Posts Tagged ‘Lexus LFA’

Toyota Mirai to Be Hand-Built Through 2017; Already 200 Sold

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Barely more than a week after the Toyota Mirai’s worldwide debut at the 2014 LA Auto Show, the Japanese automaker has already received 200 advanced orders for their all-new hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. Not only that, they’ve also revealed that the Mirai will be built in the same factory that built the limited edition Lexus LFA supercar.

Toyota Mirai Already Selling Out

2016 Toyota Mirai FCV

Toyota only intends to sell a meager 3,000 Mirai units in the US units by the end of 2017, and only 700 of those will hit dealership floors in 2016 (the model’s first full year in the US). Toyota’s VP of domestic sales, Masamoto Maekawa, told Automotive News that most of those orders are going to government and corporate fleets, but a few commercial orders have been placed too.

There are two big reasons that Toyota is slow-rolling their commercial FCV:

First, they’d rather err on the side of over-demand than over-supply. This is a very big venture for them, and in situations like this, a little bit of exclusivity is a powerful long-term marketing tactic.

Second, Toyota intends to manufacture only a maximum of 10 units per day through 2017, and each will be built completely by hand in the most advanced manufacturing plant at the Japanese titan’s disposal. Which nicely brings us to…

Toyota Mirai to Be Built at LFA Works

2012 Lexus LFA Supercar

Lexus would tell you that their specialty LFA Works facility is where dream cars are made, and in the case of the Toyota Mirai, they’re absolutely right.

The plant originated in 2010 when Lexus first began manufacture of their limited-edition LFA supercar, which was built completely by hand. Only 500 of the carbon fiber, V10-powered sports cars were manufactured over 2 years, which is a rate of less than one per day. Since the LFA project’s expiration in 2012, the plant has been mostly used for hand-built Lexus F Sport Roadbikes, which took advantage of the facility’s advanced carbon fiber capabilities.

Now, the advanced craftsmen at LFA Works have a new task: to build every single Toyota Mirai by hand. Eventually, Toyota hopes that their LFA Works engineers will be able to output a steady 10 units per day, but in the meantime, some production delays are expected.

If you were to order a Toyota Mirai today, you wouldn’t get it until mid-summer of 2016 at the earliest. And that date is only moving backwards as they get more and more fleet sales. Remember, 200 units might not sound like much, but that’s over the span of one week since the car’s LA debut, and two weeks since Akio Toyoda introduced us to the Mirai via video.

Honestly, though, we are perfectly happy with some production delays. The Lexus LFA was one of the best cars – and one of the coolest – that Toyota ever built. If those same masters of the automotive craft are to build every single Toyota Mirai for the next three years, all the more reason to get on-board now!


Lexus GS 450h F Sport & Possible Lexus GS F Coming Soon

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Today we have two sizable pieces of Lexus news to cover. One of them is official while the other is a little less guaranteed. We have a lot to get through, so we won’t waste too much time on an introduction.

Lexus GS 450h F Sport Coming in 2015

2014 Lexus GS 450h

2014 Lexus GS 450h

The Lexus GS 450h has always been marketed as one of the few truly high-performance hybrids. With 338hp and a 0 to 60 time of just a hair over 5 seconds, it’s fair to say that the GS 450h already delivers on the performance front. Now, Lexus wants to improve the hybrid sedan’s upmarket appeal with the addition of 18-inch split five-spoke alloys as standard.

However, that’s just the beginning. Lexus will also introduce an F Sport package for the hybrid sports car.

The Lexus GS 450h F Sport will get upgraded 19-inch staggered-width alloys, a refined mesh grille, a rear lip spoiler and a new rear lower valance. Inside, the F Sport increases premium appeal with perforated leather trim and innovative 16-way adjustable sport seating with subtle aluminum trim along the pedals and door.

Under the hood, the Lexus GS 450h F Sport will get improved Adaptive Variable Suspension with larger front brakes and high-friction brake pads which, when combined with the Sport S+ Mode, allow for sharper, more agile driving.

Lexus GS F Coming in 2016

2015 Lexus RC F Coupe

You’ve probably already heard about the new Lexus RC F coupe (above) which will arrive later this year at a dealership near you. When it does, it’ll join the Lexus IS F and the Lexus LFA as the only Lexus models under the F marque. However, a recent report from Autocar.co.uk suggests that a fourth vehicle will soon join the lineup.

That car will be the Lexus GS F.

Early reports suggest that the new Lexus GS F would ride on a slightly modified version of the RC F’s chassis. It’ll also likely share the coupe’s 5.0L V8 engine and eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, paired up with a Torsen differential to deliver power to the wheels. However, Autocar suspects that the engine will be tuned even more powerfully than the RC F, perhaps generating as much as 500bhp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Taken together, all this equates to a 0 to 60 time around 4.5 seconds and a top speed over 170mph.

Unfortunately, all of this information is taken from an unnamed source, so it’s up to you how seriously you take this particular bit of news. Either way, there’s no denying that a Lexus GS F would be a great addition to the lineup, so we’ll optimistically hope that a production model confirms this rumor at an upcoming auto show.