Posts Tagged ‘lexus’

The End of Scion

Posted by Stephen On Friday, February 5th, 2016

The Scion brand was designed from the ground up to appeal to Millennials. It was a 12-year effort aiming small cars at young buyers.

Many models, such as the Scion xB (Toyota bB in Japan), have been discontinued already anyway. This was their flagship model. It was one of the original models launched back in 2003.
Toyota intends on keeping three of the models and merging them into the Toyota lineup. The change will happen in August of this year as they begin production of 2017 vehicles. The Scion tC is scheduled to be discontinued at that time.

Sales for the Scion brand peaked in 2006 at 173,034 vehicles. They haven’t seen a sales year like that since. In 2015, they sold a mere fraction of that, sitting at 56,167 vehicles sold. The U.S. market is not as acclimated toward smaller cars as they are toward larger SUVs and trucks. But perhaps it is also true to say that the Scion brand has failed to create the same excitement in the younger buying public that the Lexus brand has managed among the older strata of the population.

The trend of discontinuing smaller cars continues. Fiat Chrysler intends on phasing out the Dodge Dart and the Chrysler 200 sedan simply because smaller cars aren’t being sold.

Originally designed for the Japanese market, the Toyota Scion was a separate brand. Although the xB won’t be rebadged under Toyota’s iconic label, the FR-S will. Its lineage goes as far back as the original Celica of the 1970s.

Toyota claims that the Scion brand was more of a test brand to see how they can appeal to Millennials. The entire idea was to entice a new generation of younger buyers as the primary demographic for new buyers of Toyota cars were aging. The majority demographic for Scion was under 35 years old.

Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz said in a statement that “Scion has allowed us to fast-track ideas that would’ve been challenging to test for the Toyota network.” Jim Lentz was one of the original founding vice presidents for Scion of the brand.

Due to the way Toyota is set up and the fact that Scions are being sold through Toyota dealerships, Toyota does not anticipate any stores being affected to close the brand.
Scion makes good cars. It’s a brand that has left many Millennials with good memories.

The thing is that there are other dynamics at play here. Many Millenials came of age in the Great Recession, burdened with college debt, saddled with internships instead of well-paying jobs and finding it difficult to get the kind of credit Generation X has used to fund their car purchases. So did Scion really stand a chance? Or is it just the case that with new car buying becoming increasingly difficult for younger people, a hip trendy brand was doomed to fail anyway?


“Lexus” = “Boring”? Never Again Says Akio Toyoda

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Akio Toyoda, CEO of both Toyota and Lexus, tells a story of how he has received letters that complain that the Lexus car brand is boring. This guy is the grandson of the company’s founder, which says something. Toyota runs in his family. More than that, it runs in his blood.

Akio says he “took them to heart,” and he’s “ensuring that the word ‘boring’ and Lexus’ will never occupy the same sentence very again.”

Lexus bling grill

Truth be told, we’ve heard this rhetoric before – five years ago, to be exact, on the Pebble-Beach Concourse d’Elegance at the launch of another ‘boring’ Lexus, this time, the fourth-generation GS sedan. Back then, the occasion marked the new look of the spindle grille, fresh air intake design, and the very curves that make ‘Lexus’ synonymous with ‘luxury.’

The motor vehicle giant has enjoyed 11 years of market leadership in the United States, but then, just like now, there is evidence that points to Toyota fighting a losing battle against the Germans.

Germany is home to the Mercedez-Benz, Audi and BMW. Not only have they made better-looking cars, but their cars were more interesting and exciting to drive.
Don’t get me wrong here. Lexus is still the market leader in quality, gas efficiency, trunk space and all-around engineering qualities. But that didn’t matter anymore. Other, much cheaper vehicles were figuring out how to to it too, and all of a sudden, Lexus didn’t stand out anymore.

For Akio that wasn’t good enough.

Akio Toyoda is a race car driver. It’s not just in his family – it’s in his blood, remember? He knew that Lexus needed a jolt. He knew what Lexus needed. He wasn’t about to let his brand take second place to anybody without a fight.

In short, Lexus needed a car that wasn’t just synonymous with luxury but was fun to drive. Lexus engineers needed to give drivers a reason to smile. They’ve done it before; there’s no reason they can’t do it again.

