Friday, September 30, 2011

Lexus Introduces 2012 Special Edition Models for LS 460, ES 350 and CT 200h

• LS 460 RWD Adds to Sport Package with Navigation and Exclusive Two-Tone Interior Trim
• ES 350 Luxury Augmented by Unique Saddle Leather Interior and High-Gloss 17-Inch Wheels
• CT 200h Further Reinforces Fun To Drive Hybrid Image By Offering F Sport Performance Components and Visual Cues


2012 Lexus LS 460 Sport Special Edition 001

2012 Lexus ES 350 Touring Edition 001

2012 Lexus CT 200h F Sport Special Edition 001

2012 Lexus CT 200h F Sport Special Edition 002

2012 Lexus CT 200h F Sport Special Edition 003

TORRANCE, Calif. (Sept. 30, 2011) – Continuing to expand the brand’s wider range of style and customer appeal, Lexus today announced Special Edition models for the 2012 LS 460, ES 350 and CT 200h. Well-known for indulging its customers with incomparable comfort and elegance, Lexus will offer numerous exclusive exterior and interior features for an even sportier look and feel.

“The Special Edition models will offer our customers choices to fit their luxury and sporty needs,” said Mark Templin, Lexus Division group vice president and general manager. “With the unique and exclusive package offerings, the Special Edition models further demonstrate Lexus’ commitment to our customers.”

Lexus also announced Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) of $77,000 for the 2012 LS 460 Sport Special Edition, $40,475 for the 2012 ES 350 Touring Edition and $37,995 for the 2012 CT 200h F Sport Special Edition. The CT 200h Special Edition will arrive at dealerships next month and the LS and ES Special Editions will arrive in November. The MSRPs do not include a delivery, processing and handling fee of $875. Production of the Special Edition models will be limited to 250 units of the LS Sport Special Edition, 2,000 units of the ES 350 Touring Edition and 900 units of the CT 200h F Sport Special Edition. 

LS 460 Sport Special Edition
The LS 460 Sport package was introduced for 2010MY and is the first of its kind for the LS and exudes sporty exterior styling with a distinctive look. Available only for the 2012 LS 460 Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) model, the 2012 LS 460 Sport Special Edition will include all existing Sport package performance and appearance elements, and a distinctive interior package. It will be distinguished from other LS models by an Obsidian exterior and the following features:
·        Two-tone black and topaz beige interior with contrast stitching on black leather trim
·        Lexus HDD Navigation System
·        Sport and Comfort Packages
o   19-inch, split 10-spoke forged alloy wheels with summer tires
o   Brembo brakes
o   Sport-tuned air suspension with Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS)
o   Sport exterior trim and grille
o   Sport front seats with climate control
o   Leather-trimmed heated steering wheel with paddle shifters
o   Headlamp washer
o   Intuitive Parking Assist
o   Matte Dark Brown Ash Burl wood trim
o   One-touch open/close power trunk
o   Power door closers
o   Heated rear seats
o   Rear power sunshade

ES 350 Touring Edition
The 2012 ES 350 Touring Edition, only available in two colors, Stargazer Black and Starfire Pearl, will be set apart from other ES models by the following elements:
·        17-inch 10-spoke wheels in Liquid Graphite finish with full-size spare wheel and tire
·        Wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob
·        Heated and ventilated front seats
·        Lexus HDD Navigation System
·        Saddle Tan leather-trimmed seats, center console lid and door armrest
·        Brown Walnut wood trim

CT 200h F Sport Special Edition
The popular CT 200h hybrid premium compact model will expand its line with a 2012 CT 200h F Sport Special Edition. Available for only the Premium model, the 2012 CT 200h F Sport Special Edition is offered in three colors, Nebula Gray Pearl, Starfire Pearl and Tungsten Pearl, and includes the following features:
·        F Sport 17-inch alloy wheels with Liquid Silver finish
·        F Sport suspension with anti-sway bar and springs
·        Ocean Blue NuLuxe trimmed seats
·        Black F Sport floor mats with blue contrast stitching
·        TUMI tote and backpack both with F Sport embossed logo and Ocean Blue NuLuxe zippers and lining
·        F Sport Package
o   Unique front mesh grille
o   Larger rear spoiler
o   F Sport exterior badge
o   Metal front scuff plates
o   Aluminum sport pedals
o   Metallic trim added to dash panel
o   Perforated leather-trimmed steering wheel with F Sport logo
o   Leather-trimmed shift knob
o   Black headliner
·        Navigation Package
·        Premium Audio Package

“The LS, ES and CT Special Editions are unique packages of style and excitement. With limited units available nationwide, they’ll sell out fast to customers who want an all-inclusive sport and luxury package,” said Templin.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Congratulations to William for being mentioned in this great review!

4.8 Star Review on DealerRater -

  • William, as usual, did a great job attending to the particulars during my recent visit. My problem was minor one but, as always, he accelerated process of getting on my way. He is always cordial and very pleasing to do business with. - KILLKELLEY

For more reviews like this, click here.

Five Toyota, Lexus and Scion Models Earn 2011 Motorist Choice Awards



Thirty Winning Models Announced at the Orange County International Auto Show 

Anaheim, Calif. (September 22, 2011) – Notable automotive industry research companies, IntelliChoice and AutoPacific, today announced the 2011 Motorist Choice Awards. Now in its sixth year, this venerable award series is designed to recognize those vehicles that deliver the compelling combination of high consumer satisfaction and lower-than-expected ownership costs over time. These awards were announced today at the Orange County International Auto Show at the Anaheim Convention Center.

This year, IntelliChoice and AutoPacific continued categorizing the winners into a collection of 15 popular lifestyle segments that shoppers could easily identify with, including categories such as “Active Lifestyle”, “Cosmopolitan”, “Head Turner” and “People Mover”. The category winners covered two market segments – Popular and Premium. Both reflect the purpose and perception of the consumer and illustrate the results of practical analysis, like total cost of ownership, fuel economy and resale value.

