Posts Tagged ‘premium cars’

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2013 Audi TT

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

We’ve been talking a lot entry-level sports coupes recently here on Integrity Exports, primarily the recently facelifted Toyota GT86 and Scion FR-S. So, it seemed fitting today for us to do an auction find focused on one of the most popular sports coupes on the road – the Audi TT.

2013 Audi TT

Part coupe, part hot hatch, the Audi TT is impossible to ignore. This particular auction find is a 2013 Audi TT 1.8 TFSI, the base model for the TT lineup. But, don’t let its position in the trim line fool you – AutoExpress says the 1.8 TFSI is “the best TT in the range.” It’s starting price is the same as the Toyota GT 86 in most markets, and it gives you an arguably more premium sports car experience.

Starting outside, the TT has a distinct design among other coupes. It almost resembles a hatchback with its bulbous rear-end and all-around curvy aesthetic. Audi designed the fourth-gen TT specifically with the shooting-brake body style in mind, and we’d say they succeeded in applying the silhouette to the coupe form. This model is in a classic piano black with chrome accents around the grille.

2013 Audi TT rear

Under the hood, the 1.8 TFSI name tells you that this TT runs on a four-cylinder 1.8L EA888 Turbocharged Fuel Stratified Injection engine (which tells you where the ‘TFSI’ comes from). The car outputs a solid 160 horsepower which can propel the TT from 0 to 62 mph in 7.7 seconds. Fuel economy is 30 mpg, which makes this one of the cleanest non-hybrid coupes under $50K.

The interior is where this 2013 Audi TT really shines. Audi has used nothing but premium materials inside the cabin, and the overall layout is spacious and comfortable thanks to the higher-than-normal roofline. The styling is exactly what you’d expect from a European sports car – minimalist and classy. It has a simple dashboard with a stunning color LCD nav system just below the air vents, positioned at the same level as the steering wheel for easy reach.

2013 Audi TT interior

Speaking of, even the baseline 1.8 TFSI TT comes with a flat-bottomed steering wheel and paddle shifters for the six-speed automatic transmission, as you can see in the image above. The rear seats can be folded down for additional trunk space, which is probably how they’ll be used for 9 out of 10 TT drivers.

According to KBB’s review of the 2013 Audi TT, you’ll like this car because of it offers a “fine balance of performance and style – especially style. If it catches your eye, there’s really nothing else quite like it.”

If you’d like more details on this particular model, you can get a translation of the auction sheet below:

2013 Audi TT auction sheet

“Interior A, exterior A, first registered November 2013, two wheel drive, 1.8T FSI model, FAT, AAC, official dealer right-hand drive import, power steering, power windows, original alloy wheels, airbag, ABS, original navigation system, original TV, official dealer right-hand drive import, 2014 model, first time in auction, minor scratches, marks as per map”


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 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.

 


Nissan GT-R Gold Edition Comes for 2016

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

2016 Nissan GT-R Gold Edition

Nissan has managed to update their GT-R supercar every year since its debut in 2007. This week they’ve unveiled specs for their updated 2016 model year, and with it a new limited edition variant. It’s the Nissan GT-R Gold Edition, and it’s a commemoration of the GT-R’s 45th anniversary.

Just to set the records straight, the R35 GT-R (the model we’ve loved since 2007) was the first GT-R under Nissan’s primary marque. However, it succeeded the R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R, aka. the Skyline GT-R, which was the car that originally earned the “Godzilla” nickname. In fact, first references to the GT-R as “Godzilla” can be traced all the way back to 1989 when it was in its R32 form. The original PGC10 Skyline GT-R was produced from 1969 to 1973 as a way to showcase Nissan’s racing prowess.

We mention this tidbit of history because the “Silica Brass” paint job that Nissan has used for the limited edition exterior is the exact same hue they used back in 2001 for the first R34 Skyline GT-R model.

So, how do you get one of these golden supercars for yourself?

2016 Nissan GT-R

Starting price for the standard Nissan GT-R Base Premium is the same as last year at $101,770. The Black Edition and NISMO models also stay the same at $111,510 and $149,990 respectively. If you’d like one of the Gold edition models, you’ll have to order a Base Premium trim and pay an extra $1,000 for the gold paintjob and a 45th anniversary plaque on the center console.