Aiko charged Koji Sato, deputy chief engineer at Toyota, with the job. According to him, his speech five years ago on Pebble Beach merely marked a starting point for the company.
They both were thinking the same thing.

He wasn’t being charged with upgrading a car. He was being charged with making a whole new generation of Lexus.

Sato took this tall order to heart and realized that he needed something more than his current team could offer. He thought outside the box and looked beyond the borders of his corporate office for help. What he did was nothing short of revolutionary.

He hand-picked a team that would later become to be called his ‘irregular army.’ It consisted of a small group of race car drivers, journalists and car dealers.
For Lexus, the strategy was more than risky. It was more than bold. It was genius.

And, it was exactly what Sato was looking for.

Sato placed the entire company in jeopardy of exposing the entire project by doing this. The team persevered through every logistical difficulty an undertaking like this could have presented. The test team coordinated three unique driving events in the United States.

This was the beginning of the 2018 Lexus LC 500. This was the beginning of a whole new generation of Lexus.

The prototype has been created. It’s been driven. It was completely covered in disguise tape, with its interior panels draped in such a way as to keep the entire project under wraps. The vehicle was only a concept car, but it was driven in Rose Bowl Stadium of Pasadena, California.

It sports a 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Its 5.0-liter, V-8 engine produces 467 horsepower at 7100 RPM and 389 pound-feet of torque at 4800 RPM. It makes 0-60 in 4.5 seconds flat.

In short, it is awesome. It is fun to drive. It put a smile the drivers’ faces.

Sato is pleased, but his work is far from over. “We have got the basics right,” says Sato, “but it’s the last 10 percent that is so difficult.”

The LC 500 is nearing the end of the engineering phase, and, as such, Sato’s ‘irregular army’ has disbanded by now. The engineering team has a lot on their hands this year. Aiko is scheduled to drive the vehicle in late February this year.

Let’s hope the boss likes it. We’re rooting for Sato.


Toyota Has the Safest Vehicles

Posted by Stephen On Friday, December 18th, 2015

Not that it comes as a big surprise, but Toyota has the most vehicles of any car manufacturer that has earned the Top Safety Pick Plus rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the USA. Interestingly, this is Toyota’s second consecutive year with bragging rights. Every car manufacturer has something to brag about – but nothing comes quite as prestigious as having the safest vehicles on the market. This is something consumers are very concerned with.

Toyota Safety Sense Package

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Toyota is not the only one with vehicles that have earned this rating award. In fact, over 50 vehicle models have earned this award this year. It just so happens that Toyota is the manufacturer that has the most – with nine of the vehicles being either a Scion, Toyota or Lexus. Scion is considered a “low-cost” vehicle and is the only “low-cost” vehicle that has earned the rating.

For many manufacturers, forward collision protection (FCP) is optional – but not for the Scion. For the Scion iA, FCP is standard. This kind of protection is only afforded to a few luxury vehicles including all of Volvo models, only a few Mercedes models and the Acura RLX.

The Toyota Safety Sense Package

Toyota launched their all-new Toyota Safety Sense Package back in April 2015. The distinction being made here is that these packages were offered in two versions – a $300 version, and a $500 version. The reason that made headlines this is that every other manufacturer sells the benefits of this package for up to three times the amount that Toyota is asking for.

Safety at a Lower Cost

The less expensive $300 package includes benefits such as a pre-collision system, a lane departure alert system, and an automatic high beam. The more expensive package includes everything that the less expensive package includes as well as a dynamic radar cruise control system and a pedestrian pre-collision system. The dynamic cruise control system makes it so that when you set a speed, the car will automatically adjust its own speed if the vehicle approaches another vehicle too quickly. The vehicle will slow down to prevent the collision and then speed back up as soon as the vehicle in front of you either speeds up or switches lanes.


The New 2016 Lexus GS F – Makes You Go Grrrr…. With Delight

Posted by Stephen On Friday, October 16th, 2015

What makes a great car? It has to be fast, reliable and fantastic looking. It should be air dynamic and offer comfort to the driver. It should also submit to road safety standards.

