Michael Bay’s Lexus ES 330 Commercial

Loud, blurry and preposterous, this Lexus ES 330 commercial by Michael Bay would fit neatly into any one of his movies (jump to 1:02 to see the Lexus commercial directly):

Somehow I doubt an airbag is going to save you from being hit by a tractor trailer.

Lexus Japan’s RX Museum Party Video

Should we need any proof that Lexus is being marketed differently in Japan as compared to North America, look no further than this video from the Japanese RX launch party, featuring DJ No+Chin in a “battle” with visual artist Saori Kanda:

Feels more like Scion than Lexus, color me impressed by how uniquely Japanese this is. Add this to the Crystallized LFA appearing at Milan’s Design Week, and Lexus’ Japanese arm certainly seems to be heading in a very interesting direction.

Canadian Driver Reviews the Lexus ES 350

2009 Lexus ES350

The Lexus ES 350 doesn’t get a lot of play, particularly with it in the third year of its design cycle, but this Canadian Driver review of the 2009 model is worth noting, as it manages to capture the ES’ appeal and includes a previously unheard (and likely untrue) rumor:

The 2009 model retains the nice new body, although next year, the ES 350 is said to be undergoing a major reworking. There’s also some speculation that Lexus might drop the model entirely, instead of launching a sixth-generation ES.

The performance hallmarks of the 2009 ES 350 don’t have much to do with the kind of numbers other Lexus models boast, such as zero-to-100 km/h time, but rather with creature comforts and understated elegance. Notes Lexus Canada’s managing director Tony Waring, “Canadians looking for signature styling, refined interiors, effortless handling and a luxurious, serene ride will love the ES 350’s elegance.”

The rumor is that ES will be receiving a mid-cycle facelift this year (along with the LS), but nowhere have I read that the model could be dropped all together, and probably for good reason. The ES is Lexus’ best selling sedan by far, trailing only the RX as the brand’s best selling model in the US. In light of that, what would drive Lexus to cancel the ES?

The other thing: The ES 350 is not bland, and it’s not ordinary. It’s an entry-level large sedan with an emphasis on comfort, an entirely under-represented segment in the luxury market. In fact, comparisons are hard to come by—which no doubt explaining the model’s success.

[Source: Canadian Driver]

Lexus J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Results

J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study 2009

J.D. Power has published the results of their latest Vehicle Dependability Study, and for the first time since its inclusion, Lexus did not place first, coming in third behind Buick and Jaguar.

The study looks at the problems per vehicle for the 2006 model year and the problems encountered over the first three years of ownership. As you can see from the above chart, the differences between the top four positions are minor, particularly when you consider that a “problem” is any issue that requires a visit to the dealership. No real differentiation seems to be made beyond that point, so an engine failure and a squeaky window count towards the same total.

Still, almost every Lexus model placed very high in its respective category:

Model Segment Position
LS 430 1st
ES 330 1st (tie)
SC 430 1st
GX 470 1st
RX 330/400h 3rd

The other point to note? The LS 430 ranked 1st overall, with fewer problems reported than any other model at 61 per 100 vehicles.

[Source: J.D. Power]

Frankenstein Lexus Spotted in Qatar

Car Capture, an exotic carspotting blog, managed to snap some photos of a freakish Frankenstein “Lexus” in Qatar:

Frankenstein Lexus 1

Frankenstein Lexus 2

Let’s see—I’m guessing ES 300 body, BMW headlights and LX rear lights, though who can really tell with all that body work. My favorite touch? The Mercedes V12 badge on the trunk. Fantastic.

For larger images, visit Car Capture and see the monster up close.