With 2010 coming to a close, there’s no better time to look back on the year that was, so here’s a bullet-point breakdown of the last twelve months:
- The year started off strong with a Top Gear review of the Lexus LFA, complete with crazy graphics and the usual badge snobbery.
- TLE readers voted for the top Lexus of the 2000’s, where the IS-F took the prize.
- The Detroit Auto Show came and brought the LFA & LF-Ch to Motor City.
- After a nine-year run, Lexus announced that the SC 430 would be discontinued.
- We saw our very first glimpse of the CT 200h all decked out in plastic.
- Chris Harris turned in two of my favorite Lexus LFA reviews, one in EVO and the other in video.
- I got a close look at the LF-Ch concept’s fantastic interior at the Toronto Auto Show.
- The Lexus RX had a Superbowl commercial.
- The CT 200h was revealed a couple days earlier than expected.
- The extra-limited LFA Nürburgring Edition was announced. Only 50 will be made.
- After seeing the LFA in only black or white, a super-red verison was spotted in Japan.
- I had a chance to remote-interview both the CT 200h Chief Engineer Osamu Sadakata & its Chief Designer Takeshi Tanabe.
- Consumer Reports discovered a flaw in the Lexus GX 460’s stability control, leading to a sales stoppage & recall of the model.
- A blue Lexus LFA was seen in Japan.
- Out of the blue, a strange looking LFA was seen driving on public roads, leading to speculation of a plug-in hybrid version of the supercar.
- In an amazing turn of events, I drove the LFA in New Jersey.
- Two LFAs and one IS-F raced in the Nürburgring 24h race, where one of the LFAs finished first in its class.
- The CT 200h Dark Ride interactive movie was released.
- The LS was recalled due to an issue with the electric steering.
- Motor Trend compared the Lexus LFA and the Nissan GT-R, complete with a drag race between the two.
- The LFA had its TV commercial debut.
- Miracle of miracles, my daughter Pepper was born.
- The 2011 IS update was revealed.
- Tragedy struck when Toyota’s Chief Test Driver Hiromu Naruse was killed in an accident outside of the Nürburgring racetrack.
- 270,000 Lexus vehicles were recalled due to faulty valve springs.
- Lexus took a Facebook fan on a LFA ride around Goodwood.
- More rumblings of an electric supercar surfaced.
- The LFA & six Toyota 2000GTs meet up in Germany.
- A vibrant yellow Lexus LFA is unveiled in the US.
- Claus Ettensberger, owner of CEC Wheels, is the first person to get a speeding ticket in the Lexus LFA.
- The IS F gets an LFA-inspired instrument display for the 2011 model year.
- Official word from Lexus — two new hybrids by 2012.
- The CT 200h went on a summer tour, including a stop in NYC, where I drove the CT 200h for the first time.
- The CT 200h reviews start pouring in from the press event in Paris, including my own
- The CT 200h F-Sport package is revealed at the Australian International Motor Show.
- Lexus debuts a fleet of modified show cars at SEMA.
- Car & Driver compares the LFA with the Ferrari 599 HGTE — Lexus wins, hell freezes over.
- Joe Bacal & his LX 570 win his class at the BAJA 1000 race, and finish the season with four first-place finishes and the SCORE Stock-Full championship.
- Gran Turismo 5 is finally released, and includes the LFA.
- The world’s largest Lexus showroom opens in Kuwait.
- At long last, the CT 200h pricing is announced with a starting MSRP of $29,120.
- The first production LFA
is spotted at a dealership in Japan.
- The LFA’s V10 is named Engine of the Year by EVO, and finishes 4th overall in the magazine’s Car of the Year showdown.
To say it’s been an up-and-down year would be an understatement, with the recalls being balanced out by the growing public realization that Lexus has created something special with the LFA. It certainly sets the stage for an exciting 2011!