The first thing that strikes you when you come across one of these beasts is the design. And strike is an understatement when you see the 2016 Lexus GS F.

The Lexus GS F is gloriously sleek in design and comes in a variety of eye catching colors. Designers went above and beyond when they drew up this dreamily gorgeous vehicle. The smooth aerodynamic vehicle is sure to turn heads and remain the main topic for gossip for quite some time.

Let’s Talk Features

The GS F boasts of a 471bhp 5.0-litre V8 engine where its German competitors had something slightly bigger up their sleeve with the M5’30 Jahre’ s 592bhp, the E63 AMG S producing 577bhp and RS6 delivers 552bhp.

The GS F produces its peak torque of 391lb ft between 4,800rpm and 5,600rpm, and a maximum power at a lofty 7,100rpm. Even though the GS F has quite a bit of catching up to do when it comes to its competitors, the car is definitely not to underestimate.

Inner Beauty

When it comes to cabin and seat style, the GS F definitely outshines all its competitors. The Lexus GS F has two toned cream-and-black seats that will make anyone go “whoa… that’s gorgeous”.

The cabin sets a benchmark in the luxury performance sedan category. The dash has a mixture of analog and digital gauges that are very easy to read and take in at a single glance, a very good feature for those who like to venture on unknown roads speedily and elegantly.

Lexus had functionality in mind when they installed the navigation screen; the electronic gadgetry is easy to understand.

The cabin is a pleasing mix of Alcantara and Carbon trim with the pedals, switches and knobs placed strategically. Everything is trimmed down smoothly for optimized elegance and grace.

A Mark Levinson audio system is built into the car. The Mark Levinson uses Clari-Fi Music Restoration Technology that professionally analyzes audio files while on playback, and restoring the digital files lost in compression. When fired up, the audio system provides clear sound levels and is said to be one of the best sounding car audio systems.

Hitting the Road

The sound of the well-tuned NA motor at wide open throttle when it hits the road will give you goose bumps all over. The 5.0-liter engine can run all the ways to its indicated 7,100 RPM redline, effortlessly.

The V8 performance engine has a fiery roar to it that is sure to send high amounts of adrenaline pumping through your veins as you accelerate down long roads, but the active sound control of this Lexus beauty augments the engine sounds through the front and rear speakers as well. The same augments are done by several manufacturers, all with varying degrees of authenticity and success. The jury is out as to whether this is really the way forward for performance cars like this that already have a tuneful block.

Those who were skeptical about the Lexus GS F’s active sound control abilities quickly changed their minds after their first drives in a car with such a system. The augment does a great job at letting through a good engine note while cancelling out bad ones. The sound from outside the car is also good so you will not be going around thinking you sound like a badass when in fact you sound like you’re driving a diesel.

The GS F does not come with an active suspension but Lexus fans need not worry when venturing onto roads that are rippled. Engineers tuned the suspension with the right blend of compliance and stiffness that made the 4,000+ lbs car easy to drive with speed but doesn’t punish you on roads with lots of twists and turns. It offers great steadiness and control.

Main Features

The GS F has a new Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD). TVD basically opens drift with an electronically operated clutch pack on every output shaft, with an overdrive gear allowing each wheel to turn faster than its counterpart.

Many cars on the market comes with their own version of TVD that use brakes to slow one wheel while allowing the other to spin faster and increase or decrease steering response. Most TVD systems fall short when you start driving them hard, the Lexus system, however, is self-defeating. Instead it increases the speed of the wheel to aid in turning.

The Lexus TVD features 3 operation modes:

Default operating mode—provides a fine-tuned balance of firmness and agility.
Slalom showcases agility and nimble steering response
Track emphasizes total control even during high-speed circuit driving.

Lexus’ TVD works great with the GS F’s beefed-up suspension for optimized handling around swift turns.

The GS F also boasts of an eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission.
The gearbox comes with a torque converter lockout clutch that directly connects the engine to the transmission aiding performance.

Our Final Opinion

Lexus fans demanded they deliver a vehicle that caters for their sport senses and Lexus responded with its GS F. It is luxurious, fast, safe and definitely challenges cars on a higher level than it is. The GS F isn’t a groundbreaker, but sure narrows the gap between it and its German competitors.

