Friday, October 28, 2011

Behind the 2013 GS Project Car

Next week, the automotive industry will converge on Las Vegas for the four-day SEMA auto show, and Lexus, as always, will be representing in full force. Among this year’s Lexus project cars is Five Axis’s modifications to the new 2013 GS F SPORT. (Lexus will also showcase the new production-model GS F SPORT at the show.)

Naturally, we wanted Lexus fans to meet the man behind the project car modifications, so guest blogger Kevin Watts from The Lexus Enthusiast weblog sat down with Five Axis president Troy Sumitomo to learn more about the changes.

Kevin Watts: So what was it like working with the new 2013 GS?

Sumitomo: The only early exposure I had to the car was really the LF-Gh concept that was unveiled in New York last spring. I didn’t see the production model until we actually got it to work on. It was interesting to see the transition from the concept to the production.

Five Axis has done a series of different Lexus project cars—did you try to bring anything over from previous project cars, specifically your previous Project GS?

We always start by looking at what the base vehicle is all about, what the overall look is, what the market is—every car is unique in its own way. We choose our modifications accordingly.

The new GS is definitely not like the old GS—it’s a completely different vehicle—but we took a similar approach to the previous Project GS in the sense that we didn’t go super-aggressive like with the IS F a couple years back. The IS F was completely about performance, where as the GS is more of a touring luxury sedan.

I noticed that the front bumper is blacked out. Was that a nod to the LF-Gh concept?

The new Lexus styling language is all about the front end. People call it a spindle design, where it’s pinched in the middle. That’s really the graphic statement—it’s definitely the most noticeable in the new GS, but even looking at the CT, you have that styling language. We wanted to keep that accentuation, and the best way to give the impression of that graphic shape is to black the bumper out.

Looks great—I love the look. Tell us about the StopTech Big Brake Kit you installed?

We’re using the larger IS F StopTech brakes; they’re cross-drilled with the front using six pistons and the back using four pistons. Visually they are very aggressive.

What can you tell me about the FIVE:AD S5:F alloy wheels?

The S5:F has become our iconic wheel—it’s classy yet sporty with its aggressive dished face. We feel it was a perfect complement to the design lines of the new GS.

So for the exterior color, you went with “Glacier White”...

Yes, unlike the matte paint on some of our other cars, like the Project IS F and previous Project GS, we wanted to make a real pure statement with this car—the cold white is extremely clean, and with the dark graphics, it gives a very Lexus look to the vehicle.

Having been to some of the European auto shows, I find that it’s always nice when you see nothing but white cars—you’re not really depending so much on the color to tell the story, but instead rely on the pure shape, the design lines of the vehicle.

Did you do anything to customize the interior?

Yes, we added a textural element that has a nice technical yet fashion-forward look—it’s kind of checkered with very small squares—and we used it on the seat inserts and the doors. It gives the interior a little more of that sport flare, without being over-the-top crazy.

The GS already has a rich interior, with that wide display up in the front and strong horizontal lines. We didn’t want to change much but rather complement the already strong design.

What were you inspired by when you were creating the Project GS?

We concentrated on subtle enhancements—a more aggressive look, like a high-performance European sedan—but the main focus on the new GS is the driver’s experience, so we wanted to appeal to that. We wanted people to see it and think, “I want to drive that car!”

When you visit Lexus of Orlando today you’ll notice our employees are in the pink. Lexus of Orlando is getting Pink on Purpose to support Breast Cancer Awareness. We also wish good luck to all those participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Can


Congratulations to Ms. Hayward, winner of the Grand Prize Raffle Ticket at our New Owner Welcome event! She is the lucky recipient of a one night stay for two at the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes Resort in Orlando!

Presented by Ms. Silvia Mickle, Manager.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Four-wheel steering and sport look for Lexus hybrid

Lexus is launching a new F Sport version of its GS hybrid hatchback.

To be unveiled at the Las Vegas show on Tuesday (1st November) the car is described as the first hybrid with four-wheel steering.

The GS F Sport will be in UK showrooms next year, distinguished by a bolder look including a new front bumper, bespoke mesh grille, metallic and chrome detailing, a rear spoiler and wider rear tyres on the 19-inch alloys.

The suspension is retuned, with an electronic Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system and revised dampers to reduce body roll. The electronics boast driver-selected ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport S+’ damper settings.

Overall the driver has four drive modes to select, Eco, Normal, Sport S and Sport S+, allowing the choice between best environmental efficiency or best performance.

The headline addition, however is the Lexus Dynamic Handling system, an integrated four-wheel steering system. All aspects of the car’s steering are combined to produce what the car’s creators describe as agile, sharp and confident driving behaviour.

The car is fitted with larger, 356 x 30mm ventilated front disc brakes. Another claimed first is the hat section of the braking system’s two-piece rotor. This is made of aluminium to cut weight and reduce heat deformation.

The interior is not forgotten, with matching door and seat l offered in a new Garnet (deep red) shade exclusive to the car. Aluminium trim elements, 16-way adjustable front seats, a black headliner and pillar finish, dimple perforated leather steering wheel and gear knob covers and aluminium pedals all feature too.

Congratulations to CJ for earning this awesome review!

Lexus of Orlando - (5) Star Review on DealerRater

  • CJ always takes good care of me and my car. He stayed late today and I was so happy to see him when my car service was complete. -kwielgus

For more great reviews click here!

Lexus gears up for SEMA with their top concepts

Without question, the highlight of Lexus' display at next week's SEMA show will be the 552-hp, mostly carbon fiber LFA. The nearly $400,000 exotic, which will have a production run of just 500, will play halo car over the pack of six tuners Lexus is bringing. Show attendees get to ogle, drool, and complain about the price -- never mind that they're not buying one -- with the sheet metal in view.

Highlighting Lexus' factory accessory line are two cars : the GS 350 and IS 350C F-Sport by TRD. Both wear an unmissable "Vibrance Orange Glow" paint job, and the full line of F-Sport accessories, including 19-in forged wheels, upgraded brakes, lowering springs, and shocks. Five Axis supplies the body kits for both.
Three more IS 350Cs will be on display, varying widely in tune. We've already seen Fox Marketing's supercharged drop-top, which boasts "Foxy Green" paint, a Seibon carbon fiber rear wing, iForged Sprint wheels, adjustable coilovers, and bodywork borrowed from an IS F. The IS C by 0-60 Magazine and Design Craft Fabrication boasts a GReddy exhaust and ECU, Advan Racing wheels, Brembo brakes, KW suspension, and a Ings+1 body kit. VIP Auto Salon and teamed up to make a "Matador Red" IS C. It's more of a low-key approach -- certainly when compared to the cars surrounding it -- that wears a carbon fiber hood and spoiler, exhaust and intake, and Work wheels. Lexus says the upgrades amounted to a mere $15,000.
On the other end of the spectrum is David Huang's IS 300, which rounds out Lexus' SEMA efforts. Huang apparently dropped more than $100,000 on upgrading the sedan. Results? A claimed 1000-hp from its tuned 2JZ-GTE mill. Huang's "IS 1000," as it's been dubbed, sports "Midnight Purple" paint, Work 20-inch wheels, brakes from Endless, Zeal coilovers, HKS sway bars, and a Kansai rear strut tower bar.

From: MotorTrend

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Congratulations to Lyndon for earning this stellar service review!

(5) Star Review on DealerRater

  • Mr. Walsh is my service consultant. He is always quick to respond and is also very informative. He is always notifying me every step of the way that my vehicle is in service. He does a great job at taking care that I understand everything that my vehicle is getting done and in making sure all my questions and concerns are addressed. GREAT JOB!

