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Chris Harris Slams Lexus F Performance Brand

Lexus GS F Engine Badge

In his latest editorial on Jalopnik, Chris Harris attacks the Lexus F performance brand and its apparent lack of focus.

There’s plenty to the article — some moaning about the lack of a proper followup to the LFA, more complaining about the RC F’s weight, some bizarre criticism of the not-yet-released GS F. I disagree on most points, but I also write a website called Lexus Enthusiast. Disagreement is to be expected.

Instead, I’m going to focus on this passage:

So what’s the strategy at Lexus F? I’m not sure I know. Is it to sell a series of cars that are just ten percent less exciting, capable and slower than the main opposition?

Perhaps this is actually a very clever and subtle positioning game by Lexus? It doesn’t think it can beat the big boys, it can just slip beneath them and trade on quality and intake noise and throttle response aaaaaand, nope, I’m not buying that either. This is the place for willy-waving, for swagger, for numbers. It needs to compete, slug it out toe-to-toe.

BMW have been making the M3 & M5 since 1985, and there have been AMG models of the modern-day C-Class & E-Class since 1988. By comparison, the first Lexus IS F was released in 2007. I bring this up not as an excuse but as a fact — the German brands have a significant headstart over Lexus in building this type of high-performance car.

And yet, a recent Motor Trend comparison showed the RC F just 0.32 seconds off the pace of the BMW M4 on the track, while being easier to drive, better on public roads, and $10,000 cheaper.

My point is this — it’s not so long ago that Lexus didn’t have a single high-performance model, and now it’s able to compete head-to-head against one of the best vehicles in the world. The only reason to find fault in this level of progress is to drive website traffic or sell magazines.

Harris may paint a dreary picture of a brand with no vision, but just because he can’t see doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Article Source: Jalopnik