Lexus is looking to sell 2000 of its GS Fs in the United States yearly, which is a sensible goal considering that they sold more than 300,000 cars last year as they pursued their goal to be on the same level as their European luxury car counterparts, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

While the newest Lexus GS F can do better in terms of horsepower to be one of the world’s top performing cars, it more than makes up for this with its exceptional features, lighter curb weight and a shockingly lower price.

Want a second opinion? See what AutoGuide thought in this video:


Toyota is World’s Most Valuable Auto Brand in 2015

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

toyota logo

Every year, Brandz publishes their Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study. This year, Japanese automaker Toyota remains king of the hill as the undisputed most valuable automotive brand. According to the report, Toyota boasts a brand value of $28.9 billion, which puts them at the 30th most valuable brand overall.

The news honestly doesn’t come as too much of a surprise for Toyota. Just earlier this month, they published their May sales reports, which specifically highlighted the success of their light trucks. The press release stated, “Strong May results boosted the industry to the best sales pace since last summer. Toyota Division light trucks reported a best ever May, helping Toyota to over 200,000 units for the month.”

The sales report goes on to specify that May sales are up 13.4% for light trucks, which is a May record. Narrowing down even further, they say that Tacoma and Tundra pickup sales exceeded 29,000 units, which is a 15.4% increase over the year before. The Highlander managed to do even better, with an enormous 25.2% sales growth compared to the previous year… Probably due to the significant decrease in gas prices.

Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus, is also doing exceptionally well this time of year, particularly their new utility vehicles. Lexus’ VP and general manager report that demand for Lexus’ premium utility vehicles has grown to 48% of total sales volume, up from 43% during the same time last year. He attributes the growth to “the momentum provided by […] growing consumer awareness of our newer models, such as the NX crossover and RC coupe.”

Going back to the Brandz Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2015 report, it appears that the automotive industry is ruled by three powerhouses. Toyota sits at the top with a $28.9 billion valuation, BMW is number two at $26.3 billion, and Mercedes-Benz pulls up third with an estimated value of $21.7 billion. Then, there is a significant jump down to spot number four which is held by the $13.3 billion Honda. Ford ekes in at fifth with $13.1 billion, Nissan takes sixth with $11.4 billion, then Audi at $10.1 billion (a 41% increase from last year!), VW at $9.2 billion, Land Rover at $4.9 billion and Lexus at $4.3 billion.

Yes, that means that Toyota is the number one automotive brand WITHOUT counting the value of their luxury arm.

Even though the automotive industry’s value grew 3% as a whole from 2014 to 2015, that’s a significant decrease from the 17% value increase that took place from 2013 to 2014. The Brandz study noted that carmakers in 2015 and onward “face a paradoxical dilemma: their product quality is better than ever, but their brands are increasingly difficult to differentiate.” With that in mind, it’s no wonder that Toyota sits on top since they have arguably the most consumer trust… As long as the biggest perceived difference between automakers is reliability, not features, then there’s no doubt Toyota will remain on top.


Refreshed 2016 Lexus ES Debuts in Shanghai

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

2016 Lexus ES 300h

The refreshed 2016 Lexus ES has finally made its debut at this week’s Auto Shanghai 2015. Lexus says that they have taken their best-selling ES premium sedan to “the next level of elegance and progressive luxury.” You can be the judge of that as we continue reading.

2016 Lexus ES 200

As we suspected from the teaser we saw last week, the front clip of the Lexus ES has been re-sculpted to better fit with the rest of the automaker’s lineup. That means the new front fascia is even more aggressive with a bolder pinched spindle grille that no longer has a horizontal crossbeam splitting the grille in half. The extra-large grille is framed by a pair of arrowhead daytime running lights, new LED high-beams and triangle-shaped fog lights.

2016 Lexus ES 200 rear

In the back, Lexus has brought the same new L-shaped theme to the taillights, and you’ll find new chrome-tipped exhausts below the bumper, plus a new chrome license plate garnish.

Oh, and you can’t forget those new 17-inch alloys with directional spoke patterns. The standard ES sedans come with a 20-spoke dark grey wheel design, while the hybrid gets 10-spoke medium gray alloys. Plus, Lexus will offer four new colors for the 2016 model year – Amber, Nightfall Mica, Caviar and Eminent White Pearl.

