The Lexus Enthusiast Second Anniversary Contest

Hard to believe, but it was two years ago today that I started posting daily Lexus news at The Passionate Pursuit. Since then, the site has gone through a name change, four redesigns, eight million pageviews, over 1,000 news stories, and close to 5,000 comments on its way to becoming a premier source of Lexus …
Kevin · May 29th, 2009

Lexus LFA to hit 220mph

Information about the upcoming Lexus LFA keeps coming—Edmunds is reporting that the Japanese supercar, which will be powered by a 550+hp 4.8L V10, is capable of 220mph (354km/hour): Channeled through a six-speed Aisin AMT transmission bolted to a transaxle, that 220-mph top speed is 27 mph faster that the production Nissan GT-R and even the …
Kevin · May 28th, 2009

Car & Driver Reviews the Lexus HS 250h

With all the reviews of the Lexus HS250h coming out, there was bound to be one that took the negative view—and surprise of surprises, it’s Car & Driver: The good news is that the HS250h offers a lot more luxury fitments than we usually associate with hybrids. Problem is, so does the 2010 Prius. The …
Kevin · May 27th, 2009

Edmunds Reviews the Lexus HS 250h

The Lexus HS 250h reviews keep coming—next up is Edmunds, who have heavy praise for the interior of the new hybrid: When it comes to cutting-edge features, the 2010 Lexus HS 250h leads its class. And it doesn’t hit you over the head with its hybrid nature. There’s no freakish space-pod Prius-esque dashboard. The numerous …
Kevin · May 27th, 2009

Autoblog Reviews the 2010 Lexus HS 250h

Autoblog has published an absolutely fantastic review of the 2010 Lexus HS 250h, full of new information and details—and it also tells a different tale in terms of how the hybrid handles: The steering rack is not mounted on rubber bushings to keep the line of feedback undulled, and the electric power steering is speed …
Kevin · May 26th, 2009

New Rumors on the Production Lexus LFA

Japanese magazine Best Car has published the above computer rendering of a possible look for the Lexus LFA production model, and has also included some new information: The LFA will be receiving a new name, possibly the SS (for Super Sport) or GT (Gran Turismo/Tourer). The numeric designation could be 500 or 550, though it’s …
Kevin · May 26th, 2009

Next Autos Reviews the 2010 Lexus HS 250h

Next Autos has published one of the first reviews of the 2010 Lexus HS 250h, and it’s a mostly positive affair. There’s the expected praise of the interior, but what I was most interested in was the driving performance: The suspension gives a super smooth ride, and aimed totally at comfort. It’s still firm, and …
Kevin · May 26th, 2009

Motor Trend Comparison: Lexus RX 350 vs Volvo XC60 vs Audi Q5 vs Mercedes GLK350

Motor Trend has performed a comparison of the new 2010 Lexus RX 350 against the Volvo XC60, Mercedes GLK350 and the Audi Q5—the verdict: With all so evenly matched, small blemishes become colossal warts. Numb steering and Spartan digs doom the comfortably competent GLK350 to fourth place while unwieldy styling and soulless performance relegate the …
Kevin · May 25th, 2009

Lexus LFAs Finish 87th, 101st in Nürburgring 24h Race

Various mechanical troubles kept the pair of Lexus LFAs racing in the Nürburgring 24h race from placing too high in the standings, with the #14 LFA finishing 87th and the #15 LFA finishing 101st. The race started off well enough, with #14 getting as high as 15th place, but ended up spending three hours getting …
Kevin · May 25th, 2009

Lexus LFAs Racing in Nürburgring 24h Race Today

Just a reminder, the Nürburgring 24h race has started, and the two Lexus LFAs are in the field. You can follow the race results for the Lexus LFAs on the Gazoo website with a very nice interface showing the remaining race times and positions. Good luck drivers!
Kevin · May 23rd, 2009

Lexus IS Convertible F-Sport Photo Gallery

To promote the fact that the existing F-Sport performance accessories for the Lexus IS are fully compatible with the IS Convertible, Lexus has released some images with an IS-C decked out to the nines: {embed=“site/gallery” gallery_id=“1157”} The convertible is still too junky in the trunky for my tastes, but the 19” forged alloy wheels suit …
Kevin · May 22nd, 2009

Behind-the-Scenes Video of the Racing Lexus LFAs

It’s been Lexus LFA week here at The Lexus Enthusiast, and it looks like we’ve saved the best for last—this behind-the-scenes video detailing the long road to the 24h Nürburgring race this weekend is nothing short of fantastic: It’s great not only to see the supercar, but the people behind it. You can see their …
Kevin · May 22nd, 2009

