Friday, July 29, 2011

The Lexus LX 570 is An All-Terrain Electronic Fun House


It floored me to think that here I was, cruising down this familiar two-track at nearly 60 mph. This is the route to one of my tree stands and generally a trip done in my father-in-law’s Ford F150. But my teeth were still intact and I didn’t feel like the trail was crushing my spine. I was floating along in this $89k Lexus flagship, cooled by air-conditioned seats, jamming to Sublime on Rdio over a Bluetooth link to my Droid X. The windows were down, the sunroof open and I have two bottles of water in the air-conditioned cooler box directly under my right elbow. Life was good.

The 2011 Lexus LX 570 served me well over the last week. It performed admirably as a camping utility vehicle in the backwoods of Michigan and equally as well around town. I don’t think I’ve ever been more satisfied with a vehicle that has a potential deal breaker.

Think of the LX series as Les Stroud in a suit. He still packs all the knowledge and aptitude that made him Survivorman; he just wouldn’t go out in the rainforest dressed this way. Sure, he could traverse a rock field if he wanted, but it just wouldn’t be right. He would ruin his slacks.

That’s how I felt during my time with the Lexus LX 570. It’s just too nice of a vehicle to get really dirty. The fact that it wasn’t mine helped counter that feeling as I didn’t have to worry about the suspension 20,000 miles down the road. I wanted to take the LX 570, with its 9 inches of ground clearance and automated crawl control into something extreme, but it just didn’t feel right (that and I couldn’t find any suitable location). Besides, that sort of tomfoolery is best reserved for its less fancy, but similarly capable cousin, the Toyota Land Cruiser.

See, the LX 570 is about as well endowed as an SUV can get; my tester had a sticker of $89k. Forget about the vehicle’s off-roading chops for a second — there isn’t a creature comfort missing from the LX 570. It’s as well equipped as the Infiniti QX56 or even the Mercedes G or GL class. The LX 570 packs more tech and amenities than a fully-loaded Cadillac Escalade. Only the Range Rover with its digital dash cluster packs something notably different even though we found that feature to be rather silly.

It has everything: a 19 speaker Mark Levinson audio system, rear seat entertainment with remote, Bluetooth and USB connectivity. There are four heated and cooled seats to match the four zone climate control. An around the vehicle camera system is optional, which with a vehicle of this size, is equally important in a parking lot as it is off-roading. A powered split rear lift gate opens revealing power controls to fold up the back row of seats. The LX 570 has adaptive cruise control dubbed by Lexus as Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. There’s a powerful 383-horsepower engine paired to a silky six-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission. With a curb weight of 5,995 lbs, it’s three tons of fun.

Sitting in the driver’s seat is like commanding a luxury yacht. You have at your disposal many functions, yet when set in motion, the vehicle does most of the work for you. Even the vehicle’s speed in crawl control mode is automated. There’s a substantial center-mounted rocker switch that sends the vehicle forward or back at predetermined speeds. Your only task — besides steering — is to decide the vehicle’s height and then use a neighboring rocker switch to raise or lower the truck.

This isn’t a bad thing per se. It allows the driver to enjoy the opulence within. The seats are amazing and I’m saying that after driving 400 miles with my four-year old constantly kicking the headrest. They’re just that good. The four zone climate control has what might be the coldest air conditioning on the planet and even an air filter system that helps to remove allergens, air particles and the general stank of camping.

Unfortunately, while the vehicle’s drive system is a wonder of technology, that cannot be said for the infotainment system. It’s a relic of the past. Even the radio functions are a pain to use thanks to the dated UI. The system uses tabs, folders and redundant physical buttons to control everything, which actually over complicates simple tasks of just flipping through the stations. This system is used in most current Lexus models and needs to be revamped in a serious way. It’s not all bad news: the system at least supports streaming audio over Bluetooth and USB.

When you finally find a station and cue up a good song, the Mark Levinson audio system will make you forget about all past transgressions. It didn’t matter what type of music I played, it shined on this system. The highs are crisp and tight. The lows are strong enough to embarrass many aftermarket solutions. This shouldn’t be surprising, though. Mark Levinson is known for its powerful audio systems and the system used in the LX 570 spreads 450 watts over 19 speakers at less than .1% THD. It’s impressive but still doesn’t make up for the sorry infotainment system.

Features are not enough these days to make up for a sorry user experience. Automakers seemingly have had a hard time transitioning from buttons to touch and Lexus is not alone in having a poor UI. GM’s current system feels like it was made in the mid-nineties and the next-gen version is not much better. Ford’s MyFord Touch is impressive but also imposing to a novice. I’m not a fan of Honda’s or Chrysler’s. Audi and BMW got it right but did so without using a touchscreen. They instead employ a multi-function puck of sorts, which sort of implies that touch isn’t yet right for cars.

The rest of the LX 570 makes up for the poor infotainment system. The vehicles main interface would be a deal breaker in other vehicles, but the ride, handling and feel completely counter the relatively important system. The 383 HP and 403 lb-ft of torque more than handle the 5,995 lb truck. Lexus brags that it even manages a 7.4 second dash to 60 mph. The EPA rated it at 12 mpg in the city and 18 on the highway. Much to the surprise of the my lead foot, I managed an average of 18.7 over 535 miles. It officially seats seven, but the rear bench seat is only suitable for those not yet tall enough to ride roller coasters.

