Posts from ‘Lexus’
You sound like an idiot.
I don’t know if your ignorance is willful, or if it’s driven by some sort of latent racism or misplaced sense of nationalism, but you sound like an idiot.
Every time you refer to Japanese-brand vehicles as “rice burners” or “Jap crap,” you reveal to everyone in attendance that you are a clueless troll with little interest in having a real discussion.
Yet you, and a slowly shrinking pool of fellow idiots, still persist in perpetuating the long-discredited meme that Japanese cars and trucks are somehow substandard products.
The sometimes unspoken but always present tacit component of this line of reasoning is that American-brand vehicles are better than Japanese vehicles—and always have been. It is on this point that your baffling disconnect from the truth becomes most poignant.
I, too, once believed unfailingly in the superiority of American automobiles. A four-year stint as a pump jockey and part-time mechanic quickly corrected that.
Also check out Tom Appel’s “Senior-Year Lust: The 5 Coolest Vehicles of 1983,” Ed Piotrowski’s “Senior-Year Lust: The 5 Coolest Vehicles of 1998,” and Rick Cotta’s “Senior-Year Lust: The 5 Coolest Vehicles of…1974.”
In my senior year of high school, the auto industry was finally pulling out of the 1990s and moving away from all of the jellybean car designs produced during that period of time (*COUGH* FORD ASPIRE *COUGH*). While many other desirable cars were available, these were my favorites from my graduation year of 2002. Though I had to settle for driving Mom and Dad’s Volvo 240 sedan and station wagon (vehicles I learned to love and still do), these were the ones I lusted after. I put pictures of them on my bedroom wall and on the inside of my locker door at school to show the world that I was a car enthusiast, and had damn good taste in vehicles.
Lexus is rolling out a redesigned IS sedan for 2014, with new styling, new safety and infotainment features, and a slightly longer wheelbase. To illustrate the exterior design changes between the old and the new, we fired off some quick-and-dirty snapshots of a 2013 and a 2014 IS 250 F Sport at the 2014 IS press event.
Toyota’s Lexus division continues its onslaught of updated products. Hot on the heels of significantly updated versions of its flagship LS and midsize ES and GS sedans, the company debuted the freshened 2014 IS premium-compact car at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
The 2014 Lexus IS sports a front-end design that mirrors the appearance of its larger siblings. Since this is a sportier car than the LS, ES, and even the GS, the look is a bit more angular and aggressive. Under the skin, Lexus claims that new welding and adhesives improve body rigidity and stability. Those wanting an even meaner look can order the IS F Sport, which includes a unique grille and front bumpers.
The car will return in base IS 250 and sporty IS 350 trim levels, each with the choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. A gas/electric hybrid called the IS 300h will be available, but not in the U.S. (at least not right now).
The odds are against this. Against me having driven, in a row, three cars that I would either buy myself of recommend without hesitation. But so it happened. In order, I drove newly redesigned 2013 copies of the Lexus ES 350, Volkswagen Passat TDI (manual), and Honda Accord Sport.
I’m not currently in the market for a car, but if I were, the Accord and Passat would make the short list of candidates. The ES is a wee rich for my blood, and a wee staid, but were my father to call for a new-car suggestion (and if we wasn’t a staunch buy-American guy), I would eagerly direct him toward the ES.
2013 Honda Accord Sport
There’s something inherently honest about a base vehicle with nice wheels and a sport suspension. It’s that same honesty that permeates this bargain-priced wonder sedan. For under $24,000, a savvy buyer can haul in a good-looking, decent-handling, quick-enough ride with a roomy cabin and decent fuel economy.
Consumer Guide Automotive editors are a discerning bunch. When rating vehicles in the category of Acceleration, they have to be blown away—almost literally—before they will bestow a perfect score of 10. Horsepower is not enough; editors look for a car that’s quick from a stop and delivers smooth, linear power.
For model-year 2012, CGA editors lauded 18 cars with perfect 10s for acceleration. (Unfortunately, we did not get the chance to test many exotics, including Ferraris and Lamborghinis.)
Perfect 10s for Acceleration
Powertrain: 510-hp 6.0-liter V12, 6-speed automatic transmission w/manual-shift capability
CG Says: “The exhaust note is intoxicating, and it accelerates with the ferocity you’d expect from a 12-cylinder sports car.”
Powertrain: 510-hp 5.9-liter V12, 6-speed manual transmission
CG Says: “Accelerates as well as you would expect from a supercar with 510 horsepower. Throttle response is outstanding in any situation. The manual transmission is a joy to use.”
Powertrain: 420-hp 4.2-liter V8, 6-speed manual transmission; 525-hp 5.2-liter V10, 6-speed manual transmission
In 2009, I wrote a piece called The Five Best Connected Auto Brands to highlight the car companies that were at the forefront of in-vehicle connectivity.
Three years isn’t necessarily a long time in the automotive industry, but it is a lifetime when it comes to technology. We are seeing an explosion in the development and implementation of in-vehicle “infotainment” systems. With the number of smartphones exceeding that of “feature” (read: dumb) phones, it’s only natural for carmakers to want to integrate them into their products.
Recent developments in vehicle smartphone integration are the perfect impetus for revisiting this list. First, however, a couple notes are in order. I didn’t make as many changes here as I thought. Three of the five companies who earned a “Best Connected” distinction in 2009 are returning in 2012.
Let me briefly touch on the two companies that lost their spots.
It has been a busy couple of years here in new-car land. All sorts of interesting stuff is hitting dealer lots for the first time, and a fair amount of not-so-interesting stuff is being filtered out through the sometimes-cruel process of automotive attrition.
In case you’re keeping score, I have created a list of SUVs and crossovers that you may or may not have realized were gone—or on the verge of going away soon.
But, worry not. Take solace in the fact that in each case there’s a better vehicle out there that serves a similar need and is, generally, a much better vehicle.
2007-2009 Chrysler Aspen
According to Chrysler, market research suggested that new-car customers were much more likely to associate the word Aspen with a city in Colorado than with an unloved Dodge from the Seventies. What the research didn’t suggest was that no one would buy a Dodge Durango rebadged as an Aspen.
Buy Instead: The excellent Dodge Durango. Redesigned for 2011 after a 2010 hiatus, the new Durango is about as good as a large tow-ready SUV gets.
It appears Lexus’s latest show star is headed for showrooms after all. According to Mark Rechtin of trade weekly Automotive News, Lexus parent Toyota has approved the sleek LF-LC concept hybrid coupe for production development after dismissing the idea on the car’s unveiling at the January 2012 Detroit Auto Show.
Rechtin says the retail version, which may get a different name, could be on sale by mid-2015, noting that “Toyota can take up to 36 months to take a prototype to Job 1. Much depends on whether the new vehicle is derived from an existing chassis and component set. If Lexus uses the IS-F sedan platform, it could shave months off the development time.”
The LF-LC was created by Toyota’s Calty design center in California. Like the V10 non-hybrid LFA supercar, now nearing the end of its planned 500-unit run, it reflects CEO Akio Toyoda’s mission to liven up Lexus’s staid brand image with future models possessing more style and driver appeal. The effort is already reflected in the bold “spindle” grille theme adopted for three 2013 Lexus models and the greater emphasis on performance and handling in the redesigned GS premium-midsize sedan.
Now in its 15th year, this premium-midsize crossover SUV gets a new look for 2013. Its new front fascia brings it more in-line with the 2013 Lexus GS sedan. Those who want to dress it up can add the Sport Appearance Package, which includes a unique bumper and “superchrome” alloy wheels. Inside, the RX includes more new surprises.