Ford led the list of winning vehicles with four, including the Expedition which won in three different Popular categories. Repeat winners included the Dodge Ram HD in the Popular Active Lifestyle category, Hyundai Genesis in the Popular Luxury Lifestyle category, and the Lexus IS in the Premium Youthful category.


The 2011 Motorist Choice Award Winners:




Active Lifestyle

Dodge Ram HD

Land Rover LR4

Cargo Hauler

Ford Expedition EL

Volvo XC70


Scion xD

Audi A3

Eco Friendly

Ford Fusion Hybrid

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

Fun to Drive

MINI Cooper

Volvo C30

Head Turner

Chevrolet Camaro

Porsche Panamera

High Tech

Volkswagen Touareg

Cadillac Escalade


MINI Cooper

Mercedes-Benz GLK

Kid Friendly

Toyota Sienna

Volvo XC90

Luxury Lifestyle

Hyundai Genesis

Jaguar XJ

People Mover

Ford Expedition EL

Lincoln Navigator


Chevrolet Corvette

Cadillac Escalade

Road Trip

Ford Expedition

Mercedes-Benz GL


Hyundai Elantra

Lexus HS


Scion tC

Lexus IS



Each year, AutoPacific performs the broadest and most widely followed owner satisfaction survey in the U.S. with a record of over 72,000 responses in 2011. This study solicits consumer feedback on a recently purchased 2011 vehicle using 48 key attributes covering the entire ownership experience. From these data, AutoPacific compares overall buyer satisfaction between individual models and vehicle classes and announces its annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSAs) based on the findings. 

Meanwhile, IntelliChoice constantly monitors and adjusts cost of ownership metrics for over 1,800 model trim lines to provide consumers with valuable insight into the financial impact of ownership over a five year time horizon. This analysis is the foundation of the IntelliChoice Best Overall Value of the Year (BOVY) awards announced each January, and its interim Best Bets awards which were recently announced for the upcoming 2012 model year.

The Motorist Choice Awards combine complementary analysis from both firms into one set of accolades representing vehicles that earn high marks on both sets of criteria. Fifteen unique vehicle categories were defined by the needs and usage sought by new vehicle buyers and named appropriately based on recommendations from a panel of consumers. The firms then determined winners in the Popular and Premium brand groupings. This methodology provides a superior means of evaluating “Best in Class” vehicles that align consumer shopping patterns with probability for both satisfaction and value.

“Each year, we appreciate the opportunity to partner with AutoPacific to perform this research and analysis,” said Tyler Schulze, vice president and general manager of IntelliChoice. “The Motorist Choice Award methodology is designed to help consumers identify vehicles that speak to their hearts and their wallets. The 2011 award winners all share a connection with buyers from both a satisfaction standpoint and overall value as compared to their peers. Based on this compelling combination, we are pleased to recommend these vehicles to consumers as a guide for good purchase decisions.”

“The Motorist Choice Awards are designed to assist consumers by using a categorization scheme other than traditional vehicle classes.  Our research has shown that buyers often shop in more than one vehicle segment based on their needs and uses, rather than simply choosing a segment and then comparing models within it,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “Whether buyers are seeking a kid friendly, youthful, or fun to drive vehicle – we have a suggestion that will fit their budget and needs.”

For more details on these categories and the winning vehicles please visit and

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Toyota's new global design boss vows to ban the bland

The Toyota brand's flamboyant new global styling chief wants to put an end to a long tradition of conservative design.

In the future, he says, the styling of Toyota-badged vehicles will be more aggressive, reflecting the more emotional approach being called for by Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda.

In charge of the design metamorphosis is Dezi Nagaya, a veteran Toyota designer who dresses like he's on his way to a trendy Shibuya nightclub rather than off to work at Toyota.

"Toyota has been criticized for being quiet and nonoffensive, of having too friendly an image while lacking emotion," Nagaya said during an interview at the auto show here.

"We are going to be more dynamic, more masculine, sportier, with a more obvious design theme and a face to represent the company and the brand," he said. "We have eliminated emotion. We need to pump that up."

But for the ebullient 50-year-old designer, it also means walking a tightrope -- trying to upend several generations of conservative design in a risk-averse, consensus-driven corporate culture.

And Nagaya needs to juggle design strategy for global markets that may have quite different perceptions of what a Toyota is.

So while he tosses around such words as "passion" and "emotion," Nagaya also frequently returns to expressing the need to have "rational value" in Toyota design.

Nagaya listens carefully to constructive criticism about vehicles Toyota has delivered, including some of his own work. And he says he knows Toyota's styling ethos needs to change.

That's why the concepts for the sporty FT-86 coupe, which first arrives next year as the Scion FR-S, have become more aggressive, rather than less so -- even though manufacturing engineers may wonder how they are going to bend the metal.

Of course, the new direction may give Toyota designers fits: Trying to evoke emotion in a car like the Camry.

"The Camry has a wide selection range with customers who don't want something too aggressive," Nagaya said. "But it has the responsibility of being the highlight of the lineup."

For vehicles such as the Camry and Prius, Nagaya says, the sliding scale of emotion and rationality leans more toward the rational.

"If we don't stand between those two pillars, then it won't look like our product," he said. "But each needs to have its own distinct element besides the family resemblance."

He says Toyota needs to be like "a department store," where there is a united styling language among many products that have little to do with each other. In that sense, if there are five styling cues that are similar on a Prius, Camry, Land Cruiser and FT-86, the rest can be wildly different.

This line of thinking goes back to when Nagaya was general manager of the Lexus planning department in Tokyo and one of the creators of the "L-Finesse" design language for Lexus.

In developing L-Finesse, Nagaya said he wanted to avoid what he calls the BMW design strategy of "small, medium and large sausages."

As chief designer of the second-generation Toyota Prius, which debuted in 2003, Nagaya took that thinking to the extreme.

"Some people don't know what a Toyota is, but with the Prius, people knew it was a hybrid, even if they didn't know it was a Toyota," Nagaya said.