I’ve always enjoyed looking at an OEM’s top-tier SUV like the LX 570. It’s a solid barometer for the automaker as its designers, engineers, and the bean counters are freed from the traditional boundaries. There’s no reason to save weight or worry too much about fuel economy. There’s physically room to throw in every toy available and who cares about the end sticker price. In that sense the LX 570 serves the Lexus brand well. It has more raw capabilities than most other vehicles in its class and looks great doing it. It could be argued that it has more capabilities than necessary and a similarly equipped SUV can be had for tens of thousands less. That’s not the point. The LX 570 is at the top of the luxury SUV mountain.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Toyota Employees In Japan Donate to Alabama and Mississippi Tornado Disaster Relief Efforts

Company-Match Pushes Total Contribution to $330,000

July 28, 2011 – Erlanger, KY – In the aftermath following the tornados that struck parts of the southern United States earlier this spring, Toyota’s Japan employees asked how they could reciprocate the gesture of giving to those in need. 

Today, Toyota and its Japan employees announced a $330,000 donation to the tornado relief efforts to be evenly distributed between the disaster relief programs in Alabama and Mississippi. 

Commenting on the new donation, Steve St. Angelo, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., said, “We are grateful to our colleagues in Japan for their generosity to the tornado relief efforts particularly during their own difficult time following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Many of our Japanese colleagues and their families have worked and lived in parts of the U.S. where the tornados struck and many more regularly work with affected manufacturing plants, suppliers and dealerships in the region.  They wanted to help and their donation demonstrates the true human spirit of reaching out to those in need. We deeply appreciate their thoughtfulness.”

Toyota and its North American employees in May donated $1 million dollars to the American Red Cross for tornado relief efforts in all affected states and regions across the country.

Lexus GS will get a diesel engine


The Japanese car manufacturer Lexus will introduce a diesel version on its GS model.

Going against a large competition with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class or the BMW 5-Series, and considering the company’s “hybrid” philosophy, Lexus will most likely come with an “eco-friendly” version.

The new diesel engine will have, according to Autocar, four cylinders and will not only reduce the GS’s price but it will also offer good fuel efficiency.

According to the Japanese auto maker, the development will open a new pathway for the company with the introduction of the new engine on the GS and it will no longer be an alternative to the competition’s diesels.

Battling with the German major car manufacturers, the Lexus GS won’t be equipped with the diesel unit from its launch, the engine being expected from 2013.

The new Lexus GS will be officially unveiled during the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and the Germans will then know for sure if they should be afraid of the Japanese auto maker.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Get acquainted with our dealership without even leaving your house!


Lexus Virtual Tour

Step into our dealership without ever leaving your house! Use the virtual tour to the right to look through our showroom, lounge, service areas and more!

We have all the new Lexus models available for you to see in our Showroom. Please come in and take a test drive. Lexus vehicles are recognized to be the best in luxury, performance, reliability and value. We also have a large selection of Lexus Certified Pre-Owned vehicles.

As a Lexus customer, we will treat you as we would a guest in our home. You can enjoy the many amenities of our Customer Lounge, such as gourmet coffees and teas, the television area, and internet access. Please relax in our Lounge as we take great care of your Lexus.

Visit our first class Service Center for your next vehicle service. We are committed to keeping your Lexus in top condition. Our factory-trained technicians have years of experience and will get your Lexus back on the road quickly. Once you have checked your vehicle in with a Service Consultant, please enjoy our Customer Lounge. We also have courtesy shuttles and loaner cars for your convenience.


To take your virtual tour, click here!

Toyota gives paralyzed bride a mobility van


In the 14 months after bride-to-be Rachelle Friedman took a paralyzing fall at her bachelorette party, she'd become pretty dependent on her wheelchair-accessible loaner van.

Little did she know that Toyota planned to hand one over as a gift for her wedding--postponed until this week in Raleigh, N.C.

Toyota and Braun--a manufacturer for wheelchair-accessible van conversions--had lent Friedman and her fiancé a Toyota Sienna with a BraunAbility Rampvan to make life a little easier in the months following the accident that rendered her paraplegic.

Before that, her mother had been carrying her in and out of the family's SUV to go to wedding-planning events, physical therapy and hospital visits.

"The van's made all the difference in the world," Friedman said. "Not only has it saved my mom's back, it's just made it so much easier to get out and do things. I've missed this level of comfort, convenience and independence."

Friedman and her fiancé tied the knot on July 22. After the wedding, Braun marketing director Joe Garnett and Toyota manager Scott Heyer presented them with the 2011 Braun Toyota Sienna.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lexus Lifestyle - Living, Lasting Color (Guatemala)


IT'S HIGH NOON in Ciudad Vieja, and wicker globes of firecrackers, earth-rumbling bombas and javelin-like bottle rockets are rocking this hill town about an hour's drive west of Guatemala City. Smoke from the pyrotechnics, ignited to announce imminent festivities, briefly envelopes the town's whitewashed colonial church, leaving a peppery scent in the air.

It's the Baile de Vente-quatro Diablos, when masked devils take to the streets to dramatize the consequences of vice. One fearsome demon, whose red-and-black mask sports a long tongue, warns of the dangers of lying. Another, chugging from a bottle and staggering about, depicts the danger of excessive drink.