For more great reviews like this one click here!

Lexus IS 350C by VIP Auto Salon with Trick Paint Job and a Supercharger Set for SEMA

Looking to offer enthusiasts more customization options, Lexus will bring several project cars to next week's SEMA Show in Las Vegas, including an IS 350C prepared in cooperation with VIP Auto Salon.

The Japanese car specialist started with a unique Chameleon paint job that changes color when viewed from different angles. The hardtop convertible from Lexus also gains a Seibon carbon fiber hood, an aero kit comprising of a front lip spoiler, side skirts, rear diffuser, boot lid wing, and headlamp trims.

The IS 350C rides on a lowered suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers and a set of 19-inch forged alloy wheels wrapped around beefy Michelin tires.

However, the most important performance modifications are under the hood where VIP Auto Salon bolted on a supercharger and a sport exhaust system, which along with the updated ECU pushed output to 386-horses at 5,800 rpm and 372 lb-ft at 5,200 rpm.



• TOMS upper shock tower brace
• F SPORT Lowering Spring Set
• F SPORT Bilstein Shock Absorber Set
• F SPORT Sway Bar Kit


• Custom Carbon Fiber Aero Styling Package
• Consists of a Front Lip Spoiler, Side Diffuser, Rear Diffusers, Rear Trunk Spoiler, and Eye lines
• Seibon Carbon Fiber Hood
• Custom head light housing
• Custom Chameleon paint by K&W
• Huper Optik Ceramic film by STM


• Custom Seat inserts by Top Stitch
• F SPORT Carbon Shift Knob
• F SPORT Floor mats
• F SPORT Carbon fiber Engine Cover


• Interior and Exterior Bulb replacements by VLEDS
• Consists of LED interior package, D4S 6k replacement
• HID Fog Light kit, and DRL LED replacement


• Power Enterprise Rotex Supercharger kit by Apexi x Vip Auto Salon
• 386hp @5800 rpm 372lb-ft @ 5200 rpm
• PTS Joe Z Series Header Back Exhaust System
• Apexi Smart Accel Controller

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lexus to Reveal All-New 2013 GS 350 with F SPORT Package at 2011 SEMA Show


  • F SPORT Package Features 19-Inch Staggered Width Wheels
  • Dynamic Handling with F SPORT Tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS)
  • Stopping Power with New Larger Front Brakes with High Friction Pads


TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 25, 2011 – Lexus will reveal the all-new 2013 GS 350 mid-size luxury sedan with F SPORT package at the 2011 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas. 

The Lexus press conference to reveal the 2013 GS 350 with F SPORT package will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 1:30 p.m. PDT at the outdoor Lexus exhibit tent, located between the Central and South Halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Following the press conference, media will have an opportunity to experience track rides in the all-new GS 350 with F SPORT package.

The GS 350 with F SPORT package will be on display at the Lexus tent from Nov. 1 – 4. 
JT Grey Racing Lexus LX 570 Team driver, Joe Bacal and race car driver, Scott Pruett will be on hand signing autographs on Tuesday, Nov. 1 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. and 12:00-1:00 p.m., respectively, at the Lexus tent.   Joe Bacal will also be available to sign autographs throughout the day on Nov. 2.

Building on the excitement of the fourth-generation GS 350 which was revealed at Pebble Beach in August, the GS 350 with F SPORT package was designed to engage driving enthusiasts with factory engineering and the ability to take performance to an entirely new level. Unique to the F SPORT package will be aggressive 19-inch wheels, F SPORT-tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), thicker anti-roll bars, bushing changes, and new larger front brakes with high friction pads. In addition, rear-wheel drive (RWD) models will be equipped with 19-inch staggered width wheels and Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS).  Inside, the all-new package also features a sporty attitude with a new 16-way power driver’s sport seat, unique interior design treatment and available F SPORT exclusive Cabernet Red leather interior.

“The all-new GS 350 with F SPORT package will offer our customers more agility and a sportier appearance,” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “The
racing-inspired F SPORT components were precision engineered for this vehicle, providing quality performance without compromise.”

As with the GS 350, the GS 350 with F SPORT package is powered by an advanced 3.5-liter V6, with four cams, and four valves per cylinder and dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence. At 306 horsepower, it is one of the most powerful base engines in the segment, as well as the only one with both port and direct injection. It propels the car from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds and at the same time, fuel economy has been improved.

Acceleration from 30 to 50 mph can take just 3.0 seconds, and improved engine sound characteristics complement the bolder, more energetic personality of the new GS. The six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission has paddle shifters and sport driving functions as standard equipment.

The transmission incorporates many features adopted from the Lexus IS F high-performance sedan — including faster shifts, and downshift throttle blips — to support four driving modes that can be operated by toggling the Lexus Drive Mode selector. In addition to the Normal mode, the driver can customize the driving experience using ECO, Sport S and Sport S+ modes.

An optional electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system is designed to enhance traction in a variety of driving conditions. The system can vary front-to-rear torque balance from 50/50 to as much as 30/70, depending on driving conditions, for exceptional control.

To provide a more engaging driving experience, including a new aerodynamic body, a completely new platform with a wider stance and stiffer structure, a transmission with quicker shifts, distinctive engine sound and exhaust notes, and better seat support, Lexus engineers looked to the Lexus LFA supercar for inspiration. 

The new platform has been designed to be more rigid. Engineers conducted extensive platform testing, ultimately increasing the number of spot welds and adding laser welds in very specific locations. The track, wider by almost two inches, works in combination with a revised suspension design to help ensure a more solid stance and superior cornering performance. 

The new suspension system is designed to help guide the 2013 GS through corners with precision. In the front, upper and lower control arms are made from aluminum and employ larger bushings. The rear subframe has been completely redesigned to accommodate an all-new multi-link rear suspension, using improved suspension geometry that helps retain tire cornering force and enhances rear control. With the stiffer platform and lighter components, the shocks can use lighter-viscosity oil, so they move easily and respond to small inputs more quickly. 

The use of front and rear aluminum control arms helps reduce unsprung weight and results in significant improvements in agility, roll damping, ride comfort, body control and steering precision. Overall, the suspension is lighter and stronger, allowing it to react to driver input readily, and ride quietly without harshness. 

The GS 350 with F SPORT package will offer an optional newly developed Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system with Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS) for those seeking more agility. This leading edge platform technology offers Lexus’ first integration of DRS; Electric Power Steering; and Variable Gear Ratio Steering. Monitoring vehicle speed, steering direction and driver inputs, the system calculates the optimum angle for all four wheels. LDH helps to optimize the vehicle slip angle. Using VGRS in the front and DRS in the rear, the system can independently manage both front and rear wheel steering angles to help improve turn-in response, rear grip, vehicle control and overall agility when cornering.

The latest generation of Lexus’ unique Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system coordinates Lexus Dynamic Handling; the Anti-lock Braking System; Traction Control; Vehicle Stability Control; and Adaptive Variable Suspension. Adaptive Variable Suspension helps front and rear wheel control and provides agile, sharp and confident driving behavior with a more direct response to the driver’s actions. The LDH system monitors vehicle speed and yaw rate, steering angle and speed, and lateral G to calculate the required rear wheel steering input, to a maximum DRS angle of 2.0 degrees. At most speeds below 50 mph the front and rear wheels turn in opposite directions. In certain conditions at speeds over 50 mph the front and rear wheels turn in the same direction.