But when overseeing the expanding Prius lineup, Nagaya said the family resemblance needs to be apparent. So even though the Prius C subcompact concept shown earlier this year seems distant from the regular Prius, the production version likely will be much closer in appearance.

"It has to keep the Prius styling language," Nagaya said. "You have to tell it's the youngest brother, that it has the Prius image. The current Prius is too serious, so the Prius C will be more optimistic.

"That's how design works," he said. "It gives people information. It tells them what the function is, what's inside. It's not just styling; it means something."

New Cars for 2012: Lexus Full Lineup Info

’13 GS: A new GS will unwrap as a 2013 model with styling based on the LF-Gh concept shown in New York this past April. If Lexus concept cars are indicative of the future (and they usually are), we figure the GS’s basic profile will stay about the same. As the concept is a hybrid, expect a production hybrid along with conventional six- and eight-cylinder options.

CT200h: Lexus’s hybrid hatchback launched this year as a 2012 but receives a new F Sport package with a firmer suspension, 17-inch wheels, and sporty trim inside and out. The F Sport Special Edition gets you all that, plus different wheels, blue seats instead of black, F Sport floor mats, and a Tumi backpack.

LS460/460L: Only 250 copies will be built of the LS Sport Authentic Special Edition (will the badge even fit on the trunk?). This short-wheelbase, rear-drive LS will have 19-inch forged aluminum wheels, summer rubber, Brembo brakes, a sportier suspension tune, some exterior trim changes, sport seats, Obsidian black paint over a black/gray two-tone interior, and a list of luxury amenities. Figure on a mid- to high-$80K price.

RX350: The premium fuel requirement has been dropped, and an appearance pack includes 19-inch “Superchrome” wheels.

ES350: A new Touring Edition sports 17-inch wheels, wood accents, navigation, and heated and ventilated leather seats.

HS250h: This wee hybrid sedan gets a new front bumper and grille, as well as eco-friendly plastics.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fancy car show coming soon

If you've wondered how 1 percent of the other half drives or rides, you may be interested in a car show put on by Eustis' Joe Sabatini.

The 46-year-old has made a name for himself by bringing together the world's most exotic automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles and watercraft under one roof.

His company, Festivals of Speed, will showcase one of his exquisite shows in Orlando, Oct. 7-9, at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande-Lakes. The main car show is Oct. 9.

The 6th Annual Festivals of Speed will reveal eye-popping exhibits that will include Bugatti's new $3 million Veyron Super Sport, touted as officially the world's fastest production car; and the $2 million Koenigsegg CCX, a mid-engined roadster from the Swedish car manufacturer.

And, there's the 1961 Ferrari Testarossa, a 12-cylinder mid-engine sports car valued between $7 and $10 million.

"My shows are for who those who love and collect exotic cars and appreciate the finer things in life," Sabatini said.

In addition to the many other world class vehicles on display, the Lexus LFA, 2012 Lamborghini Aventador, 2012 Mosler Raptor, and a rare collection of vintage Packards, will be there.

Guests also will experience automotive designs by Lexus, Porsche, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Aston-Martin, BMW, Mercedes and McLaren.

Sabatini also has shows in Miami, St. Petersburg and Howey-in-the-Hills, the later at the Mission Inn Resort and Club slated for May 6 of next year. He plans on expanding his shows to California and Manhattan soon.

And the annual Orlando show this year will expand by adding an additional day, Oct. 7, of automotive appreciation to the annual, Luxury Lifestyle Jet Port Reception, Wine Connoisseurs' Dinner, and Motorsports Collection Display as well as a VIP Pavilion.

It is being billed as catering to the "true speed aficionado."

The event will fly off in a private hangar at the Orlando International Airport, where the Festivals of Speed hosts the annual Luxury Lifestyle Jet Port Reception.

The setting is complete with gourmet food stations, top shelf open bar, smooth jazz, fine art, watch displays, elegant jewelry, luxury products as well as a live and silent auction of unique items to benefit the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

On Oct. 8, those in attendance will experience some of world's most heralded automotive icons first hand as manufacturers operate special "Ride & Drives" for qualified drivers. Select guests will also partake in new vehicle unveilings, sponsor hospitality events, motorsports seminars, driving schools, and much more during this highly anticipated afternoon.

The weekend concludes on Oct. 9, with the Motorsports Collection Display of over 300 exotic cars, motorcycles, boats and aircraft.

"The guest will get a chance to see many cars you don't see on the road everyday," he said.

Cars exhibited by private collectors will compete for awards such as "The Most luxurious."

Shows from Sabatini need big time sponsors. Lexus of Orlando and Ferrari are some of the show's sponsors. Tiffany & Co., the world's premier jeweler, is also a sponsor, and will provide crystal trophies to some of the winners.

While the typical buyers of the vehicles might have deep pockets, Sabatini said guests don't have to be "super rich."

"Anyone can enjoy looking at them," he said.

Sabatini's start in car shows came from humble beginnings. He used to own an Europa Gallery in Eustis, which included portraits of vehicles. A car club car expressed fascination at some of the car art, which led Sabatini to start getting some car dealerships to sponsor some of his exhibits.

And that led to him starting the car shows.

As for Sabatini, his 1998 Corvette delivers all the horsepower he needs, but he travels about 40,000 miles a year for business in his 2011 Hyundai Sonata, a mid-size crossover.

He admits the $21,000 Sonata gets eye brows raising from the upscale car owners that he tries to attract for his shows.

"I like my Hyundai, because it gives me more bang for my bucks," he said.

The Orlando show will benefit the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.



Tickets to the Sunday car show are $10. general admission. All tickets for other days are listed on the website. For more information, visit or call 352-385-9450.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lexus of Orlando - L. A. P. S.