Live Lexus LFA Racing Photos

Take a look at these Lexus LFA photos from today’s qualifying sessions for the weekend’s Nürburgring 24h race: As for the results of today’s sessions—the twin LFAs finished 17th and 30th out of 194. Tomorrow is the final qualifying before the race this weekend. [Source: Lexus Europe]
Kevin · May 21st, 2009

Lexus LFA Racing Supercars Revealed

With the Team Gazoo Lexus LFA team readying for their 24-Hour Nürburgring Race this weekend, new photos of the supercar pair are in order (click for larger images): From the accompanying press release: Entered by Gazoo Racing, the team hopes to repeat its class winning form in the 4-hour race earlier in the year.  The …
Kevin · May 20th, 2009

New Lexus IS Convertible Mini-Site

As part of their IS convertible advertising campaign, Lexus USA has put together a mini-site that’s just as much fun as their new commercials: The website first demonstrates the new features of the IS-C, then asks how you would use each highlighted point—then rates your answer on the Live a Little scale. It’s easy to …
Kevin · May 20th, 2009

New Lexus LFA Spy Video

Stop everything and watch this video of the close-to-production Lexus LFA howling round Nürburgring: This car looks and sounds demonic, very exciting when you consider how close this will be to the real thing. Can not wait to see the production LFA. (Thanks Roberto!)
Kevin · May 19th, 2009

2010 Lexus GX 460?

According to Ward’s Auto, the next generation Lexus GX will be launched this fall, and will be powered by the 4.6L V8 engine that debuted in the 2010 Toyota Tundra. The 2010 GX 460 will see its exterior and interior redesigned, and should include Lexus’ Remote Touch system and a new rear door. When asked …
Kevin · May 19th, 2009

Lexus IS-C Commercials

Lexus USA’s advertising campaign for the IS convertible has hit Youtube, with three short, interconnected videos: Live a little, a lot looks to be the IS-C’s tagline—I wonder if there will be more episodes to this series. Neat idea.
Kevin · May 15th, 2009

Edmunds Reviews the Lexus IS 350C

If Edmunds’ initial review of the IS 350C is any indication, Lexus’ new convertible looks like it could be a real winner: When the top is down, sunlight floods the IS C’s cabin and you’re overcome with a sense of well-being, so different from the wretched life you lead locked away in the office during …
Kevin · May 15th, 2009

Lexus Wallpaper of the Week: IS-Convertible Action

With the Lexus IS-C arriving at dealerships this month, I thought it only fitting to put together a desktop wallpaper showing the convertible roof in action: 1680×1050 | 1440×900 | 1280×1024 | 1280×800 | 1024×768 Pretty amazing to consider that it only takes 20 seconds for the roof to retract.
Kevin · May 14th, 2009

Lexus Hybrid Challenge with Serena Williams & Juan Martin del Potro

How’s this for a challenge: As part of the Madrid Tennis Open happening this week in Spain, Lexus sponsored a contest between Serena Williams and Juan Martin Del Potro to see who could use the least amount of fuel driving the RX 450h over 100m—all while balancing a tennis ball on the hood: I’m not …
Kevin · May 14th, 2009

Autocar Reviews the Lexus RX 450h

Autocar’s quick review of the Lexus RX 450h is very complimentary of the hybrid’s new driving experience, and contains a very interesting passage I thought worth pointing out: And because this is the Euro-spec RX, it gets retuned suspension and a retuned power management unit that will provide better off the line acceleration but still …
Kevin · May 13th, 2009

Lexus LS 460 Crashes, Audience Claps

As a rule, I avoid posting any crash videos, but I suspect the only thing injured in this Tatry Donau Cup race footage is the driver’s pride: At least the crowd was entertained. Really though, who enters a race in a LS? Update: Looks like the LS driver wasn’t the only one who had a …
Kevin · May 13th, 2009

Lexus IS 350 Drift Car with Corvette Engine

Daijiro Yoshihara, one of the drivers in the Formula D series, has a new team and a new machine—a Lexus IS 350 with a Corvette Z06 LS6 engine: Looks like he’s going to need some more practice. [Via: Straight Line]
Kevin · May 12th, 2009

More Lexus LFA Spy Shots

More Lexus LFA photos are making their way online—World Car Fans has posted some additional images showing the supercar prototype at Nürburgring with its rear wing fully extended and the redesigned rear window air scoops visible: The LFA concepts have always been impressive, but this polishing towards production has the supercar looking better than ever. …
Kevin · May 12th, 2009

New Lexus LFA Spy Shots

A reworked Lexus LFA has been spotted, sporting some vinyl camouflage and looking much closer to production than ever before: Most of the changes over the last-seen mule are in the more aggressive front-end, but the whole vehicle looks more polished and sleek. Motor Authority also has some spy shots, including this brief look at …
Kevin · May 11th, 2009

