Lexus to Enter the DTM Racing Series?

Lexus IS-F Racing Concept

According to Touring Car Times, the photo of the Lexus IS-F Racing Concept could be an indication that Lexus will be joining the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters car racing series:

The rumors on which manufacturer would join Audi and Mercedes in the Deutche Tourenwagen Masters have been many during the recent years. Since the talks about new rules emerged, the rumors have gone hot again. Lexus is one of the big names in the list of possible interested manufacturers.

There is no official information on the prototype, but the splitters and wings look identical to DTM specifications.

TouringCarTimes has received information that there are actual negotiations going on between Lexus/Toyota, the DTM organization, plus Audi and Mercedes.

Adding fuel to the fire is a new Team Lexus splash page, which indicates there’s definite something in the works:

Team Lexus DTM

Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, or DTM, is a touring car racing series based in Germany, with rounds throughout Europe. Currently, Mercedes and Audi are involved, fielding 10 cars each.

More details should emerge once the IS-F Racing Concept is introduced at the Tokyo Auto Salon.

[Source: Touring Car Times]

Flickr Find: Lexus IS Tail Lights

There’s so many different ways to photograph a car, there’s the scenic shots, the speed shots, the close-ups, and once and a while, you get something a bit more expressive. This photograph by Flickr user AlieN is a good illustration of this:

Lexus IS Tail Lights

I’m a big fan of symmetry, so this appealed to me right off the bat, but the photo’s description made me laugh, outlining a game that I play daily:

In most cases these red dots, frames, rectangles, lines, shapes are unique for each and every type and if you pay attention you can see that they are telling you something. Like “I’m a big van”, “I’m a fat hatchback” or “I’m a slim coupé”. It is part of the design. Many times when I’m bored on a highway I try to figure out from the distance what car is that in front and then I check my guess when I get closer and recognize the actual type. (Of course you can play the same game with the headlights)

Personally, I find the headlight version of this game much more difficult — From a distance, in the dark, it’s incredibly difficult to identify a car from its front lights, it’s much easier with the rear red lights.

The Lexus LX 570 Already Winning Awards

I’m not sure how much stock you can put in an award given to an unreleased vehicle, but that didn’t stop WealthTV viewers from awarding the 2008 Lexus LX 570 “The Most Luxurious SUV” award. There wouldn’t be much to see here if the Lexus spokesman Paul Williamsen hadn’t pull the engine cover off :

The award given at the end is a hoot, as well. I can’t say I’d ever heard of WealthTV before this, but one thing’s for sure, they don’t skimp on their trophies.

The GS 450h was also recognized in the Most Advanced Use of Hybrid Technology category, but really, what kind of category is that?

[Source: The Automotive]

The Lexus IS-F Racing Concept to be Shown at the Tokyo Auto Salon

Lexus IS-F Racing Concept

The Tokyo Auto Salon, Japan’s annual automotive aftermarket tradeshow, will see the debut of the Lexus IS-F Racing Concept, with all the body molding and performance modifications you’d expect.

Details are non-existent, and the only image is the one shown above, taken from Lexus Japan’s TAS mini-site. In all honesty, I didn’t think it possible to beat the production IS-F’s front fenders, but I stand corrected.

More details will be forthcoming, as the Tokyo Auto Salon takes place next week, where attendance is expected to exceed 250,000.

[Via: Zer Customs]

Lexus 2007 Year-End Sales Report

Lexus Logo

With the release of the December 2007 numbers, it’s now possible to look at Lexus’ 2007 sales figures as a whole, which contain a fair share of surprises. Here’s the numbers, in a handy-dandy chart:

2007 2006 % Change
IS250/350 54,933 54,267 0.9
ES350 82,867 75,987 8.7
GS350 21,314 23,665 -10.2
GS460/450h 2,067 3,725 -44.7
SC430 3,927 5,847 -33.1
LS460/600h L 35,226 19,546 79.6
Total Cars 200,334 183,037 9.1
RX350/400h 103,340 108,348 -4.9
GX470 23,035 25,454 -9.8
LX470 2,468 5,595 -56.0
Total Trucks 128,843 139,397 -7.9
Total Sales 329,177 322,434 1.8

First off, it’s mind-boggling that the ES 350 & the RX 350/400h account for 58% of Lexus’ total 2007 sales. I say this with full knowledge of their popularity, but it’s startling all the same. Another equally perplexing figure is how low the sales are for combined sales of the GS 430/460/450h. 2,067 would seem low even if you were to subtract the GS 450h, but with it in the mix I find it particularly shocking. This is certainly a case of critical acclaim not meaning much in reality. Seriously, how many would have guessed the GS 450h would be outsold by the SC 430?

The LS model certainly found its stride, outselling its 2006 numbers by 79.6%, the highest increase by far, and no doubt entirely attributable to the LS 460/L/600hL release. I’m sure the LX 570 will inject a similar boost into the LX’s numbers next year.

All in all, there was an 1.8% overall increase over 2006, which results in Lexus retaining its position as the best-selling luxury auto brand in America for the eighth consecutive year (BMW was next, with 293,795 total units sold in 2007, with Mercedes coming in third with 253,433).

[Source: Toyota]