Under the hood, our US readers will be offered the same powertrain options available in the current model year’s basic ES 350. That means a 3.5L V6 as standard, with a 2.5L variant used in the ES 300h’s hybrid system. However, international readers in markets like China, Russia and Taiwan will enjoy a new baseline model – the ES 200 – which uses a 2.0L direct-injected four-cylinder engine with unspecified output. However, in all markets the 2016 Lexus ES will run on a stiffer chassis than its 2015 predecessor.

2016 Lexus ES 300h interior

Finally, Lexus ES cabin gets a few new features to go with the additional exterior swag. Drivers will now enjoy an extra-large TFT display on the center console, complete with a Remote Touch controller. You’ll also find a new steering wheel and overall higher quality materials in the 2016MY.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2013 Lexus LS 460 F Sport

2013 Lexus LS 460 F Sport

This 2013 Lexus LS would have also been fresh off of a facelift. This is one of the first Lexus models to use their self-repairing clear coat for the exterior paint, as well as the first Lexus to use their now-commonplace automatic high beam technology.

2013 Lexus LS 460 F Sport rear

However, as an F Sport there are some other noteworthy features, such as a sport-tuned air suspension, a sporty body kit, paddle shifters with “manual mode”, forged alloy wheels and Brembo brakes all make this car an exciting drive. This also would have been the first year that Lexus incorporated their corporate fascia – the pinched spindle grille – into the LS lineup.

Want to learn more? Just keep reading for a full translation of the auction sheet below:

2013 Lexus LS 460 F Sport auction sheet

“Interior C, exterior condition B, first registered April 2013, LS460 F Sports model FAT, AAC, DBA emissions code, navigation system, leather seats, TRD sports muffler, front sports package, sunroof, original navigation system, ABS, airbag, original alloy wheels, power steering, power windows, seats have wrinkles, glue marks on dashboard, film on windows, front windscreen stone scratches, marks as per map”


2016 Lexus ES Teased Before Auto Shanghai 2015

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Last week our first teasers for the upcoming Auto Shanghai 2015 started rolling in. Our first teaser was for the new Nissan Lannia – a car developed exclusively for the Chinese market. Today’s teaser has a bit more international appeal… It’s a teaser for the new 2016 Lexus ES, which is scheduled to get a mid-generational facelift for the 2016 model year. Check out the teaser below:

2016 Lexus ES Auto Shanghai teaser

Just to give you a little background, the current Lexus ES is a full-size luxury sedan that’s about three years into its sixth generation of production. It’s one of Lexus’ most important cars in their lineup, and we’re sure it’s one of their hot sellers in the Chinese market. After all, the mid- and full-size sedan segments seem to be where it’s at for the Chinese business class… The Lexus ES is the perfect fit for that trend.

Lexus didn’t give us much to go on along with the teaser. In fact, they gave us literally three sentences’ worth of information, all of which you can find below:

“The Lexus ES established a unique and important position in the luxury sedan segment with its elegant styling, extraordinary quality, and Lexus’ best-in-class service when it was introduced in 1989. More than 1.7 million units have been sold globally over the past 25 years.

The new Lexus ES maintains its classical elegance while conveying a more dynamic experience and luxurious craftsmanship.”

Looking more closely at the teaser image, we can see a number of distinguishing design features for the 2016 Lexus ES facelift. First and foremost, we can see that the headlights have been restyled, most notably with that extra-prominent swoosh LED sitting below the fixtures.

We can also see that the pinched grille gets a thicker-looking chrome outline, and that it probably takes up a bigger chunk of the front clip as a whole. In fact, if you look closely, it seems that the horizontal bars that sit behind the Lexus logo on the grille will now extend all the way down the fender instead of stopping halfway down as they do in the 2015MY (which you can see above). That should serve to open up the design and present a much more aggressive, but fluid face for Lexus’ premiere midsize sedan.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2014 Lexus RX

2014 Lexus RX

Unfortunately, there are no Lexus ES sedans up for auction in Japan at the time of this writing. However, this gives us an excellent opportunity to find a model that Lexus recently showcased in New York – the Lexus RX.

