Monday, April 30, 2012

2013 Lexus GS 350 Ranks as One of the Fastest Selling Cars in USA!


The 2013 Lexus GS 350 is one of the top-ten fastest selling cars in the USA, according to Edmunds.

The ranking looks at the days-to-turn, or how many days between a vehicle’s arrival at the dealership and its purchase by a customer. In the month of March, the industry average was 53 days — in contrast, the GS 350 was only on the lot for an average of 15 days.

Other Lexus vehicles that performed well: the GX 460 at 28th with an average of 25 days at the dealership, the CT 200h at the 37th position with 28 days, and RX 350 coming in at 44th with 31 days-to-turn.

Courtesy of LexusEnthusiast

Take a look at the latest video of the new Lexus GS all the way from China!

Thank you Richard, for taking the time to share your experience with us! Keep up the good work Kenny!

Lexus of Orlando - (5) Star Review on GoogleMaps

  • Kenny made this the best car buying experience I have ever had. Kenny was very knowledgeable and there was absolutely no pressure to purchase. I was given an outstanding price on the new Lexus GS 350 and give my highest recommendations to Kenny Huang and Lexus of Orlando.-rholbert

The last day to submit your ballot is today! Don't miss your chance to vote for Lexus of Orlando as the best local car dealer!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fans! Here is a car care tip. Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.


Take a video tour of the stunning new 2013 LX featuring thenew Lexus Spindle Grill and updated Enform App Suite.

Thank you George and Teresa for taking the time to share your experience with us! Keep up the good work Kevin!

Lexus of Orlando - (4.8) Star Review on DealerRater

  • My wife and I have been loyal Lexus owners for more than 10 years, one of the things that keeps us coming back is the service. Lexus of Orlando service department is second to none mainly due to having employees like Kevin Sinker. Kevin is honest and upfront and we feel he has our best interest in hand, we would and have recommended Lexus to our family and friends mainly due to our pleasant experience we've incurred with Kevin and the service department. -Gcbrown8313

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Camera Fun with the Lexus GS F Sport

Sometimes you’re in the right place at the right time with the right people—that was certainly the case last year when I attended the 2013 Lexus GS media preview event in Orange County, California, and was paired up with OC local Michael Ferrara from DSPORT magazine as my driving partner.

With an Obsidian GS 350 F SPORT, Michael and I travelled to his office and enlisted some of his colleagues to help us with some car-to-car photos—essentially, we snapped several photos from another vehicle while someone drove the GS beside us. The results were definitely worth the effort.

Courtesy of LexusEnthusiast

Hurry into Lexus of Orlando and take advantage of our alignment special before you take your summer road trip!

Thank you to the author of this review for sharing your experience with us! Keep up the good work Dominic!

Lexus of Orlando - (5) Star Review on DealerRater

  • Dominic is an extraordinary ambassador for Lexus of Orlando. Professional, informed, efficient and congenial. I wish he worked in my organization! I would not even consider allowing anyone else oversee the service of my two Lexus vehicles. -Ocalakevin

Lexus Releases Virtual GS Tour with New iPad App

Lexus has released a new iPad app that gives a virtual tour of the 2013 GS — here’s the description from the Apple App Store:

    The 2013 Lexus GS app is an interactive tour containing 360-degree views that allow you to explore the many features and innovative technologies that define the Lexus GS Sedan. The app also allows you to experience the many advantages the GS offers over its nearest competitors in side-by-side comparisons.

There’s lots of information in the app, and it’s worth the download just to see how the GS interior stacks up against its main competitors.

Really hope this is a sign of things to come from Lexus — these type of interactive tools are great on a bunch of different levels, and I think every model in the lineup should have something similar.

Courtesy of LexusEnthusiast

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2013 Lexus ES 300h Starts Production

Thank you to the author of this review for reflecting on your recent visit with us! Keep up the good work CJ!

Lexus of Orlando - (5) Star Review on DealerRater

  • C.J. sets the bar for customer service. He is by far the best customer rep I have ever dealt with. I've had the pleasure of having him as my service rep for about 8 months and I can't imagine my experience would be any better if it was not for C.J. Kinch. Lexus of Orlando is lucky to have a rep like him and I'm lucky as well. -Innerlightsk8er

Thank you Cynthia for taking the time to share your experience with us! Way to go team!