Further coordinating DRS with VGRS and AVS, the Lexus Dynamic Handling system will automatically customize the adaptive suspension tuning and active safety systems to suit road conditions, vehicle speed and driving style, giving drivers the confidence to fully utilize the exceptional driving performance of the GS with F SPORT package.

The GS 350 RWD with F SPORT package will be exclusively equipped with 19-inch staggered width wheels paired with 235/40/19 front and 265/35/19 rear tires, the widest rear tires ever on a Lexus sedan. The wider width wheels allow for a sportier look, and will also help provide added traction.  All-wheel drive (AWD) models will be paired with 235/40/19 all-season tires in the front and rear. 

Safety/Security Features
As with the GS 350, the GS 350 with F SPORT package will be standard equipped with 10 airbags, including a knee airbag for both front driver and passenger. Rear seat occupants have seat-mounted side airbags, and all four outboard occupants are equipped with side curtain airbags. Also standard are new Whiplash Injury Lessening front seats designed to help limit excessive head movement, and help decrease the severity of whiplash-type injuries in certain types of rear-end collisions. Standard seatbelts with pretensioners with force limiters used for front and outboard rear seats further assist occupant protection.

Available options to help further enhance occupant safety include a Pre-Collision System, which uses the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control System to provide early warning of certain objects traveling directly ahead that might result in a front-end collision. The system also uses a Lexus-first infrared camera with new scanning technology to monitor the driver’s eyes. In the event that the driver does not appear to be looking forward when a collision appears imminent, the system will initiate the warning at an earlier threshold. If the driver still does not respond and make the appropriate maneuver, the system will initiate braking intervention up to 1.2 seconds prior to impact, helping to lessen the severity of the collision. With available Lexus Dynamic Handling, PCS will help further mitigate the occurrence of a collision.

Other available safety systems include a Night Vision System that enhances driver visibility at night; Heads Up Display; a Blind Spot Monitor that helps detect vehicles in rear/side blind spots; and Lane Keep Assist (LKA) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW). GS is the first in its segment to offer LKA with active steering torque to provide a small amount to assist in maintaining course, while the LDW feature alerts the driver if the system detects that the vehicle is beginning to drift out of the lane.

Exterior Design
The 2013 GS expresses a new generation of Lexus’ design philosophy with its precisely sculpted exterior and will lead the rest of the lineup in an entirely new direction. When designers shaped the GS they visualized the flow of air around it and, like the LFA supercar, maximized aerodynamic efficiency for low coefficient of drag.

Following the inspirational design cues of the IS line-up and CT 200h, the F SPORT package separates itself from the GS line-up with distinctive exterior details. To display its aggressive attitude, the GS 350 with F SPORT package will be outfitted with a sport front bumper and rear lower valence, rear lip spoiler, unique F SPORT mesh grille inserts and F SPORT badging.

The GS fuses distinctive style with engineering functionality. The signature spindle grille with its trapezoidal contours fully integrates into the aggressive front bumper allowing for efficient airflow. Air inlets located on the outer edges of the lower grille serve as cooling ducts. This distinctive Lexus design feature combined with the deep-set, high-tech headlamps and L-shaped LED daytime running lamps further express the vehicle’s confident and dynamic character. The headlamps use a projector beam design, adding a strong, chiseled appearance and excellent illumination. Fins incorporated into the side of the tail lamps and the design of the trunk area all help direct air over and past the car. The rear bumper underbody area was designed for reduced wind resistance to help keep the car firmly planted on the ground.

From the side, the GS projects the image of a spacious sport sedan with a road-hugging wider stance. The tapered lower rocker panel and the short front overhang give the vehicle a sense of motion. Width-enhancing front and rear wheel arches add an athletic stance-enhancing the vehicle’s dynamic presence.

The rear bumper features a distinctive exhaust diffuser and centered aero fins to help control underbody airflow. Combined with the L-shaped LED tail lamps, a Lexus design cue, these rear bumper features lend a high-performance appearance. Overall, the new GS sheet metal represents a significant extension of the Lexus L-finesse philosophy that is the core of all Lexus product design.

The GS 350 with F SPORT package will feature two new colors: Riviera Red and Liquid Platinum, and also be available in Starfire Pearl, Nebula Gray Pearl and Obsidian.  Vehicles in Riviera Red will benefit from glass flakes incorporated into the coating that adds a high level of brilliance to the paint. Lexus engineers developed a new advanced coating process for Liquid Platinum exteriors. The GS 350 will be the first Lexus to adopt this new coating technology. Vehicles with the Liquid Platinum exterior will appear more radiant as an additional metallic texture gives both strong shading and defined, sharp highlights. This metallic effect makes subtle and defined bodylines more noticeable and the surface appears finely polished.

Interior Design
To complement the aggressive-looking exterior of the F SPORT package, the interior will feature an exclusive design treatment with smooth striated aluminum trim, unique perforated leather trim, black headliner and aluminum pedals. Distinctive F SPORT badging will be showcased on the steering wheel. Focusing on the driver, the F SPORT package will feature a new 16-way power sport seat for increased lateral support. The driver’s seat will include a Lexus-first with power side bolsters, thigh support, adjustable seatback and four-way lumbar. To complete the uniqueness of the F SPORT package, a striking Cabernet Red leather interior will also be available. 

Painstaking attention to detail was applied to the GS cabin as well, to create a balance of luxurious and technological amenities and emotional design. The new layout of the long, sculpted dash gives the driver and front passenger a sense of roominess through its clean center stack and new, large high-resolution center control display placed deep near the front windshield. Most of the comfort and convenience controls, such as audio and climate, were relocated to provide a cleaner and more sophisticated dash layout.

The interior includes a number of embedded premium upgrades as standard equipment. A new energy-saving auto climate control system called S-Flow uses the occupant-detection system to focus airflow only to the front area where passengers are actually seated, a first-in-class technology. A next-generation Remote Touch with one-push confirmation is standard on all models and enables smooth, intuitive operations control.

The Remote Touch allows the user to operate the climate, audio, phone controls, optional navigation system and more. The screen menus are selected with the controller, eliminating the need to reach out. Remote Touch also reduces eye movement and helps users operate functions with reduced effort and distraction. A standard rear back-up camera helps add convenience.

The finely crafted cabin detail is complemented further by ambient lighting that unobtrusively welcomes and guides the user into the vehicle, providing a carefully designed experience. New white LED lights are sequentially lit to illuminate the areas around the doors, center console and footwells. A new analog clock with LED indicators, carved from an ingot, adds a unique touch, at once both modern and traditional.

“The GS 350 with F SPORT Package will be a distinctive offering of luxury and excitement,” said Templin. “With its dynamic handling, stopping power and true sporty feel this

F SPORT package will be sure to please our enthusiasts.”


306 hp @ 6,400rpm
277 lb-ft @ 4,800rpm
Six-speed sequential-shift with paddle shifters
Electronic Controlled Automatic Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i)
Seating Capacity
Overall Length (in.)
Width (in.)
Height (in.)
Wheelbase (in.)
Driven Wheels
Rear or All-Wheel Drive
Curb weight (lbs.)
3,715 (RWD)
3,890 (AWD)
Brake type
Ventilated front and rear disc with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system (VDIM)
Wheel size
19” x 8” (Front), 19” x 9” (Rear)

 19” x 8”
Tire size
235/40/19 (Front)
265/35/19 (Rear)

235/40/19 (Front and Rear)
0 – 60 mph
Estimated 5.7 seconds
Top Track Speed
Estimated 142 mph (electronically limited)
20/27/23 (RWD)      18/25/20 (AWD)


From: LexusNewsroom

Congratulations to Dominic for earning this outstanding review!