Lexus Japan’s IS-C Interior Color Options

The Lexus IS 250 was released in Japan last week with some extremely unique interior color options (click for slightly larger images): No word if these options will be available in other markets outside of Japan, but it looks like the USA is getting a solid blue option the blue & white option if the …
Kevin · May 11th, 2009

Lexus RX 350 & 450h Body Kit by LX Mode

LX Mode has updated their website to include the brand new Lexus 3G RX body kit: All in all, it’s a nice looking kit—but what I’m really impressed by is the front grille replacement. Looking to be lifted directly of the LS 460, it changes the front-end significantly. Here’s a breakdown of the different options, …
Kevin · May 8th, 2009

Lexus IS-C Sales Expectations

Lexus has shared some of the sales expectations of the new IS convertible—according to Automotive News, the company is hoping for worldwide monthly sales of 1,600 units. Whether or not such numbers are possible will depend entirely on North America, where 70% of production will be sent. “This is meant to appeal as an entry-level …
Kevin · May 8th, 2009

Lexus RX 450h Interior = Design Harmony?

Last month, when the new Lexus RX 450h was given Ward’s Auto Design Harmony award for its asymmetric interior, it wasn’t too clear what “Design Harmony” actually meant—luckily, Ward’s has come through with some clarification: Contributing to the serenity are enough artistic flourishes to warrant a special exhibit at the Guggenheim.   Take the …
Kevin · May 7th, 2009

Crystallised Lexus LFA Photo Gallery

I’ve been waiting for an actual photo gallery of the Crystallised Lexus LFA currently being shown in Milan, and Japanese magazine Openers has delivered just that—here’s a selection of images: Fantastic. The rest of the gallery can be viewed at the Openers website.
Kevin · May 7th, 2009

Details on Lexus’ 1-Series Competitor

Details are emerging about Lexus’ compact car—according to Top Gear’s Foreman blog, the 1-series competitor will be a hatchback based on the Prius platform and only available as a hybrid: A Prius is designed to get small-car economy from a bigger car. But Lexus hybrids all have higher performance than their standard counterparts. Lexus has …
Kevin · May 6th, 2009

Photos of the Lexus GS Passionate Black Interior

Lexus enthusiast Harinder from Vancouver has done me two big favors—first he told me about the Passionate Black availability in Canada, and now he’s sent photos of his very own PB Lexus GS: {embed=“site/gallery” gallery_id=“1126”} (The all-season mats are in place, but Harinder assured me that black carpet mats were also included. Also, in Canada, …
Kevin · May 5th, 2009

VAIS Tech’s New Digital Audio Lexus Integration Kit

VAIS Technology has long been the go-to option for Lexus->iPod integration, and now they’ve raised the bar with their new VML, or MultiMediaLinQ. This integration kit allows digital audio to be played from almost any storage device, including hard drives, USB thumb drives, iPods and even SD Cards. Here’s some videos demonstrating the VML: Hard …
Kevin · May 5th, 2009

CAR Magazine Reviews the Lexus RX 450h

CAR Magazine has posted a review of the Lexus RX 450h, and offers some new figures about the upcoming hybrid SUV: The 3.5-litre V6 makes 246bhp on its own and two electric motors add the rest. One is solely responsible for powering the rear axle, and together they can propel the RX silently and unaided …
Kevin · May 4th, 2009

Lexus Canada April 2009 Sales Report

While auto sales are enduring a major slump in the US, Lexus Canada has just reported their best April ever, moving a total of 1,621 vehicles last month. This is a 4% increase over last year. Some specific points: The new Lexus RX 350 enjoyed an all-time record month, selling 748 units, up 48.4% over …
Kevin · May 4th, 2009

Fox Marketing to Build Lexus IS-F/IS-C Mashup

Fresh off their electric orange twin-turbo Lexus IS-F at SEMA 2008, Fox Marketing & Artisan Performance have already started planning their entry for this year’s event—a lime-green IS-C done up in the IS-F style (click for a larger image): This may be a computer render, but I’m impressed at how a IS-F and IS-C look …
Kevin · May 1st, 2009

Lexus USA April 2009 Sales Report

April 2009 sales have been released by Lexus USA, here’s the model-by-model breakdown (plus the year-to-date): April Year to Date 2009 2008 % CHG 2009 2008 % CHG IS 2,324 4,550 -48.9 9,303 16,516 -43.1 ES 3,549 5,439 -34.7 12,320 20,599 -39.6 GS 468 1,568 -70.2 2,586 6,138 -57.5 SC 83 217 -61.8 310 860 …
Kevin · May 1st, 2009