Lexus of Orlando - (4.8) Stare Review on DealerRater

  • C.J. is awesome! I have had the pleasure of having C.J. as my tech for a couple of years. I live in Ocala and C.J. always works with my schedule, setting me up with a loaner when needed. He understands how busy I am in my job and works on getting me in and out as quick as possible. I have C.J. to thank for turning me on to the new 2013 GS just as I was about to upgrade my ES. Thanks to him and others at Lexus, Jorge Laucirica and Ryan Olsen who jumped through hoops to get me in the car within hours of test driving it. Thank you guys, it's an awesome and beautiful car! Fast too. but thankfully no tickets to date!
    Last but certainly not least, my first point of contact with Lexus years ago, Rachel Webb. Rachel is the kindest, and most considerate & genuine person I know. She is ALWAYS there if I need her. Rachel is why I am an avid Lexus of Orlando customer. If you go to Lexus, you must meet Rachel! Thanks all of you.Cynthia -cynthiafitz

Cant you just see yourself behind the wheel of this brand new 2012 Lexus IS 250? Stop by Lexus of Orlando today to test drive it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Examining Lexus IS F Sport Performance

Toyota and Wyland Foundation Recognize 30 Environmental Heroes in Southern California

Toyota and the Wyland Foundation are proud to congratulate the winners of the 2012 Earth Month Heroes, a Southern California program created by the organizations to annually recognize 30 exemplary citizens who find ground-breaking ways to work toward sustaining a healthy planet. The Wyland Foundation, Toyota and regional broadcast partner KCBS / KCAL will make donations of $250 on behalf of the Earth Month Heroes to deserving organizations in Southern California, with a $1,000 grand prize donation, to support local conservation efforts. For the full list of Earth Month Heroes, visit

This is the second year of Earth Month Heroes in Southern California. Individuals of all ages from the areas of Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura counties, north San Diego County and the Inland Empire were selected by the Wyland Foundation after an open nomination process by neighbors, colleagues and peers throughout February and March for their environmental achievements. The 2012 grand prize winner is Dency Nelson, an early local organizer of activities during the first Earth Day in 1970. Nelson was chosen for his lifetime efforts to raise the profile of sustainable living in urban environments, and is a founding member of Plug In America, a non-profit public charity that promotes emissions-free driving.

"Toyota is honored to support the 2012 Earth Month Heroes, all of whom are demonstrating how one person truly can make a difference to help our planet,” said Michael Rouse, vice president of philanthropy and community affairs for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “We salute their efforts, and encourage others to follow their lead by finding impactful ways to preserve our environment and natural resources.”

“We received so many incredible nominees for the Earth Month Heroes program this year, it was difficult to select 30,” said artist Wyland. “We’re delighted to celebrate their environmental spirit by making donations in their names, and also thank Toyota and KCBS/KCAL for their support – their contributions have helped us generate awareness about the importance of conservation to protect our environment both for today and the future.”

Toyota’s support of the Wyland Foundation, a non-profit founded by renowned environmental, marine artist Wyland, is part of the automobile company’s long-standing commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. This year, Toyota also supported the Wyland Foundation in hosting the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, March 30 – April 30, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. With support from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the campaign challenged mayors nationwide to inspire their residents to conserve natural resources by taking a free, online pledge to save water. Participants in the city that registers the most pledges within the Challenge dates will be eligible to win a variety of prizes, including the new Toyota Prius c, which has an EPA-estimated city fuel economy rating of 53 miles per gallon. To take the free online pledge, visit

In addition to its support of the Wyland Foundation, Toyota engages the public through a variety of environmental initiatives and activities as part of the company’s commitment to impactful environmental stewardship. One of Toyota’s key environmental initiatives is TogetherGreen™, a five-year program funded by a $20 million Toyota grant to the National Audubon Society that aims to inspire people to take action to improve the health of the environment. For the past 14 years Toyota has also partnered with the National Environmental and Education Foundation (NEEF) to support National Public Lands Day (NPLD), held annually in September, and is the largest, hands-on volunteer event to improve and enhance public lands. Recently the partnership expanded to include “Every Day” grants to community-based organizations.


Courtesy of ToyotaNewsroom

Be sure to vote for Lexus of Orlando for best local car dealer for the 2012 Best of Orlando! While you're there vote for your favorite local golf course and 11 more staples of Orlando to make your ballot count!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Motor Trend Comparison: Lexus GS 450h vs. Porsche Panamera Hybrid vs. Infiniti M35h

Two weeks after Motor Trend named the Lexus GS 350 F Sport the best midsize V6 luxury sedan, the magazine has now crowned the GS 450h as the top hybrid sports sedan available, beating the Porsche Panamera Hybrid & Infiniti M35h:

- -…at least as unexpected was the GS’ handling while trailing in the Porsche’s wake. Though much slower, its tail actually drifted, its throttle modulations adeptly fine-tuned its understeer, and its turn-in was sweet. When I figure-eight-tested the car, I actually yelled out, “I can’t believe this is a hybrid!” as it oversteered out of the corners…It’s not nearly as fast as the Porsche, of course, but — hold on here — is it actually out-scoring the Porsche in our three triathlon qualities?