(5) Star Review on DealerRater

  • I received terrific service from Dominic yesterday. I was in a rush because I had to take my kids to Aquatica and Dominic not only did a terrific job servicing my car, but he also had me out of there fast enough for me to enjoy the day with the family. I would definitely recommend Dominic for a commendation/promotion for his excellent customer service skills. Thanks again, -Andrew Chen

For more great reviews click here!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Comparing the 2013 GS—gas against hybrid—with a Lexus master driver.



Question: Does the 2013 Lexus GS, with its LFA-inspired design cues, drive like it looks?

Recently, I traveled to the Shibetsu Proving Ground in Japan with Lexus Drive Meister Yoshiaki Ito to find out, as well as do a little personal, unofficial comparison between the new GS 350 and its hybrid counterpart, the new GS 450h.

This Lexus testing track is going to give me a feel for the models’ new performance modes, SPORT S (enhanced powertrain) and optional SPORT S+ (enhanced powertrain plus enhanced adaptive variable suspension, steering system, and vehicle stability control), as well as the cars’ behavior in long, foot-to-floor straights, fast double-lane changes, and high-speed S-turns.

TAKE-OFF/ACCELERATION: Blasting off first in the GS 350, in SPORT S+ mode, the response from the GS 350’s engine is instant and smooth, accompanied by a deep roar and a throaty burble that, frankly, I’ve not heard in the previous model.

Ito explains: “The new GS 350’s exhaust note is a natural, dynamic response, but it’s also optimized. For the first time, we’ve enhanced engine and exhaust notes via the air intake and exhaust systems.”

The GS 450h take-off, though, with its V6 engine, is a revelation. The previous GS Hybrid had a pretty seamless pick-up from a standstill, but this is altogether more raw, more primal, as if the car had a much bigger engine under the hood.

As with the gas model, I’m in Sport S+, the instrument panel glows red, and as the hybrid builds speed, I can feel the G-forces pushing me deep into the driver’s seat. Ito points out that Lexus purposely spent much time working with the hybrid’s two-motor system “to create a far richer feel.”

RAPID DECELERATION, FAST CORNERING: The hybrid offers fine times with its manual-style paddle shifters and heightened responsiveness in SPORT S mode. But I confess to enjoying the gas version slightly—only slightly—more in this section.

On this part of the track, I begin by engaging the car in SPORT S+ mode along a 90-plus mph straight before dropping to 50 and then 40 in the apex of a corner. The vehicle holds firm right through the bend, no auto upshift or downshift to spoil the fun.

It gets better. In a second time through, I select the manual paddle-shift control, like a race driver. As I power into the corner, I give the right paddle a gentle pull, the car downshifts with a throaty growl, aka “blip,” and the car decelerates under engine-braking into the corner. It’s a thrill. Likewise with the super-quick upshifts.

“This is technology that shows what we’re trying to achieve with the new GS,” Ito tells me. “It’s a new kind of dynamism, heightened responsiveness, more enjoyment.”

HIGH-SPEED S-TURNS: In this section of the track, I keep both vehicles in SPORT S+ mode and approach the track’s S-turns at around 85 mph. In both cars, and in equal measure, my line holds true as I sweep through the bends. Crucially, I can “feel” the road through each car’s steering wheel. I’m connected, but it’s quiet. Very Lexus.

“The Electronic Power Steering helps to ensure this sense of directness and security,” Ito explains. “Greater body strength also plays a part. The new GS is 14 percent more rigid, and we used human senses, via test-driving, to determine the ideal rigidity for the best driver experience. We’ve also maximized the effectiveness of the Adaptive Variable Suspension while also making progress with the articulation index [the ability to hear speech in the car], thanks to a new A-pillar design and revised door seals.”

DOUBLE-LANE CHANGE: Here, the hybrid is the most memorable for me. Driving the GS 450h down the track, I switch to normal mode, drop my speed to 45 mph and then power up to 90. Acceleration is again impressive. Then it’s into a series of fast but well-controlled double-lane changes. The turn in is sharp but smooth, with well-poised body control. Another lap, this time in SPORT S+ mode, and the sense of precision is even better.

Again, Ito provides the back story: “‘Passing acceleration’ in the GS Hybrid wipes away any idea that eco means compromised performance. In the U.S., passing acceleration is measured between 30 to 50 mph, which the GS Hybrid dispatches in 3 seconds.”

HIGH-SPEED STRAIGHT: My take on this section of the course was pretty simple: Accelerating through the track’s long straightaway, both the GS 350 and GS 450h show exceptional control as I power up to 110 mph to test out what Ito calls Lexus’ concept of “aerodynamic handling.”

“We’ve worked ‘with’ the wind,” Ito explains. “You can see it in the sculpted lines of both cars’ exteriors but also sense it through their road-hugging drives and quiet cabins at high speeds, thanks to their aerodynamic underbodies and special stabilizing fins.”

From: LexusMagazine

Here are some great specials on Pre-Owned Lexus vehicles!

For more details click here!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Can You Overdose On One Day With An LFA?

Medical dictionaries define a drug as "any article intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of humans."

The 2012 Lexus LFA is not a supercar, it is a narcotic.

Twist the carbon-fiber key of the Lexus flagship and listen to its race-bred V10 wail. Within seconds of the sound reaching the eardrum, the adrenal glands initialize epinephrine production and endorphins are released from the pituitary. The result of the natural injection is a more rapid heartbeat, an increase in blood pressure, involuntary muscle relaxation/contraction and an overall feeling of well-being - the human body becomes more alert, physically stronger and has greater energy. In layman's terms... the LFA makes its driver feel positively euphoric.

Regrettably, as is the case with most "feel good" medicines, the LFA is also extremely habit-forming and highly addictive. But Lexus has addressed this issue by ensuring safeguards are in place to prevent abuse. First, a person has to be of legal driving age to get behind the wheel. Second, the automaker has limited production to just 500 units worldwide (there are only 46 in North America today). Lastly, and this will certainly keep the toxins from falling into the wrong hands, is that the base sticker price of the carbon-fiber, aluminum and titanium hallucinogenic is a nicely-rounded $375,000.

Yes, it is unlikely that your friends, neighbors or co-workers will overdose on LFA anytime soon.
2012 Lexus LFA side view

Lexus recently allowed me to sample its intoxicating supercar for a few days. No complaints, as it was a lot longer than Senior Editor Damon Lavrinc's taste at Homestead-Miami Speedway two years ago while attending the vehicle's launch. It didn't seem right to review the LFA without a plan, so a scheme was concocted that would allow the car to be driven on coastal highways, curvy mountain roads and wide open desert straightaways during an extended one-day banzai road-trip. Thankfully, Southern California delivered the proper geography and weather to pull it off.

The plan, plotted rather meticulously a few nights prior to the LFA's arrival, was to take the vehicle on what amounted to a giant geographical loop. To maximize the driving experience, the route deliberately encompassed the aforementioned coastal, mountain and desert driving with elevations ranging from sea level to nearly 9,000 feet. Temperatures would mirror those extremes, with a low of about 60 F. at the ocean and a sweltering 100 F. in the desert. In total, the drive would start around noon and cover about 350 miles during day and night - including a desert photo shoot during sunset.

