Lexus GS 450h Targa Update

Lexus GS 450h Targa

It’s been an up and down couple days for the Targa GS 450h — after completing Day 1 with zero errors, Team Lexus fell back to 15th place on Day 2. And now, yesterday, they surged forward and ended the stage in 8th position. This is quite a feat, though driver Marc Lachapelle stays humble in his latest blog post:

Don’t worry; we are not letting this good result get to our collective heads. There are still two full days of hard, fast and sometimes treacherous rally stages to complete before getting to the finish line in St-John’s. Our goal has not changed. We want to bring our car there in perfect shape, with a happy crew.

I’m really enjoying the race blog, and still getting a kick of these short little video clips being posted on Youtube:

(Also, be sure to check out the Facebook page.)

Lexus LF-A Continues Nürburgring Testing

Lexus LF-A

Regardless of the rumor Autoblog was circulating about the Lexus LF-A’s demise, prototype testing is still ongoing at Nürburgring, and Motor Authority has the photos to prove it. Here’s a sampling:

Lexus LF-A

Lexus LF-A

Nothing we haven’t seen before, though I can never pass up the chance to post matte black paint jobs. That last photo is curious, why the debadged IS-F?

Check out this photo up close along with a few more over at Motor Authority (and be sure to compliment them on their new design!).

(Thanks Jarrett!)

Lexus LF-Xh Press Release Photo

Having debuted last year, the announcement that the Lexus LF-Xh concept would be at the Paris Auto Show didn’t really elicit a reaction from me — that is, until I saw this stunning photo released by Lexus Europe to mark the occasion:

Lexus LF-Xh Wallpaper

(Be sure to click on the image to get the full version, it’s very impressive. I made sure to post it for anyone wanting to use it as a desktop wallpaper.)

Huge fan of the matte black paint, which we saw earlier this year when it was displayed at the Toyota MegaWeb in Tokyo. I’m of the opinion that Lexus should offer this as a standard color, as least on the IS-F. (The Five Axis IS-F surely proved that.)

Lexus GS 450h Targa Racer Video (Plus an Update)

Today, we have some seriously short video clips of the Lexus GS 450h currently racing around the Targa Newfoundland course. There’s quite a few on Youtube, but these two here are the best indication of the speed and conditions:

As far as the race itself, Team Lexus had a great showing yesterday:

Results for Day One were finally posted and Team Lexus has now officially finished a day at Targa Newfoundland with a perfect score of zero penalty points, along with thirteen other teams. So we can say we led the overall standings at Targa – an honour shared with a baker’s dozen of other teams – for a day.

Realistically, this perfect score might very likely soon become a memory to cherish for some of the teams, because things will get more difficult for everyone today. They certainly will for us, as we tackle two tight stages to start the day. With the weight of our trusty Gs450h, these are typically the most difficult in conditions that reward great agility and fierce acceleration.

Lexus GS 450h Competes in Targa Newfoundland Race

Lexus GS 450h Targa Race

The race-modified Lexus GS 450h has returned to the Targa Newfoundland race after competing last year. Running from September 13-20, the team behind the hybrid racer is keeping a great blog over at Autonet. Here’s an excerpt from yesterday’s post, after completion of the Prologue stage:

And for our first pass through the much tighter and trickier Torbay stage, I promptly forgot to deactivate the systems before taking off at the start. Cars running before us had spewed quite a bit of sand and gravel on the course, so the VDIM system beeped merrily several times while jerking the car back on what its silicon chip brain considers the best trajectory. The car felt tighter and more stable but the ‘electronic nannies’ as enthusiasts often call these systems, still made the handling feel somewhat disjointed and unsynchronized.

The third run, over the same course but with the VDIM duly shut off, was the charm. Everything flowed together nicely. For the first time at Targa, I was able to pick what I considered the best line through the sections covered with sand and gravel, give it some throttle and keep the car’s attitude consistent. I even – lo and behold – COUNTERSTEERED for the very first time at Targa – ever so slightly – through one of the liberally peppered corners.

Alan also zoomed up to command center to find out about our starting position for tomorrow (Monday) morning. There, even though these numbers don’t count, we discovered that we had racked up the 6th best composite times out of the 65 cars entered in the Targa competition this year, 3rd best in Modern.

It’s great fun reading about the experience of racing in Lexus’ sport sedan, and the writing is fantastic. Great to see them doing so well, more on this as the race progresses.