- - After our comparison drive, editor at large Angus MacKenzie asked me which of these cars I’d really prefer to drive. I responded, “Around a racetrack” — suspecting that’s what he was getting at — “no question, the Porsche. But to the racetrack, the Lexus.”

The sea change over at Motor Trend is astounding — the GS is cleaning up in their comparisons, and proves that Lexus’ strong effort to boost its performance credentials was time well spent. Can’t wait to see if this new-found respect for the GS carries over to other magazines as well.


Courtesy of LexusEnthusiast

Toyota Announces Pricing for Limited Edition Tacoma Pickup TRD T/X Baja Series Package

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), USA, Inc., announced prices today for the TRD T|X Baja Series Package. Inspired by Toyota’s Baja racing heritage, the truck reveals bold graphics with its name “Baja Series” and enhanced suspension, elevating the capability of Tacoma’s TRD Off-Road pickup to a new level of fun and function. The special limited edition package will be available on select Tacoma 4x4 pickup trucks.
The TRD T|X Baja Series Package provides the customer with a great value and high level of capability that is backed by Toyota’s standard vehicle warranty. The TRD T|X Baja Series Package is offered at an MSRP of $5,015 less a $650 Factory Credit. There is an additional savings because the package the Baja Series is built on top of, TRD Off-Road Package for the Baja Series, is priced below the regular TRD Off-Road Package.

Toyota has a rich Baja racing heritage that dates back nearly three decades and includes numerous titles at the legendary Baja 500 and 1000. Toyota’s desert racing program has inspired the development of numerous TRD off-road focused products and packages over the years including the Tacoma PreRunner and TRD Off-Road packages for both Tacoma and Tundra. Last year, Tacoma’s Off-Road Package was enhanced with the launch of the TRD T|X and T|X Pro packages. TRD now takes Tacoma off-roading to the next level with the development of the T|X Baja Series.
The T|X Baja Series will be available on both the Tacoma Access and Double Cab 4x4 models equipped with the TRD Off-Road Package. The Tacoma T|X Baja Series is equipped with a 4.0-liter V6 engine with either six-speed manual and five-speed automatic transmissions. In addition to an electronically-controlled locking rear differential, Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC) currently equipped on the TRD Off-Road package, the limited edition T|X Baja Series adds BF Goodrich T/A KO tires (LT265/70R16) and bead-lock style off-road wheels with an exclusive Gun-Metal Gray finish, TRD Cat-back Exhaust, increased front ride height of nearly two inches and unique Baja Series graphics.

The front suspension has been upgraded to include Ø66mm piston Bilstein race shocks with TRD coil springs that feature a protective zinc plated body and a one inch increase in wheel travel. The rear suspension is equipped with Ø50mm piston Bilstein race shocks with a remote reservoir to increase shock oil capacity for greater heat dissipation and damping sensitivity. The rear shocks also include a zinc plated body and a 1.5-inch increase in wheel travel.
The T|X Baja Series will be part of a Tacoma line that was updated for 2012 with a restyled front end and a refreshed interior in all models. Exterior changes included a redesigned hood, grille, headlamps and front bumper, among other changes. Inside, Tacoma received a new center-instrument panel design with a revised gauge cluster, along with a new steering wheel. A redesigned center stack added new air conditioner/heater controls and power point locations.
The 2012 Tacoma interior also received a new look with a black high-contrast center console, switch plate covers, dash and upper door trim, while the SR5 grade featured a new seat fabric design. Tacoma offers new heavy-duty all-weather flooring option for 2012 on Tacoma Access and Double Cab models equipped with a V6 engine. The more specialized TRD Sport and Off-Road packages also feature new water-resistant fabric protection seats.
All Tacoma TRD T|X Baja Series models will be built exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX) in San Antonio and will reach dealer showrooms in May 2012. Prices for the Baja Series Tacoma do not include delivery, processing and handling fees (DPH), which are $810. The DPH fee for vehicles distributed by Southeast Toyota (SET) and Gulf States Toyota (GST) may vary.nounces Pricing for Limited Edition Tacoma Pickup TRD T/X Baja Series

Courtesy of ToyotaNewsroom

We have a fantastic line of Hybrids, including the Lexus RX400. Think of our hybrids as cars for people who want to lower emissions and fuel costs without lowering expectations.