Clear skies greeted me on the morning of the drive, as did a rather dusty LFA in the driveway (black really isn't the vehicle's best color as it shows lots of dust while simultaneously hiding nearly all of its unique styling cues). In person, the supercar looks bigger and more muscular than it appears in pictures, despite the fact it is nearly identical in length to a Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette, but lower and wider than both.

Toyota was obsessed with weight savings, so the engineers specified aluminum alloy construction over traditional steel from the outset. However, when calculations proved they still wouldn't meet their objectives, featherweight - yet immensely strong - carbon fiber became the build material of choice. Expensive and difficult to work with, the automaker relied on its 150-year-old textile manufacturing experience to develop new looms to weave the fiber, and advanced molding techniques to cast the durable carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) components. What isn't composite is titanium, aluminum or some other alloy. The rumors are true; there is no steel in the Lexus LFA.

With a photo shoot scheduled at the culmination of the day, cleaning the LFA was the first priority. The hand-wash gave me a good opportunity to run my hands over the expansive carbon-fiber bodywork and explore the countless scoops, ports and air intakes (they are numerous enough to make a cheese grater feel inferior). The various air intakes are all functional; slots in the nose feed fresh air to the engine's lungs and cool the front brakes, while the vents on the hood bleed excess engine heat and feed cool air to the titanium exhaust manifolds. Additional side inlets deliver air to the rear brakes, large rear radiators and enclosed titanium mufflers.

Under the carbon fiber hood, with its own trick carbon fiber prop rod, is a naturally-aspirated 4.8-liter V10. Thanks to lightweight internals, including titanium valves and connecting rods, the engine redlines at 9,000 rpm with an ultimate fuel cut-off at a dizzying 9,500 rpm. The powerplant, which Toyota says is smaller than a traditional V8 and lighter than a conventional V6, features individual throttle bodies for each cylinder. With dry sump lubrication for sustained high-speed cornering, it is rated at 552 horsepower at 8,700 rpm and 354 pound-feet of torque at 6,800 rpm. The awe factor doesn't stop there, as Toyota also fitted its LFA with equal-length titanium exhaust manifolds and a beautifully-tuned titanium silencer. The sound coming out of the center-mounted triple-cluster exhaust is pure Formula One, a high-pitched wail that is unheard of outside a race circuit.

Gear changes are electronically managed, with instruction sent to a rear transaxle gearbox containing a single-clutch automated sequential transmission. A dual-clutch design wasn't possible with the LFA, says Toyota, as its freewheeling V10 engine can spin from idle to redline in just six tenths of a second. This necessitated a low-mass single-clutch system that was able to handle the speeds and a digital tachometer in the cockpit because an analog system could not keep up with the engine's insane transitions.

2012 Lexus LFA engine

A race-bred suspension keeps the LFA's wheels in contact with the pavement. It isn't exceedingly sophisticated - lacking electronic damping or any other wizardry - but it offers aluminum remote-reservoir monotube dampers, hollow anti-roll bars, forged aluminum knuckles and forged suspension arms. The brakes are massive cross-drilled carbon-ceramic units with six-piston alloy calipers up front and four-piston calipers in the rear. Sticky Bridgestone tires (265/35ZR20 front and 305/30ZR20 rear) complete the package.

The near-disturbing obsession with weight savings, combined with a mid-front engine mounting, delivers a near-ideal 48:52 weight distribution and a curb weight of just 3,263 pounds (that's 566 pounds lighter than the slightly nose-heavy Nissan GT-R). Lexus claims its LFA will rocket to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds towards a top speed of 202 mph.

I dropped my six-foot two-inch frame into the LFA's cockpit to find it as visionary as the exterior, but not exactly ergonomic. While there is an impressively overwhelming mix of carbon fiber, aluminum, leather and soft Alcantara covering nearly every square inch, there are a few oddities. These include a lack of cup holders, a lack of storage nooks and a lack of cruise control. It seemed as if the LFA was already hinting at its single-minded objective even before I started its engine.

Unenlightened folk will have a difficult time driving the LFA, as a bit of pre-flight instruction is required. The starting procedure requires the key to be turned (to initialize power) while a foot is on the brake pedal and the gearbox is in Neutral - pull back both shift paddles simultaneously to bring it out of gear. At that point a small light will illuminate on the face of the steering wheel directly below the carbon fiber "Engine Start" button. Press and hold the button down until the engine fires a few seconds later. First gear is engaged by pulling back on the right shift paddle. To engage Reverse, put the LFA back into Neutral with the shift paddles and then slide a little button on the side of the instrument hood. The parking brake is electrically operated via a switch just below the driver's right knee. The primary controls sound confusing, but acclimation comes quickly.

The first order of business was to program my route in the rather unspectacular navigation system (it is just a stock Lexus unit). With that complete, the second order of business was to fill the empty passenger seat.

I thought about it briefly. Then I did what any responsible father would do - I drove the LFA directly to my son's middle school, marched into the front office and pulled him out of class for the rest of the day. While only in seventh grade, and just 12 years old, he's a Forza Motorsport expert who knows more about the LFA than most salesmen in a Lexus showroom. (Plus, my heart told me this type of father/son bonding was more developmental than anything he would have learned in history, social studies or pre-algebra that day.)

Father, son and LFA left the school parking lot and headed north towards Ojai on U.S. Route 101.

Getting the LFA up to highway speed took about as much effort as dropping a rock on your foot, but that is where the exciting part ended. I don't mean to shatter dreams, but driving any supercar in moderate traffic on a 65-mph highway is as frustrating as having your date's mother chaperone your post-prom party.

Making matters worse, the LFA's suspension bickered with every pothole, wide expansion joint and stretch of grooved concrete it encountered - the Lexus shook the two of us like a bull attempting to throw its riders. As we passed the coastal city of Ventura and turned inland, we laughed when a sharp impact sent us high enough to leave a pocket of air between our jeans and the Alcantara seat cushions. It was funny at first, but it got old rather quickly.

Holding a fixed interstate velocity, the constant wail of the engine also hit a nerve as it spins over 3,000 rpm at highway speeds. Its soundtrack drowns out everything within three lanes, including the patience of the occupants. The two of us needed to find an open road quickly.

The transmission has four modes (Automatic, Normal, Sport and Snow). I'd been using mind-numbing and slow-shifting Automatic on the highway, but as we approached Ojai on California State Route 33 (CA-33) I dropped the gearbox into its Sport mode and began to shift manually with the column-mounted paddles. Entering the artsy town, where most residents drive something along the lines of an eco-friendly Prius, I kept the engine spinning at about 4,000 rpm just to gauge effect. The trio of exhaust outlets bellowed loudly, with the unique soundtrack not only encapsulating the Lexus, but broadcasting one hundred yards in each direction. The pipes announced the arrival of the exotic like a horn blower in a medieval king's procession. It was fun to watch the peasants on the sidewalks as they turned and stared.

Done terrorizing Ojai, we filled the tank with high octane unleaded and again pointed the nose north to follow CA-33 into the Santa Ynez Mountains. Within 15 minutes we were the only car on the twisty two-lane mountain road.

Have you ever seen how a dog reacts at the park the moment its owner releases the leash? Think about the precise second when man's best friend notes its freedom and sprints madly away, as if it has never seen an open patch of earth. The Lexus must contain a molecule of canine DNA because it seemed to sense the open road in front of it.

I didn't realize it then, but I had just swallowed the LFA pill.

