Lexus LS 460 Commercial from The Middle East


While I’m certainly no expert about what it’s like to be wealthy in the Middle East, this Lexus commercial really captured my imagination — beautiful homes, giant yachts, private jets and LS 460s all round:

As strange as it is to say, they picked a great actor for this ad, who carries it with his authenticity. Fantastic job.

New Info on Lexus IS-F Quad Exhausts


The Lexus IS-F Stacked Quad Exhausts

The Lexus IS-F has taken a lot of flak from the automotive community regarding its looks, but when Edmunds revealed the stacked quad “resonators” weren’t connected to the exhaust system, it became a flashpoint for criticism.

Well, turns out the quad exhausts are functional after all — Autospies had the pleasure of spending a few days with a production model IS-F and found out the tips were attached:

In the rear the most noticeable change from the IS 350 is the “F” badge and the addition of the stacked quad exhaust tips. While previous reports have surfaced showing pre-production placeholders for the upper tips, our test vehicle was full-functional for all four.

I’m surprised that Edmunds didn’t confirm their findings with Lexus before publishing, surely they knew it was a pre-production model. It’s also quite possible this was an oversight on Lexus’ part, and that the fix came after the reviews, but either way, I think it’s safe to put this issue to rest.

(Thanks Dan!)

Update: As it turns out, the IS-F mufflers are not connected to the exhaust tips — thought I should update this post.

The Lexus IS-F Engine Uncovered


Perhaps the most amusing part of Jalopnik’s review of the IS-F, and something I forgot to mention in my post, was their removal of the engine cover, revealing this jumbled up pile:

Lexus IS-F Engine Uncovered

You can check out more photos of the engine innards at the Jalopnik site.

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Another thing I missed, or rather didn’t realize, was that there was a third part to Jalopnik’s review,  which included their rating on the IS-F’s individual characteristics, as well as a summary that can only puff up the car’s potential buyers:

I walked into this thing with low expectations. In my head, the notions of Lexus and high performance couldn’t even park next to each other. Color me impressed. A perfect car? No. There’s too much sound insulation.

Toyota on the Lexus F Model Design


Lexus GS-F Rendering

Ward’s Auto had a chance to sit down with Toyota Design Chief Wahei Hirai to discuss the unfavorable reaction to the Lexus IS-F’s design:

Critics say the derivative does not distinguish itself enough from the current IS, especially with the interior, and that its bulbous nose is downright ugly.

Toyota Motor Corp. design chief Wahei Hirai is familiar with the complaints but says creating a unique feel for all F-performance models, more of which are said to be coming, is a bigger priority than tweaking the IS-F.

“We have to establish our own identity as a Lexus premium brand,” Hirai says at an event here during the Tokyo auto show. “Maybe we will put some flavor or dynamics, or more emotion, toward (F models) than the basic Lexus design.”

For one thing, Lexus can be more aggressive in designing its F cars than the German brands, Hirai says. “They appreciate consistency, or continuity, very much. We like to make (our vehicles) a different way.”

There’s a bit of circular logic in Hirai’s response, which almost sounds as though future F models will be uniquely designed. In a way, it makes sense, the GS may be the only other model that could pull off the IS-F design elements, and it sounds like there’s much more than a GS-F in the pipeline. Maybe we’ll actually see an RX-F!

Jalopnik Reviews the Lexus IS-F


Jalopnik & The Lexus IS-F

Spanning two parts, the Jalopnik review of the Lexus IS-F is a real fun read, but the most interesting aspect is how contrary it is to other published reviews.

First off, whereas every other review, bar none, praised the IS-F on the track, Jalopnik came away shaking their heads:

If it sounds like I wasn’t exactly smitten with the IS-F on the track, you have good ears. And I wasn’t alone. Wes was wandering around the paddock shaking his head no. The rest of us were trying to figure out the difference between third gear and fifth. Yeah, the IS-F did some things real well (straight line speed + stopping), but it just felt out of its element.

When they took the car out on the road, I was expecting to read about its ride harshness, setting up the review for an outright pan, but it turned out to be quite the opposite:

If my passenger, who squealed and hissed and yelped the entire time, is any indication, the IS-F is a Japanese joy-buzzer. Over the ensuing week I made passengers scream, holler, carsick, beg me to stop and howl with delight and glee. As for me, the driver, I was always in control, pushing it and pushing it harder and harder and never being let down. Not by the engine, the handling or the brakes. The transmission started to make sense and I’ve even got a callous on my middle finger from ripping the up-paddle. Lexus is practically doing handstands to convince you that the IS-F has legitimate track credentials. Why bother? No 3,774-pound sedan is a good track-day proposition. But, as a back-road carver, no sedan is better.

No sedan is better?! I suppose it’s possible to chalk this up to Jalopnik’s bombastic writing style, but that’s hardly faint praise.

*Update*: Silly me, didn’t realize there was going to be a third part to this review.