Lexus may not be ready just yet to enter Australia's highly competitive V8 Supercars series, but it appears to be paving the way this year by providing an RC F to act as a safety car, an IS 350 F Sport as a medical car and a GS 350 F Sport as a support vehicle.
We knew this day would come, but it's nonetheless a bit of a sad one for Lexus enthusiasts as the very last example of the IS F has rolled off the assembly line in Tahara, Japan. Decked out in its trademark bright blue, the final IS F is destined for a customer right here in the United States.
After just a year on the road, Lexus is bringing some modest tech and style upgrades to the 2015 IS. There are no mechanical changes to speak of, but the refinements should spruce things up a little bit.
"All show, no go." That's how I described the 2014 Lexus IS 250 F Sport that you see above, when I reviewed it back in November. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot to like about the new IS, but the 204-horsepower, 2.5-liter V6 in the IS 250 is not on that list. In my review, I suggested that Lexus ought to get on the bandwagon of offering a small-displacement, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine in its base IS (like its rivals), and now the folks at Motor Trend are furthering that discussion.
Long regarded as one of the best driver's cars of all time, the BMW 3 Series has always been targeted by luxury automakers trying to create their own exciting, bang-for-the-buck sport sedan. For years, BMW has managed to ward off would-be rivals to its iconic 3 Series, but the combination of a softened F30 and solid, hard-hitting competitors could soon relieve the car of its crown. While the all-new Cadillac ATS has received the most publicity in this segment since its introduction, the 2014 Lex
We've got absolutely zero actual information from the automaker on what its "Next Lexus F" will be, other than what was just released today in this brief press release and lone teaser image, but our best guess is that it's the next-generation IS-F sedan. The timing would make sense, considering that the latest IS just hit the market earlier this year as a 2014 model.
"Ooh, this looks fun!" my otherwise car-ignorant friend said as we walked up to the 2014 Lexus IS 250 F Sport. And yeah, it does look fun. In fact, despite my initial strong negative reaction to the design, I've really warmed up to this new IS, especially with the flashier F Sport package found on this test car (unique front fascia, 18-inch dark alloy wheels and appropriate badging). Even though that rear end still looks a bit Droopy Dog to me (stop frowning, Lexus), the IS is sharp, though I'm
Lexus has announced its Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show cars: a group of eight Lexus IS sedans spanning all three generations, and a 2012 LFA supercar. One of the show cars, a custom 2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport, is a creation penned by IS fan Rob Evans, the winner of a contest to design a Lexus SEMA show car.
To encourage better driving habits, some hybrids use leaves or tree graphics to portray how efficient or inefficiently a driver is, but Lexus has come up with a more unique method of relaying this information. For its Art Is Motion campaign, Lexus has equipped a Lexus IS300h with special software that enables the car to paint a portrait of the driver by combining the skills of generative artist Sergio Albiac with specific inputs from the driver.
Infiniti and Lexus might be a little concerned now that both of their new luxury sedans, the Q50 and IS250, were unable to net Consumer Reports vaunted "Recommended" rating during their first year on the market. In fact, not only did the two fail to earn a "Recommended" rating, they finished behind the vast majority of the competition after testing, including the BMW 328i, Mercedes-Benz C250, Lincoln MKZ and Volvo S60 T5.
Esquire holds an annual car of the year award, and for the past four years, only American or German autos, such as the Cadillac ATS and the Audi S4, have earned the publication's top pick. But for 2013, the top pick is from Japan: the 2014 Lexus IS350 F Sport. The publication calls the IS "thrilling first, responsible second."
This is really, really cool. In order to promote its new IS Hybrid, Lexus borrowed an airplane hangar, a former Formula One driver and what we imagine was some serious technological knowhow to create one of the most interesting games we've ever seen. It's called Trace Your Road.
It's time to start gathering intel on SEMA, and it starts with this drawing of a modified 2014 Lexus IS. Lexus ran a competition on DeviantART, an online community for artists, to find a suitably modified IS that it could build and display at the temple of all things aftermarket in Las Vegas. The winner, as judged by a four-person panel from among more than 600 entries, is the IS rendered above by Rob Evans.
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.
Facebook was so 2010, so it's no surprise that automakers are taking advantage of newer social media applications for their marketing purposes. Most recently, Lexus invited more than 200 followers on Instagram ("Instagrammers"), along with their smartphones, to make a commercial of the 2014 Lexus IS using hundreds of their photos of the car strung together into a video.
Throw away those scraps of paper and pull yourself up to a keyboard, as Lexus has launched the online configurator for its all-new 2014 IS sedan. The base price for the entry-level IS 250 RWD is $36,845 (all listed prices include the $895 delivery fee), delivering a 2.5-liter V6 rated at 204 horsepower that provides enough thrust for a 0-60 sprint in 7.7 seconds. The range-topping IS 350 AWD starts at $42,595, packed with a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 306 horsepower that will deliver 60 mph in just 5.
Toyota Racing Development (TRD) in Japan has designed cosmetic and performance bits that give the 2014 Lexus IS a front-to-back workover. Different from the F-Sport parts we expect from Lexus here, the full body kit runs 437,700 yen ($4,285 US) and starts with air deflectors at the lower edges of the front bumper, through to side skirts, a decklid spoiler and a rear bumper with a diffuser and quad exhaust tips.