Toyota celebrates 30th anniversary of Land Cruiser 70 with Japan rerelease [w/videos]
Via autoblog: It's a common refrain among auto enthusiasts to bemoan the current models being sold for being overly complex and expensive and to wish that automakers would just make vehicles like the old days. Sure, they might not have been as safe or efficient, but there was often a certain rugged simplicity that's gone today. Well, Toyota is actually doing it and thinks there's enough demand to put the Land Cruiser 70 back into production in Japan for its 30th anniversary. Sadly, it's only for one year.
The original Land Cruiser 70 served a long life in Japan from 1984 to 2004. Even today, the proven model remains in production in some regions abroad. People in its home country still love the vehicle though, and Toyota is brushing off the mothballs to give customers what they want. For the first time ever there, it's also offering the double-cab pickup version in addition to the traditional enclosed body. The company thinks that it can move about 200 of these classic trucks this year, which isn't too shabby for a vehicle that's three decades old.
Looking at the pictures above, these look like the same old Land Cruisers, but Toyota is updating them slightly to meet modern safety rules. The grille, hood and headlights are all tweaked, and they now come with airbags and anti-lock brakes. A 4.0-liter V6 is under the hood making 228 horsepower (170 kilowatts) and 266 lb-ft of torque (360 Newton-meters), and the only available gearbox is a five-speed manual. Part-time four-wheel drive is standard. If you're really afraid of getting stuck in the wilderness, locking front and rear differentials and a winch are available as options.
Prices for these throwbacks start at 3.6 million yen ($34,600) for the SUV or 3.5 million yen (33,700) for the truck. Scroll down to watch some videos of these awesome "new" models showing what they can do off-road, and to read Toyota's official announcement.
News Source: Toyota, Toyota Global Newsroom via YouTube
Toyota reveals new versions of FT-1 concept at Pebble Beach [w/video]
Via autoblog: Toyota certainly caught our attention when it unveiled the FT-1 concept at the Detroit Auto Show last January. Coming from the same people who gave us the Lexus LFA, Scion FR-S and Toyota Supra, the FT-1 concept looked striking in its bright red livery. But the Japanese automaker isn't quite done with it yet.
No, we're afraid we don't have a production announcement to share at the moment, but Toyota has revealed two new versions of the FT-1 concept that cast it in different light. Most notable is the graphite version pictured above. Replacing the bright red paintjob and two-tone red and black interior of the original concept, this second iteration – presented in the metal at McCall's Motorworks Revival in Monterey, California – goes for a more upscale and refined graphite exterior and a tan leather interior with exposed metal elements.
Both versions of the virtually road-going FT-1 concept will be playable in GT6, but at the same time Toyota also revealed (in digital form, at least) a virtual racing version of the concept called the FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo. Looking like the original concept was prepared for Japan's Super GT series, the FT-1 Vision GT is retuned for racing, with wider fenders, more extreme aero, competition-spec alloys on slicks and the like.
Check out the race-ready digital concept in the video below, our live shots from the graphite concept's reveal at Pebble Beach in the gallery above and the galleries of both new versions at bottom for a closer look. Continue Reading... Les mer her + flere bilder...
Motor Trend: LF-LC Will be Most Powerful Production Lexus Ever
Via clublexus When the LF-LC debuted at the North American International Auto Show, the response was electric. Initially, it wasn't even clear if Lexus would even build the dream machine. But over the last 18 months, we've learned more and more about the latest Lexus halo car--and now we have some more delicious info via our friends at Motor Trend.
We already knew the car would be called the SC, that it would have a version of the RC F's eight pot mill under the hood, and that there would be a hybrid version, because hybrids. But according to Jonny Lieberman's sources, the top of the line RC-FS model will be a twin-turbo, 600hp monster, making it the most powerful production Lexus ever built. Hell. And. Yes.
With 450 ponies on tap, it's not like the base model will be any slouch either, and the hybrid model--dubbed the SC H--will sport a 500hp engine which will be borrowed from partner BMW. Lieberman also reveals that the 2017 LS will be available with the twin-turbo from its two-door sibling, and following Lexus nomenclature, will be known as the LS F. It's a good time to be a Lexus fan. Head to the forums to see what members are saying about this news! >>
LEXUS EUROPE ENJOYS STRONG SALES GROWTH IN FIRST HALF OF 2014
*2014 first-half sales results show that Lexus is the fastest growing premium brand in Europe this year *Europe sales amount at 24,586 in Jan-Jun 2014 (+25%)
Brussels, Belgium - Lexus sold 24,586 vehicles in Europe (including Russia and other Eastern countries) in the first half of the year. This corresponds to an increase of 25% vs. the first half of 2014, much higher than the growth of the premium market (+5%). The pace of Lexus sales growth is even higher when considering Western Europe(*) only: +33% to reach 13,235 units in the same period. Record increases were noted in Ireland (+206%), Portugal (+156%), Poland (+149%), Greece (+138%) and Finland (+100%).
Lexus performed also strongly in Russia with 8,729 units, an increase of 17% vs. last year, while the premium market as a whole only recorded a limited growth (+3%).
This sales growth is largely fuelled by recent product introductions. Sales of the new IS, launched in 2013, jumped nine-fold to 6,923 units in the first half of 2014, including 5,366 units of the all-new hybrid IS 300h. The GS hybrid line-up also strongly benefited from the introduction of the new GS 300h at the end of last year, achieving sales of 1,290 units (+75%). Hybrid vehicles represent 60% of Lexus sales in Europe. In Eastern Europe, the new GX met with large customer success (1,031 units, +141%).