Lexus of Orlando Has Taken the Possibility to the Reality & Is Pleased To Announce Our New Concierge Maintenance & Service for Your Lexus Vehicle While You Travel

L. A. P. S.
Lexus Airport Park & Service

Lexus of Orlando is pleased to provide a UNIQUE and EXCLUSIVE PARK and SERVICE process for Lexus owners located at the Orlando International Airport Hyatt Regency Valet Parking Facility.

Flying out of town and need your Lexus serviced? Simply park your vehicle at the secure and climate controlled parking facility at the Airport Hyatt Regency Valet located in the B Terminal. You will enjoy worry free departures with the ease of access to both terminals A and B.

While you are on travel, Lexus of Orlando will pick up your vehicle, complete the maintenance you have requested and return your vehicle to the Airport Hyatt Regency Valet Parking Facility. Upon your arrival simply call 407.825.1234 request to speak to the “valet service” or text 407.491.9220 with your claim check number and advise you have landed. Valet Services will then have your vehicle ready and waiting for you to pick-up.

For details regarding this EXCLUSIVE SERVICE please contact our Service Department at Lexus of Orlando via phone 800.481.8709, or email: for rates, information and to schedule a reservation

First Drive: 2013 Lexus LFA Nurburgring Package

If you want a measure of just how far the supercar art has come in the last generation, consider this: When safety concerns closed the gates of the old Nurburgring to top-level racing back in 1983, the lap record stood at 6 minutes, 25 seconds. It was set by Stefan Bellof, one of the brightest talents of his or any other era, driving a purpose-built Porsche 956 Group C racecar weighing less than 1,750 pounds, powered by a 650-horsepower engine and wearing huge slick tires and utilizing full ground effects.

Now, however, if you have a reasonable idea of which way its 140-odd turns go and are not a complete idiot at the wheel, you could get in this new Lexus, go around the same circuit and be back before Bellof had time to do much more than take his helmet off.

No, the 2013 Lexus LFA with the new Nurburgring package is not quite the fastest road car ever to lap the 12.9-mile circuit in the Eifel mountains, but when you consider it comes with normal treaded tires rather than the lightly cut slicks some rivals wear, its seven-minute, 14-second lap gives you some idea of its potential.

More of Everything, Please
To turn an LFA which, let's not forget, is still a rare and special thing, into one fit for the 'Ring, Lexus has taken an approach not dissimilar to that Porsche adopts when turning a 911 GT3 into a GT3 RS. There's no single huge change to grab the headlines, just a thorough reworking of the car from end to end.

Most obvious is the new aerodynamic package. It consists of a far deeper carbon front spoiler, balanced at the back by a large fixed rear wing in place of the standard car's extendable item. At the sides you'll notice small winglets have sprouted ahead of the front wheel arches, to give the 2013 Lexus LFA some extra front-end bite through the Nurburgring's many fast corners. Harder to see are revised side skirts, designed to better control the flow of air from front to rear.

At each corner you'll find new forged aluminum wheels covered by Bridgestone tires of the same size as the standard car, but made of a different compound, construction and tread pattern more suited to the hostile environment of the racetrack but still perfectly sensible in all but monsoon conditions on the road.

What is more difficult to see is that the whole car has been dropped by 10mm to lower its center of gravity and reduce airflow under the car. It isn't obvious by looking, however, that the engine is tuned to produce another 11 hp and the gearbox has been coaxed into shaving 0.05 second off the shift times.

Lexus freely admits the purpose of the extra power is simply to offset the additional drag that was an almost inevitable consequence of adding 30 percent more downforce to the car — so it still needs 3.7 seconds to hit 62 mph and top speed remains 202 mph.

The 'Ring
No prizes for guessing where Lexus decided to introduce us to its newest, maddest motor. We're grateful for one sighting lap in a stock LFA. Not only does it give us a reference point against which to judge the new car, but having not raced at the 'Ring for eight years it was useful to be reminded which way the track went.

As we drop down into the driver's cell of the new car, several things occur at once. There's very little to the simple, stylish interior and it's all the better for it. There's none of the confusing clutter you find in Ferraris these days. The replacement of all the leather with either Alcantara or carbon fiber works well, but its new super-thin race seats are just a touch too figure-hugging for us.

The man on the gate waves us through without a second glance. He's been doing this all day. We have not. Here we are, 571-hp supercar at our command, and the entire length of the world's longest, greatest racetrack to ourselves. When we die, this is what we hope heaven looks like.

We flick the controller into Sport, dial up the quickest transmission map and turn off the electronic safety nets. Then common sense sets in and we turn them back on again.

Like Jerry Maguire
It's got you before the first corner. Show me someone who can listen to this engine shriek to 9,000 rpm without a deep emotional response and we will show you someone in urgent need of a hearing aid. In the last couple months we've driven the Ferrari FF, Lamborghini Aventador and Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0. And, aurally at least, the 2013 Lexus LFA's Yamaha-designed V10 has the lot licked.

Now we're into the tricky turns at the start of the lap. There's clearly more grip, but something else, too: Even given its higher limits, this LFA is easier to drive than the standard car.

The track opens out into a section so fast it might even be quicker than the main straightaway if we could remember where it went. The extra power isn't apparent, but as the car steams through curves and over crests at more than 150 mph, it feels more settled and stable as the wings, suspension and tires work together to help maintain its attitude.

All the fabled corners come and go: the Foxhole, Adenau Forest, Bergwerk and then the rocket up the hill to the horrible Karussel. It is a tribute to this car that we're able to drive it this hard on a track so dangerous and faded from memory. It doesn't make it easy for you, but it's a damn sight more accommodating than you have any right to expect from such a powerful and ferocious thing.

And then we're into the section that confused us even when we used to spend several weekends a year here. This is the part of the track the cameras never reach because it's so far from the pits, where the road never runs straight for more than a second or two, combining 30 or 40 turns into one bewildering ride. If we're going to throw it off, it will be here.

But it takes care to treat us right — the constant twinkle of its traction control light evidence that it's working as hard as we are. And then there's a right-hand curve from which you are spat at around 100 mph onto a straight stretching seemingly to the horizon. The LFA gets to 180 mph easily enough but you can now feel the big wing holding it back.

