Road & Track Reviews the Lexus IS-F

2008 Lexus IS-F

It’s a little late coming, but Road & Track’s review of the Lexus IS-F is quite informative. First off, their impressions:

After spending half a day lapping around Laguna Seca, we were won over by the car’s accurate steering, minimal body roll and outright grip. Its 71.2-mph slalom speed is damn impressive for such a heavy sedan (3825 lb.), eclipsing not only the Audi RS 4 (68.9 mph) but also the Porsche Cayman S (70.6 mph). The 911 Carrera 4S barely edges the Lexus, at 71.5 mph.

Where the IS F struggles is on overly bumpy back roads; in that setting, the suspension’s lack of compliance makes the car flit, flutter and skate across the road like Helio Castroneves on Dancing with the Stars. But on most roads, no such problem.

The most impressive part of the review comes in the form of a full technical breakdown spec sheet, which you can view here (in PDF format). This includes some extensive data, including gear ratios and even the interior noise levels. Very interesting.

Bonus: Be sure to check out the video of Scott Pruett lapping the Laguna Seca Raceway.

CNet Reviews Lexus LS 460 Technology

No doubt it’s a little old, but this video from CNet detailing the technology in the LS 460 is quite entertaining:

Being such a fan of the LS 460, I didn’t even get bored during the inevitable parking assist demonstration.

Lexus Scores High with Customer Retention

JD Power Customer Retention Study

Lexus has ranked second in JD Power’s 2007 Customer Retention Study, retaining 63% of its new car buyers. This was only topped by Toyota, Lexus’ parent company, with 64.6%. This doesn’t surprise me at all, reliability and customer service holds a lot of weight in the minds of most car buyers, and Lexus has excelled at both since its inception.

What does surprise me is this:

Customer retention may become even more important to automakers in the coming years, as new-vehicle sales between 2007 and 2014 are expected to increase by only 8 percent, or about 1.2 million units.

“Competition for a dwindling number of new-vehicle buyers will likely intensify in the next seven years, meaning that brands will need to retain more of their existing customers in order to increase, or even maintain, market share,” said Oddes. “In addition, it is approximately four times more costly to attain a new customer than it is to retain an existing one, so in the face of a very competitive new-vehicle market, a strong focus on customer retention becomes particularly important.”

I imagine this small industry increase of 8% is for the United States only, but there isn’t a lot of room for error in such a tight market. Retaining customers is going to be all the more important, and Lexus’ rate of return only speaks well for its continued success.

[Via: The Truth About Cars]

Lexus Considering India Launch

Lexus Considering India

Lexus, along with Alfa Romeo and Hummer, are looking at India as a potential new market, according to The India Times:

Japanese car maker, Toyota does not rule out the possibility of launching its high end Lexus brand. Although the volumes will be low, even at that price point we will require a dedicated dealer network, Toyota Kirloskar deputy MD KK Swamy said.

The luxury car segment is still a very small fraction of the entire Indian car market with players like BMW and DaimlerChrysler selling 134 units and 251 units, respectively, in the April-October period.

From the numbers, it might not make immediate sense, but as the country continues to gain in personal wealth, the luxury car market is going to explode. Best to establish the brand right in the beginning, rather than wait until competitors are fully entrenched.

Lexus ≠ Porn Pt.2

Lexus vs. The Gay Porn Star

For the second time this year, Lexus finds itself in a trademark battle with a porn star. Earlier this year, it was the Detroit-based Lexus Cash, and now it’s a Swiss gay porn actor that simply goes by Lexus.

Seems like an open-and-closed case, except the actor is claiming his moniker comes from a Greek God:

Grangier, who says his SpunkLand star selected his stage name in reference to the Greek god Lexus and not the Toyota-produced luxury vehicle…“If Eboys Studio and Toyota Motors cannot reach an agreement,” he added, “Eboys Studio will have no other choice but to go to legal action. We will defend our case and our rights. A judge would have to decide if such [a] trademark can prohibit us [from using] the name of a Greek god in our movies.”

Considering Lexus was a made-up word, I’m not sure where the Greek god angle is coming from. Nothing from Google suggests otherwise, unless you count an entry in the Uncyclopedia, and somehow I don’t think that’s going to hold much weight in court.

[Source: Gaywired]