Friday, April 20, 2012

If you have a need for speed, head to Georgia and check out the Skip Barber High Performance Driving School.

Since 1975, Skip Barber has operated a fully integrated system of racing schools, driving schools, racing championships, corporate events and special projects across North America. No other organization delivers such high-quality instruction, equipment, facilities or memorable experiences. Lexus owners can reserve a Skip Barber Racing School High Performance class and receive an additional 20% off retail price.

Skip Barber High Performance Driving School provides a fun, fast-paced learning environment relevant to any driver, regardless of driving experience. Participants will experience high performance cars at their limit at some of the most legendary tracks in the country. Swerve through the legendary esses at Road Atlanta or maneuver down the epic corkscrew at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Whatever your flavor, you will be in some of the most powerful cars in the industry, including the Lexus IS F.

Courtesy of

The all new design of the Lexus ES will start conversations, then leave you speechless. Stop by Lexus of Orlando today to test drive one!

It is a design statement born of conviction. From the new spindle grille to its lower and wider stance, it exudes progressive styling. Stretched across a longer wheelbase, the redesigned interior is more spacious and accommodating. Available ambient lighting accents the dash and doors, creating a contemporary vibe throughout the cabin. Contrasting stitching adds intrigue to its smooth, contoured surfaces. And its expansive rear-seating area offers thoughtful amenities like a power rear shade and manual side-window shades.


Courtesy of

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Your World. Now Available in a Lexus

Available Lexus Enform connects you and your vehicle like never before. It's the convenience of live, 24-hour navigation assistance. It's the peace of mind of knowing emergency services can be requested at the press of a button or even automatically. And, for owners of 2013 and newer Lexus models, it's the efficiency and ease of using your favorite mobile applications, on the fly.

Courtesy of

Motor Trend Interviews Former Lexus Global General Manager Karl Schlicht

The 2013 Lexus GS almost didn't happen. According to Karl Schlicht, who was Lexus' product planning and marketing chief at the time of the car's conception, "The accountants wanted to combine the GS and [FWD] ES." The previous-generation GS had always been a sales disappointment, Schlicht said, and by early 2010 the car that ended up being the 2013 GS was in danger. Even Akio Toyoda, Toyota's CEO, was reportedly leaning toward canceling the car.

According to Schlicht, until 2011 there were six Toyota main board members whose remit touched Lexus, although none was really in charge. But then there was a radical shake-up, with Toyoda personally taking overall responsibility for Toyota's luxury brand.

Lexus LF LC Hybrid Sport Coupe Concept Front Three Quarters 2
Click to view Gallery
Toyoda reversed course on the GS and ordered Lexus be made more separate and accountable. "He attends the design reviews, and drives them all," Schlicht said. "Under the old management, character got averaged out. Now Akio says, 'If you don't get it right, I'm stopping the car.'"

Once the CEO was satisfied with the new GS, it was pushed past the accountants.

Schlicht, speaking to us at the Geneva Auto show in March, is glad the car survived. "It's important because it leads to the IS. Now we will get a new rear-drive compact," he confirmed. That includes an updated IS F.

Lexus LF Gh Concept Front Three Quarter
Click to view Gallery
On the subject of an F version of the new GS, he was optimistic but guarded. "There's no approval yet," he said. "But I'd love it." If it were to be built, it would likely resemble the LF-Gh concept seen at the 2011 New York auto show.

The daring-looking LF-LC coupe concept that made its debut at the 2012 Detroit show is another example of the new product planning process at Lexus. "It wasn't a good car to do in the economic crisis and tsunami aftermath. But we decided to do a concept to stretch the designers [at Toyota's California studio]. If we had done the business case for a production car first, then there would have been zero chance of it happening. But done this way, there's a 50-percent chance." Positive reaction from the public and especially dealers gave it impetus, and Lexus is discussing ways to squeeze it into the cycle plan, Schlicht said.

Some days after the interview, Schlicht was appointed to lead product planning, marketing and aftersales for Toyota in Europe. But we understand the new Lexus management culture is ingrained, and that includes a strong influence from North American managers on what Lexus builds.

Courtesy of MotorTrend

Google Expands Its Autonomous Fleet With Hybrid Lexus RX450h

Google has added another family member to its autonomous vehicle program, and an eagle-eyed reader in Southern California caught the Big G’s Lexus RX450h out and about during testing.

From what we can gather from the image, Google has refined the design of its top-mounted array of sensors, culling things down into a more compact package that’s both smaller and more aerodynamic than those found on its fleet of Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles.