“We are delighted to see the positive response of customers to our newly launched hybrid models”, said Alain Uyttenhoven, TME Vice President and Head of Lexus Europe. “We plan to strengthen this sales momentum with the introduction of the new NX in the 4th quarter of the year, and we are on track to exceed our target of 50,000 units in 2014. We aim for further substantial growth next year, with NX representing about one-third of Lexus deliveries in Europe in its first full year of sales.”
(*) Western Europe includes: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK
Via lexusenthusiast.com: New information today about the Lexus coupe based on the LF-LC concept — from Autocar:
The dramatic LF-LC was first seen at the Detroit motor show in 2012, and [Lexus Europe’s vice-president Alain] Uyttenhoven said that company boss Akio Toyoda “doesn’t want the production car to look any different from the concept”. Uyttenhoven said that the LF-LC concept was anything between 90 and 100 per cent representative of the production car, which he has seen.
“The production LF-LC will not be huge volume [car] for Lexus, but it will bring huge emotion,” said Uyttenhoven. “Every year [until 2020] there will be a new model for Lexus, either a volume car like the NX or a model to boost brand image [like the LF-LC].”
While a production LF-LC has been confirmed for some time, there are two major pieces of information in this quote — namely that the production LF-LC design is done, and that Lexus will be releasing a NEW model every year up to 2020.
The article sets the timeline with the NX this year, the RC next year, and the LF-LC in 2016. In North America, both the NX & RC will be released this year. Regardless, it means at least four new models before the decade ends — this might be a slower pace than Lexus’ German competitors, but it’s still an accelerated pace compared to the new product pipeline over the past few years. What do you think Lexus needs in the lineup? Seven-seat SUV? Small sports coupe? Ultra-luxury sedan? Leave your thoughts in the comments and let’s get discussing.
De første virkelig informative videoene run prøvekjørin av nye Lexus NX 300h:
When a Lexus NX 300h prototype visited Flow Lexus of Greensboro in North Carolina this week, YouTube channel Saabkyle04 took the opportunity to film this twenty minute video packed with nearly every detail of the Lexus NX 300h:
There’s so much information in this video, it’s hard to imagine a more comprehensive video overview of the NX. I continue to be impressed with the functionality of the NX, and seeing it among other vehicles shows off just how futuristic the exterior styling really is.
Flow Lexus employee Brock Frady also had a chance to ride along in the NX, posting this extended driving clip filmed from the back seat:
Lexus teases Detroit-bound F Performance Coupe... Half the Doors, Twice the Roar – Lexus Introduces All-New F Performance Coupe
- F Model Promises Uncompromising Performance and Bold Distinction - Global Reveal at the 2014 North American International Auto Show - Follow #AsphaltUp for Additional Details
TORRANCE, Calif. (Dec. 19, 2013) – Half the doors, twice the roar. Lexus will unleash its upcoming F model as a coupe, conceived with grit, an entirely new expression of design and uncompromising performance. The official name of this two-door F model will be released in early January 2014.
The next F will make its debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Lexus press conference will also be streamed live online at www.lexus-int.com/. Follow the hashtag #AsphaltUp for more developments.
Lexus pushing upmarket as others move down, LF-LC production hinted [w/video]
Jeff Bracken, Lexus' US group vice president and general manager, knows his company lost its position as America's biggest luxury brand back in 2011, and it's a mantle that his employer probably won't be getting back any time soon. That's because Lexus is electing not to follow the luxury segment's downmarket trend any more than its $32,500 CT 200h hybrid hatchback. "Since we won't be going down below $30,000, it will be very difficult for us to ever regain luxury leadership," Bracken admitted on Autoline After Hours late last week.
Rivals Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi all have new low-end entries on sale or in the wings to entice new buyers and fortify their CAFE scores, but Lexus has Toyota and Scion to capture sales underneath its lineup. Instead, Bracken hints that Lexus is going upmarket and higher-performance, fueling ongoing rumors of a LFA successor, or perhaps a new offering based on the lauded 2012 LF-LC coupe concept shown above, a production version of which could also slot in where the unloved SC convertible left off. "We need to begin bringing to market luxury performance... higher performance vehicles. IS-F certainly was the beginning of that, maybe on the lower end," says Bracken.
Later in the online video interview show, Bracken gets even more candid:
We've revealed the LF-CC now as an RC, right? Do you like the styling? So we feel the same way, and that would be a great example of Akio's thumbprint on where he's trying to take the company as it relates to beautiful styling. IS, RC, and hopefully these concepts you've become familiar with will ultimately make it to production."
The "Akio" in the quote above is, of course, CEO Akio Toyoda, who has made injecting emotion into the way his family's companies vehicles drive and look a top priority.
To that same end, earlier today, Lexus announced plans to reveal an unnamed new F-branded performance model at next month's Detroit Auto Show, but it isn't going exclusively top-shelf with future products – a compact crossover based on the LF-NX showcar is expected to slot in underneath its hugely successful RX CUV, bringing along with it a new turbocharged four-cylinder (an engine also expected shortly in the new IS sedan).
Lexus has not diversified its alternative fuel powertrains as much as its key rivals, most of which now offer both diesel and hybrid variants in at least one or two key models. On this subject, Bracken remains pessimistic, saying, "We have elected at this point not to head down the diesel path," while also saying that Lexus has no near-term plans for a plug-in model, nor any firm plans for a bi-fuel compressed natural gas offering.