2018 Lexus LS

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The LS seen here is an early prototype, but some of its design cues can be seen protruding from its thick camouflage. It looks as though the new LS will take most of its design inspiration from the LF-LC concept, including the latest interpretation of Lexus’ spindle front grille. It also appears as though the next-generation LS will feature a sleeker roofline.

Design cues are a little more hidden out back, where the LS sports a pair of temporary taillights inspired by the finned cars of the 1950s. However, we can make out some pronounced curving the LS’ trunk lid, further suggesting the next-generation of Lexus’ flagship will sport more emotional styling.

Most LS models will continue to be motivated by a V8 engine, but we hear Lexus is also developing a hydrogen drivetrain for its Mercedes S-Class rival. Borrowing tech from the Toyota Mirai, the hydrogen-powered LS would probably take the place of the current LS600h hybrid. The hydrogen LS would trail the standard car by at least a year or two.

The next LS promises to be packed with technology, including semi-autonomous driving features.

The 2018 Lexus LS could make its world debut in early 2017 before going on sale later in the year.

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Lexus’ radical LC500 spotted in the wild


Fully camouflaged luxe sports car hits Michigan streets

Reader Robert spotted this fully camouflaged sports coupe in metro Detroit, which was followed very closely by a Toyota Highlander. We assume this use of a Toyota as a blocker should mean this coupe is a fellow ‘Yota future product and is likely the road-going version of the LC500.
Judging simply by the overall shape and features, this coupe looks a lot like what Lexus showed off at this year’s North American International Auto Show. The only changes appear to be the wing and relocated third brake light. The four exhaust pipes and aggressive shape are carry-overs from the show car.

The Michigan Manufacturer license plates on the Toyota Highlander and the camouflaged sports car are dead giveaways for what’s hiding under the camo.

The LC500 will likely sport Lexus’ 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 from the RC-F and GS-F. In the current trim, the V8 knocks out 467 hp, which is plenty, but not quite up to supercar levels of performances. This means we will likely see an even more aggressive version of the LC sometime after its initial release.
This manufacturer-plated camouflaged test mule was spotted on I-96, and Robert said the two Toyotas pulled off when he got beside them.

Lexus RC F review

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Lexus, Toyota’s premium car division, will not let the sports car market go. It’s better known for hybrids, SUVs and large saloons in this country, but its ambitions for a lucrative segment have bubbled to the surface in recent years, most obviously in the congenially flawed IS F.

However, it has never really threatened to break the monopoly enjoyed by its mostly German rivals. The RC F, a muscular coupé in the BMW M4 mould, marks the start of a fresh offensive. It will be followed in the not too distant future by the GS F, a bigger four-door super-saloon.

Aside from their badges, the strand linking the two is the engine: an updated derivative of the naturally aspirated V8 petrol engine that gave the IS F so much trouser length.

The choice looks like a strange one. Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are well into model cycles that place unstinting emphasis on forced induction, typically with fewer cylinders and less displacement.

That Lexus has chosen to buck this trend is partly a function of its global positioning (it is at least as interested in American buyers as it is European ones) and partly due to the faith it has in its own alternative tech, including the unusual use of the fuel-sipping Atkinson cycle.

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Be that as it may, the challenge facing the manufacturer is not merely one of horsepower or efficiency. There is also the comparative quality of the handling (the IS F’s major failing) and the task of convincing customers that the RC F – and, by extension, Lexus – now has the reputation worthy of an extremely image-conscious end of the industry.

Without being mentioned specifically, the now-departed LFA supercar, a calculated machine of startling and intoxicating savagery, is the bedrock upon which a superior stature may yet be established. If the RC F proves capable of generating a modicum of that car’s adulation, Lexus will be on the right track.

482,000 Toyota Prius, Lexus CT200h Hybrids Recalled for Curtain Airbags

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Toyota is recalling 482,000 hybrids in the U.S. to repair side-curtain airbags manufactured by the Swedish supplier Autoliv, the companies said on Wednesday.

On 2010–2012 Prius, 2010 and 2012 Prius Plug-in, and 2011–2012 Lexus CT200h models, the side-curtain airbags can partially inflate at random and the inflator can potentially “enter the interior of the vehicle,” which could injure occupants, according to a Toyota press release.

Autoliv said in a press release that it knows of seven inadvertent deployments in Prius models worldwide, all of which occurred in cars that were parked and unoccupied. Autoliv is investigating the root cause, but for now, the company believes no other automakers are affected by this problem since “vehicle specific characteristics” contributed to the issue. A manufacturing problem was corrected in January 2012, and the total number of cars under recall—about 1.4 million worldwide—represent half of all the side-curtain airbag inflators produced before that date, Autoliv said. A crack between the two inflator chambers can form over time due to poor welding, which can cause the two chambers to separate, Toyota said.

Dealers will install a retention bracket on the chambers to prevent them from separating and entering the interior. It is unknown whether there will be additional hardware or software fixes, as the airbags have deployed “without a deployment signal being given by the airbag controller,” according to Toyota. Recall notices will go out to owners at a later date.

2016 Lexus RX 450h Is the Green Vehicle of Texas

The Lexus RX family is no stranger to accolades and awards. This week it is the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) who is heaping praise upon the RX. Specifically, the RX 450h hybrid. The group met the past three days at the Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) to select its category winners. Full details are still emerging, but Toyota was given the green light to announce the RX 450h’s win for “2016 Green Vehicle of Texas.”