Accompanied by haunting music from rough-hewn marimbas, horns, and drums, six plays are underway in the town's plaza. Hundreds of local spectators—women in brilliant blouses with babies slung in shawls on their backs, men in cowboy hats, kids peeking reverently around their parents' legs—form circles around each performance. Few foreigners witness these rituals that date from the 1500s, when conquistadors first reached Guatemala.

Above me the bottle rockets start flying sideways. One skitters across the cobblestones at my feet before popping. A couple of grizzled men pat me on the back, laughing. Welcome to our world, they seem to be saying, an authentic place where anything goes and no one calls the lawyers.

This is Guatemala: an unvarnished celebration of indigenous culture, still largely undiscovered more than five centuries after Columbus arrived in the New World. When I first visited in the 1980s, signs inside buses advised passengers: "Please keep the bus clean: throw your trash out the window." The country has come a long way since then, with initiatives such as Alianza Verde's Green Deal, which certifies hotels and attractions based on eco-standards.

"Guatemala is still virgin in many ways," says Alianza Verde's director Saul Blanco. "You can still find undiscovered regions in the highlands." What makes the country unique, Blanco says, is its deep-rooted Mayan heritage. Visiting now is a "precious opportunity" to see Mayan communities in virtually unblemished villages, he says. Alianza Verde's goal is to preserve natural systems in a way that benefits local people, so everyone has a stake in a green future.

Four miles from Ciudad Vieja is the colonial city of Antigua, set on a compact grid of calles (streets) and avenidas. I first came to Antigua in 1989 to study Spanish. Some things have changed: the men who once shot Polaroids for tourists in Parque Central have gone digital, the park now has free wi-fi, and the city employs a fleet of biodiesel trucks fueled by cooking oil from its restaurants.

To the south is the conical Agua Volcano; to the west, an active volcano called Fuego sends puffs of milky smoke into the sky. Antigua's streets are numbered but most of the signs simply have names, such as Calle de Sangre de Cristo, making it easy to lose your way. Yet that's part of the town's charm, where a wrong turn can lead to discovering an art gallery, jade shop, or a barbecue restaurant.

My base is Antigua's signature hotel, Casa Santo Domingo, built among the colonial ruins of a convent; the hotel typifies Antigua's investment in its heritage. Carved wooden saints and ceremonial urns abound, and the grounds are lush with bougainvillea and resplendent guayacama birds. After sunset the walkways are gilt-lit by hundreds of luminarias.

The convent was built in 1542 but destroyed in a 1773 quake that leveled much of Antigua and led to the capital's relocation to modern-day Guatemala City, explains guide Elizabeth Bell of Antigua Tours. As she speaks, Fuego Volcano coughs up another plume: "We like it when it goes off," Bell says, "because we feel it reduces stress."

Roughly half of Guatemala's population of 13 million is indigenous: these descendants of the Maya compose 22 distinct peoples, each with its own language, customs, and style of weaving. The city-state of Tikal, tucked away in the Peten jungle in the north, is the best example of Mayan civilization. Tikal's heyday was marked by the creation of great pyramids in the 7th through 9th centuries A.C.E. It was home to 60,000 people.

"You can feel the Maya here," says 22-year-old local tour guide David Reyes. "The same trees they used for medicine are here, the same birds, rivers, ambiance." Reyes drives slowly from Tikal's park entrance to the inner gate. On arrival, a guard checks the time stamped on our pass to make sure we took at least 20 minutes; this way, the park ensures that visitors drive leisurely, as not to endanger the wildlife.

We hike into the jungle past ceiba trees, whose sheetlike roots grow several feet above ground, buttressing the trees in the shallow soil. To the Maya, the ceiba is the tree of life, its powerful roots supporting the universe. Spider monkeys swing from their branches, while in the distance a howler monkey roars, a sign for others to respect his territory. Raccoon-like coatimundis scamper across the Gran Plaza, their long tails held high. The Gran Plaza is the ceremonial center of Tikal, and wild turkeys salute our arrival by showing off their plumage.

Flanked by two temple pyramids about 200 feet high, it was here that kings were buried, sacrifices made, and an ancient Mayan game, played with a rubber-and-stone ball, was contested. David and I climb a wooden staircase up the 210-foot-high Temple IV as the skies slowly darken, lending a mystical calm to the once-thriving city. Hiking out, we see fireflies alighting the Gran Plaza.

The next morning, after a short flight back to Guatemala City, I drive three hours to the spectacularly scenic Lake Atitlán. Backed by three volcanoes, encircled by a dozen small villages, the lake wastes no time in casting its spell. Panajachel is the main village, and every so often I hear tiny water taxis cruising the lake, their captains singing out, "Pana...Pana...Panajachel," offering trips to ferry guests for a few quetzals.

Due north of the lake, I find the town of Chichicastenango, a trading hub of the western highlands since pre-Columbian times, a place where women still sell tapestries and blouses woven on traditional Mayan backstrap looms. It's the week before Christmas, which means the Santo Tomás festival is in full swing-a fitting bookend to my journey.

About 60 indigenous Mayans in conquistador masks dance to a thumping beat of a marimba band in the colonial plaza. A village elder shakes a tambourine and sparks a spinning globe of firecrackers. Bombas detonate at ground level, shaking the cobblestones, then launch skyward to explode again. I soak up the cacophonic scene from across the plaza, marveling at the Maya's ability to sustain their traditions through centuries of tumult, and hoping I escape another celebratory, fiery brush with local ritual.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Driven to win!


