Monday, December 5, 2011

Launch of the new Lexus GS series.

Lexus never seemed to be a really strong competitor to the Germans though it's definitely carved a class on its own.  Maybe it still isn't to the ranks compared to the likes of BMW and Mercedes Benz.  But to Audi, this is increasingly becoming one strong competitor.  Lexus has set its eyes to become a truly global premium brand, appealing to those who are not keen on ra-ra badges but understated, clean, substantial, impeccable craftsmanship.  Appealing to one who has Monocle for breakfast, if you get what I mean.

In order for Lexus to truly be a global premium brand, they truly need to separate itself from Toyota more.  Lexus has always unwillingly inherited its blood relation with Toyota.  How do you position yourself to be premium when you share the same technology as a global mass brand?  Bear in mind, the CT200h has the same engine and drivetrain as the Prius.  To pay premium, you'd expect a premium system as well, no?  A good start is for Lexus to separate itself entirely from Toyota, only to report directly to the President, Akio Toyoda (he is the heir of Toyota - in short - Mr. Owner).  Therefore, we should see a real dynamic change with its separation from the group - marketing, engineering, design and all.

Lexus launched the new GS series in the 42nd Tokyo Motorshow, which blueprint was inspired by its supercar LFA in terms of sweeping designs and agile drivability - I'd surely love to get behind the wheels of the GS350 F Sport and see what a slice of the LFA feels like.

Eat this, Audi ;)

And if you need more inspiration, let's not forget what the LFA could potentially do :)

Now that I got you all sweaty, here're some snapshots I got from Tokyo Motorshow.

New GS450h

LFA Nürburgring Package - emphasizes circuit cruising at a level higher than the standard specifications which is scheduled for production in 2012.  The maximum output has been raised to 571PS (just bout 10 horses extra) via higher compression.  Limited to only 500 units, orders have been closed in January 2010.  Woops.  Sorry dude, better luck next round.  Well next time, if you wanna ride a fast machine, you better be quicker than that :Pp

Beyond the interior, let's investigate it to the bone.  You should know also that the LFA is put together by 10-15 (can't remember how many) Master craftsmen, who are known as 'Takumi' which is equivalent to your 10th 'dan' black belt in automotive.  They painstakingly put your machine together by hand to ensure the highest L-finesse.  Read more about the Lexus 'takumi' here.

The heart that moves both driver and machine.

New GSのさらなる魅力を、あなただけに。


Just wondering, throwing you some questions.  Anyone knows...

1) All three GS (GS450h, GS350 F Sport and GS250) have got a D-4S engine - the one that's strapped on the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ?  I know the GS450h does, but not sure about the F Sport though I think it should be because both are a 3.5l V6 engine.
2) Lexus is the only rear-wheel drive hybrid?
3) Usually, in a line-up, fuel-engine models are more powerful than its hybrid variant.  But the GS450h has got about 20 horses more than the F Sport variant.  Hmm... now that's what I'm talking about; no compromise on performance.

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