Google began testing its autonomous vehicle program over two years ago under the supervision of Dr. Sebastian Thrun, the director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and a Google engineer who co-invented the Street View mapping service.

Initially, Google ran the program in stealth mode, using six Prius hybrids and one modified Audi TT, later pulling the covers off its skunkworks project in late 2010.

A Google spokesperson tells Wired, “In the course of our work, we experiment with testing our algorithms on various vehicles to help us improve our technology,” and confirmed that the Lexus crossover is part of Google’s expanded fleet.

The spotting of this latest prototype comes just days after California Senate Bill 1298 – which directs the California Highway Patrol to set safety standards and performance requirements for autonomous vehicle testing and operation — passed the Senate Transportation Committee with an 8 to 0 vote before being sent to the Senate Rules committee.


Courtesy of WiredMagazine

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Hottest IS F Combination Ever?

It's unbelievable to think that the IS F was introduced over 5 years ago at the 2007 North American Int'l Auto Show in Detroit. This first Lexus F car was introduced with 6 exterior and 2 interior colors. Ultrasonic Blue Mica (8U1) with Alpine leather interior was the one. During our recent visit to the 2012 New York International Auto Show, we spotted a gem at the Lexus booth, a 2012 Lexus IS F in Nebula Gray Pearl (1H9) with Red Leather Interior!

Since its introduction, the IS F has gone through a series of updates in its current lifecycle, like the addition of a badly needed Torsen limited slip differential for 2010. Revised and retuned suspension specs, Alcantara seating surfaces, and the relocation of the SPORT mode button on the steering wheel for 2011.

For 2012, the changes are minor but they result is substantial. The new gray dubbed Nebula Gray Pearl replaces the very popular Smokey Granite Mica (1G0), and a new Red leather interior replaces the not so popular Orange and Terra Cotta leathers of previous years. Black and Alpine interiors still remain on the roster but the Alcantara trim is exclusive to the Black leather. Lastly, a very good looking and easy to clean split 7 spoke 19" BBS wheel is standard across the board.

There's no doubt the 2012 IS F has aged gracefully but continues to be a rising star with every update. With the IS F's new shoes and Nebula & Red color combination, this maybe the hottest Lexus IS F ever!

New for 2012 Lexus IS F:

  • Nebula Gray Pearl (1H9) Exterior
  • Red & Black Leather Interior
  • Red leather shift knob, Red leather steering wheel insert
  • New 19-inch split 7 spoke forged aluminum BBS wheel.


Courtesy of ClubLexus

Don't forget to vote for Lexus of Orlando as the best local car dealer! Make sure you choose twelve for your ballot to count!

Thank you to the author of this review for sharing these kind words with us! Keep up the good work Luis!

Lexus of Orlando - (5) Star Review on DealerRater

  • I came in for an oil change service on Saturday morning. Luis Jurado welcomed me to the dealership and took care of me from beginning to end. He went the extra mile by driving my car around for me to pick up and I would recommend asking for Luis in the future for your service needs! :-) -kash7799

Driving the 2012 Lexus CT 200h

Last week, I picked up a 2012 Matador Red Mica Lexus CT 200h from Lexus Canada for a road test, and so far, I’ve been really enjoying my time behind the wheel.

This CT is equipped with the Canadian Premium Package, which adds leather seats, the backup camera in the rearview mirror, the ten speaker audio system, and 17" aluminum alloy wheels – the only notable feature missing is the Navigation system and its accompanying Remote Touch controller, and I’m very curious to see how its absence affects the overall CTh experience.

First thing I did with the CT 200h was take it down to the Port Colborne Marina for an introductory photo gallery.

The Matador Red Mica is very photogenic, showing off the CT’s lines and curves with some real pop – I’m on the lookout for some locations that really let the color shine.


Courtesy of LexusEnthusiast

Friday, April 13, 2012

Meet the Lexus RX 350 F Sport

This week, we’re still bringing the New York International Auto Show to you. Check out these floor shots of Lexus’ other vehicle debut: the 2013 RX 350 F Sport, skillfully captured by The Lexus Enthusiast.

The RX 350 F Sport, of course, has the new spindle-shaped grille, and it also features an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, F Sport-tuned suspension, a unique sport front bumper, and 19-inch split five-spoke wheels in a Dark Graphite finish.

Lexus gave the vehicle integrated rear fender flares, as well as the new “L” motif in the combination rear lamps, which is also found in the LED daytime running lights. Notice the F Sport mesh design in the grille.

Just a few interior highlights: A new Ebony Bird’s Eye Maple trim, a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and perforated leather-trimmed seats.