2016 Nissan GT-R Gold Edition plaque

Just $1,000 extra for a limited edition model sounds like a good deal to us, and it is, so you should contact your dealer ASAP since Nissan’s only planning to sell 30 Gold Edition models in the US.

Other than the Gold Edition, both the Premium and Black Edition models will get a slight 5 hp power increase for 2016, up to 542 hp (550PS) thanks to a few engine tweaks. However, pumping more power through the GT-R’s twin-turbocharged engine hasn’t made the car any more efficient, so fuel economy is still rated at 16 mpg city / 22 mpg highway.

2016 Nissan GT-R sports car

Finally, Nissan’s also added some slick-looking Rays 20-spoke forged aluminum alloys to the Premium trim (which also get carried over to the Gold Edition).

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R

2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R

The folks over at Car Throttle just published a really cool side-by-side comparison between the old R34 GT-R and the current R35.

Naturally, the R35 won out in every single area; the only close comparison was in braking ability, which is due to the exceptionally large brakes of the R34 and the increased weight of the R35.

2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R rear

Still, R34 GT-Rs like the one up for auction here are an awesome collector’s car. This is a car with soul, and it’s the car most people think of when they hear “Godzilla”. They’re hard to find, the look is iconic, the performance is nostalgic and fun, and you’ll be impressed by just how fast you can go with the manufacturer-stated 280 hp. Despite being nearly a decade and a half old, it can still blast from 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds.

2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R interior

For more information, checkout the auction sheet translation below:

2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R auction sheet

“Interior B, exterior condition B, first registered July 2002, GT-R model, 6-speed manual, AC, Endless brake calipers, HKS turbine and intercooler and computer and adjustable suspension and muffler and injectors and EVC, Trust radiator, ATS clutch (carbon fiber), LSD, Kin Pro 600 HP specification, lots of modifications, odometer replaced with Nismo item on October 2 2011, there is a sticker showing the odometer replacement record, the odometer was replaced at 24147KM and the current odometer reads 1342KM, lots of matt carbon fiber parts, stone chips in front windscreen, interior grime, end panel distortion, rear bumper reinforcement replaced, light scratches and waves, marks as per map”


2016 Acura RLX Gets AcuraWatch & Reduced Trims

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

2016 Acura RLX Advance Package

Acura is looking to simultaneously simplify and revitalize their lineup. They’ve been systematically revamping some of their low-performing models like the ILX and TLX, both of which have done quite well since their respective upgrades. The 2016 Acura RLX is next on the list with under 200 sales in January of this year. But, Acura believes they can boost performance by injecting more bang-for-your-buck into their flagship sedan.

The biggest upgrade Acura is adding to the RLX is the addition of their new AcuraWatch safety suite. AcuraWatch is, as the name implies, a collection of electronic driver aids including:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Pre-Collision Braking
  • Lane Departure and Forward Collision Warnings
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Monitoring
  • Road Departure Mitigation (which will also debut in the new 2016 Acura MDX and Honda Pilot)
  • Surround-view monitor, which gives you a birds-eye view of your RLX (Advance trim only)

As you can see, that’s quite an extensive range of safety features! It should be noted that AcuraWatch is available on all trims, but only included as standard on Technology and Advance RLX models.

2016 Acura RLX Advance Package Slate Silver

The other change that will apply to all trims is a slightly re-tuned suspension. The 2016 Acura RLX will run on a softer rear stabilizer bar, lower spring rates, new front and rear shocks and new spring mounts. All in all, these changes are aimed at improving overall ride quality with lower levels of road noise nad vibration.

Under the hood, the 2016 Acura RLX remains exactly the same. That means you’ll get a 3.5L V6 that outputs a very decent 310 horsies paired with a FWD 6-speed automatic. Or, you can opt for the RLX Sport Hybrid and get an AWD 7-speed dual-clutch transmission hooked up to three extra electric motors – one in the front, two in the rear – which together increase total system output to 377 hp.

Note: This is the same type of hybrid system as used in the new Acura NSX supercar.

2016 Acura RLX Technology Package

Despite all of this, the biggest change that most average consumers will notice is the removal of last year’s base trim, since navigation is now standard on all models. Acura has gone the minimal route with just three trims for 2016, down from five for the previous model year.

