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]

Zent Cerumo Lexus RC F Wins Super GT Round 4

Lexus Super GT Round 4 Zent Cerumo

The ZENT CERUMO racing team of Yuji Tachikawa & Hirate have won the 2014 Super GT Round 4 GT500 class in the #1 Lexus RC F. The KeePer TOM’S RC F team of Daisuke Ito & Andrea Caldarelli finished second.

Here are highlights from the race courtesy of the Super GT Youtube channel:

The next Super GT race will be on August 9th at the Fuji Speedway.

Read more about the 2014 Super GT Round 4 Race

Lexus to Build a Twin-Turbo 600-Horsepower LF-LC Coupe?

Lexus LF-LC 600 Horsepower

Motor Trend has the scoop on possible engines powering the new Lexus coupe based on the LF-LC concept:

Word on the Tokyo street is that there’s a Lexus LF-LC Coupe mule running around Japan packing a 600-hp twin-turbo version of the upcoming RC F’s 5.0-liter V-8. That power rating may be on the conservative side.

There still isn’t much [information], but our sources confirm the monstrous twin-turbo V-8 will be the SC F. There’s a potent hybrid LF-LC/SC H whose powertrain will probably be the fruits of the BMW joint project and make around 500 hp.

There will be a third engine, a base naturally aspirated V-8, that will produce a bit less power than the hybrid (450 hp) but get worse fuel economy.

That’s a narrow horsepower spread for a single car — while I hope that every detail is true, it’s a bit of a stretch considering only one of these engines is currently in production (the naturally aspirated V8 would be the RC F engine) and all are extremely high-performance. Also, is there no plan to offer the next-generation SC with a V6 engine?

Really though, let’s focus on the big news — how about this twin-turbo SC F with 600+ hp? It just so happens that Toyota Motorsports in Germany has already built a twin-turbo 5.0L V8 engine and installed it in an LS — the final numbers were more than 640 horsepower and a top speed of 200mph. Matches up well with the rumor and seems like a strong possibility.

(Huge rumors over the past couple days, it’s getting very exciting in Lexus land.)

[Source: Motor Trend] (Thanks Bobby!)

Lexus Considering a Compact Crossover Below the NX?

Lexus NX Compact Crossover

Lexus is considering a crossover even smaller than the NX, according to an Autocar interview with Lexus Europe vice president Alain Uyttenhoven:

Uyttenhoven said the launch of a small SUV was “not impossible” for Lexus and such a model “made sense” for the brand, but he stopped short of confirming it for production.

Lexus is looking to downsize and diversify its model range to reduce its reliance on the North American market, which accounts for around half of its 500,000-plus unit annual sales.

He noted that premium cars were getting ever smaller, and around 60 per cent of premium models sold in Europe were sold for less than 40,000 euros. “The premium market starts with a car as small as the Audi A1,” he said.

While it’s true Lexus is trying to expand in other markets worldwide, the brand may not yet be in a position to build vehicles that won’t succeed in North America as well.

That said, the BMW X1 is currently averaging 2,000 sales per month in the USA, so there’s certainly a market for a subcompact crossover.

(Curious that Uyttenhoven mentions the Audi A1 — could Lexus also be thinking about a subcompact car as well?)

[Source: Autocar]