The kink under the bridge should be flat but we've not been away so long to have forgotten the merciless bumps awaiting those who inadvertently stray offline. We lift, streak through at 170 mph and curse for not going faster.

The next lap is a little quicker but toward the end it's clear the tires are less keen than we are to continue, so we dawdle down the straight at an inconsequential 140 mph and think about this machine.

Other Considerations
On one side, there's no denying you could buy a ZR1 Vette for a fraction of the money and go pretty much as fast. Does that knowledge make the Nurburgring LFA less special? Not to us. It's not just about how fast you go, but how you go fast. More important is the way it's built, the way it delivers its performance, the sound it makes and its ability to involve its driver in every action. The 2013 Lexus LFA stands out as an ultra-rare piece of precision engineering. And if that's your thing and you can afford it, it's worth buying even at its crazy price — not least because you'll be one of just 50 people on earth who will have that opportunity.

Personally, we'd save a fortune and have just as much fun going hardly any slower in a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, but that probably says as much about us as the LFA.

Ultimately, this isn't a car for a hooligan. It's for someone who appreciates (and can pay for) the finer things in life — the sort of person who'll happily spend $10,000 on a Swiss chronograph knowing it hasn't a hope of keeping time as well as a bit of battery-powered junk costing 1,000 times less. It is a car for connoisseurs and collectors.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

AARP Foundation Announces $12.6 Million Grant from Toyota

Support will advance the Foundation’s charitable efforts and enhance the AARP Driver Safety Program

LOS ANGELES, September 22, 2011 – Today at AARP’s Life@50+ National Event & Expo, the AARP Foundation announced a three-year, $12.6 million grant from Toyota to support the Foundation’s initiatives to reduce isolation and promote driver safety among older Americans.

This grant will help further the AARP Foundation’s mission to create solutions to help vulnerable, low-income older people secure their everyday essentials – food, housing, income and personal connection. The lack of safe and adequate transportation is a chief contributor to the increase in isolation among low-income, older Americans.

“Far too often half the people who don’t drive or no longer drive are stuck at home,” said Jo Ann Jenkins, president of the AARP Foundation.  “This grant from Toyota will help us keep the boomer generation that grew up in carpools alert to the challenges of driving safely in an era of high-tech cars and crowded roads.”

The AARP Foundation will contract with the AARP Driver Safety Program to:
  • Collaborate with the nation’s experts to develop a new driver safety course curriculum that incorporates the most innovative approaches and advancements in driver education;
  • Build awareness among older drivers and younger caregivers on the importance of keeping one’s driving skills sharp and up-to-date; and
  • Broaden awareness of the program in multicultural communities and recruit new volunteers.
“Safety for drivers, passengers and pedestrians is a top priority for Toyota,” said Pat Pineda, group vice president of philanthropy for Toyota. “With this grant to the AARP Foundation we are enhancing our commitment to supporting initiatives that educate people about how to maintain safe driving habits at every stage of life.”

The AARP Driver Safety Program first launched in 1979. Today, it is the nation’s largest classroom/online driver safety course designed especially for drivers age 50 and older. Since the program’s inception, over 13 million participants have completed the course. The course covers the normal changes in vision, hearing and reaction time associated with aging and provides practical techniques on how to adjust to these changes. Participants also learn how to operate their vehicles more safely in today's increasingly challenging driving environment.

Toyota’s grant to the AARP Foundation is a significant investment in improving safety among older drivers and expands Toyota’s strong dedication to safety, which includes Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.


To demonstrate a commitment to sustainable lifestyles, Lexus and the CFDA will host the second annual CFDA Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge. CFDA members will be invited to submit a proposal for a clothing or accessory line that is at least 25% eco. The winners, to be announced Sept 12, will receive $25,000 and support from Lexus for the coming year. (See "Lexus" section for CFDA Announcement.)


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Toyota Helps to Speed Post-Katrina Homebuilding

St. Bernard Project Says Time Needed to Reconstruct Homes Drops by More Than 50% in Test Projects

Strong Early Progress Follows New CGI Commitment from Toyota in June

September 21, 2011 – New Orleans – The St. Bernard Project (SBP), one of the primary housing recovery organizations in New Orleans, today announced preliminary results of the work it has been doing with Toyota to improve the efficiency of its operations and speed up the pace of post-Katrina rebuilding efforts. 

At the CGI America meeting in Chicago in June, Toyota committed to donate its Toyota Production System expertise to help schools, hospitals and other community organizations improve their operations, extend their reach and increase their impact. The Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC) began this new commitment with the St. Bernard Project. It has worked closely with SBP’s professional staff, skilled construction supervisors and AmeriCorps members since late June to improve the organization’s homebuilding processes.

In just under three months, SBP has realized significant initial improvements using techniques pioneered on Toyota’s assembly lines.

  • Previously, SBP needed 12 to 18 weeks to rebuild a house. With Toyota’s help, SBP finished two test houses in six weeks, an improvement of more than 50%.
  • In addition, re-work (work not done right the first time) is down more than 50%, which is helping to reduce waste, increase efficiency and lower costs.
A short video about the impact of SBP’s partnership with Toyota is available at

SBP CEO and co-founder Zack Rosenburg noted, “Six years after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, more than 10,000 hard-working American families have not been able to rebuild the homes that they own. Despite steady progress in rebuilding, homes throughout our communities remain severely damaged, and our waiting list of those needing help continues to grow. While we still have a great deal more to learn from Toyota, the company’s expertise is having an extraordinary impact on our ability to serve this community more quickly and more completely.”

Rosenburg continued, “For those recovering from disasters, time matters. There’s a massive human impact from efficiency and the partnership with Toyota is going to make a significant difference in families’ lives.”

Once additional process improvements are complete, SBP hopes to bring its building model to help communities damaged by more recent natural disasters, such as Joplin, Mo., Tuscaloosa, Ala. and Minot, N.D.

