Lexus Salesman Blocked from Competing in Mercedes Golf Tournament

Lexus Golf Balls

A funny story from Singapore has surfaced on Club Lexus — Lionel Lim won the opportunity to compete for the Mercedes Benz golf trophy only to be disqualified because he was a Lexus salesman:

He works for Lexus, but this golfer won the Singapore Country Final of the Mercedes trophy. This has led to a court case as well as an awkward situation. The golfer is suing the Mercedes-Benz distributor – his firm’s rival – for refusing to send him to represent Singapore at its Asian Final to be held in Australia next week.

Daimler’s defence is that the Mercedes Trophy is a marketing effort aimed at its high net worth customers and potential customers, and having a senior sales executive of its rival there will ‘cause a great amount of awkwardness’.

“It is unfortunate that the defendant should introduce the concept of accusations of spying and awkwardness. All keen golfers participate because of the thrill of competition, not industrial espionage,” he said.

Mr Lim also noted that notwithstanding his job, he is also a potential Mercedes-Benz customer. As for getting a first-hand insight into Daimler’s marketing style and management methods, Lexus has its own highly successful methods and does not need to imitate anybody else’s, he said. In addition, he has never been involved in marketing.

This was eventually resolved with some sort of compensation, but I still had to laugh at Mr. Lim’s jab about Lexus not having to crib notes from Mercedes’ sales events.

Italdesign Quaranta Hybrid Concept

The Italdesign Quaranta

It may not be a Lexus supercar prototype, but the Italdesign Quaranta concept is powered by a Lexus engine, namely the….RX 400h?

Massage the right button, and the rear decklid opens to reveal a powertrain cribbed from what we know as the Lexus RX 400h. Italdesign and Toyota have an ongoing relationship; their first project, the Toyota Volta concept of 2004, laid the groundwork for this far more outrageous interpretation of the green exotic. Although the Toyota sport/utility provides its 3.3-liter DOHC V-6 engine, electric-motor assist hardware, continuously variable transmission, all-wheel-drive system, and a bucketload of electronics (including the IP-mounted display that shows when the power is flowing to and from the motors and battery pack), the rest of the Quaranta was designed, engineered, and built by hand from the ground up at Italdesign’s Moncalieri, Italy, facilities.

That’s a quote from a great Motor Trend article about driving this eco-supercar from Italdesign, which they debuted at this year’s Geneva Auto Show. It’s a great read, and strangely enough, it’s the RXh engine that makes the difference. It usually isn’t possible to drive a concept down public roads, nevermind taking it up to 200kph on a racetrack.

I particularly liked the solar panel hood and trunk pattern, and just take a look at this from a bird’s eye view:

The Italdesign Quaranta

(Thanks Shukul!)

Custom Lexus IS-F by 0-60 Magazine Coming to SEMA 2008

We’ve seen the finished version of the the Fox/Artisan Lexus IS-F that will be displayed at this year’s SEMA, and now another has surfaced — this time it’s a work-in-progess by 0-60 Magazine:

Lexus IS-F by 0-60 Magazine

So far, the plan looks to be replacing the hood, front fenders, side skirts and the trunk lid with carbon fiber versions, and some custom exhaust work from Greddy, but what I really want to do is highlight just how crazy the IS-F is without its engine cover:

Lexus IS-F Engine

No matter how many times I see the unmasked engine, it still manages to astonish me.

Flickr Find: Lexus IS Danger

Bader Bouarki’s photo of the Lexus IS is fantastic, and the description is even better:

Lexus IS-F in Black & White

I Told my friend to drive, i went to the second car and sit in the trunk, it was 120KM/H,

i added the cloud as a part of a beauty…

Sitting on the trunk of a car going 120kph (75mph) certainly puts a different spin on The Passionate Pursuit of Perfection.

Lexus Prius Sketch from Motor Trend

There isn’t much in the way of new information in Motor Trend’s article about the upcoming Lexus hybrid, but it did include this beauty of a mockup sketch:

Lexus Prius Drawing

There were a few new points covered, though they seem entirely speculative:

The difference between the Lexus variant and the Prius itself — as is generally the case for Lexus models with Toyota underpinnings — is not expected to be much more than skin deep. The as-yet-unnamed Lexus will have its own body panels and may get a convertible variant, but both vehicles will be fitted with roof-mounted solar panels and nickel-metal hydride batteries upon launch.

I have to say, if the new Lexus hybrid looks anything like this sketch, it’s going to be hugely successful. There’s certainly a hint of Prius in the shape, but the more aggressive front-end and huge wheels remind me of the new VW Scirocco, only bigger and with two more doors. And that’s no bad thing.