I'm working at this huge automotive tradeshow back in November of 2006. It's four days long and requires lots of walking. Normally I'm a pretty energetic guy, but for some reason I was having a really hard time getting around. I was only 37. Healthy and fit. I run competitively and go mountain biking, but all of a sudden it was like I had zero energy. That's when I knew something wasn't right. This wasn't like your typical flu. It just felt different. Your body tells you these things.

Two weeks and several doctor appointments later, I went in to get my test results. I had a golf-ball-sized tumor in my throat and another one in my chest that was pushing against my lungs. It was Hodgkin's Lymphoma. If I didn't get treatment soon, the doctor said, I wouldn't make it to my next birthday. Bottom line: If I was to have any chance of living, I needed to get chemotherapy and radiation. Fortunately, I came across Cancer Treatment Centers of America, a talented organization that specializes in cancer. So that's where I decided to go.

I took time off from my job working as a factory test driver for Toyota and Lexus and started treatment on New Year's Day. For the next four months I had chemotherapy every other week, and then a whole month of radiation. I wasn't doing so hot. Crazy things go through your mind. I'd wake up in the middle of the night and say to myself, Am I really going to make it to see next year? But I'm very driven and focused. As a professional driver, you obviously have to be that way. You've got to get to the finish. You have no choice. My wife was a fantastic caregiver, and my son too. You really can't do it alone. Eventually I started to have about three good days every two weeks.By November, the doctors cleared me. They did all the scans. All the tests. But it didn't really hit me until later that month when I was driving 70 mph through the desert in the middle of the night, racing on a team in Mexico's Baja 1000. I thought, if I'm racing in one of the toughest off-road races in the world, I must be okay. It was like a slap in the face. I really did it. I beat cancer.

I loved my job, but life is short and I decided it was time to do my own thing. So I opened a consulting company, JT Grey Performance Driving, and I started building my own racing team. I talked with Cancer Treatment Centers of America and Lexus, and they both jumped on board as team sponsors. We set out to build a phenomenal, race-ready Lexus LX 570, and in June 2009 we raced in the Baja 500, also one of the most dangerous off-road races in the world. It was the first time Lexus had ever been involved in off-road racing. And we won!

At first, some people thought a luxury SUV doesn't belong in off-road racing. But we've changed their minds. We're still winning races and have a good shot at the off-road championship.

Along the way, I've realized there are so many similarities between off-road racing and beating cancer. Off-road racing is extreme. There's stuff being thrown at you constantly. You can't make it without the help of your pit crew, and you've got to take the wheel and take control even while everything around you is falling apart.

Beating cancer actually made me a better driver. I'm more driven and focused now than ever before. And I'm out to prove that I have the endurance to win.

Lexus Considering GS Coupe

Lexus is currently working on a brand new version of its GS sedan, which it has already previewed in concept form and recently confirmed it reveal in production trim at next month’s 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California.

Turns out the automaker is now considering launching a coupe version of its new mid-range sedan, a luxury two-door that would go head-to-head with the likes of the Audi A5, Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe and possibly even the BMW 6-Series.

The information was revealed by Lexus' product planner Ben J. Mitchell, who spoke recently with Inside Line. He said the automaker is currently involved in a "fairly active study of coupe opportunities" and that it was keen to increase the emotional qualities of the brand.

If built, the car could serve as a spiritual replacement for the now-defunct SC 430, which in the past has been rumored to spawn a replacement model.

However, a release date would still be years away, the earliest most likely being spring of 2013. Let's hope they also build a high-performance GS-F model.

For more details on the 2012 Lexus GS sedan, which is set to be revealed next month and is due out by the end of the year, click here for our previous spy shots report.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lexus to Hold World Premiere of the All-New Lexus GS Luxury Sport Sedan at Pebble Beach

TORRANCE, Calif., July 22, 2011 – Lexus will reveal the all-new GS 350 luxury sport sedan on Thursday, August 18th in conjunction with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The fourth-generation GS model introduces a more defined and emotional design philosophy featuring a new distinctive front grille and styling cues that will soon be seen on all future Lexus vehicles. The new GS has also been engineered to provide a more engaging and dynamic driving experience and the highest levels of refinement.

"Our customers have been waiting for a new GS that's more intense in every way," said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "They'll soon discover this GS was well worth the wait."

The Lexus press conference will take place on Thursday, August 18th at 4:15 p.m. PDT at Parc du Concours.

Toyota Named Among Best Companies for Diversity by Black Enterprise

NEW YORK, NY, July 22, 2011 -- Toyota was named among the 40 Best Companies for Diversity by Black Enterprise. The annual list, included in the July 2011 issue of the magazine, recognizes 40 companies that have demonstrated significant representation of African Americans and other ethnic minorities in areas including supplier diversity, senior management, board of directors and total employment. Toyota was recognized for its achievements in the area of supplier diversity.
This is the sixth consecutive year that Toyota has been included among the Best Companies for Diversity. The list is compiled based on the results of a comprehensive survey of the top 1,000 publicly traded companies in the United States, as well as global companies with significant U.S. operations.

“At Toyota, diversity and inclusion have always been among our top priorities, and we are honored to be recognized by Black Enterprise,” said Dian Ogilvie, senior vice president and chief diversity officer at Toyota Motor North America. “We believe constant growth towards a more inclusive environment is imperative not only in developing and retaining a talented workforce, but in fostering a corporate environment that mirrors the communities in which we do business. As we remain committed to continuously improving, we will work closely with our senior managers and Diversity Advisory Board to enhance our efforts even further.”

