Lexus UK launches IS 250 SR

Lexus IS 250 SR

Lexus UK is launching a special edition of the Lexus IS 250, dubbed the SR edition, and it features a full body kit, some very nice 10-spoke alloy rims and some sporty interior upgrades, including some aluminum pedals.

The body kit’s very subtle, but it works, especially with the wheel combo.  Once again, I was tricked into thinking that there was a matte black paint option, but it’s just the photography.

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The Lexus IS 250 SR goes on sale May 19th, and will retail for £24,990 (manual) and £25,800 (automatic) respectively.

[Via: World Car Fans]

Lexus ranked #2 Luxury Auto Brand in the USA

Lexus Luxury Lifestyle

The Luxury Institute has released their annual report on the top prestige auto brands in the USA, and Lexus ranked #2, just behind Porsche and in front of Mercedes. Here’s some details about the survey:

The proprietary Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey is the only measure of the prestige of leading brands among wealthy Americans. A national sample of 1,642 wealthy American consumers, with an average income of $349K and average net-worth of $3.7 million, was surveyed online.

“We conduct our surveys with independent panels of wealthy consumers with results tabulated by external analytical firms. We have no consulting projects with the brands rated nor do we have advertising dependencies with them. As far as we are aware, this is the only consumer-based survey that can make those claims. Our surveys inform luxury CEOs on the health of their brands in no uncertain terms so they can take action to enhance relationships with prospects and customers. Today more luxury brands rely on the accuracy of the Luxury Institute’s survey data than any other research.”

Two years ago, Lexus ranked third behind Porsche and Mercedes, and last year tied with Mercedes for second place, indicating that the automotive brand is moving up in minds of their prospective customers.

The thing I find most interesting is that these wealthy consumers are filling out the survey, though I wonder just what percentage of the mailouts converted. Still, there’s something very impressive about ranking so high, even from a sample audience of 1,642.

(I’d like to find some similar surveys for other parts of the world.)

[Source: Yahoo!] (Thanks Dan!)

The Lexus LF-A Racing Prototype in Action

Lexus LF-A Racing Prototype

The just-revealed IS 250 race car wasn’t the only Lexus to be part of the festivities this weekend, as the LF-A racing prototype also made its debut in the ADAC Rundstrecken Trophy Endurance series. Edmunds reports:

The race was run on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, combined with a sprint portion of the famous Grand Prix circuit.

During the four-hour race, the LF-A covered 23 15.13-mile laps, grabbing 77th place. Its fastest lap was 9:06. While that lap time may sound slow compared to the Nissan GT-R’s best ‘Ring time of 7:29, the GT-R was clocked on just the 12.9-mile Nordschleife without the additional sprint section. The LF-A drove in group SP8.

Saturday’s race was one of seven four-hour races this year, with a six-hour race and a 24-hour race rounding out the series. The LF-A is expected to continue competitive runs in this series, including the 24-hour race at the end of this month, as part of the LF-A’s development process.

Lucky for us, someone posted up a lengthy video clip showing the LF-A in action, though most of the footage is dedicated to the slowest pit-stop ever:

I wonder what the deal is with that askew decal on the hood, did someone just not want to take the time to do it right?

Lexus UK tops JD Power Customer Satisfaction study for 8th straight year

Long Line of Lexus Awards

Count this among the news I missed last week when my head was buried in code, Lexus UK has topped the annual JD Power Customer Satisfication Index for the eighth year in a row:

In the nameplate rankings, luxury Japanese brand Lexus ranks highest for an eighth consecutive year, receiving a customer satisfaction score of 866. Lexus continues to perform particularly well in three of four key measures: quality/reliability, service satisfaction and vehicle appeal. Rounding out the top five manufacturers are Škoda (846), Honda (844), Toyota (836) and Jaguar (833).

With 20 points separating Lexus from its nearest competitor, it’s a commanding lead. What I find most impressive, beyond the eight consecutive top finishes, is that Lexus has won every year it’s been eligible. Since arriving in the UK, the brand has been dominant in regards to customer satisfaction, which is bound to start registering with British customers.

[Source: JD Power]

Mystery Lexus IS Solved

Mystery Lexus IS is a racer

The mystery Lexus IS making the rounds round Nürburgring last week turned out to be the most obvious: it was a race car, and it appeared in the ADAC Rundstrecken Trophy Endurance race in Germany this weekend:

The TME/Team Gazoo IS competed in the first of seven four-hour endurance races. One six-hour and a 24-hour race complete the nine-race series. The newly identified IS race car is registered as a Lexus IS 250 in group SP5. Group SP5 consists of cars between 2.0- and 2.5-liters, with a minimum weight of 2,270 pounds. The race-prepped IS logged a fastest lap of just under 10:58, and an overall finish of 95th place with 21 laps covered over the 4 hours.

The much-mentioned engine bulge was nothing but a camouflage trick, which admittedly worked very well. Too bad the subterfuge didn’t translate into a better finish.

[Source: Jalopnik] (Thanks Jarrett!)