“At Toyota, we judge our success not just on the cars we make, but also on the positive impact we are able to have in local communities nationwide,” said Jamie Bonini, general manager of TSSC. “With so many nonprofits being asked to do more with less, the need to operate with greater efficiency has become even more important.  While there is still much more to accomplish in our joint work with SBP, we are pleased that the techniques of the Toyota Production System are beginning to show early results.”

2014 Lexus GS F To Feature Supercharged V-8?

There are all manner of rumors and conjecture surrounding the development of a high-performance Lexus GS F, including reports claiming the car could borrow the LFA’s V-10, go the hybrid route, or simply feature a regular V-8.

The latest speculation is that the car will be coming in time for the 2014 model year complete with a supercharged V-8.

Lexus has denied reports that a GS F based on the recently revealed 2013 Lexus GS 350 is planned, though comments from Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda say otherwise.

Speaking with Inside Line, Toyoda said: "I want Lexus to compete around the world with global Lexus models. And don't worry about high-performance Lexuses like F Sport and F models going away."

A supercharged V-8 powertrain would allow the GS F to compete with its intended rivals, the 2012 BMW M5 and 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63--two models that recently went the forced induction route, albeit with turbochargers.

With the IS F’s 5.0-liter V-8 in naturally aspirated form already producing 416 horsepower, a bespoke supercharging system could potentially see the V-8 deliver the 550-odd horsepower needed to compete with the aforementioned rivals.

An eight-speed automatic will likely be standard, and drive should go strictly to the rear wheels in line with Toyoda’s belief that Lexus’ F models should be targeted at the most sophisticated of drivers.

As for its styling, look to Lexus’ GS F-Sport accessorized model appearing next week at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show for an idea of the aggressive look a real GS F could feature.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

If you have recently purchased a Lexus, we would love to have you join us October 20th for our New Owner Welcome!

With your recent purchase of a Lexus Vehicle, you have now entered a world of personal and individual attention. In order to introduce you to Lexus Luxury, you are cordially invited to attend our Lexus New Owner Welcome  an event designed for new Lexus Owners just like you.

Learn more about

Your Lexus Features, Advanced Technologies and Car Care

The Lexus New Owner Welcome is specifically designed to increase your satisfaction as a customer by enhancing your Lexus ownership experience. Lexus of Orlando would like the opportunity to become your trusted and convenient source for everything you need for your Lexus vehicle. This event will also provide you with a great opportunity to meet the Lexus of Orlando family and personally experience how our amenities and services will exceed all your expectations.

If you have recently acquired a New or Pre-Owned Model Lexus and plan to attend or need additional information, please contact our Customer Relations Department at
(800) 317-3641.

You may also email us at:


Our next New Owner Welcome will be held on Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 6:30pm.


You are Welcome to Arrive 30 Minutes Early and Enjoy a Complimentary Catered Affair courtesy of Brio's Tuscan Grille including various wine and beer selections.

You will have the opportunity to win our grand prize drawing for a one night stay for two at the Ritz Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes!  Other various raffles and prizes will be available!* (*Must be present to win).

Here are some of the comments received from our attending owners-

"Your dealership stands out above all the rest. Thank you for being great!"

"First class event-enjoyed every minute!"

"Everyone we met was pleasant, knowledgeable and happy to be part of the Lexus family (so are we)!"

"The presentation was far more entertaining than I expected!"

"I wish they had this when I bought my 1st Lexus in 2001!"

"This was a very pleasant and informative evening!"

"Wow-the Technician Bay area is cleaner and neater than my home! What a great presentation. I am a raving fan!"

"Your commitment to excellence can be seen, felt and enjoyed. There are no words to describe your 1st class service!"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lexus Prepping LFA ‘Tokyo Edition’; Supra Rumors Resurface

Need another way to make your Lexus LFA more exclusive, despite the fact that only 500 examples will be built? Fret not – rumor has it yet another special-edition variant will debut at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show in November.

While the last special-edition LFA – the Nurburgring Edition – was designed more for go than for show, this new take that Car Magazine calls the “Tokyo Edition” may focus on flash instead of dash. The British magazine claims the specialized LFA will receive both an unpainted carbon fiber roof and a rear wing finished in a similar fashion. Unlike the Nurburgring’s fixed rear wing, Car suggests the Tokyo car could resemble the hydraulically adjustable spoiler used on stock LFAs.

Beneath these visual tweaks, the Tokyo LFA will likely resemble any other LFA. A 552-hp V-10 will remain mated to a six-speed automated manual transmission, allowing the car to sprint from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, and ultimately reach a top speed of 202 mph.

How much will this extra dash of carbon fiber cost buyers? Car says the Tokyo package should add an extra $54,750 to the base price of an LFA. That sounds like a significant amount, until you consider the base price of an LFA is still close to $375,000. In context, fifty-five grand seems like a drop in the bucket.

Looking for sports car thrills and a Lexus badge, but don’t have the scratch for an LFA Tokyo? Car also says that Lexus is working on two other sporty projects. One will be front-wheel drive (which points to a hopped-up CT200h), and the other could be a rear-wheel drive successor to the famed Supra coupe, which we could see as early as 2014.

Congratulations Winter Park YMCA! Lexus of Orlando is proud to be your community neighbor!!

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Lexus of Orlando was very honored to support the Winter Park,FL YMCA Family Center with their Grand Re-opening of their beautiful facility on Thursday, 09.15.11.  This Family Center is so much more than a neighborhood gym and workout location is has something to offer every member of the family. 


Friday, September 16, 2011

Our inventory of ES, IS, and CT200 Hybrids are going fast! Come in for a test drive before it's too late!

To learn more about the 2011 ES, click here.

To learn more about the 2011 IS, click here.

To learn more about the 2011 CT 200h, click here.


If you have any questions, please contact us.



Lexus of Orlando
305 North Semoran Blvd
Winter Park, FL 32792

Telephone:  800-528-6404
New Car Sales:  (800) 528-6404

There are many predictions for the future of fuel. What do you think your car will be powered by in the future?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Congratulations to Lyndon for being mentioned in this 5 star review!