In 2001 Toyota launched its 21st Century Diversity Strategy, which set tangible diversity targets in areas including employment, procurement and dealer development. Working closely with its external Diversity Advisory Board, a seven-member board chaired by former Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, Toyota has made strong progress, including more than doubling its annual spending with diverse suppliers. In addition, people of color now represent nearly 30 percent of Toyota’s employment.

The Best Companies for Diversity is just one of Toyota’s latest recognitions for its efforts in diversity and inclusion. Other honors include:

  • Inclusion among DiversityInc.’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity for five years
  • Inclusion in the Human Rights Campaign "Best Places to Work Corporate Equality Index" for the past four years
  • Induction into the Billion Dollar Roundtable, in recognition of over $1 billion in annual spending with certified ethnic and women-owned suppliers
  • “Corporation of the Year” award from the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
  • “Distinguished Supplier Diversity Award” from the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
“The companies selected for distinction in this list not only demonstrated a commitment to diversity, but viewed it as a business imperative,” said Black Enterprise Careers & Lifestyle Editorial Director Sonia Alleyne. “The strength of Toyota’s network of minority suppliers enables the company to be even more competitive on a global scale.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We want you to be as comfortable as possible when you visit our service facility!

LEXUS OF ORLANDO SERVICE DEPARTMENT has been recognized by the Lexus Motor Division ten years in a row as an Elite Dealer.

Lexus of Orlando offers a plethora of unique services that deliver luxury that makes the most of every moment, by every associate, in a way that makes a difference.

To schedule a service appointment please contact our guest service coordinators at 1-800-481-8709.  Below is a list of amenities provided to Lexus owners at our dealership’s first class Service facility:

  • L.A.P.S. (Lexus of Orlando Airport Park & Service) - Now available and exclusive to Lexus of Orlando.  Please call our Service Appointment Coordinators at 1-800-481-8709 or email for more details.
  • New Express Service - Oil change in 30 minutes or 5,000-mile service in one hour. Please add 1/2 hour for car wash. By appointment only.
  • Courtesy Vehicles - We offer complimentary ES350 and IS250 loaner vehicles by appointment with our appointment coordinators at 1-800-481-8709*Some restrictions may apply* 
  • Complimentary Shuttle Service to locations within 10 miles of the dealership.
  • We offer a complimentary car wash with most services.
  • Guest Lounge with complimentary Starbucks coffee, tea, bottled water, sodas, juice, snacks, breakfast and lunch items provided.
  • Relax in our state of the art massage chairs.
  • Children’s Play Room with movies, games and Playstation 3.
  • Guest Business Resource Center provides desktop computers, printer, as well as local phone access for our guests.
  • Wireless internet access available throughout our Service facility, iPads also available.
  • Guest Waiting Area boasts four plasma TV’s.
  • Quiet Room where guests can relax away from all the hustle and bustle.
  • Pet Friendly Facility
  • New Owner Welcome Held for our new guests, this event offers an opportunity to learn more about your Lexus features, advanced technologies and vehicle care. You will also meet and chat with our dealership's sales and service staff, all while enjoying a complimentary catered affair including various wine and beer selections, raffle, question-and-answer session and more. Reservations are required. Please contact our Customer Relations team at or (800) 317-3641.
  • Service Gift Certificates are available for future services, parts and accessories.  Please call our Customer Relations Department at 800-317-3641. Surprise your family or friends with this perfect gift.">Click here to access the Owner’s Circle page.

Click here to access the Service Reservation page without logging into Owner’s Circle.

Lexus of Orlando | Home to Orlando and Central Florida's luxury driving experience.

Dressed for Senior Open success

It might not look like much right now, but the Lexus tent located on the south end of the Inverness Golf Club is getting in shape for the U.S. Senior Open Hospitality section.

They are going to put a brand new car and a whole lot more inside there.

"We've got the field that we put down, and on top of that we are going to put a putting green in," said Mike Miriani, who is in charge of the maekshift putting green.

Because hospitality is of utmost important at this Senior Championship.

"These events, they spare no expense, and they've got the people coming in here looking at cars, and have a good time while they are doing that," Miriani said.

Why not? It's not often a major tournament comes to T-town.

"This is our Lexus golf ball car," said Ed Montaine of Lexus Sales. "It's made with a coating of a golf ball. I just hope nobody comes out and hits it with a golf club."

This $70,000 great drive and ride can be crucial to the Senior's success. It drives better than a Titleist.

"This is a Lexus L-S 460 Sedan," Montaine said. "It has an 8-speed transmission and 400 horsepower. It has full-time all-wheel drive. It's a fantastic car and has been No. 1 in quality for 17 years in a row."

The U.S. Senior Open runs July 25-31 at Inverness Golf Club in West Toledo.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Congratulations to the LS 600h L Sedan, the CT 200h Hybrid and the RX 450h for earning top spots in AAA's green car guide!

The Automobile Club of Southern California has released a new guide to help consumers shop for the most environmentally friendly cars.

Though many people shop for cars by price and features, the interest in shopping for cars that are green is growing.

AAA sorted through 62 new vehicles to find the greenest.

"We had engineers and technicians testing the cars in our research center, a state-of-the-art emissions lab in Diamond Bar, as well as doing acceleration, braking, handling and noise level tests at Auto Club Speedway," said Steve Mazor, chief engineer at AAA.