Courtesy of LexusMagazine

Why will this GS 350 be screaming through the streets of Long Beach this weekend? If you guessed the Indy Car Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach you would be correct!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lexus Releases Enform Emulator iPad App

Here’s something to check out if you have an iPad — Lexus has released an Enform Emulator app, which lets you test-drive the latest version of the telematics software found in the 2013 Lexus models.

(Great way to get familiarized with how the new Internet-enabled apps work.)


Courtesy of LexusEnthusiast

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Let's Show You the ES...

Although we’ve been showering you with details on the new 2013 ES, sometimes it’s helpful to do a little show and tell.

As you can see, Lexus engineers gave the model both a new look and a new stance: it’s got a lower profile, and it looks a bit more aggressive. The big news, of course, is that the popular model now has a hybrid option, the ES 300h.

Plus there’s plenty to ask your dealer about when the car becomes available for test drives in August. Among the noteworthy 2013 ES technologies: an available Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). It operates like its name would suggest: the Blind Spot Monitor helps detect vehicles in side blind spots, while the RCTA system alerts the driver to rear cross traffic when backing out of a parking spot.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Gas prices eating away at your bank account? Come check out the Lexus CT Hybrid to save money next time you're at the pump.

[[posterous-content:pid___0]]Click here for more info!

2013 Lexus GS Earns IIHS Top Safety Pick Award

The all-new 2013 Lexus GS is a Top Safety Pick, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced this week. The GS received a Good rating in all tests including frontal offset, side impact, and roof strength in rollover situations.

Since the criteria for the award was made tougher by adding the roof strength test, the redesigned GS is the third Lexus to be named a Top Safety Pick alongside the Lexus RX crossover, and the CT 200h hatchback.  When measuring roof strength, a metal plate is pushed against one corner of the vehicle’s roof until it crushes five inches, and the result is then compared to the vehicle weight to determine the roof’s strength-to-weight ratio. The GS scored a 4.88 strength-to-weight ratio, above the IIHS’ required minimum ratio of 4.0. This is also an improvement compared to 2006-2011 models of the GS, which scored Acceptable ratings in the roof strength test results.

Standard safety equipment on the Lexus GS includes vehicle stability control, 10 airbags, anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights, and electronic brake-force distribution. The GS joins other large luxury car IIHS Top Safety Picks including 2012 models of the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CTS sedan models,  Hyundai Equus, Hyundai Genesis, Infiniti M37/M56, Lincoln MKS, Mercedes E-Class, Saab 9-5, and the Volvo S80.

Courtesy of Automobile Magazine

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Toyota Technical Center Opens Silicon Valley Office

The Toyota Technical Center (TTC), a division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., (TEMA), announced today that the company has opened a dedicated office in California’s Silicon Valley furthering Toyota’s commitment to localizing research and development activities in North America and enhancing the customer’s experience with in-vehicle infotainment systems.

“The enhancement of in-vehicle infotainment technology in the coming years will be an important feature to our customers, especially as technology and vehicles continue to evolve,” said Seiya Nakao, President of TTC. “Toyota’s Silicon Valley office will collaborate closely with our key innovative partners in the region with the goal of bringing new ideas to market quicker through product development.”

TTC will co-locate with the Toyota Info Technology Center (ITC) in their Mountain View, Calif., office leveraging complimentary knowledge and skills to implement new product applications and technological advancement to its vehicles.

For more than 35 years, TTC has been the driving force behind Toyota's North American engineering and research & development activities. Established in 1977 and headquartered in Michigan, TTC has R&D facilities in Ann Arbor, Saline, Plymouth and Livonia. In addition, TTC has R&D facilities in California and operates the Toyota Arizona Proving Ground near Phoenix.

TTC employs over 1,100 team members and is engaged in engineering design, vehicle evaluation and engineering, materials engineering, prototype building, powertrain tuning and design, safety/crashworthiness, regulatory affairs and advanced research. TTC has development responsibilities for the Avalon, Camry, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, Venza and RAV4 EV.

Courtesy of ToyotaMediaNewsroom

The Sensational New 2013 Toyota Avalon Makes World Debut at the 2012 New York International Auto Show

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. revealed the all-new 2013 Avalon premium mid-size sedan today at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. The new Avalon is re-conceived for the premium mid-size sedan segment with a progressive and emotionally styled exterior design.

When it arrives to dealerships late this year, the new Avalon will offer improved dynamic performance, a greater degree of refinement, and a highly spacious, comfortable interior experience with an abundance of outstanding convenience technologies.

