained. “Therefore it doesn’t really suit to have an SUV as an F model. There may be an F Sports SUV (there are already – ED), but as far as F models go, no plans.”

The idea of a NX F is an interesting thought experiment, but there are Lexus models better suited to F high-performance models — until a CT F, IS F, GS F, & LS F are in production, an NX F just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

[Source: GoAuto]

Lexus Dominates Consumer Reports Reliability Rankings


Lexus CT 200h Consumer Reports

Lexus has finished first overall in the annual Consumer Reports Reliability rankings, with nearly every model leading in its respective category.

The IS 350 took top spot in Luxury Compact Cars, and the CT 200h & ES 300h finished first and second in Hybrid/Electric Cars.

The LS 460, ES 350, and GS 350 were first, second, and fourth in the Luxury Midsized/Large Cars category, while the Lexus RX 350, RX 450h, and GX 460 took the top three spots in Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs.

Additionally, the CT 200h was first overall as the most reliable vehicle in the study.

(As an FYI: Audi ranked 5th overall, BMW was 14th, and Mercedes was 24th.)

Read the full Consumer Reports Reliability Report (PDF)

Car & Driver Reviews the 2015 Lexus NX 300h


Lexus NX Car & Driver

Steve Siler from Car & Driver has [reviewed the 2015 Lexus NX 300h](Lexus NX Car & Driver

Steve Siler from Car & Driver has reviewed the 2015 Lexus NX 300h:

Hushed as a prep-school library, the NX300h lets a mere 71 decibels of noise into the cabin at wide-open throttle and only 68 when cruising at 70 mph (the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550 measured 75 decibels wide open and 67 cruising). The interior is a snug, personal space with its high center console and central dash jutting out toward the occupants, creating a platform for the stand-up center screen.

The new Remote Touch Interface touchpad-style controller with haptic feedback handled secondary controls in our test vehicle; it takes some getting used to but works better than the old Lexus toggle-mouse thing.

Read the full Car & Driver Lexus NX 300h review):

Hushed as a prep-school library, the NX300h lets a mere 71 decibels of noise into the cabin at wide-open throttle and only 68 when cruising at 70 mph (the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550 measured 75 decibels wide open and 67 cruising). The interior is a snug, personal space with its high center console and central dash jutting out toward the occupants, creating a platform for the stand-up center screen.

The new Remote Touch Interface touchpad-style controller with haptic feedback handled secondary controls in our test vehicle; it takes some getting used to but works better than the old Lexus toggle-mouse thing.

Read the full Car & Driver Lexus NX 300h review

Notes from the 2014 Lexus USA National Dealer Meeting


Lexus 2014 USA National Dealer Meeting

The Toyota Driver’s Seat blog has posted a recap of the recent Lexus USA National Dealer Meeting, which took place in Los Angeles and celebrated the brand’s 25th anniversary:  

There were enticing previews of commercials for the RC and NX, coming to Lexus showrooms within the next two months. There was Akio Toyoda inspiring the crowd with his passionate message. There were plenty of light-hearted moments. But the overall message was clear: Be proud of what Lexus has done in the last 25 years, push to make the next 25 years even better.

All future product news was obviously left out of the article, but the featured parts of Akio Toyoda’s speech are worth highlighting in full:

“Welcome to the fulfillment of a dream, a vision, a belief that together we could create something truly meaningful,”  Toyoda said. “And that dream, ladies and gentlemen, is Lexus.”

“Although this is an important anniversary for us, in many ways I consider it a kind of rebirth,” he said. “An opportunity to say ‘Ok, now what?’ Or perhaps more importantly, ‘What if?’ What if we really go after the competition? What if we exceed every customer expectation and then some? What if we develop technologies no one has even thought of yet? And what if we make cars that literally take your breath away? To me, Lexus should be a canvas for automotive artistry.”

Toyoda-san continues to refine his vision for Lexus, and there’s plenty in his speech today that shows a minor correction in the brand’s direction.

The recent focus on performance and design has shifted to customer expectation and artistry, two characteristics that have been key pillars for Lexus over the past 25 years — in fact, almost all of the “what if” scenarios suggested by Toyoda-san are what made the very first LS 400 special.

(Really recommend reading the full article, there’s plenty of insight into how Lexus USA will approach the next year.)

Read more about the 2014 Lexus USA National Dealer Meeting

Lexus Short Films 2014 Now Online


Lexus Short Films 2014

After a summer making the rounds at international film festivals around the world, this year’s Lexus Short Films are now available for viewing online.


Operation Barn Owl

The first film is Operation Barn Owl, directed by Satuski Okawa and co-written by Ken Ochiai. The story is tough to describe without giving too much away — essentially, a woman in love with her best friend must help with his marriage proposal to another woman.

Overall, the film has a whimsical air — it’s quirky, musical, surprising in its conclusion, and really quite enjoyable. As you would expect, a Lexus makes an appearance:

Lexus Operation Barn Owl NX


Market Hours

The first film is Market Hours, written and directed by Jon Goldman. It tells of a security guard at the Sixth Street Market in Los Angles who’s lost in his own thoughts, in love with one of the vendors, and on the verge of losing his job.

The RC F SPORT makes an appearance late in the film, bright and white and very noticeable:

Lexus Short Films Market Hours RC


I attended the world premiere of these two films back in May, and wrote about the experience in some detail — I do think it’s worth highlighting my conclusion here:

Despite the name, Lexus Short Films are not exclusively for people with an existing interest in the brand. These short films are meant for a wider audience, for all types of people.

Admittedly, it was a nice touch involving Lexus vehicles in the films this year, but it’s beside the point. These films are meant to be enjoyed on their own, independent of title sponsor.

What does the Lexus Short Film series mean to Lexus enthusiasts? It’s a statement by Lexus, and a tangible example of their commitment to bringing new emotion to the brand.

The filmmakers involved are young and talented, and are so thankful for the opportunity — writing and directing a big-budget short film at the beginning of their careers is a remarkable achievement, and they should be proud of the result. And so should Lexus.