After all the testing and calculating was done, the $42,000 Toyota Highlander Ltd. Hybrid 4WD came out on top, followed by the Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid, then three Lexus hybrids: the LS 600h L Sedan, the CT 200h Hybrid and the RX 450h.

The testing involved more than just emissions and gas mileage

"The kinds of things that consumers are interested in, not just regarding the environment, but with the goal of knowing if they can use that car for their everyday needs," Mazor said.

Lexus scored high in the tests, partly because they've had a pretty big head start on hybrids, which keep getting more popular.

"More people are coming on board because they're looking at the green aspect of it. They're looking for better economy, better performance, and I just want to be able to drive a hybrid and tell everybody that I'm just trying to be green," said Charles Hubbard, a Lexus spokesman.

One car that didn't score especially well is the new Chevrolet Volt. It's partly battery powered, but testers found flaws with it. It came in 12th place.

"The Volt has a small trunk, and amazingly enough, it's not as clean from the tailpipe as a lot of the other cars on the market," Mazor said.

It's easy to assume that all the cars in the AAA guide are expensive hybrids. But they've also got a secondary list of more affordable green cars. AAA looked at cost per green car. The winner in this respect was the Scion xD, which is fairly green for a price under $16,000.

The rest of the top five when cost is factored in were: the Mazda2 Touring, Honda Fit Sport, Chevrolet Cruze Eco and the Smart Passion Coupe version.

Lexus – Luxurious & Economical Cars

For some time now Lexus have been at the forefront of green vehicle technologies. Their full hybrids are the most technologically advanced available, offering excellent co2 emissions and high mpg.

Lexus invest heavily in lowering emissions, striving to achieve zero emissions. From pioneering hybrid technologies, to reducing the environmental impact of its operations, the company believe that environmental sustainability is the single biggest challenge facing their industry and our society this century.

A hybrid is a vehicle which has two power sources, over the years hybrids have come in many forms. Currently shaping the future of hybrid motoring is the petrol/diesel engine with an electric motor. Hybrids are available in micro, mild and full variants. Full hybrids can be powered by the electric motor alone or by both engine and motor. When running at low speeds or when starting the vehicle, a full hybrid can run directly from the electric motor alone producing ZERO Co2 emissions as well as using NO fuel.

The Lexus Range of Green Cars includes the world’s first full hybrid luxury compact car, the CT200h.  With only 96g/km co2 emissions and  a combined driving mpg of just 68.9mpg the CT200h falls into band A classification for vehicle excise duty, giving it a zero road tax charge, and a company car tax benefit in kind of just 10%, which is quite an incentive to own one.

As well as the compact CT200h Lexus offer a 4×4 car which is powered by Lexus Hybrid drive technology. The RX450h produces a combined mpg of 44.8 and co2 emissions of 145g/km, the hybrid 4×4 not only offers breath-taking performance but also significantly lower co2 emissions to other 4×4’s.

For those not quite ready for the ‘quiet revolution’ there is the LS200d which comes in sports saloon or convertible variants. The impressive diesel engine boasts excellent fuel economy at 55.4mpg and improved lower fuel emissions of just 134g/km.

Cutting co2 emissions should be at the top of everyone’s priorities, preserving our planet for future generations. Lexus are making a commitment to find more environmentally friendly ways to keep us on the road, as well as striving to be more energy aware in every aspect of their business from product design and production right through to logistics and end of life recycling. The benefits are not just to the planet but also to consumer’s wallets with lower running costs. Green motoring is definitely the way forward.

Monday, July 18, 2011

We are committed to finding a customer-focused solution to fit your lifestyle!

A leading provider of financing, vehicle protection, and payment protection programs through participating dealerships like ours, Lexus Financial Services is committed to providing a customer-focused solution to fit your lifestyle – whether it is competitive financing, or the peace of mind offered by one of their vehicle protection programs.

Lexus Financial Services simplifies the financing and leasing process so you have more time to savor life’s most enjoyable moments. Only Lexus Financial Services delivers the extraordinary level of customer care you have come to expect from Lexus.

Visit Lexus Financial Services Lexus of Orlando | Home to Orlando and Central Florida's luxury driving experience.

There was nothing but good things to say about Manny's customer service in this review!

5 Star Review on DealerRater -

I must commend my Service Consultant, Manny Camacho. He was so helpful, cordial, and efficient when I came in for my 15,000 mile service. First, I needed help with my Bluetooth connection with a new phone. He took care of it for me immediately. Upon returning to the Lexus dealership to pick up my car and return the loaner car I ran into traffic delays due to a couple of accidents. A 15 minute drive took close to an hour and I called Manny to let him know I was on my way, but was so worried I would not make it in time before closing. He immediately put my mind at ease and was so cordial. He was there to greet me as I drove in at 7 PM. I had another hour and a half drive back home to an adjoining county and couldn't help but think about the wonderful customer service I received. Thank you, Manny, and Lexus of Orlando. You removed my worries and turned a frantic time into a pleasant ending. Your service department is the best thanks to people like you.
~ B. McKee


For more reviews like this one, click here.

All-New Lexus LF-Gh Is Set To Debut In...


As we saw at the 2011 New York Auto Show, the LF-Gh was a pretty interesting product coming from Lexus.

That's because it had a distinctly European look to it.