2014 Lexus RX rear

This is a 2014 Lexus RX, and as you can see it’s in excellent condition. Like the 2016 model year shown in New York, it has a crisp and clean design, however the 2014MY looks a little less edgy and angular than its facelifted successor. That’s a good thing for some drivers!

2014 Lexus RX interior

Of course, the real appeal for any luxury crossover is almost always going to be the interior, and the same holds true here. Leather seats… Plenty of space… A bright and vivid navigation display… What’s not to like?

For more information, get a full translation of the auction sheet below:

2014 Lexus RX auction sheet

“Interior A, first registered August 2014, RX350 Version L model, AT, AAC, sunroof, original AWs, power steering, power windows, leather, original TV, original navigation system, airbag, wheels scratched, light scratches at left rear side and left front side, marks as per map”


2016 Lexus RX Cuts to the Chase in New York

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

2016 Lexus RX

This week we’re picking up right where he left off last week with continued coverage of the ongoing 2015 New York Auto Show. Today, our focus is on Lexus and their newest crossover – the 2016 Lexus RX. As you continue reading, you’ll learn all about the fourth-generation Lexus RX and what you can expect from the newest version of the premium automaker’s best-selling model.

2016 lexus RX interior

The Lexus RX is an impressive car by any standard. Lexus has sold over 2 million RX crossovers, making it the best-selling model in the brand’s 26-year history. For 2016, Lexus is looking to bring the RX up to speed with the rest of their lineup.

2016 Lexus RX interior rear seats

To do that, Lexus has completely redesigned the RX from the ground up to create a completely new model. Don’t get us wrong, this is still a Lexus RX and the fourth-gen model retains the old car’s primary selling point as an excellent all-around premium crossover. But, the fourth-gen offers a little more excitement than the blander 2015MY. The 2016 RX is a full 5 inches longer than the outgoing model, which serves to further differentiate it from the smaller Lexus NX crossover. That extra length is almost entirely felt in the rear seat, where rear passengers will enjoy ample leg- and headroom.

2016 Lexus RX interior sunroof

Speaking of rear passengers, Lexus has put extra effort into rear passenger comfort even beyond the extra space that they’ll enjoy in the 2016 model. Now, the rear passengers will get heated seats and an extended panoramic sunroof. And if you need extra storage room? The rear seats can now be folded down at the simple press of a button.

Rumor has it that Lexus is considering a three-row variant for the 2016 RX, but no official statement was given in New York.

2016 Lexus RX profile

The exterior design of the new Lexus RX speaks for itself, and we’re honestly not too surprised with it. That’s not to say we don’t like it, though; we love the direction of Lexus’ new design language. The 2016 RX gets the hallmark pinched spindle grille and extremely sharp, angular body lines – very similar to the new Lexus NX.

The final major addition that Lexus incorporated into the 2016 Lexus RX is the new Lexus Safety System+. This is basically Lexus’ new name for their collection of safety technologies, including Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beam, Panoramic View Monitor and Lane Keep Assist. Lexus has always had great safety ratings, and in New York they confirmed their intent to remain an industry leader when it comes to standardizing advanced safety features in the premium industry.

All in all, the Lexus RX is a welcome refreshment to an already-popular model. Lexus didn’t announce any specifics, but pricing is expected to take a modest bump. Unsurprisingly, Lexus will continue offering a hybrid version of the RX, and both versions are expected to hit showroom floors in autumn of this year.


New Japanese Cars to Look for at the 2015 NY Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

As one of the last large automotive events of the spring season, the 2015 New York Auto Show is most automakers’ last chance to show off their innovations to a huge international audience for several months. As you can imagine, there are will be quite a few new cars to see. So, we’ve narrowed down the list for you to the top Japanese cars to look out for when doors open later this week:

2016 Lexus RX & 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Unsurprisingly, Toyota and its sub-brands have the most new cars they plan to unveil later this week in New York. To save space, we’ve condensed these two crossovers into one slot.

2016 Lexus RX Teaser

The Lexus RX is undoubtedly the more exciting of the two… We’ve only seen a single teaser image of the new compact crossover, and it’s sporty, almost sedan-like profile has us itching to see the full body revealed in New York. As the current best-selling premium car in the US, all eyes are on the next-generation RX to see what Lexus has come up with.