2016 Acura RLX interior

On sale now, the starting price is $50,950 for the Acura RLX, then $54,450 for the Technology Package and $60,450 for the Advance Package. The Acura RLX Sport Hybrid will start at $60,450 when it hits showroom floors later this spring.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ

2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ

Now here is a car from Honda which needs no updating. It’s one of Honda’s newest models, having been on the market for a mere three years since its launch near the end of 2013.

2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ rear

Under that pearl white hood you’ll find Honda’s next-gen sport hybrid i-DCD system that combines a 130 hp 1.5L direct-injection engine with a 30 hp motor and Honda Real Time AWD. That mouth-full of technology gets you a staggering 63.5 mpg by US standards.

2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ interior

We love the sporty black accents that dot the car’s exterior, and it’s hard to argue with those eye-catching gunmetal alloys. Learn more about this pristine Japanese car auction find below the official auction sheet:

2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ auction sheet

“Grade S, interior A, exterior condition A, FAT, AAC, safety package, LED headlights, DVD video, CD, Bluetooth, SD audio, USB, auxilliary at front and rear, rear view reversing camera, power steering, power windows, original AWs, ABS, airbags, marks as per map”


Japanese Car Auction Find – 2007 Alfa Romeo Brera

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Earlier this week we learned that the Fiat group would be releasing their version of the Mazda MX-5 Miata as the revived Fiat 124 Spider. Prior to that announcement, we had expected that the Italian automaker would opt to release their version of the Japanese roadster as an Alfa Romeo model. Turns out that only fully Italian-sourced cars can be sold under the Alfa Romeo name. So, today we’re looking at a 2010 Alfa Romeo Brera Japanese car auction find:

2007 Alfa Romeo Brera

For those unfamiliar with last decade’s Alfa Romeo lineup, the Brera is essentially the bigger coupe brother to the Alfa Romeo Spider (which is a roadster). Only 21,786 total units of the Brera were built throughout the car’s production, which lasted from 2005 to 2010. As a 2010 model year, this would have been the last year the Brera was available.

The Alfa Romeo Brera is an extra-relevant auction find this week because the concept, the production model and all its updates were shown first at the Geneva Motor Show… The concept in 2002, the production model in 2005, and the upgrades in 2008 and ’09.

2007 Alfa Romeo Brera rear

Looking at the auction sheet at the bottom of this post, you can see that this is specifically an Alfa Romeo Brera 3.2 JTS Q4 model. Since this is a pre-2008 update model, the ‘3.2 JTS’ means we’re looking at a 3.2L engine that outputs 256 horsepower at 6200 rpm, and 237 lb-ft of torque at 3800 rpm. Top speed is rated at 149 mph (244 km/h) and 0 to 60 time is 7.2 seconds.

The 2008 update for the Brera also introduced Alfa Romeo’s e-Q2 limited slip differential to all models, and integrated aluminum parts to reduce the curb weight of the car.

Alfa Romeo Brera

Unfortunately, this particular auction find only offers us a couple small images of the design. Fortunately, we’ve found some larger manufacturer-sourced images to give you a better idea of just how sleek and, well, Italian-looking (there’s no other way to describe it) the Brera looks on the road. You can see the classic downward triangle with Alfa’s sigil at the top, the triple headlight design and the smooth, minimalist body lines that define the overall tone of the Italian automaker’s former flagship coupe.

Alfa Romeo Brera interior

Inside, the Brera’s large rear-end allows for some serious rear passenger space. A leather interior and plenty of amenities around the cabin make for a truly pleasurable and fun-filled drive. And this find is in pretty good shape too, with an overall rating of 4.5 and a B-grade interior and exterior. Get a full translation below the auction sheet:

2007 Alfa Romeo Brera auction sheet

“Interior B, exterior condition B, first registered December 2007, 3.2 JTS Q4 Skysound model, 4WD, 6-speed manual transmission, AAC, HDD navigation system, digital TV, official dealer LHD import, rear view reversing camera, power steering, power windows, original AWs, airbag, leather seats, model year unknown, stone chips in front windscreen, interior grime and wear and tears and scratches, seats worn and torn, steering wheel worn, airbag warning light on, minor scratches and minor dents, wheels scratched, door mirrors scratched, marks as per map”


Wrapping Up the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Friday, March 13th, 2015

The 2015 Geneva Motor Show officially closes its doors this weekend on March 15, and most of the Internet had moved on by mid-last week. However, there are a few really cool concepts we have yet to highlight, so today we’re going to do a quick wrap-up to make sure you get to see everything.