From its C-pillar, to the rear end and to the interior -- which could barely be photographed -- the LF-Gh is a big step from where Lexus design was previously. And from what we've seen of the spy photographs, that is likely going to be the next-generation GS. Although nothing is official, it's a pretty good hunch.

And now there's even MORE news surrounding the GS. According to sources tapped by AutoGuide, the GS will be getting an unveiling at Pebble Beach come August. Considering we've recently only seen spy photos, that seems pretty quick. However, the interior was looking pretty finished at the 2011 New York Auto Show.

As AutoGuide points out down below, it looks like Infiniti better have something good with its JX crossover.

**To refresh you, we've included pictures of the Lexus LF-Gh from the 2011 New York Auto Show

Infiniti won’t be the only Japanese luxury brand with something to unveil at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Our source inside Toyota let slip that the all-new, fourth generation Lexus GS luxury sedan will break cover at the world’s most prestigious historic car show.

When asked for confirmation, Lexus Communications Manager Ming-Jou Chen was coy in her response. “We haven’t made any announcements… but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep an eye out during Pebble Beach.”

2011 New York Auto Show Photo Gallery

Friday, July 15, 2011

Welcome to your personal Owner Circle!

The Lexus Owners' Circle is your free portal to our dealership! It provides a personal web page to track real-time information on all of your vehicles, including:
  • Repair Order Status
  • Upcoming Service Appointments
  • Manufacturer Campaigns
  • Recommended Maintenance
  • Vehicle Service History
  • Previously Recommended Service
  • Click here to
    register for your
    FREE Owner
    Circle today!

    If you already have an Owners' Circle Login and Password, please log into your personal page by using the spaces on the left.

    For assistance logging into the Owners' Circle or with scheduling an appointment with our service department, please call 800-481-8709.

    How to help the planet this summer...while barely trying.


    KERMIT THE FROG was wrong: it is easy being green. Here’s a few tips from Lexus—chances are you’re doing a few of these already:

    1. Do a Google search: How easy is that? Here’s why it’s a good move: all your Google searches, in different ways, contribute to a successful, profitable Google. Lately, Google has been plowing some of those profits into pragmatic, large-scale, earth-friendly projects, from this spring’s $55 million investment in a massive Mojave Desert wind farm to the company’s announcement a few weeks ago that it invested $280 in SolarCity, a residential solar-power provider that allows homeowners to cost-effectively rent a solar-power system.

    2. Download the new Leafsnap app: This spring saw the release of Leafsnap, a handy little iPhone/iPad tool that allows you to identify trees by scanning their leaves with your phone as you wander through yards/parks/trails. It’s not necessarily the reason to get into nature, but c’mon, we’re looking at the future of field guides here, and this is one amazing free download. Trying it out is a hoot (it’s built with face-recognition technologies in mind), and we dare you to resist looking at a tree once it’s on your phone. How it helps nature: by reminding us all to take a close look at its splendor, up close and personal, every now and again.

    3. Don’t overfill your gas tank: Again, super easy. Most modern cars, especially those of the premium variety, have gasoline-vapor recovery systems—a special canister that captures the fumes as you fill up. If the gas tank gets topped off, liquid gas then runs the risk of spilling into the canister, causing the system to stop working for a while. You can guess what happens from there: Fumes escape into the atmosphere where they can do all sorts of nasty stuff, such as forming into smog and airborne pollutants like benzene.

    4. Register for Lexus Hybrid Living: Okay, this will take about 10 seconds, and the reason you’ll want log-in privileges is because Lexus Hybrid Living is chock full of premium, Lexus-recommended restaurants, retailers, architects/designers, hotels, and more—all of which form a community of eco-sensitive partners with Lexus. (

    5. Pull a few plugs: According to more reports that you can shake a power bill at, household appliances in their standby or completely off modes account for as much as 10 percent of household electricity use, since they still draw megawatts of electricity when they're not being watched, clicked, remote-controlled, used for food prep, or making coffee. Not necessarily easy for busy people: pulling every plug in the house before running out the door each day. Much easier: yank a few plugs close to the door, or pull out a good number before long summer trips.

    6. Eat tomatoes—and drink some coffee: Carbon footprint, carbon footprint, carbon footprint. We all know what this is. But how about a water footprint, as in, how much water goes into the production of different foods (and therefore the level of strain, great or small, on water resources)? According to a recent study by the Netherland's University of Twente, food and drinks with some of the lightest water footprints include tomatoes and lettuce (summer salads!), coffee and tea (iced latte! Iced tea!), and wine.

    7. Buy an LED light bulb—it’ll keep you legal in 2014: Like the Lexus LED headlamp offered on most Lexus models, energy-saving LED light bulbs are top-of-the-line premium. At $40 to $50 a pop, though, they’re quite the price hop from both traditional incandescents and the curly CFLs. The upshot: LEDs last for years, so grabbing one while you’re at the hardware store this summer, and grabbing them over time, will mean far fewer trips to the store for light bulbs—which is good because incandescent light bulbs will be illegal in 2014 anyway.

    Plus: excitement lies ahead. In May, Switch Lighting unveiled its “Superbulb” LEDs, set to go on sale later this year. At about $20 each, they use 85 percent less energy than a traditional bulb.

