Not exactly what we hoped for, but still pretty good.
Toyota is rumored to be leveraging the technology from the Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle and placing it into a future flagship model of the Lexus LS. The proposed luxury sedan could debut by 2017 with a range possibly just below that of the Mirai and slightly tweaked styling to cool the new components.
When Lexus unveiled the LF-C2 concept at the LA Auto Show last week, it did two things: it previewed the direction in which the Japanese luxury automaker's design department was looking for the immediate future, and it previewed a cabrio version of the RC coupe (to replace the IS Convertible) on the other. But the latter, according to new reports, was ruled out before the concept ever took the stage.
UPDATE: An earlier version of this story indicated that Lexus had decreased the turning radius of select models by four inches. Lexus spokesperson Allison Takahashi has issued a correction for "a conversion error in our 2015 Lexus LS press kit... The LS actually had an increase in turning radius, by 3.9 inches, for vehicles equipped with 18-inch wheels." The story has been updated to reflect the correct information.
The Lexus LS is old. Sure, it received a refresh for model year 2013, but it hasn't had a clean-sheet redesign since George W. Bush was in office. It's the oldest vehicle in its segment, debuting in 2007, a full year before the current-gen BMW 7 Series, two years before the Hyundai Equus and Jaguar XJ and three years before the Audi A8.
The idea of producing large, luxury-vehicle hybrids is turning into a "what were they thinking?" exercise in futility, USA Today reports. General Motors is discontinuing hybrid versions of the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs, while Mercedes-Benz and Toyota's Lexus division are doing the same with their S-Class hybrid and LS hybrid sedans, respectively. The culprit? Big price increases for fuel economy improvements that border on the unimpressive.
If you're going to make a super sedan, you'd better do it in Germany. That's where Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz do it, along with third parties like Alpina, Brabus and G-Power, among others. Deutschland is the epicenter of the movement, regularly churning out the most powerful four-door rockets in the world. It's also where one of the racing divisions for Toyota has been hard at work on the TMG Sports 650.
Last year Lexus sold 244,166 cars in the US, slotting into third place in the luxury segment behind BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Earlier this year Lexus said its target was 260,000 units in the US (which would still put it behind BMW's and Mercedes' numbers from last year), but Automotive News reports that it has raised its upper outlook to 270,000 cars.
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