2012 Lexus LFA driving

Overcome by the passion of driving a spectacular machine on an equally breathtaking road, I seized the opportunity to put the LFA through its paces. With the gearbox in Sport (where it would remain for the duration of the day), I gently tapped alternate paddles to keep the V10 in its sweet spot as the vehicle danced like a well-disciplined ballerina.

Implausibly well balanced, the LFA was incredibly fast and extraordinary in its ability to hold the line. It rewarded smooth driving and precision inputs through the thick flat-bottom steering wheel with loyal obedience. While it was easy to rotate mid-corner, by lifting or applying throttle, it came back just as effortlessly with a twitch of opposite lock. There was no sloppiness to its mannerisms and it stayed completely within its lane as if guided by Teflon wheels on a seamless steel rail.

The feedback through the aluminum pedals, the driver's lone interaction with the throttle and brakes, was equally as remarkable. I would swear the engine's response could not have been quicker had I been opening the ten little throttle bodies by hand. The massive fade-free brakes needed only a gentle, linear push to instantly engage tons of stopping force. Confidence is an understatement.

Driving the LFA was hypnotic.


After nearly 40 minutes of pure driving bliss, I pulled over. It was time to catch my breath, unfasten the thick airbag-equipped three-point seatbelt and take a freshening walk around the composite flagship. I've driven a lot of sports cars in my time, but few had my heart racing like the Lexus LFA. I was grinning ear-to-ear, very likely drooling, and craving so much more.

Further up the road, the pavement straightened out and dry mountains gave way to irrigated farmland. The mile-long straight-aways allowed me to spin the engine flat out and it wailed like a F1 car all the way to its 9,000 rpm redline. I held the engine right there and laughed out loud when I noticed black crows foraging in the plowed fields take flight as the sinister black coupe angrily sliced through the air on its approach.

After a short jaunt northeast across CA-166, we turned right onto Cerro Noroeste Rd, or Forest Highway 95, which eventually bumps into heavily traveled Interstate 5. The road is one of the best driver's roads in the region, with banked curves and excellent visibility ahead. In the winter, storms dump snow and often close the pass - but under warm sunny skies it was nearly flawless. The V10 shrilled as it sucked up the thin mountain air above 6,000 feet elevation. Despite its aggressive workout, the digital water and temperature gauge didn't move a single pixel (credit the LFA's track-oriented dry sump system that allows the coupe to withstand sustained cornering forces in excess of two Gs and massive rear-mounted radiators with electric fans to cool vital fluids).

2012 Lexus LFA front 3/4 view

A quick detour to the driving summit of 8,847-foot Mt. Pinos gave my son and me one last look at the pine trees before the first snowfall. It also presented an opportunity to test the LFA's reflexes. The coupe's ground clearance is just 4.5 inches, which is lower than a Corvette ZR1. That means large pine cones, rocks and even semi-flattened squirrels are potential obstacles. No worries, as a quick electric steering ratio and just 2.3 turns lock-to-lock allow the lightweight LFA to make easy work of the nuisance impediments.

At the bottom of the mountain, we pulled into a Flying J Travel Plaza to grab a snack before heading across the street to the Shell station for yet another load of fuel.

California State Route 138 took us from Gorman to just north of Lancaster, located in the high Mojave Desert, during a 90-minute sprint. With an impressive 22-mile straightaway that disappears over the horizon, and unbelievably light traffic, the road is fast. The LFA seemed to enjoy the quickened pace. Despite outside temperatures climbing to nearly triple digits, the climate control blew ice cold.

2012 Lexus LFA driving

Still in Sport mode and enjoying manually shifting (it became natural quite quickly), passing occasional agricultural traffic was accomplished brutally fast thanks to the rev-happy V10. As expected from its naturally aspirated architecture, the engine prefers a bit of spooling before it delivers. Head-slamming passing acceleration is best accomplished after two quick pulls on the left paddle, thereby dropping the engine into fourth gear. When accomplished correctly, the slower vehicle disappears in a wake of blowing dust within seconds. High speed stability, in a vehicle that boasts a top speed just north of 200 mph, was expectedly laudable.

We arrived at In-N-Out Burger in Lancaster to meet Drew Phillips, Autoblog's esteemed photographer, a bit early. The appearance of the boisterous black LFA cleared a few customers out of the hamburger joint, and they gathered around to ask questions. The front fascia, coated with dead bugs smashed onto nearly every surface at high speed, is an entomologist's nightmare. It needed some serious cleaning before the photo shoot - I applaud Drew for bringing his detailing kit.

After shooting the car for a couple hours on a desolate desert road, the brilliant orange sky was soon replaced by darkness. We drove back to Palmdale for yet another tank of premium unleaded (we were burning fuel at the prodigious rate of about 10 miles per gallon during the drive). It was then time to strap ourselves back into the cockpit for the grinding 100-plus-mile freeway drive that would take us across six major Los Angeles arteries. We arrived home late and my son went to bed exhausted. I went back into the garage to sit in the warm LFA and mediate upon its existence.

2012 Lexus LFA rear 3/4 view

There are many ways to rationalize the Lexus LFA. It is undeniably a wondrous halo car, but far too rare and pricey to occupy any significant number of dealer showrooms for live traffic. It is also a compelling proof of concept, demonstrating Toyota Motor Corporation's engineering competency with composite manufacturing, lightweight platforms and engine technology. Lastly, it is an impressive supercar under the right conditions, but one whose performance slightly pales when pitted head-to-head against many of today's rivals.

After putting nearly 500 miles on this exotic, I'm endorsing all three of the aforementioned, but adding a fourth.

Unlike most other halo models, proof of concept vehicles and supercars, the Lexus LFA does not make any compromises. It is a pure single-mission driving machine seemingly very content in its very own niche. With the exception of the ho-hum navigation unit, every ounce of carbon-fiber, every square inch of Alcantara and every drop of titanium alloy is contributing to that narrowly focused objective. It is a single-purpose stimulant, formulated specifically to induce euphoria in the driver. Masterfully executed, it is not a supercar - it is a narcotic.

Congratulations to C.J. Kinch for Earning this Excellent Review on DealerRater!

Lexus of Orlando - (4.8) Star Review on DealerRater

  • It was a pleasure to work with CJ Kinch. He was very helpful with all my questions and honest with his reply. You don't always get honesty when you are dealing with car servicing. He was friendly and went beyond the normal service representative's duties. The entire service process went extremely smooth. I know when I return in the future, I will ask for CJ. Thanks again! -Linda Merrill

For more great review like this one click here!

Welcome Lexus of Orlando to the Elite of Lexus.

The Elite of Lexus Are Leaders

This is a special award given to Dealers who excel at sales, service and overall Owner support. We are proud to be recipients of this year's "Elite of Lexus" award.

Elite of Lexus dealers are chosen based on:

  • Customer feedback from surveys rating owner satisfaction, sales and service as extremely exceptional.
  • Dealership exceeding rigorous Lexus operational and certification standards.

We received this honor because so many of our current and past customers have acknowledged their satisfaction with our service and attention to detail. We invite you to stop by our Dealership and experience this exceptional service firsthand.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lexus new owner welcome tomorrow at 6:30 PM!

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Did you purchase a new or pre-owned Lexus between April and August of this year?  Have you sent in your RSVP’d to your invitation to our New Owner Welcome event yet?  We would love to have you join us and further welcome you to the Lexus of Orlando Family.  You could even win a one-night stay for two at the Ritz Carleton Orlando Grande Lakes!  Please RSVP to 800.317.3641 or by emailing

For more details click here!

Meet the new Lexus CT F Sport Performance Vehicles!