Infiniti QX30 Concept

Infiniti QX30 Concept unveiling

We had really high hopes for the Infiniti QX30 Concept after the B-roll teaser we saw just a couple days before the event. Sure enough, the premium compact crossover that Infiniti showed off in Geneva was arguably one of the best-looking cars of the show.

What we really love about the Infiniti QX30, though, is that it’s a truly European model. For many years, both Nissan and Infiniti struggled to identify exactly what European drivers wanted out of their vehicles. Over the past five years, the Japanese automaker has really found their footing.

Infiniti QX30 Concept at the Geneva Motor Show

With those heavily sculpted lower bumpers, 21-inch wheels, and a functional roof rack framing the floating roof, this new premium crossover looks well-primed to take on the best of the best from European automakers. We expect the QX30 to launch shortly after the upcoming Infiniti Q30 hatchback, and our bet is that this premium compact crossover will quickly jump to the top of Infiniti’s European sales.

Goodyear Bh-O3 & Triple Tube Tire Concepts

Goodyear BH-03 and Triple Tube Tire Concepts

Bh-03 tire concept (right) and Triple Tube tire concept (left)

Tire concepts… Kind of weird, right?

That’s what we thought too, but after looking at them we’re honestly shocked these didn’t get more coverage. These innovative Goodyear concept tires are actually really cool! While they definitely won’t make it to production anytime soon, it’s good to see that car manufacturers aren’t the only ones innovating in the automotive industry.

The first tire concept is called the Triple Tube tire. It gets its name from the fact that there are three individual tubes that run around the inside of the tire, which allow the tire to literally change shape depending on the needs of the driver and road conditions.

  • Eco / Safety Mode – All three outer tubes are inflated normally. This is more or less ‘normal’ driving mode.
  • Wet Traction Mode – Here, the center tube is extra-inflated. This causes the car’s weight to be pinpointed to the middle part of the tire, which uses a raised tread to significantly reduce the chance of hydroplaning.
  • Sporty Mode – In this mode, the inboard shoulder tube is deflated (the one closest to the middle of the car), which gives drivers crisp track handling with an optimized contact patch.

The BH-03 concept tire has much more straightforward purpose. It harnesses heat created by normal driving to produce electricity, which can then be routed to the motor of a hybrid or electric car. It’s a simple goal that’s accomplished with nothing short of mechanical genius:

2016 Honda Civic Type-R

2016 Honda Civic Type-R

Honda’s new “racecar for the road” was one of the few production models to make its debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. To be fair, we saw more than our share of Honda Civic Type-R concepts and prototypes, so this was certainly a long time coming.

The hot hatch Honda showed in Geneva is the same model that recently broke a Nürburgring record by lapping the track in under eight minutes – 7 minutes, 50.63 seconds to be exact. That’s thanks to an explosive 2.0L turbocharged VTEC engine that outputs 306 bhp and a full 400 Nm (295 ft-lb) of torque.

2016 Honda Civic Type-R interior

From a styling standpoint, the new Honda Civic Type-R is about exactly what we hoped for after seeing the previous prototypes. Honda has kept the car’s extremely aggressive stance intact, complete with a truly epic rear spoiler. And that interior is to die for!


Japanese Car Auction Find – 2014 Lexus NX 200t

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

With the arrival of the new Infiniti QX30 Concept at last week’s 2015 Geneva Motor Show, we thought today would be a good time to look at the other most recent competitor to the premium compact crossover niche. That car is the Lexus NX. The NX you see here is a 2014 model year in the 200t trim.

2014 Lexus NX

I was actually a bit surprised to see this car already up for auction in Japan. The 2014 Lexus NX is the first-ever model year for this new premium crossover, and it’s been a smashing hit in just about every market. The 200t version L is the baseline trim, but the car you see here is anything but basic.

Under that pristine white hood is a 2.0L turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with direct injection and a 6-speed automatic transmission. It outputs a full 235 horsepower, and is actually the first Lexus ever to be fitted with a turbocharger. It uses D-4ST technology to maximize combustion efficiency, which means you can access most of that peak power output even from a low rev range.

Plus, for a car that goes from 0-60 in just 7 seconds, it still gets a pretty impressive 28 mpg.