    8. Download (good) planet-helping music: Patagonia, the clothing and outdoor gear company, has long been devoted to environmental causes and that rings true for their latest audio initiative. The Patagonia Music™ Collective offers exclusive tracks from 28 different groups and performers such as Pearl Jam, Philip Glass, and Jack Johnson. Proceeds from each track go to environmental charities selected by the artists (Ziggy Marley chose Jamaican Environment Trust, while Brandi Carlisle picked Honor the Earth), with at least 60 percent of the proceeds from each sale going directly to the selected cause.

    9. Buy a 2012 Lexus hybrid in September. Finally, it’s not too early to think about the 2012 RX 450h, LS 600h, or the next generation GS 450h. Not too early at all. And the CT 200h should definitely be on your mind. Need convincing from an eco-angle? Consider the benefits of hybrids in general.

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Product Philosophy: What Makes a Lexus a Lexus


    Product Philosophy

    What Makes a Lexus a Lexus

    Lexus has always pursued a uniquely uncompromising approach to
    creating premium automobiles. One that seeks innovation with a
    sophisticated fusion of seemingly incompatible ideas such as: high
    performance yet high fuel efficiency, or advanced technology yet
    exceptional ease of use. This "Yet" Philosophy of refusing to compromise
    inspires all aspects of Lexus engineering.

    Visually, you can recognize a Lexus by its unique styling, born of our
    design language called L-finesse. By finely balancing the two concepts of
    "leading edge" and "finesse," L-finesse helps assure that Lexus
    automobiles are not only captivating and luxurious, but also highly refined.

    In addition, Lexus models are measured against a set of internal
    requirements called the Lexus Musts which cover design, performance,
    specifications and equipment. These proprietary protocols make Lexus models
    distinctive and worthy of the Lexus badge.

    Product Philosophy

    YET Philosophy

    Starting with the original LS 400, we have continually reinvented
    automotive luxury by bringing seemingly incompatible ideas into
    harmonious coexistence. This philosophy of "yet" permeates Lexus
    from the way a single component is engineered, to the way the
    automobile performs on the road.

    For example: Lexus indulges your desire for comfort and pleasure
    yet lives up to your high expectations for social and ecological
    responsibility. Lexus brings you an exhilarating driving experience
    yet attains excellent fuel efficiency.

    In this way, the idea of "yet" lives at the heart of our uncompromising
    approach to luxury. So you can enjoy a refined blend of high
    performance and environmental sustainability, one that is inspiring
    and also brings peace of mind.

    Product Philosophy


    Through L-finesse design, Lexus automobiles are distinguished not only
    by the brilliance of their engineering but also by the elegance of their
    contours, interiors and body colors. L-finesse stands for "Leading edge
    with finesse." To Lexus designers, it means fusing the most advanced
    technology with refined Japanese aesthetics.

    L-finesse gives Lexus automobiles "incisive simplicity",
    clean lines free of extraneous elements; "intriguing elegance"
    the marriage of seemingly contrasting design themes; and "seamless
    anticipation" a dynamic dimension reflecting the Japanese spirit of

    Product Philosophy


    Seamless Anticipation

    Omotenashi, the Japanese spirit of hospitality, focuses on anticipating a guest's needs and desires.
    A Lexus automobile expresses this spirit of hospitality in the way it welcomes the driver,
    ready for the journey ahead.

    Integrating this concept of anticipation into the automobile's design creates forms that go beyond three
    dimensions. "Seamless" refers to the use of continuous lines and uninterrupted contours.

    Seamless anticipation is the dynamic dimension of Lexus styling that transforms its shape
    depending on angle and movement. This gives you, the viewer, a unique,
    personal experience of delightful surprise and depth.

    The window's form changes as it passes by, captivating the eye and arousing anticipation of acceleration.

    Product Philosophy


    Incisive Simplicity

    Through masterful use of materials, Japanese design seeks
    the purest possible expression using minimum resources.
    This economy of style is related to the Japanese
    tradition of avoiding waste or muda.

    In the Lexus L-finesse design philosophy, we call this
    "incisive simplicity." Rather than just reduction of form,
    it is a way of revealing purity and beauty by removing
    extraneous elements.

    You can see this incisive simplicity encapsulated within
    the structure and surface of each Lexus vehicle.

    A strikingly symbolic feature of the LFA is its synergy of air outlet,
    rear combination lamp and rear aerodynamic corner into a single entity,
    without unnecessary elements.

    Product Philosophy


    Intriguing Elegance

    Elegance is the pleasing quality of stylishness seen in the way various elements appear or move.

    Lexus elegance reveals itself through the masterful juxtaposition of opposing elements.
    The resulting visual depth fascinates the viewer,
    inspiring a sense of profound and mysterious beauty.

    This intriguing elegance helps define Lexus automobiles as a breed apart,
    exhibiting a perfect balance of grace and power,
    whether standing still or in dynamic motion.

    Sweeping lines join with the natural flow of wind across
    the body of the CT 200h in a design as intriguingly
    elegant as it is aerodynamically efficient.

    Precision Craftsmanship

    Lexus vehicles are created with a masterful skill and attention to detail
    inspired as much by traditional artisanship as by state-of-the-art
    engineering. This pursuit of perfection is evident at every stage of the
    manufacturing process.

    For example, at the Tahara, Japan facility, components precision-made
    with leading edge digital technology are assembled and then finished by
    master craftsmen called Takumi. To be a Takumi is to have a synergy of
    technical expertise and sure senses honed by decades of rigorous

    At the vanguard of quality, every Lexus is a masterpiece of automotive
    artistry brought to life with human hands sensitive to the heartbeat of
    innovative technology.