The CTs you've been waiting for are here. Sport-tuned with all the latest, most innovative features. Unique 17-inch wheels, sport suspension tuning, NuLuxe or available Black leather-trimmed interior with white perforations, cool colors and, of course, F Sport performance. Check it out. They're waiting for you at your local Lexus dealer now.

See all the details after the jump!

44 Environmental Projects Receive TogetherGreen Innovation Grants

Nearly $1.1 Million in Funding from Audubon and Toyota’s Conservation Initiative to Support Local, Solutions-Based Environmental Projects Nationwide

New York, October 19, 2011 – Energy and dollar savings for churches in Phoenix, gardens for people and wildlife in rural Colorado, and restored habitat for the threatened American eel in the Hudson River are just three expected results of the 44 projects receiving a total of $1.1 million in the latest round of TogetherGreen Innovation Grants. This will mark the fourth year of TogetherGreen funding to facilitate people-powered conservation action in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Taking place in 27 states, these projects are selected for innovation; potential gains in habitat, water, and energy conservation; and opportunities to engage new audiences in protecting the environment. TogetherGreen is funded by a $20 million grant from Toyota over five years.

"Never underestimate ingenuity and innovation. The approaches that will help us tackle the enormous environmental challenges confronting us today are going to come from unlikely and unpredictable places,” said Audubon President David Yarnold. “Each Innovation Grant project is an opportunity for Audubon to partner with local organizations to test and implement creative approaches to build healthier communities and achieve significant conservation results. And as our alliance with Toyota shows, when organizations work together, we can exponentially magnify our impact.”

Since 2008, the TogetherGreen Innovation Grants program has awarded over $4.7 million to more than 160 environmental projects nationwide. The 2011 awardees are receiving grants ranging from $5,000 - $50,000. Funds were awarded to partnerships, mostly between Audubon groups (local Chapters or programs of Audubon’s large national network) and organizations in their communities. This year’s grant projects involve more than 150 partner organizations nationwide. Many of the projects focus on engaging audiences that have traditionally been under-served by the conservation movement, from urban youth to rural ranchers.

In addition to financial support, grantees take part in workshops to strengthen their capacity to achieve conservation results, including a multi-day professional development course held at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and online trainings throughout the year. Audubon staff provides further support, including communications assistance, which leads to more public recognition at the local, state, and national level; and grantees are networked with each other so that they can share best practices and learn from others.

Audubon’s partner groups also benefit considerably from Innovation Grants. As Molly Tsongas, director of Tatzoo, said, “We are thrilled and honored to be a recipient of this Innovation Grant. TogetherGreen is breathing new life into the conservation movement, one that I want to be part of.”
Last year’s Innovation Grantees helped tens of thousands of people take conservation action in their communities, including Hmong American Eagle Scouts who made and erected roosting towers for rapidly disappearing chimney swifts in Minneapolis, African American student teachers who learned how to involve students in conservation action in Arkansas, rural Missouri teens who restored native cane habitat in the Ozarks, and communities of faith in New York City who cleaned up beaches for horseshoe crabs and migrating birds. Grant recipients leveraged their grants several times over through matching and in-kind support, allowing them to reach more people and deliver even greater conservation results.

The TogetherGreen program grew out of Toyota and Audobon’s joint commitment to conservation, innovation, and diversity,” said Pat Pineda, Toyota’s group vice president of national philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation. “This latest group of Innovation Grantees will help further the mission of TogetherGreen and serve as a catalyst for environmental change within local communities all across the country.”

Each year, TogetherGreen Innovation Grants fund projects in a community or region focused on habitat, water, energy, and/or engaging diverse audiences in conservation. Sample projects that will receive 2011 funding include:
  • Habitat: In New York, Audubon New York and its partners will work with New York State's Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation to protect 120 acres of critical habitat in the New York state park system and educate at least 5,000 people about the importance of restoring wildlife habitat.
  • Water: In Kentucky, the Friends of Wolf Run, Inc., will work with Lexington residents to improve water quality in streams running through the city. Community groups and individual volunteers will take part in educational stream hikes, clean up days, invasive plant removal and native plant installation work days, and water quality monitoring and assessment to document improvements. The project partners will also lead a general community/media based education and outreach campaign to raise awareness about the initiative and how individual homeowners can help improve the streams running through their properties.
  • Energy: In California, San Diego Audubon and its partners will launch Lights Out San Diego! to reduce artificial urban lighting to prevent bird collisions during spring and fall migrations and save energy.
  • Engaging diverse audiences in conservation: In Colorado, the Mountain Roots Food Project will work with food bank recipients, low-income families, schoolchildren, at-risk youth, and members of local Hispanic and Cora (Indian) communities, to create six new community gardens and maintain two gardens in two small, rural, Colorado towns. The gardens will harbor crops and native plants -- providing food for humans and habitat our wild neighbors.
For complete details about the 2011 TogetherGreen Innovation Grants projects, please visit:>
# # #

Brenda Tim (Audobon)

Zoe Zeigler (Toyota)


About TogetherGreen

About Audubon
Now in its second century, Audubon connects people with birds, nature and the environment that supports us all. Our national network of community-based nature centers, chapters, scientific, education, and advocacy programs engages millions of people from all walks of life in conservation action to protect and restore the natural world. Visit Audubon online at   

About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants, including one under construction. Toyota directly employs nearly 30,000 people in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.

Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed over half a billion dollars to philanthropic programs in the U.S. 

For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit>

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

There are lots of ways to improve and strengthen your local community!

Here are some of the ways Lexus of Orlando gives a helping hand.

  • Since 1989, Lexus of Orlando is proud and honored to be a strong community partner in the Central Florida area. We have committed and will continue to commit resources to local charity events and worthy community causes that reflect our integral belief that this is the right thing to do.

Click here for more info!

Check out the amazing machine used to weave the LFAs Carbon Fiber body!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Congratulations to Mr. Chanlin Sok For Earning This Outstanding Review!

Lexus of Orlando- (5) Star Review on Dealer Rater

  • I recently purchased a 2011 CT200h from Lexus of Orlando. I also previously purchased a 2010 RX350 from this same dealer. I would like to thank you for the assistance you gave me in purchasing the product. I can say that I am great satisfied with the car I brought from your dealership. More importantly, your staff are exceptional, they are friendly, professional, and enthusiastic.

    I would also like to speak well of your product specialist, Mr. Chanlin Sok, for his great effort in helping me purchase the car I wanted. He assisted me very well and even treated my wife and I to lunch at a very nice restaurant. My wife and I greatly appreciate his friendliness.

    Again, I wanted to let you know that I greatly appreciate the effort of your company especially Mr. Chanlin. Your great customer service is highly appreciated.


    Michael & Tuyen Phan

For more reviews like this one just follow this link!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Toyota to Participate in FIA World Endurance Championship in 2012

Tokyo, Japan, October 14, 2011—Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that it will participate in the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) World Endurance Championship in 2012, the first year of the international endurance race series created through a partnership between the FIA and the ACO (the Automobile Club de l’Ouest).

To date, the ACO has run the Le Mans 24 Hoursin Le Mans, France, and the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, with races in Europe, the United States and Asia. In March, the ACO and the FIA announced their partnership and the FIA World Endurance Championship to start in 2012. The inaugural year is expected to feature a series of races in Europe, the U.S. and Asia, in addition to the Le Mans 24 Hours.

In 2012, Toyota will take part in several races of the FIA World Endurance Championship, including the Le Mans 24 Hours, with a prototype “LMP1” car featuring a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain. Further details of the participation, such as team name, drivers and participating races, will be disclosed in due course.

