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Lexus IS Owner Blog: My New Dash Camera

Lexus Canada Dash Camera

Shortly after posting about the new Lexus Canada dash camera available in dealerships, I was contacted by their accessories group with an offer to install one in my IS 300 AWD. I agreed instantly, and just last week had it installed by Performance Lexus in Southern Ontario.

I did have a concern going into the install, in that the camera would be a possible obstruction while driving. This proved to be a non-issue, as the unit hides behind the rearview mirror:

Lexus Dash Cam Hidden

Installation did take a couple hours — the passenger side A-pillar and part of the roof had to be detached to make way for the power cable:

Lexus IS Torn up

My time to experiment with the camera has been limited, but the process of reviewing footage is interesting. Here is some footage on the default setting:

(There have been times in my life when a camera documenting my driving habits would be a bad idea, but fatherhood and a growing distrust of other drivers have turned me into a defensive and careful driver.)

More impressive is the amount of data that the unit recorded — GPS co-ordinates, speed, and even g-force can be reviewed using an app available for both computers and phones. Here’s the Mac software:

Lexus Dash Camera Dashboard

The entire setup is so well-integrated, and I could not be more impressed so far. I’m going to live with it a while longer before publishing a more detailed review, but early impressions are very positive.

(If this dash cam had been available last year when I picked up the IS 300, I likely would have used it to record our cross-country trip. Mounting a GoPro to the front windshield takes up a lot of real estate.)

This IS 300 AWD was made possible by the folks at OpenRoad Lexus Richmond, the premier Lexus dealership in British Columbia and a proud sponsor of Lexus Enthusiast.

Lexus LFA to be Auctioned at Pebble Beach This Month

Lexus LFA Monterey

Lexus LFA #479 will be put up for auction at Sotherby’s in Monterey, during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance festivities. The supercar is a classic example with its Whitest White exterior and black leather interior:

Here are the details, as taken from the auction page:

This pristine Whitest White (079) over black 2012 Lexus LFA is presented with just 120 miles on the odometer. The high polished silver wheels are complemented by red brake calipers, while moving to the interior, the modern black cockpit is supplemented by red accents on the steering wheel, door-pulls, and seats.

More so, the car is 479th of just 500 built worldwide, making it one of the last great examples of the model. The car is accompanied by a full set of owner’s manuals, tools, as well as luggage.

The auction is set to start at $375,000 USD — essentially the car’s MSRP back in 2012 — and will take place at the Monterey Conference Center on August 25.

What do you think about a Lexus Pickup Truck?

Lexus LT Pickup Truck

Luxury automotive brands have long steered away from offering pickup trucks, even as they dominate sales in North America. There have been exceptions over the years — notably the Lincoln F150 and the Cadillac Avalanche — but none have been able to make an impact before ultimately being cancelled.

This may change with the introduction of the Mercedes X-Class, a mid-size truck that debuted last year and will be available in Europe, South America, Australia, and South Africa. The truck itself is utilitarian in nature, built for a working life and less concerned with luxury, but there’s no escaping the three-pointed star on the front grille.

With that in mind, Spanish website has invented the Lexus LT, a truck with the face of the LX SUV and the body of a Toyota Tacoma. The idea is appealing in its own way, but only as a fun exercise — Lexus doesn’t have the worldwide reach of Mercedes, and there’s a reason the X-Class isn’t coming to North America.

Toyota to Shift Marketing Budget into Research & Development

Lexus Ride Event

Toyota, and Lexus by extension, plans to cut costs associated with sales and marketing, using the resources to further research into autonomous vehicles and other advanced tech — from Reuters:

“We may be posting record profits, but we don’t think we are keeping up with their pace of investments,” one of the sources, a senior Toyota official, told Reuters.

To do that, [CFO Koji] Kobayashi wants to tap into money once earmarked for automotive marketing and general expenses, which for the year that ended in March totaled 2.72 trillion yen ($24.66 billion).

This move was initiated by Toyota canceling contracts with the China unit of advertising agency, Dentsu Inc.:

Toyota was frustrated with the cost of at least two events Dentsu organized in China: a ride-and-drive for Toyota’s premium Lexus brand in March and the Beijing auto show display stand for Toyota in April.

A review by the automaker showed “out-of-control extravagance in how it executed those events – not over-billing,” another one of the sources said. Beijing Dentsu declined to comment.

Video: The Full Sound of the Lexus LC 500

Lexus LC 500 Exit Music

Let’s start off the week in grand fashion with this video of the Lexus LC 500 and James Bond stunt driver Mark Higgins in an abandoned car park:

(The sound of the LC 500’s V8 engine is rapturous — there may be engines with more horsepower, but few that sound so good.)