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.

2009 Lexus IS 220d Photos

2009 Lexus IS 220d

Lexus Europe’s press release about the new IS 250 C Convertible also included some information regarding the Europe-only 2009 IS 220d:

Refreshed interior and exterior styling represents a further evolution of Lexus’ unique L-finesse design philosophy. Modifications to suspension, steering, transmissions and paddle shift technology offer notable improvements to driving dynamics. Aerodynamics and transmission enhancements have reduced the IS 220d’s CO2 emissions by 3%, and by 8% for the Sport version.

Also attached were some extremely large photos of the upcoming 2009 IS facelift (220d edition) — in fact, they’re so large, I’ve made an impromptu image gallery:

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New Lexus LX 570 Print Ads

There’s a new set of Lexus LX 570 print ads making the rounds, and I can’t stress how impressed I am by them (click on the images below for a larger version):

Lexus LX 570 Print Ad: Safety

Lexus LX 570 Print Ad: Interior

Lexus LX 570 Print Ad: Crawl Control

These ads highlight the LX’s 360° camera view, an elaborate system that even allows looking around corners. (I really like the abstract look of the interior shot, but the last advert was my eventual choice for a desktop wallpaper.)

[Via: Ads of the World]

Fifth Gear Comparison: Lexus IS-F vs. BMW M3

In terms of sheer entertainment, this clip from Fifth Gear judging the Lexus IS-F and the BMW M3 by how high they get a woman’s heartrate is pure dead brilliant:

A very enjoyable piece (and it’s duly noted that Tiff has to cheat at the end to get the M3 above the IS-F).

Update: Didn’t realize there was two parts to this comparison. Updated to reflect that.

Lexus IS 250 C Convertible to be Introduced at Paris Motor Show

Lexus IS 250 C

It’s been a rumor for a while now, but Lexus today confirmed that the IS 250 Convertible, or the IS 250 C, will be making its official debut at the Paris Motor Show.

Details are sparse, the only thing the press release was clear about was the introduction date:

Further information and images will be released at the Lexus press conference at the Paris Motor Show on Thursday, 2 October, at 2.45pm in Hall 4.

How specific!

Now that it’s official, we can turn our speculation as to why only the IS 250 will be getting the convertible makeover as opposed to the IS 350 — my feeling is that it has something to do with the manual transmission being a very strong selling point when marketing a convertible, otherwise, why wouldn’t Lexus use the more powerful engine?

(Just to be clear, the above image is not an official photo of the IS 250 C.)

[Source: Autoblog]