To mark the announcement, Toyota’s executive in charge of its motorsports activities, Senior Managing Officer Tadashi Yamashina, said: “We have competed in Le Mans before, but by using our hybrid technology, our participation in 2012 will be completely new. We want to make history in the Le Mans 24 Hours, as well as in the FIA World Endurance Championship, through use of our hybrid technology. In addition, we aim to learn from the experience of competing in such a challenging motorsport environment to enhance our production-car technology. We thank the ACO and the FIA for their input and assistance.”


Toyota to Participate in FIA World Endurance Championship in 2012

Tokyo, Japan, October 14, 2011—Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that it will participate in the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) World Endurance Championship in 2012, the first year of the international endurance race series created through a partnership between the FIA and the ACO (the Automobile Club de l’Ouest).

To date, the ACO has run the Le Mans 24 Hoursin Le Mans, France, and the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, with races in Europe, the United States and Asia. In March, the ACO and the FIA announced their partnership and the FIA World Endurance Championship to start in 2012. The inaugural year is expected to feature a series of races in Europe, the U.S. and Asia, in addition to the Le Mans 24 Hours.

In 2012, Toyota will take part in several races of the FIA World Endurance Championship, including the Le Mans 24 Hours, with a prototype “LMP1” car featuring a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain. Further details of the participation, such as team name, drivers and participating races, will be disclosed in due course.

To mark the announcement, Toyota’s executive in charge of its motorsports activities, Senior Managing Officer Tadashi Yamashina, said: “We have competed in Le Mans before, but by using our hybrid technology, our participation in 2012 will be completely new. We want to make history in the Le Mans 24 Hours, as well as in the FIA World Endurance Championship, through use of our hybrid technology. In addition, we aim to learn from the experience of competing in such a challenging motorsport environment to enhance our production-car technology. We thank the ACO and the FIA for their input and assistance.”


Watch The Mighty LFA in Action!

Lexus LFA Nurburgring edition- Chris Harris lap of Nordschleife

Thursday, October 13, 2011

UCF Students Have a Chance to Win $8,000 at UKNIGHT Madness!

ORLANDO, Fla. ( - UCF students can celebrate the official start of the college basketball season Friday at UNKNIGHT Madness at the UCF Arena, and also have the chance to win $8,000 toward tuition. The free event is set to begin at 7:30 p.m.

• Prior to the event, students can sign up outside the arena to enter to be selected to take a halfcourt shot on the UCF Arena floor
• Two students will be selected, and if either makes the shot, they will win $8,000 toward tuition
• The first 1,000 fans to enter the arena will receive a free t-shirt
• Several UCF students will be selected to participate in on-court contests during the event
• The evening includes a slam dunk contest, a skills competition featuring both teams and an autograph session following the event
• DJ D-Strong from 102 Jamz will be broadcasting live from the arena, and Obie and Ricky Padilla from POWER 95.3 will also be taking part in the festivities
• Complimentary parking is available in Garage D and Garage F on campus
• Doors to the arena open at 6:30 p.m. for a season ticket select-a-seat event

Toyota and Lexus Honor the Entertainment Industry's Environmental Excellence at the 21st Annual Environmental Media Awards

TORRANCE, Calif., October 13, 2011 – Toyota and Lexus are once again celebrating the entertainment industry’s environmental efforts as the presenting sponsors of the Environmental Media Awards on Saturday, Oct. 15. In its 21st year, the annual event honors film and television productions that communicate environmental messages in the most creative and influential ways. This year’s honorees are actor and musician Justin Timberlake, communications executive Marc Nathanson, Southern California Edison, and the Producer’s Guild of America’s environmental initiative – PGA Green. The nominees include films such as Yogi Bear, Disneynature African Cats and The Other Guys, and TV programs such as The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Biggest Loser and Futurama. This year marks Lexus and Toyota’s 11th year as the presenting sponsors.

“More than a decade ago, Toyota and Lexus joined forces with the Environmental Media Association to help communicate the benefits of hybrid technology.  It’s inspiring to see how EMA links the power of celebrity and the influence of entertainment to environmental awareness,” said Dian Ogilvie, senior vice president and secretary of Toyota Motor North America. “We congratulate the nominees and special honorees, and we thank you for continuing to convey environmental messages and actions in creative and influential ways.” 

The Toyota and Lexus line-up of hybrid vehicles will be featured at the ceremony at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Calif. Attendees will get a preview of several Toyota vehicles before they go on sale, including the all-new Prius v, 2012 Camry Hybrid, 2012 Prius Plug-in and the second-generation RAV4 EV prototype. On October 15, interested customers can begin signing up for updates on the RAV4 EV production vehicle coming in 2012 by visiting In addition, the Lexus CT 200h, the world’s first premium luxury compact hybrid, the RX 450h and LS 600h L, as well as the Toyota Highlander Hybrid will be on display.        

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. is a member of the Environmental Media Association’s Corporate Board. 

For more information on Toyota and Lexus environmental initiatives, please visit

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Take on any obstacle with the 2012 IS 250!

"First class event-enjoyed every minute!" - Attending Owner

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 New Owner Welcome event is by invitation and it is based on a date range of the last customers to purchase a vehicle within the months of April to the end of August.


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, October 10, 2011

Thank you to the author of this thoughtful review!

(5) Star Review On DealerRater -

  • We found the vehicle we wanted at and contacted this dealership where the vehicle was located. We immediately scheduled an appointment to view and test drive the vehicle the following day. After checking it out, we decided to purchase the vehicle. The financing went very smoothly, with a fair price and and a good interest rate. Within 24 hours of locating the vehicle it was parked in our driveway. A great purchasing experience. -

For more reviews like this, click here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

University of Central Florida will hold the first UKNIGHT in PINK Football game tomorrow!

In celebration of our 15th Annual Race for the Cure, the Central Florida Affiliate of Susan G. Komen and UCF Athletics have created the first ever UKNIGHT in PINK campaign.  The campaign will UKNIGHT the 2nd-largest University in the United States with the Central Florida community in support of Susan G. Komen's mission – to save lives and end breast cancer forever. 

On October 8, 2011 (just one week prior to race day), UCF will hold the first UKNIGHT in PINK Football game - bringing awareness to breast cancer, the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.  We will honor Survivors and Co-Survivors with a special halftime show and feature the PINK PATCH!  "THE PATCH" (a UCF logo patch on a lanyard) will gives fans special discounts and benefits at local merchants and entry into the PINK PATCH tailgate party before the game and other Susan G. Komen related events.


UKNIGHT in PINK Race Packages*
•    UKNIGHT in PINK football game ticket – UCF vs Marshall, Saturday, October 8th @ 7PM
•    Commemorative PINK PATCH
•    Access to UCF and Komen’s PINK PATCH Tailgate Party
•    Receive discounts to local Restaurants and Retailers with “THE PATCH”
•    Race for The Cure Entry, Sunday, October 16, 2011
•    Race T-shirt
•    Race Bib
•    Race Finisher Pin (upon completion of the race)
•    Entry into Survivor Ceremony

Packages are CLOSED. Please go to to purchase game day tickets. 

UKNIGHT in PINK Packages will be available for pick up on Game Day, October 8th from noon to 6pm at the ZETA TAU ALPHA House on campus (4202 Greek Park Drive, Orlando, FL 32816)

 $3 from each package purchased will go directly to the Central Florida Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

 Click here to Register for your UKNIGHT in PINK Package