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid teaser

That being said, you can’t gloss over the importance of the new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. Even if you’re not a green car enthusiast, the new RAV4 Hybrid’s design will carry over to the rest of the RAV4 lineup in 2016.

Scion iA Sedan and iM Hatch

For the first time in years, Scion is expanding their lineup with not one, but two new youthful automobiles that will be on display in New York.

In case you missed our original preview, the Scion iM hatchback is based on the Scion iM Concept from about a year ago. The Scion iA sedan is the one we’re really excited about though – it’s a sedan based on the all-new Mazda2, and we can’t wait to see what it looks like in-the-metal.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Teaser 2

We’re not exactly sure what to expect from the new Mitsubishi Outlander that’s coming to the 2015 New York Auto Show.

You can read our detailed preview if you’d like more information on what exactly Mitsubishi has in store, but the short version is that we’re HOPING to see an Outlander PHEV. Other options include a new Outlander Sport or a redesigned regular Outlander. You can see the latest teaser image Mitsubishi’s released for us above.

2016 Nissan Maxima

2016 Nissan Maxima

Finally, the last major Japanese car to be revealed at the 2015 New York Auto Show is the 2016 Nissan Maxima. We’ve put this last on the list because we’ve technically already seen the new Maxima. It originally aired in Nissan’s Super Bowl ad spot, and since then Nissan has released perfectly clear images to show what the car will look like, such as the one above.

Still, nothing replaces an in-the-metal reveal, and the Nissan Maxima is one of the most important vehicles in the second largest Japanese automaker’s lineup… Definitely worth keeping an eye out for.

Either way, the NY Auto Show is set to be a ton of fun with a floor full of sweet new cars, Japan-made or otherwise. Come back later this week to start seeing some reveals!


2016 Lexus RX Teased Ahead of NY Reveal

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

The Lexus RX is one of the few “old” models left and the premium Japanese automaker’s lineup. Lexus has been cleaning house over the past couple years, and the third-gen RX crossover introduced back in 2009 is next on the list for an overhaul. Today we have our first teaser for what the new RX may look like when it makes its debut at the upcoming 2015 New York Auto Show.

2016 Lexus RX Teaser

We’re really excited to see what a new RX could do for Lexus. The current third-generation model is already one of Toyota’s best-selling premium cars despite its obvious similarity to the Toyota Highlander. That’s because it’s one of the best true SUVs available from a premium marque, and all sources say that Lexus is looking to continue that trend with the new model, despite this relatively sedan-ish looking teaser.

If anything, we expect that the new Lexus RX will be larger than the outgoing model. Now that Lexus has the compact NX crossover in their lineup, they can afford to move a bit larger with their other big-seller. This would make the RX more appealing to full-size SUV drivers who value semi-offroad utility with plenty of interior space, while pushing the more compact, aesthetics-oriented cityfolk over to their stylish new NX.

That being said, we won’t know anything until the new RX makes its official debut in New York. We’d actually originally expected to see a new Lexus RC coupe in NY, but it sounds like Lexus is only planning to show the RX instead. Fine by us, although we’re willing to bet that Mitsubishi and their new Outlander won’t be too happy to lose the spotlight to a superior upmarket model.

2015 Lexus RX

2015 Lexus RX

Even though Lexus hasn’t given us any official word, it’s a safe assumption that they will stick with the Toyota Highlander underpinnings for the new RX. A big reason that the current RX is so profitable for Toyota’s premium marque is because they don’t need a dedicated manufacturing line to produce it. The fact that it uses many of the same parts from other Toyota models makes it the perfect mix of cheap production costs and high MSRP profits.

Our guess is that the new Lexus RX will get the hallmark pinched spindle grille, enlarged wheel wells, a slightly higher beltline and a more sedan-like tapered rear-end. We’d also guess that the biggest changes actually won’t be in the exterior design but in the interior, where we’re expecting Lexus to increase cabin space and tech. amenities.

Unfortunately, this is all guesswork until we see the new Lexus RX in-the-metal at next week’s New York Auto Show, so stay tuned for the full details.