The Lexus line up of years past has been catering towards the luxury market by offering vehicles that are quite, soft riding marshmallows that offer Japanese reliability. Unfortunately in the enthusiasts car world when the word Lexus is mentioned we think more about falling asleep then sleeper cars. I can’t understand why anyone would buy one of the Lexus models that are currently offered in Canada. As there isn’t one car in their current line-up that is clearly better than any of the competing German car company rivals.
Lets break the line up down for a second so that you can see what I’m talking about. If we start at the top you have the LFA, the most expensive super car that came to market last year. A car that took 9 years to design and produce and in that time the market place had changed so much that it was almost out of date at its launch party. It is powered by a high revving V10 when everyone else is downsizing too few cylinders’ The entire industry has made a conscious effort to go with smaller displacement volumes and making up the difference through forced induction like turbos or superchargers. Don’t even get me started on it not having a duel clutch gear box. So why would you buy one when there are so many other great cars in show rooms now that are way cheaper? Can anyone say Nissan GT-R at 400,000 dollars on the cheap.
The Lexus’ flagship sedan is the LS and I defy you to tell me why it is better than the Hyundai Equus. Sure the LS can park it’s self, but the last time I checked that was the job of the driver so do we really need that feature. The Equus comes in at 20,000 dollars less and when sitting in the back seat I challenge anyone to say that the ride and surroundings are not as nice as the LS.
“Oh ya well at least the LS comes in a hybrid model”, some people will say. Now come on people hybrids are smoke and mirrors. Do you know how long it takes for you to re-coupe the inflated price tag on a hybrid model through fuel price savings? The average is 5 years, and no one knows how long the battery packs will last and when they break no one can tell you how much they will cost to replace. I know my laptop battery is pretty much toast after 2.5 to 3 years and cost 1/5th of the cost of the laptop to replace. It’s a lithium ion battery which last time I checked was the same technology. LS Fail!
You have the current IS, which isn’t as good as an Audi A4 or a BMW 3-Series. The current GS isn’t as good as an A6 or 5-Series or even an E-Type. The ES is a really nothing but a Camry in nicer clothing. The EX looks the same as it did when it was launched back in 1998. I don’t wear the same clothing styles and I did back in 98 so why would I want to drive something that looked like a car from 1998?
This leaves with the Toyota Trucks that Lexus re-brands as LX and GX. I’ll let you guys try to figure out the difference between those two trucks as I’m too afraid that it will put me to sleep. We can talk about the hard top convertibles that they have however I’d rather not since I’ve only ever seen a hand full on the road.
As we finish off the line-up we come full circle with two more gimmicky hybrids that once again are drastically over priced for the contents of the packages. The HS is a corolla sized car that isn’t as practical and starts out in Canada at 41,000 dollars. I could get two Chevy Cruze Eco models for that price and sleep easy knowing that I’d get better highway fuel economy and only lose 1.6 L/100 km in the city. The same performance comparison can be had for the CT and an equally priced Audi A3 TDI.
As you can tell I’m not inspired by the current Lexus Line-up which they may not mind as they are catering to my well over the hill parents and Grandparents. However all of that may be about to change, as it looks like there may be something for us early thirty year old at the Lexus dealership.
Last week the new 2013 Lexus GS 350 was announced after weeks of teaser images and videos. The styling isn’t too bad as it has some nice aggressive Cadillac CTS inspired lines on it. Lexus is also touting its performance however a test drive will need to be had in order to confirm that rumour.
Check out the press launch video below. We have also cut and pasted the press release information below so that you can dive into the raw facts yourself to see if this is a car that can rival the 5-series, E-types and A6’s of the world. Speaking on behalf of my generation I certainly hope so as right now Lexus is as exciting to me as my Grandfathers Rice and Shine
Below is the New 2013 Lexus GS 350 press clippings, taken from the Lexus of Europe webpage:
With a bold new exterior design, the fourth generation Lexus GS completely redefines the performance sedan. A powerful change, the all-new GS features the new Lexus brand signature spindle grille.
In profile, the car’s muscular stance contrasts its lean waistline and long streamlined cabin, to give it an unmistakable presence and exceptional roominess. With class-leading aerodynamics, the new design fuses distinctive style with engineering functionality.
The new GS 350 is powered by an advanced 3.5-litre, V6 petrol engine with Variable Valve Timing – intelligent (VVT-i) technology. Uniquely in this segment, it features both direct and sequential injection, for rapid, yet efficient, power delivery.
Developing over 300 DIN hp, the GS 350 can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in under six seconds. An impressive 375 Nm of torque ensures strong mid-range acceleration, with 80 to 120 km/h taking just 4.4 seconds. Yet at the same time, fuel economy has been improved. The six-speed, sequential shift automatic transmission is specified with paddle shift controls for rapid gear changes. The GS 350 will be available with All-Wheel Drive or rear-wheel drive.
With significantly enhanced front and rear suspension technology and greater body rigidity, the new GS is dynamic and engaging to drive. It is a car that conveys a tangible sense of driver confidence, with a chassis that inspires and rewards driver input with crisp and precise handling.
Lexus Dynamic Handling features active 4-wheel steering for outstanding directional stability and accurate cornering with enhanced grip. And with the drive mode selector, you can customize the experience. Modes range from ECO for environmentally focused driving to Sport S+ for exhilarating performance.
The new GS will be available with a raft of state-of-the-art technologies. Infra-red night vision, the world’s first 12.3″ split-widescreen display and Driver Monitoring System with closed eye detection are just a few of the highlights.
Full-LED ambient lighting is specified in the interior, while bi-LED headlights are available for the first time on a Lexus. Intelligent, energy-saving electronic climate control directs air-flow only to those seats that are occupied. Additionally world-first Nano-e technology generates ions in the cabin air to help purify it.