New Lexus President Tokuo Fukuichi Shares Details on Future Plans

Lexus International President Tokuo Fukuichi

The Lexus UK blog has an interview with newly named Lexus International president Tokuo Fukuichi:

Q: Will you push Lexus design even more strongly now you are the overall president too?

A: Tokuo Fukuichi: From now on I don’t want to create nice designs, I want to create impressive designs, ones that remain in minds. I should add that Lexus already started taking this turn since a couple of years, with the spindle grille as symbol heralding the change, plus acclaimed coupe concepts LF-LC LF-CC and LF-NX, now the production models IS, RC and RC F, and of course NX. But in future, we will push even harder.

Q: What steps are you taking to enhance the Lexus brand further?

A: It’s important to improve market share but it’s not my main focus as I think keeping and improving on very high performance, quality and safety will create a strong and attractive brand image. And when you have a strong brand image, sales will improve naturally. We also have to change the body style to a low and stable-sided one, which will help performance. Creating a completely new body architecture that no other car brand has is very important in terms of design.

Read the full interview with Lexus International president Tokuo Fukuichi

Lexus NX Spotted in California Parking Lot

Lexus NX Wild

There are two Lexus NX models at the Lexus USA headquarters in Torrance, California, which means the first photos of the new compact crossover out in the wild:

Seeing the crossover in a more natural setting makes it all the more appealing — very impressed with the grille on the standard NX, and loving the seat stitching pattern.

What do you think?

(Thanks Michael!)

Lexus IS the Next Model to Get Turbocharged Engine?

Lexus IS 200t Turbo

AutoGuide reports that the IS will be the next Lexus model to get the turbo-charged 2.0L four-cylinder engine debuting the new NX crossover:

Currently the base IS250 model makes use of an antiquated 2.5-liter V6 engine. Rated at 204 hp it’s not only down on power compared to turbocharged 4-cylinder rivals but it also offers inferior fuel economy.

The company rep who wished to remain anonymous said that the upcoming NX200t model will make 237 hp in production trim, while that number could be increased to closer to 250 for the IS.

Bringing the new engine to the IS makes a ton of sense — it maximizes potential sales of the RC 350 while giving the IS a boost with the new engine.

Beyond the IS & RC, what other Lexus models could see the turbo-4? CT would be a good candidate, but Lexus seems committed to keeping the hatchback hybrid-only. The GS & RC are also possibilities — in fact, both the GS 200t & RX 200t have been trademarked in Australia — but I doubt either will be available in North America any time soon.

[Source: AutoGuide]

2014 Lexus GS 350 Wins Edmunds Top Rated Award

Lexus GS Edmunds Top Rated

The 2014 Lexus GS 350 has been named to the Edmunds Top Rated Vehicles of 2014 list.

The list is determined by the Edmunds vehicle testing team — each vehicle is driven on a standardized road-test loop and visits a test track for additional instrument testing in controlled conditions.  The findings are used to rate how a vehicle compares to its direct rivals. Vehicles that earn an “A” rating receive an Edmunds Top Rated Award

The RX 350 was also recognized by Edmunds as Most Popular Entry Luxury SUV of 2014, based on monthly unique visitors to the Edmunds website.

[Source: Lexus USA]

Details on the First Lexus LFA Owners Club Meet in Japan

Lexus LFA Hero Image Owners Club

Last weekend in Japan, 22 LFAs and 23 LFA owners participated in the inaugural meeting of the Lexus LFA Owners Club. The meet took place at the Lexus College campus inside of the Fuji Speedway.

LFA Chief Engineer Tanahashi Haruhiko was in attendance, and the event was memorialized with a ceremonial planting of a Youkou-zakura Japanese Cherry tree and lunch at Tanta Roba del Museo Gotemba — here’s a photo gallery from the meet:

Here’s a quick video showing the cars in formation:

The Lexus LFA Owners Club is an informal group of owners coming together to celebrate the limited edition Lexus supercar — if this first event is any indication, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more from them in the future.

(Thanks Robert!)