5 Star Review on DealerRater -

  • "He is just awesome and so clear and great overall for any maintenance or car concerns. He will sit down with you and clear up any concerns at all with your vehicle." - yitskr


For more reviews like this, click here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lexus Unveils 2013 GS 450h: 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show

Just the Facts:

  • The gasoline-electric hybrid companion to the new Lexus GS 350 makes its world debut in Frankfurt.
  • Like the standard GS 350, the new Lexus GS 450h gets all-new sheet metal and cabin.
  • The hybrid drive system has been extensively revised and upgraded.

FRANKFURT, Germany — On the heels of last month's launch of the redesigned 2013 Lexus GS 350 sedan, Toyota's premium brand has unveiled its new Lexus GS 450h hybrid. Like the standard GS 350, the new GS 450h gets all-new sheet metal and cabin, and its hybrid drive system has been extensively revised and upgraded. The 2013 Lexus GS 450h is slated to go on sale in the U.S. in early 2012.

The full hybrid driveline in the new GS 450h employs a front-mounted V6 Atkinson-cycle gas engine and twin electric motors to drive the rear wheels. Lexus said the revised powertrain achieves "significant reductions" in fuel consumption and emissions, while delivering the performance of a conventional V8 gasoline engine.

As it did with the new GS 350, Toyota has re-engineered the chassis of the Lexus GS 450h, improving the car's driving dynamics through such advanced technologies as Active Variable Suspension (AVS) and Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS).

Other cutting-edge systems available on the GS 450h include the Lexus Dynamic Handling System, which integrates AVS, DRS, variable gear-ratio steering and the latest iteration of the company's Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management. Also offered are an advanced pre-crash safety system, Lane-Keep Assist (LKA), blind-spot monitor, Lexus' Night View system and a head-up display.

Inside Line says: More high-tech stuff here than you can shake a hybrid at.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lexus To Flex Design Muscles With Future Model Styling

If you were disappointed that Lexus softened the look of its muscly LF-Gh concept in the transition to the next-generation GS, you could soon have reason to cheer.

Thanks to teaser images revealed last month, it's already clear that the GS F Sport styling kit destined for Frankfurt this week will carry a closer connection to its concept progenitor.

Now, new reports out of Europe suggest we can expect future Lexus cars to look even tougher.

According to industry paper Automotive News, Toyota design boss Tokuo Fukuichi, whose office is based in Europe, has promised that the LF-Gh's pronounced 'Spindle' grille will be emphasised further with future models.

"In the next model we will emphasize this grille even more," Fukuichi told Automotive News. "You would probably remember this grille if you saw it pass on the street."

With the new GS, the Japanese luxury brand has moved to overcome the dowdy image of its predecessor, focusing on sharper styling and handling in a push to draw the eyes of a younger crowd.

"We shouldn't always stay in the middle of the mainstream," Fukuichi added. "When you launch the product, it ends up with no character."


2011 lexus is f 06

While the mean and chuckable IS F has helped the brand make in-roads with the enthusiast market, it's the overseas HS 250h and the brand-new CT 200h small car that first marked a major change in the brand's "L-Finesse" styling book.

The new look matured last month with the unveiling of the new GS, and the next model to get a going-over will be the IS mid-sizer, Lexus' rival for the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Lexus Australia CEO Tony Cramb is confident the new GS' look and feel will resonate with younger buyers- and poach loyalists away from its European competitors.

"This segment is very well defined. Buyers in the large luxury car segment are almost always male, and very wealthy - and they can have just about whatever they want when it comes to their choice of car," Mr Cramb told TMR.

"Frankly, we've struggled to attract that type in the past, but this model, its styling and handling, we're very confident it will change all of that."


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Check out these photos from the unveiling of the 2013 GS at Pebble Beach!

Glad You Could Come!

September 1st, 2011

The unveiling of the all-new 2013 GS at Pebble Beach was different than most new-model releases.

Often, new vehicles, especially those as significant for an automaker as this one, are first uncovered only before the eyes of automotive journalists, usually on the first “press day” of a major auto show.

This time, you, the world’s Lexus owners and fans, were there, either in person, via the live unveil, or via your Facebook-submitted photos.

So thanks for joining us—and check out these shots from the event:

The new face of Lexus: This signature spindle grille with its trapezoidal contours evolved from current Lexus styling and fully integrates into the aggressive front bumper allowing for efficient airflow.

The new GS is powered by an advanced 3.5-liter V6, four cams, and four valves per cylinder with dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i).

Mr. Akio Toyoda, president and CEO, and Ms. Riyo Mori, Miss Universe 2007, were also on hand. Mr. Toyoda tells us that, after the new GS, Lexus plans on releasing nine new or updated Lexus models.

Just a few of the technologies inside the car: a new energy-saving auto climate control system called S-Flow that uses an occupant-detection system to focus airflow only to the front area where passengers are actually seated, a first-in-class technology. The six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission has paddle shifters and sport driving functions as standard equipment.

Man behind the machine: GS Chief Engineer Yoshihiko Kanamori waves to attendees (those are Lexus fans in the background).


Source: [Lexus Drivers]

Lexus Vehicle Insights: Meet The Elite

Handpicked by Lexus to build the LFA, 14 specialists tell us about their unique expertise—and why building 500 LFAs for two years is a big deal.

A couple of months ago, Lexus magazine enjoyed the rare privilege of not only spending time in the high-tech LFA Works, where Lexus makes its supercars, but the even rarer privilege of spending time with the hand-picked specialists chosen to make the LFAs. Their technical knowledge is staggering, and they’re also about the nicest team of supercar builders ever assembled:

Role: Nothing can be achieved at the LFA Works without the knowledge of Nomoto, 57, who maintains the flow of parts entering and leaving.
Inside lines: “If one part is defective, the process stops. And if a part is late, we work overtime to keep to our output of one car per day. But I tell staff not to rush.”
On the LFA: “I was involved with the LS 400 project, so I think it’s my fate to work with Lexus. I wouldn’t have thought we would make a car like this. But I’m glad we have. It’s like being part of a racing team.”

