New Information on the Lexus Dedicated Hybrid

Lexus Hybrid Engine

Although Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe announced that a new Lexus dedicated hybrid would be introduced way back in January, Toyota made it official-official in an Automotive News article released today:

Toyota Motor Corp. on Wednesday fired a fresh volley in the green car wars, promising two new hybrid vehicles and the start of lithium-ion battery production next year.

The two hybrids–one badged a Toyota, the other a Lexus–will debut at the Detroit auto show and come on top of the third-generation Prius car, also due in 2009.

Toyota didn’t give further details about the upcoming vehicles. But Masatami Takimoto, executive vice president in charge of r&d, said the Toyota will be larger than the Prius.

“It’s a totally new car,” Takimoto said in Tokyo.

It’s been long expected that this new Lexus hybrid would be a rebadged Toyota Prius, but this new quote from Takimoto makes me think otherwise. Instead, it’s quite possible that this new Toyota hybrid might be the closer relation.

Video Review of the 1992 Lexus ES 300

Looks like someone’s breaking into their old VHS collection, as Youtube user bajabusta has been steadily posting old segments from Motorweek. First there was the Lexus ES 250 vs. Infiniti M30 footage, and now it’s a review of the newly introduced 1992 ES 300:

I always get a kick of these back-in-the-day TV segments, they really paint a great picture as to just how the car was actually perceived at its release. I was interested to see that the ES 300 had the manual 5-speed transmission, which was only available in that first year. Also, the video’s worth watching just for the slalom test, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ES 300 move like that.

Lexus Video for the 2008 US Open

The 2008 US Open is being played this week, and Lexus is one of the event’s four sponsors. As expected, there’s some fairly extensive Lexus advertising being put together, including a funny short film featuring Annika Sorenstam, Charles Howell III, Raymond Floyd and Chi Chi Rodriguez in a car race to the Open (image below leads to video):

Lexus US Open Pro Video

Between this video and last year’s US Tennis Open advert, these sports sponsorships sure seem to bring out the lighter side of Lexus marketing.

(Also, on a related note, I read this interesting article about the USGA’s new corporate sponsorships and how it breaks down. Indepth and informative, if you’re interested in such things.)

Wald Lexus IS-F Body Kit Teaser

Lexus IS-F Wald Body Kit Front

For whatever reason, Wald International decided that the IS-F was in need of a body kit, and the above photo is a digital mockup of the potential design. Here it is from the rear:

Lexus IS-F Wald Body Kit Rear

Hopefully this goes through the same process as the IS body released last year, which started off as an over-the-top photochop. The front end might be almost passable, but I see the rear and think of a 2000 Hyundai Tiburon.

[Via: Club Lexus]

Lexus RX 400h Commercial: Hybrid Drive

I’ve featured a variation of this Lexus UK commercial before, but I like the concept enough to show it again:

It might be missing the rain footage of the first version, but any invisible automobile video is good by me.