CIAS 2009: Day One Impressions

Today, I attended the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, where I had my first opportunity to see all of Lexus’ latest models, including the Canadian debut of the HS 250h. I was also lucky enough spend some time talking with John-Paul Farag, Lexus Canada’s Advanced Technology & Powertrain Consultant, who answered a number of questions and also gave me an opportunity to test out the Remote Touch system in the 2010 Lexus RX.

As can be imagined, it was a lot to digest — particularly when you end up with 700 photos to go through and (extremely shaky) video to edit. I’ll end up breaking all the information up into separate posts over the next couple days, but I’d like to share my first impressions on the new vehicles I saw.

2010 Lexus RX
2010 Lexus RX @ CIAS 2009

I’ve thought it since the first photos, and after seeing the 2010 RX in person, I can honestly say that I’m extremely impressed. I find this hilarious, because I’ve never cared for the first/second generation, which always leaned too far into femininity for my tastes. Not to say I’d take it for myself, but I certainly won’t mind driving it when the wife gets one.

My one complaint? The rear light covers:

2010 Lexus RX Rear Lights
2010 Lexus HS 250h
2010 Lexus HS 250h @ CIAS 2009

The Lexus HS is more difficult to judge. On one hand, the front and rear design are great (again, other than the rear light design), but the full side profile is lacking any real definition. The interior looks to have the same issue, but I wasn’t able to get close enough to get a real feel. Maybe tomorrow!

2010 Lexus IS-C
2010 Lexus IS-C 350

I don’t really like convertibles at all, so my enthusiasm for the IS-C was muted right from the start. That said, there’s a reason the second-generation IS is getting a second variation beyond the IS-F. The front-end is pure automotive gold, and would deserve a coupe-only version if it wasn’t almost time for full redesign.

*****

Check back tomorrow, when I’ll be posting the full details of my interview with Mr. Farag, a literal ton of photos, and a full review of my time with the Remote Touch system.

(My thanks to Melanie Testani and everyone at the Lexus display booth for making me feel so welcome.)