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Motor Trend Comparison: Lexus LX vs Mercedes G-Class vs Jeep Wrangler vs Land Rover Discovery

Lexus LX Motor Trend Comparison

The Lexus LX 570 finished third in the latest Motor Trend off-road comparison, putting up a good showing up against the much newer Jeep Wrangler, Mercedes G-Class, and Land Rover Discovery:

Updated with a new nose and an eight-speed automatic in 2015, the LX still rides on essentially the same platform with basically the same engine from its 2007 debut. It feels it. Despite making a healthy amount of horsepower, the LX’s big V-8 feels neutered by its transmission; it’s geared tall and also programmed to get to eighth gear and stay there. The ride is hit or miss, too.

In contrast to its ungainly manners on the freeway, the LX 570 was pleasant crawling in the dirt. The brake dive, body roll, and ever-hunting transmission all seem cured of their ills at low off-road speeds. The suspension’s ability to soak up impacts before transferring them to the driver’s seat was particularly impressive. There’s still room for improvement; like off-roaders of yesteryear, the Lexus’ steering wheel violently seesaws from left to right as it deals with obstacles.

As disappointed as we were with the Discovery, we were pleased with the Lexus after its performance that day. The old dog may have been just that on the road, but it proved a dogged climber on Coyote Flat Trail. “As challenging as that trail was, the Lexus deserves credit for never letting us down. It was too big for the surroundings, but even on the mildest of truck tires, it never struggled,” Woodard said. The LX made it up the trail, but it left us wanting for more refinement.

New Lexus ES Commercial Written Entirely by Artificial Intelligence

Lexus ES Artificial Intelligence

Lexus has debuted a commercial written completely by artificial intelligence, and it’s strangely compelling:

Built by technical partner Visual Voice with support from IBM Watson, the AI was trained with fifteen years of award-winning luxury commercials and detailed information on the Lexus brand. The resulting script was then filmed by Oscar-winning director Kevin McDonald.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes documentary explaining just how the whole thing worked:

In speaking with Marketing Week, Lexus Europe brand manager Michael Tripp envisions a future where AI plays an essential role in marketing:

“Our ambition under this umbrella is not to replace the human element but to augment it. Philosophically, could this cut out or change the creative aspect of this process? Yes. But our strategy at Lexus is we believe in man plus machine.

“I could never ask you to go look at 15 years of award-winning films and give me that data, but I can now get that and use it to inform our creative.”

INTERSECT by Lexus Opens in New York City

Lexus Intersect First Floor

INTERSECT by Lexus has opened its third location in New York City, marking the first North American setting for the brand’s lifestyle-outreach experience center. Designed by interior designer Masamichi Katayama of Wonderwall, INTERSECT NYC is a 16,500-square-foot, three-story building in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan.

Lexus Intersect Outside

The three floors each serve a different purpose, with the street level outfitted with a cafe and CRAFTED by Lexus retail area, the second floor featuring a full-service restaurant and cocktail bar, and the third floor serving as a meeting space for events.

The New York Times explains the cuisine hierarchy:

Union Square Hospitality Group is behind the cafe and restaurant, but the food is being devised by Gregory Marchand, a French celebrity chef who owns the Frenchie restaurants in Paris and London. He will be on hand from time to time for the next four to six months; after that, another chef-in-residence will be imported. “We want chefs who are new to New York and up-and-coming,” said Kirk Edmondson, the manager.

The long-term executive chef is Nickolas Martinez, who worked with Joël Robuchon and at Foragers City Table. Kaz Fujimura is responsible for pastries, and Andrea Morris is in charge of drinks and wine.

Lexus Intersect Again

Eater New York describes the restaurant menu:

To start, in the dining room, there are dishes such as foie gras terrine, gnocchi with sweetbreads and mushrooms, and monkfish with celery root, coffee sabayon, and black garlic. The counter-service cafe brings takes on standard cafe fare like gem lettuce chicken caesar salad, an acai bowl, and a reuben with pastrami, cheddar, cider vinegar slaw, and mustard. Pastries by Kaz Fujimura include brown butter fudge brownies and cranberry maple cupcakes.

INTERSECT NYC is located at 412 West 14th Street in Manhattan. Reservations for the restaurant can be made on the INTERSECT NYC website, which is packed with details on the new brand space.

Lexus December to Remember 2018 Commercials

Lexus December to Remember

This year’s crop of Lexus’ annual December to Remember commercials have arrived:

(Seriously, can you imagine how that big red bow would look if it was never taken off the roof?)

Lexus Japan Sales Up 200% in First Six Months of 2018

Lexus ES Japan

Lexus is building momentum in Japan, with sales up more than 200% over the first six months of 2018 and the new ES sedan set to launch in the country for the first time. As of July 1st, the brand sold 33,000 vehicles, compared to 45,605 in all of 2017.

The ES isn’t expected to bring a major boost to Japan’s numbers — the sales target is 350 vehicles per month and 4,200 vehicles per year. There were 2,000 pre-orders for the sedan, with 70% coming from existing Lexus owners.

The Japanese market is limited to the 2.5L four-cylinder ES 300h, though it does have a feather in its cap with the world’s first digital side-view monitor in place of traditional mirrors. The option has been priced at ¥216,000, or $1,900 USD.

[Source: Automotive News]