The new 2013 Avalon is the result of a North American-focused design and engineering effort. The new sedan’s dramatic exterior and interior design was conceived by a youthful and talented team at the Calty Design Research Inc. facilities in Southern California and Michigan. The car’s engineering development was principally led by a passionate and dedicated group based at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Continuing a North American focused theme, the 2013 Avalon will be assembled at Toyota’s facility in Georgetown, Ky. True to the future product mission set forth by Toyota Motor Corporation President, Akio Toyoda, the new Avalon’s more stylish, bold, sporty exterior design and luxurious interior styling are matched by an enhanced dynamic package, a combination that foreshadows the more compelling and passionate nature of future Toyota products.

Enhanced Avalon Dynamics

In addition to its stunning design, numerous structural and chassis improvements were made to the new Avalon to enhance the ride quality, straight-line stability and handling. The body structure gains improvements in torsional rigidity thanks to additional and strategically placed welds, improved body bracing, and high-strength steel in key areas in order to provide a stiffer chassis and optimize suspension performance. The new Avalon suspension relies on MacPherson struts with advanced valving and rebound springs to balance handling and agility with ride comfort. Coil spring rate and front and rear sway bar stiffness was increased from the current model to help improve body control and body roll. The Avalon’s electric power steering (EPS) system has been tuned to help deliver enhanced controllability and vehicle agility while also realizing superior linear stability.

The new Avalon offers three distinct drive modes that help tailor dynamic performance to the driver’s needs. The drive modes - Normal, Eco, and Sport -are made available through driver-selectable switches. In Sport mode, throttle response is enhanced and steering effort is weighted from center to offer a sportier character. Eco changes throttle response and A/C power usage to help improve fuel economy. Steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters help provide a sportier drive while in the D or S Mode, where the revised throttle helps improve shift response to help maximize engine power and vehicle performance.

Dynamic Exterior Styling

The new Avalon’s dynamic exterior styling defines a sleek and expressive profile that helps communicate a sense of motion for the vehicle even when it is at rest. The beltline has been lowered to accentuate a strong stance. Compared to its predecessor, the new Avalon is a bit more compact yet displays better proportions with a longer, sloping roofline, flared front fenders, and reduced front and rear overhangs, lower vehicle height, and reduced body-to-tire gap. New 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheel and tire combinations fill the wheel well to enhance the vehicle’s dynamic exterior expression.

Key exterior design elements include the square Double-eye PES (Projector Ellipsoid System) headlamps with HID (High-Intensity Discharge)and elegant DRL (Daytime Running Lights) feature available that provide excellent night time visibility while helping define a narrower, more taut and muscular exterior expression. A wider, more assertive grille design provides a bolder front perspective. At the rear, high-performance LED combination tail lamps are adopted which are more integrated with the revised rear-body styling. The dual rear tailpipe outlets further the more cohesive design theme.

Modern Interior Experience
Design elements enhancing comfort, convenience and technology help create the luxurious experience that will prove tempting to buyers of the next Avalon. The 2013 Avalon offers a modern, spacious, premium interior highlighted by abundant rear seat legroom, while featuring a myriad of available features. Beyond mere dimensions, the new Avalon’s interior design enhances the cabin’s sense of spaciousness and comfort. The front seat’s hip point has been lowered by 10 millimeters (0.4 inches) to help create improved headroom. The new power front seat design with increased side bolstering is more supportive and offers an expanded range of downward adjustment. In addition, the structural components of the sunroof and the headliner design have been optimized to help increase the cabin’s roominess. A concave dash panel design, located in front of the passenger, helps create an expansive feeling. While the rear overhang has been reduced by 1.7 inches, the luggage compartment capacity is 16.0 cubic feet, an increase of 1.6 cubic feet as compared to the outgoing model.

The Avalon’s premium interior attains a high level of refinement by reducing wind, engine and road noise inside the cabin. The resultant interior is even significantly quieter and more comfortable than the current Avalon and it creates an ideal environment to enjoy conversation, music or Toyota’s available multimedia system, Entune™. Sound absorbing materials have been strategically placed around the cabin and body structure while not inhibiting a reduction in overall vehicle weight. The windshield and front side-glass panels utilize acoustic glass that helps control sound intrusion into the cabin. Reductions in wind noise have been realized by optimizing exterior shape, specifically cowl and louver sealing, outer mirror shape and position, and wiper-blade position, which have all been developed to dramatically reduce wind noise generation. Exterior gaps and steps have also been minimized to reduce wind noise around the door glass areas.

