Design

Lexus Electric Vehicles to Feature Spindle Grille Design

Lexus LF-1 Spindle Grille

The Lexus signature spindle grille will remain a design staple even as the brand introduces pure electric drivetrains — from an Autocar India interview with Lexus Design general manager Koichi Suga:

Koichi Suga, general manager of Lexus Design Division,…says the brand’s signature spindle grille is here to stay. “I don’t think this will happen, unless there is some big shift in top management. And if that happens I will fight to keep it.” Suga also believes that spindle grille is what Lexus customers value. “Our customers value a unique identity and we have a responsibility to ensure that we satisfy this requirement.”

The spindle grille reframed Lexus as a design-forward manufacturer, and quite frankly, too much has been invested to consider swapping in something more generic. That said, Suga does admit that changes will have to be made to separate the EVs from their standard vehicle lineup:

However, there is some pressure from customers to make EVs look different from their fossil-fuel burning counterparts. “For us to interpret and create a new kind of look is a challenge and that is something that we are working towards. So even our team right now are working on new designs, trying to answer that question,” says Suga.

ComparisonsEuropeLexus UX: First Generation

Review: Auto Express Compares the Lexus UX vs BMW X2

Lexus UX vs BMW X1

Auto Express prefers the Lexus UX 250h over the BMW X2, a shocking result from a British publication:

It seems that every new Lexus is stronger than the last, but the brand’s UX small SUV arrived in the UK this year facing a tough set of rivals – closest of which is the BMW X2 compact off-roader.

The UX shows how Lexus’s perseverance with hybrid tech and engineering evolution has been rewarded. This is a convincing hybrid that blends refinement, comfort and efficiency in a package that’s more affordable than its rival. It’s just a shame that its infotainment is sub-standard.

Lexus NX: First GenerationSafetyTechUSA

2019 Lexus NX Scores IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Award

Lexus NX Crash Test

The 2019 Lexus NX has earned the Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the highest rating given by the organization.

The rating in the Institute’s newest test — the passenger-side small overlap crash test — applies to models built after January 2019, when the NX incorporated better protection for passenger-side small overlap frontal crashes.

To qualify as a Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the five IIHS crashworthiness tests—small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints—as well as an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and an acceptable or good headlight rating.

AustraliaCommercials

Commercial: Lexus Australia Surprises with Emotional Moments

Lexus Australia Commercial

Lexus Australia has gone off-the-board with their latest commercial, choosing to focus on the driver rather than the car:

While it’s still an advert designed to sell cars, there’s something very human and surprising about this commercial.

Speaking with Australian ad blog B&T, Lexus Australia head of marketing Vin Naidoo said: “At Lexus, we anticipate the needs of our customers on their journey but recognise they are ultimately in control.

“Our new campaign elegantly captures this sentiment.”

Lexus LC: First GenerationSpecial Editions

Lexus Debuts Limited-Edition LC 500 in Classic Color Combination

Lexus LC Nori Green

A LC 500 with a Nori Green exterior and two-tone Saddle Tan & Black Amber interior will be the next model in the limited-edition Lexus Inspiration Series. The car will be displayed this weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Taking the shimmering green paint that debuted with the UX crossover and combining it with a tan interior, this LC 500 evokes British Racing Green from the far-flung future.

The 2020 Nori Green LC 500 will be limited to just 100 units across the United States, and below is the full press release,

Continue reading…

ChinaSales Reports

Lexus Sales Surging in China

Lexus ES China

Lexus is outpacing the new-vehicle market in China, with sales surging 31% to 109,933 units sold in the first seven months of 2019. Lexus delivered 160,468 vehicles in China last year, an increase of 21% from a year earlier.

Gains have been driven by the ES, NX, and RX, though Lexus declined revealing sales by model. Demand for hybrid models has increased 43% over last year, and now account 34% of total sales.

Unlike competitors, Lexus does not build vehicles in China, but has still grown to be the fifth-largest luxury brand in the country in 2018, after Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Cadillac.

[Source: Automotive News]

Tech

Koji Sato: Electrified Vehicles are “A Big Opportunity” for Lexus

Lexus LF-1 Limitless

Autocar India has an interview with Lexus International executive vice-president Koji Sato on the brand’s plans for electric vehicles:

How is Lexus readying for the advent of new-age technology like electric drivetrains and autonomous control? Some say Lexus has been lagging behind on some of these fronts.

Sato: Well, I would say that is not entirely correct. We believe that when it comes to electrified and autonomous vehicles, we also need to look at the market conditions and the state of the available infrastructure. And it’s important that we match the readiness of both those aspects. So in that sense, we’re not behind as far as new technologies go.

With EVs coming in sooner rather than later, do you think this is going to be an opportunity for you to redefine the Lexus brand?

Sato: Yes, I think so, especially with EVs. It’s a big opportunity for us to change the structure of the vehicles by using batteries. We are the pioneers of hybrid technology and have enough knowledge to manage hybrid systems. That will help us enhance EV technology, so it’s a great opportunity to make a better car.

While all signs point towards a major EV push from Lexus, all of the brand’s major competitors already have electrified products available in dealerships.

(That said, this fits with the Lexus strategy of waiting for sustainable growth before releasing products — both the NX and UX crossovers were behind the release curve of competitors, and both models have quickly established significant market share in their respective segments.)

Lexus GX: Second GenerationOfficial EventsSponsorshipsUSA

Lexus Launches Off-Road Adventure Program in Tennessee

Lexus Off-Road Adventure

Lexus has partnered with the Blackberry Mountain resort in Tennessee to offer an off-road adventure with the GX 460.

Guests of the 5,200-acre property can participate in an instructor-led course that demonstrates the basics of off-roading. Along the way, drivers will travel to the Smoky Mountains and through the Tennessee Valley. The two-hour trip is $195 per driver, and two drivers can be accommodated per session. Passengers are $50 each with a maximum of three passengers.

Blackberry Mountain is the newest addition to the Lexus Hotel Partner Program, which gives Lexus owners exclusive benefits and experiences at hotels and resorts across the country.