Lexus UK has published a beautiful photo gallery of the LC 500h in Liquid Platinum — some days it’s just nice to scroll and dream:
Lexus has sold 360,045 vehicles worldwide in the first six months of 2019, representing a 10% increase over large year. Let’s break down the volume by region:
|Region||Approximate Sales||% Change vs. 2018|
|China (+ Hong Kong)||95,000||+36%|
Aside from a modest 4% sales dip in Lexus’ native Japan, all other markets have seen sales increases, ranging from a minimal 1% in North America to a notable 36% in China. Credit for these higher numbers go to increased global availability and demand for the new ES sedan and newly-introduced UX crossover, as well as the expanded luxury market in China.
A Lexus Europe news release adds that global hybrid sales for the marque jumped by 34% vs the same period last year, reaching 121,234 units. This represents 37% of global Lexus sales.
European Lexus sales rose by 5% in a premium market that is down by 2% overall. Significant sales growth was recorded in a number of European markets, such as Italy (+51%), Spain (+33%), Poland (+13%), France (+12%) and the United Kingdom (+8%).
Automotive News has released its annual vehicle predictions for Lexus, and much of its reasoning is based on rumors covered here on Lexus Enthusiast and the typical product cycles of the brand.
To best visualize the information, here’s a timeline of the information presented:
As with any predictions, the picture is less clear as we go further into the future — for instance, it seems unlikely that Lexus will wait another four years before releasing the next-generation RX, and there’s no way a mass-market vehicle like the UX will have five years between updates.
There’s also no mention of the production model LF-1 Limitless, or any indication of EV powertrains — both are expected in the next four years.
The Lexus RC was voted the Russia Coupe of the Year in a massive online survey with over one million respondents. Voting took place from January to April, with more than a million people sharing their opinions on 20 different segments.
In 2018, Lexus set a new sales record in Russia with 24,312 new vehicles sold, an all-time high for the brand. As a result, Lexus market share in Russia reached 15.7% among premium car manufacturers, ranking third in the segment for the third year in a row.
The RX crossover was the top selling Lexus model last year, with 9,781 units sold — this was good enough for 24.4% marketshare and top spot in the Premium SUV segment.
Lexus USA has reported 25,025 total sales for July 2019, a 5.4% decrease over last year — here’s the model-by-model breakdown:
|MONTH||Year to Date (*DSR)|
|2019||2018||% CHG*||2019||2018||% CHG*|
Please note, all percentages are calculated by the Daily Sales Rate (DSR), which takes into account the number of days in the month that dealerships could sell cars. July 2019 had 25 selling days, July 2018 had 24 selling days.
Australian website Motoring has published photos of a Lexus LS fuel-cell prototype currently testing in the USA.
A causal observer could be forgiven for not seeing any difference between the current LS and this camouflaged vehicle. However, with a Toyota Mirai and a Hyundai Nexo flanking the prototype, an equipped fuel-cell powertrain is a safe bet.
But that’s not the only thing — viewed from the side, it’s clear this LS has been modified substantially. The rear trunk is much smaller, as are the overhangs on the front and back:
In 2015, Lexus debuted the LF-FC concept at the Tokyo Motor Show and foretold a fuel-cell version of the LS flagship. Current wisdom would suggest a production debut some time around next year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where Toyota is expected to launch a major product blitz as the event’s headline sponsor.
And now we are hearing that Toyota and Lexus will employ Mazda’s radical new engine technology as well as Denso’s 48V electrical system into its rear-drive saloons.
Expected to appear in the next generation Mazda6 in 2022, and Toyota and Lexus models after that, the 3.0-liter straight-6 SkyActiv-X unit will feature similar technology to the Mazda3’s new “X” powerplant including a diesel-like common rail system, a mild hybrid system and a supercharger with the 48V electric package. Power is expected to clear 300 horsepower.
This is a story that originated from Japanese magazine Best Car, who suggested the next-generation RC coupe would be built on a Mazda platform and utilize a Mazda engine.
While the rumor may seem unbelievable in many regards, it’s not without precedent. Lexus parent company Toyota co-developed the GT86 with Subaru, while the new Supra was a joint project with BMW. Should this new Lexus Mazda speculation prove true, there’s a common thread throughout — they’re all sport coupes.
Lexus will now trial its automated driving technology on public roads in Europe after successful runs in Japan and the USA. Brussels, Belgium has been chosen as the test city, with the pilot program to run over the next thirteen months.
A Lexus LS will be the host vehicle, with roof mounted pack of sensors including LIDAR, radars, cameras and high precision positioning system used to navigate the city. Inside the car will be a driver capable of taking full control at any time.
The automated vehicle will also be used to collect data for the L3Pilot project, a four-year European government test initiative that involves Toyota alongside 34 other partners, including major car manufacturers, automotive suppliers, research institutes and authorities.
The project paves the way for large-scale automated driving tests with 1,000 drivers in 100 cars across 10 countries in Europe. Within this initiative, Toyota will concentrate on researching customer behaviours and the safe operation of systems in complex and diverse urban environments.