2014 Lexus NX auction find

The exterior of the Lexus NX doesn’t need too much explaining… It’s one of the first models to use the premium automaker’s now-trademark pinched grille, although this model forgoes the spindle pattern in favor of horizontal bars. This particular Japanese car auction find is in really great shape, with an overall rating of 5 and an A-grade exterior.

Although we don’t have any pictures of it, the interior is graded at an ‘A’ too. Fortunately, I’ve found a manufacturer-sourced imaged (below) so that you can get a feel of the NX’s interior.

2014 Lexus NX interior creme leather

Keep in mind that this image from Lexus has been Photoshopped to appear extra sharp and crisp, plus it’s shown here in a Crème leather trim which may not be what you get in this model. However, you can still use this to get a general feel for the styling and layout of this auction find’s interior. It’s well-appointed with a full-color LCD Remote Touch Interface, plush leather seating, a wireless charger for mobile devices and even a color heads-up display to project all the most important vehicle info onto the windshield in front of you while you’re driving.

Even with just a brief overview of the Lexus NX’ design and features like the one we’ve provided here, you can see that it’s an exciting, feature-rich compact crossover that’s worth learning more about. If you agree, keep reading below the auction sheet for more info:

2014 Lexus NX auction sheet

“Interior A, exterior A, first registered September 2014, 200t Version L model, FAT, AAC, DBA emissions code, black leather, pre-crash safety, head up display, panoramic view camera, Mark Levinson system, panoramic roof, side visor, 3-level full LED headlights, radar cruise control, original navigation system, original TV, sunroof, leather, ABS, airbag, original AWs, power steering, power windows, no spare tire, marks as per map”


Lexus LF-SA Concept City Car Debuts in Geneva

Posted by Stephen On Friday, March 6th, 2015

2015 Lexus LF-SA Concept

One of the most innovative new concept cars on display at this week’s 2015 Geneva Motor Show is the all-new Lexus LF-SA Concept. Its name stands for Lexus Future Small Adventurer, so you can keep that in mind as you see the model in action in the video below:

Lexus tells us that the LF-SA Concept was designed by the Toyota Europe Design Development team located in Nice, France, and that it represents the newest adaptation of their ‘L-Finesse’ design language.

Looking at the exterior, it’s clear that this car’s design team intended to take L-Finesse in an aggressively futuristic direction. The ultra-compact LF-SA Concept’s entire body is only 3.45m long and 1.7m wide, standing only 1.43m tall.

Lexus LF-SA Concept profile

Despite its petite stature, the exterior is rugged and dominant, like some sort of ferocious reptile with its maw open wide. Notice the inset ridge extending out from the headlights along the top of the wheel wells, and the wide ‘V’ shape made by the body lines along the side. The core of the LF-SA’s exterior, though, is undoubtedly that enormous 3D mesh pinched grille, with huge fog light slits cut into the front fender.

2015 Lexus LF-SA Concept rear

The LF-SA Concept’s rear-end is perhaps even more strikingly sculpted than the front with a rear spoiler, then a rear taper, then two humongous bulging rear wheel wells. And of course, you can’t miss those custom chrome alloy wheels with black brushed steel between the spokes.

2015 Lexus LF-SA Concept interior

Moving inside, our glimpse into the future continues with a 2+2 cabin that’s stuffed full of space-age amenities like a hologram display, touch pad and a heads-up display for the windshield. We can also see some sort of electronic rear-view mirror, and a crystalline dashboard interface.

Also note that Lexus has structured the entire cabin around the driver, hence the special dark blue coloring of the driver’s seat. In fact, the driver’s seat is stationary… The pedals and steering wheel are adjusted to fit the driver’s body, instead of moving the seat. Meanwhile, the rear seats are accessed by pulling the front passenger’s seat forward.

2015 Lexus LF-SA Concept birds-eye view

Unfortunately, Lexus had nothing to say about the LF-SA’s powertrain, which means that we’re still probably at least one conceptual iteration away from seeing a production-ready model. To get a better idea of what a production LF-SA would look like, our suggestion is to imagine a Lexus NX without rear doors and a slightly lower ride. We’ll have to wait until later this year to know for sure.

Either way, a city car absolutely makes sense for Lexus’ lineup, especially in Europe where these three-door micro cars are a viable trend.