Role: One of the coolest jobs in the world belongs to Amano, 45. He focuses his checks on seven points at up to 125 mph on the test track: controllability, driving feel, sound, brake performance, power, noise and vibration, and the function of parts.
Inside lines: “To test driveability, control, and performance—the most important areas—I have driven the LFA repeatedly. I try to 'taste' each LFA, and get a feel for it through my senses.”
On the LFA: “You can enjoy a conversation with this car. And it tells you what’s going on at exactly the right time. That’s a promise.”

Role: Hyodo runs the carbon lay-up team working on the LFA dashboard. Working by hand, his team crafts complex forms. Achieving perfection is a fine art.
Inside lines: “A dash comprises 335 pieces of carbon fiber, assembled like a jigsaw. Team members are trained to have a sense of touch that’s heightened to an unprecedented level. It means we can shape almost any form and create superb quality.”
On the LFA: “I feel protective about the car!”

Role: Hatanaka and his team work with “pre-preg” carbon fiber sheets to create side members. Cut-sheets are heated with a handheld dryer and laid up by hand on custom molds.
Inside lines: “When you stretch carbon on a mold it could be bigger or smaller than you need. Carbon is alive. We’ve worked hard to master the craftsmanship needed, and every day we are learning. Our jobs require senses.”
On the LFA: “The engine sound always gets me; it’s machine-like but incredibly dignified.”

Role: Murakami is on the team that creates the LFA floor tunnel. The dry carbon sheet can deform during molding; Murakami makes sure that doesn’t happen.
Inside lines: “I used to be a miya daiku (carpenter working on Japanese temples and shrines), and I apply the skills I learned there to the LFA. Handling carbon is a bit like being a sushi chef. You need to be aware of how the temperature of your fingers influences the product.”
On the LFA: “When I think of the excitement on faces at racing tracks, I think of the LFA running.”

Role: Nakamura works on the body’s final bonding process, ensuring the dash panel, side members, and parts such as the floor are glued securely to create the body shell.
Inside lines: “Once you’ve glued, you can’t go back, so you have to be careful. Why do we make the lines of glue so clean? If someone opens up an LFA 50 years from now, I want them to see the beauty of its inner structure. We all do.”
On the LFA: “When everything’s attached beautifully, that’s the high point for me. It’s like sending my baby into the world.”

Role: Fukaya leads the team that examines the core carbon body of the LFA. Structural integrity—and therefore performance and safety—are very important.
Inside lines: “Carbon sheets are cut by robot, but each is fashioned by hand—the Takumi skill. In lay-up, we need to stop air bubbles forming between layers. We’ve made our own rules at each testing stage, because no rules existed before.”
On the LFA: “The LFA is a pioneering piece of history.”

Role: Kawagishi is one of the youngest members of the LFA Works team. He attaches aluminum frames to the front and rear of the carbon body.
Inside lines: “We are extremely careful because if you scratch the carbon, it can’t be used anymore. It’s not just about looks, it’s also about the car’s rigidity. I was nervous when I started here, but now it’s like being with friends.”
On the LFA: “When I tell people what I do they either say, ‘that’s got to be tough’ or just “wow!”

Role: With 24 years of automotive drilling experience in steels, Yamaguchi is in charge of drilling carbon—the first for Lexus.
Inside lines: “Carbon has its own complexities and uniqueness. It’s a little like bamboo under the drill. To account for this, we apply 32 different drill bits such as bespoke tips and diamond coatings for the finest, purest cut.”
On the LFA: “I get really quite attached to each model I work on. It feels like raising a kid.”

Role: The LFA is designed to be exceptionally rigid, and Miyata checks the numbers at each examination point to make sure of it.
Inside lines: “We load the carbon body with 200 kilograms of weight. If a gauge registers a deformation over our tolerance at any critical point, it’s a fail. There have been no fails to date. We also do a 567-point body-uniformity check with a coordinate measuring machine.”
On the LFA: “I want my four-year-old daughter to grow up and be proud that her father worked on the Lexus LFA.”

Role: Kaieda is a quality control professional. He prepares unpainted components and checks finished pieces. His expert touch is vital given the need for often complex preparatory masking. Likewise, his keen eye is needed to ensure zero defects.
Inside lines: “Working with carbon is extremely challenging. Sanding it, for instance, takes great care as I must not apply too much pressure. You need a deep understanding of the material.”
On the LFA: “When I first heard the V10, it sounded like a jet engine.”

Role: Sano is on the team that ensures a deep and lustrous finish to the LFA’s exterior paint. Larger areas are painted by robot; smaller and more intricate ones are made by hand.
Inside lines: “If we find even a tiny defect, we record where it is and study all the possibilities as to why it happened. Then we come up with countermeasures. As for colors, the most popular is white. Me? I like yellow the best.”
On the LFA: “Its engine sound is thunderous but at the same time not disturbing in any way.”

Role: The final checks on the LFA before it’s track-tested are organized by Higashi. A core function is to check for correct and secure fitting and perfect alignment of each car’s components.
Inside lines: “If there’s 1/100th of a millimeter difference in, say, a panel gap from one side to the other, we balance it. This is just one aspect that uniquely differentiates the LFA.”
On the LFA: “When our names go on the factory worksheets, we know they’ll be there forever. It’s inspiring.”

Role: Yamaishi manages the LFA body process team.
Inside lines: “Free-flowing communication matters here—as does a challenger mentality. We leave a legacy behind and make sure everything is traceable. To do this, we record all processes and work on evidence sheets. When they are compiled, they form a document 45 centimeters thick for each LFA we make.”
On the LFA: “People are envious when I say what I do. I’ve stopped telling them!”


By Doug Knox | Photography by Chad Holder