Comments
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    joe_my
  • April 13, 2015
Who the hell does this guy think he is? Just because he has got some views for his videos on YouTube, it doesn't mean he is right and people at Lexus are wrong. If he thinks he's that great and noble, why doesn't he start his own company? I'd just tell him to go home, he's terribly drunk!
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Extremely disappointed in Chris Harris. I'm a huge fan of his work but this is a very short sighted view and seems just something to rile up jalopnik trolls and the rest of the interenet posters that hate Lexus. I will elaborate more tomorrow.
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    corradoMR2
  • April 13, 2015
Reliability is equally important in this price range which is disappointing it's never mentioned in these types of reviews. In F1 and most major motorsports, reliability wins the race.
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    HKWIL
  • April 13, 2015
He needs to understand the roots of Lexus and its products to see their vision. Over the past 10 years, how many successful lunches of new models where there? Numbers, what's getting more and more appealing to the luxury car market? Which brand looks in the rearview mirror and seeing Lexus tailgating real close? How long has the Lexus brand been arnd? And like this article has mentioned, how long ago did Lexus have their first high performance model? Not being able to see it, not understanding doesn't mean Tye brand has no vision.You need vision to see and have vision. I think Lexus is doing very well at this pace and Lexus is not far from a car that will crush some of today's top performing cars. Keep it up Lexus!
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    Tragic Bronson
  • April 14, 2015
Another "Lebowski moment"....perhaps Lexus owners need to troll Jalopnik and other blogs lol.
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    Fhrae
  • April 14, 2015
Read this article earlier today, but didn't realize it was from Chris Harris himself, until just now. It is a dissapoint read, that's for sure. I haven't had the pleasure of trying either the M4 or the RC F myself, but I'm having a difficult time believing that the RC F performs so poorly.
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    Levi
  • April 14, 2015
Chris Harris is a LOSER. He lost all credibility. His arguments are troll-like. His is losing influence so has to bend to public ignorance in hope of getting back to the level he was. Sorry, but that is over for him. He better find a new job. His automotive ignorance and bias is beyond German-fanboy level.
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    VeeEight
  • April 14, 2015
Sounds like another Jeremy Clarkson. The American and European media has a very strong allegiance to BMW. The really honest first reviews of BMW M4 pointed out the difficulties of handling due to too much low end power, turbo lag eg during cornering and recovery, non-linear delivery and oversteer (from being too light?). Hence the need to be an expert driver (3% of all drivers?) to manage this. That's why Lexus stayed with the NA V8. Most also slam the weight of the RCF, but the extra weight actually provides a better balance. Also, the same reviewers are now praising the new MB C63 V8 (magnificent sound, response ...) with little or no mention about the weight, even tho' it is only a little lighter than the RCF! The MB chief engineer said CUSTOMERS still demand V8s. So these negative RCF reviews are very clear demonstrations of complete lack of objectivity and independence!
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    GSCT
  • April 14, 2015
Two comments: I am amazed that this is all about Lexus performance. To me, this is wonderful as prior to the Gen 2 IS, I don't think "Lexus" and "performance" we're often used in the same discussion. "F" and "F Sport" must be working. Sales are up and a large percentage of the IS, RC, NX and GS sales are F Sports.
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    Lexus Cohen
  • April 14, 2015
They will also be bashed for not having a RX F, the new GS F being under powered, and no additional engine options for the NX. Guess what though? Their negativity will not push this Lexus loyalist away!
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    BOSS
  • April 14, 2015
Chris who?
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Yawns... Doesn't matter what you did or what you say you are going to do. It’s a tough fact to swallow for most but the truth is, what you did yesterday really doesn’t matter in the automotive business. If you can't grasp that. Just think about Sports. This is a competition to sell and profit. There are no more excuses. Either you have it or you don't. Lexus have the capacity and the resources coupled with talented employees. No more apologizing for them. They can do it, but lack the tenacity to stick-it to their competition. Enough finger pointing at the Germans. You want to quiet the crowd? Then drown them with products that the masses will flock to. Until then, what he said, Harris. That is the sentiment and perception the world carries. It can only be broken by having consistent Killers on the squad. "Its only 0.93 slower than the X-Y-Z model. So why are people dissing it?!" That's a loser mentality. How about shut them up by saying this F kills it spec-by-spec & every time time trial. I respect all of your opinions but its like reading sports fanatic trying to defend their teams. All that matters is the ring, it doesn't matter how brilliant you've been in the past decade. You need a Michael Jordan, that's how you win. At the moment, its all just a bunch of KD's and LBJ's... Fun read though. lol P.S Harrismonkey, still has my respect and follow. He stated an opinion that's soaked heavily in the minds of many outside these borders. Y'all gotta live outside to understand where he coming from.
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    Axel
  • April 14, 2015
lol the fact is lexus does get over critisized and the journors do it out of biasness for the Germans. they try to brain wash the youth into believing luxus is a big nothing. The RCF this Chris guy complain about equals the lap times of the M4 and it much stable and safer then the M4, yes it heavyier yet it can lap just as fast, so what is the big fuss about? why does this Chris guy have to complain about the quad stalked axhaust lol? I'll tell you why, it a unique feature for the F brand, that is getting this brand recognized on the streets, they know if they keep saying it ugly human brain of the reader start to beliving it ugly. These journors diss lexus when it not done right but the right lexus does they try to take away if we lexus enthusiasts are too bias? tell me why Jeremy Clackson didnt have even one positive to say about the RCF, i mean he sure could have complemented the interior atleast. My friend look after soo many reviews of the RCF vs M4, RCF proved to be a better car, it stable got a racing engine it can put it power down better then the m4. This Chris aticle is an attempt to confuse customers and confuse lexus brand itself because if the m4 is a six cylinder, they going to try every trick to make lexus downgrade because it a big advantage for lexus. dont ever fall for such tricks. The RCF is sweet lol with its big block V8
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    Axel
  • April 14, 2015
Lexus is doing very well IS fsport beat the compatition and so does the the GS f, etc. they dont need to prove a point to anybody, as lexus fans it should be our responsibility to troll some sites and defend the brand so it can get its space and keeps offering something different from the norm. right now lexus is being forced to the corner. The spindle grill is the result of pure pressure because some journers kept saying they cant recorgnize the cars
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    Tragic Bronson
  • April 14, 2015
Just reading Chris Harris' Twitter, Scott Brownlee is already on the mend. https://twitter.com/LexusPR/status/587954001150345216
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    Adrian de Leon
  • April 14, 2015
I agree. I think as the years go on, this current gen RC F will become lighter, more agile, and quicker. Like tuning the engine even more with adding more torque and even more power. And same goes for all F cars in the future. The first maybe a statement but later on it will be the car that lexus truly intended it to be
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    Adrian de Leon
  • April 14, 2015
This article is just a person who hasn't or rarely experienced the lexus F driving. He is the type of person to look at the brochure. There are more to a performance car than just the specs. They are just an addition. But the way it drives is the real main point. Why create a fast car if it can't even handle or drive well? That's the point of the F Marque. It's not all about power, even though sometimes I wish there was more (GS F for example) but it's the way the car can truly connect with the driver. That's the real main goal of a sports car or sports brand in my eyes.
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    James
  • April 14, 2015
LexFather I love all the comments and I agree with you. When BMW or Mercedes or heck even Audi does something well they get credit for it and they should. I agree without them there might not be a Lexus or without AMG or RS or M there might not be our F. We need competition otherwise why try. If everyone bought one of those brands than no body else would make cars. But once again when they get their credit for making something good, when Lexus does something good there is no credit. Or very little. I mean the RX is best selling vehicle in its segment. But then there's the its not sporty enough, it doesn't have an F. Doesn't have a third row. It sells 9,000 vehicles a month in North America alone. Its a 50k car or close to. When Lexus does something "bad" like have a heavy car like the RCF it gets bashed (Mercedes has heavy cars...). Lexus is not perfect nor are any of the brands but like you said the F is 10 years old and Lexus has done an amazing job in such a short time. I used to always hate the Lexus hate that is out there but I'm starting to like it. I feel other brands are jealous and the Germans do not want to admit that Lexus is right there or even better. Lexus has the best customer service and reliability in the business. The hate means they are scared. The hate means they are watching. Problem for them is I think they are watching from behind Lexus. On another note you mentioned a LS-F and a new IS-F....any place where those rumors are true or accurate?? Excited about the growing F brand and exciting moves from Lexus!
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    Tragic Bronson
  • April 14, 2015
Perhaps the publicity, whether good or bad, can only drive traffic to its dealers...
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    LexusSteve
  • April 17, 2015
I have been busy and arrived to this thread about 3 days late; so I cannot participate in all of the threads fervor. Kudos Mike, wonderful objective approach to educating the viewers of this thread of what the F-Marque is about. And to the poster who said that it's about what happens today and not the past. Well, you're half right. One of the F-marque's main purposes is to expand the Lexus Brand/Lifestyle to ADD NEW customers, not just have pre-existing owners upgrade. It's kind of why they want these higher performance models to be easy (for anyone, not just a racecar driver)/safe/fun to drive, you know? And by the way, F-marque is accomplishing this 'today.' Gee. What a concept.

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