Lexus Remote Touch Controller Details

Lexus Remote Touch Controller

Japanese tech website TechOn has published an article about the new Remote Touch system that’s set to debut with the 2010 RX this month:

The “Remote Touch,” an HMI (human machine interface) for the car navigation system equipped in the “Lexus RX” released by Toyota Motor Corp, was developed by Denso Corp.

…the haptic technology was adopted so that the driver can feel like the pointer is gravitating toward the switch. The operating knob is equipped with two motors and an encoder, and the motors are controlled so that the operating knob will always be in a neutral position after the car navigation is started.

Toyota has not made any announcement in respect to the adoption of the Remote Touch for Toyota products other than the Lexus brand vehicles. It is expected to be more expensive than the haptic dials employed by German manufacturers including BMW AG and Daimler AG. Therefore, its adoption, if any, will probably be limited to upper grade models.

It’s interesting that the article reports the controller automatically centers itself — this would be an improvement over the Remote Touch displays shown at recent car shows, which lacked this functionality. This seems like an important feature, and we’ll have to wait until the RX debuts to get the final word.

Another point this article makes is that the Remote Touch may not appear in all Lexus models, but I highly doubt that will be the case. It stands to reason that every vehicle will have the option for the Remote Touch controller, provided the model can accommodate it.

Lexus HS 250h Display @ TED

TED, the annual conference where “the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers…are challenged to give the talk of their lives” is happening this week in Long Beach, California, and Lexus has put up a display featuring an HS 250h — here’s a photo taken by Jon Wiley (It’s hard to see the image clearly here, but be sure to click through to see it full-size):

Lexus HS 250h @ TED

Beautifully done, the display illustrates how Lexus worked a number of eco-friendly aspects into the vehicle beyond its hybrid engine. (For instance, the seat cushions are produced from castor seeds rather than rubber.)

New Lexus Power of H Commercial: Bridge

You might remember a Lexus infomercial from last December that detailed how architects were utilizing old boat shipping containers — well, the next of the series has been released and talks about the Shuto Expressway in Kyoto, Japan and how it generates electricity. You can watch here, or head over to Youtube for the HD version:

Have to say, I really enjoyed this, and look forward the final installment in the series.

Lexus USA January 2009 Sales Report

Lexus Logo

It’s the first month of a new year, but it wasn’t a new story for US automotive sales. Here are Lexus’ numbers model by model:

2009 2008 % Change
IS250/350/F 2,400 3,262 -29.3
ES350 2,971 4,346 -34.3
GS350/460/450h 898 1,480 -41.7
SC430 73 183 -61.6
LS460/600h L 904 1,906 -54.4
Total Cars 7,246 11,177 -37.7
RX350/400h 6,520 6,755 -7.2
GX470 628 1,657 -63.6
LX570 328 710 -55.6
Total Trucks 7,476 9,122 -21.2
Total Sales 14,722 20,299 -30.3

The RX, on the eve of the new model hitting dealerships, managed to sell (relatively) well, even if you attribute it to dealerships trying to push out the old for the new.

On the other side, the LX has seen its first sales decrease since December 2007, which is due to the fact that last January was its launch month, and sales were extremely high.

(It paints a bleak picture, but who knows what the new RX will do to the numbers when it’s released in February.)

2010 Lexus LS Facelift?

Vince Burlapp, the same blogger that leaked an image of the possible 2010 ES facelift, now brings us some fuzzy photos of what could very well be the 2010 Lexus LS refresh:

Leaked 2010 Image

2010 Lexus LS Facelift

Current LS

2010 Lexus LS Facelift

As far as I can see, the changes are mainly in the rear lights. The new reverse “L” built into the inner side definitely ratchets up the class, and it does mirror the changes made to the 2009 IS last year.

The other leaked shot was of the front fascia:

Leaked 2010 Image

2010 Lexus LS Facelift

Keep in mind, these leaks are of the LS 600hL, which has a different set of lights than the non-hybrid LS. Let’s compare apples to apples:

Current LS

Lexus LS 600hL Front End

I don’t see much change at all.

Update: These images are believed to be fake.

(Thanks Roberto!)