The new Avalon’s interior utilizes premium materials and a high degree of craftsmanship to offer an upscale experience. Rich, supple leather trims the steering wheel, shift knob, and seat upholstery helping add visual and tactile appeal. Hand-crafted, decorative stitching is adopted for the steering wheel, and soft-touch materials on the dash panel and door trim elevate the vehicle’s sense of tactile luxury. Smoked chrome-metallic accents are applied to the instrument panel, center console, door panel, and steering wheel surfaces to help add distinction and exceptional feel. Available push-button controlled soft white ambient lighting illuminates key regions of the interior to help convey the sense of luxury. The new Avalon’s center console includes a convenient console tray that is ideal for the storage of electronic hand held devices. The new Avalon’s console area is equipped with a USB port, AUX input terminal and three 12-volt power outlets to help facilitate device interface and charging.

The new Avalon will offer innovative technologies such as advanced capacitive touch switches with positioning and sensitivity that makes them ideal for vehicle system controls. Other premium in-car technologies include three color display screens that support the multi-information display, the audio/navigation interface, and the climate control panel. An easy to use Display Audio system with 6.1 inch touchscreen is standard on the new Avalon; while a JBL Synthesis Premium Audio system, HDD Premium Navigation with 7” screen, dynamic radar cruise control, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and a three-zone air conditioning system are also on the list of available features and equipment.

Like all Toyota models, the new Avalon will feature Toyota’s Star Safety System™ standard, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, and Smart Stop Technology brake-override system.

The new Avalon helps to prioritize occupant safety with a best-in-class10 airbags system. A Pre-collision system is also available that is designed to “sense” an impending frontal collision and can help mitigate damage. A variable ratio brake pedal is adopted that varies the initial and final pedal effort ratios to help realize excellent brake pedal feel.

In addition to a rearview monitor, Avalon offers an available Blind Spot Monitoring system which is designed to help detect vehicles behind the outer mirrors and to help alert drivers in addition to a new Rear Cross Traffic Alert system (RCTA) that can alert drivers of cross traffic when they are backing up.

Courtesy of ToyotaMediaNewsroom

Thank you to the author of this wonderful review for sharing their feedback with us! Outstanding work team, keep it up!

Lexus of Orlando - (5) Star Review on DealerRater

  • I have been bringing my car into the Lexus of Orlando dealership for several years. CJ is always a pleasure to deal with when I take my car in for service. He works with me to get a timeframe locked in that works with my schedule and oversees the process to completion providing details and pertinent information along the way. He answers any questions I have about my car directly and professionally and I always know the plan for how to keep my car in tip top shape. I appreciate his focus on service and the customer each and every time I am at the dealership.

    Also want to mention Steve Persaud who provided excellent service providing me with assistance and a demo on how to apply touch up paint that I had just obtained from the dealership. Thanks Steve! -kbarkman

Watch as Lexus reveals the all-new 2013 ES from the New York International Auto Show.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New Photos of the Lexus ES From the Big Reveal!

Well, the Lexus design revolution continues today with the sixth-generation Lexus ES. It’s got a lower, more aggressive profile—take a look at these shots from the Lexus press reveal at the New York International Auto Show this morning:

2013 Lexus ES

2013 Lexus ES

2013 Lexus ES

2013 Lexus ES



Courtesy of LexusMagazine

Let’s have some fun. We’d love to see how much your pets enjoy your Lexus. Share a photo of your pet with your Lexus!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Question: “How does Lexus select tires for its vehicles?”

Answer: Tires! As always, an excellent question—and a good opportunity to address the array of tire questions that come in from Lexus owners and fans.

First of all, an answer to the above question: The fact is, the performance specifications of the tires on each Lexus model have been precisely engineered to suit that vehicle, and that’s a call made at the engineering level.

“The Chief Engineer decides exactly how he wants the car to handle, and how the tires can contribute to that,” explains Charles Hubbard of the Lexus College. “That spec is passed on to the tire manufacturers Lexus uses, such as Michelin, Goodyear, and Dunlop.”

As Hubbard explains it, a foremost concern to the engineering teams is to craft a tire that “magnifies the car’s smoothness, quietness, and ride.” After that, they match the tires to the way the suspension has been dialed in.

This can be very complex; for example, Hubbard cites tires on which the inner and outer sidewalls are engineered with different strengths, to improve performance when cornering.

I hope that answers things—let’s hit some other common tire questions from Lexus owners:

What tire options do I have when buying a Lexus?
As drivers generally know, there are three basic types out there: summer tires, which are higher-speed performance tires best suited to highway driving; all season tires, which are year-round tires designed to provide better traction in winter conditions; and snow tires.

Most Lexus models come with all-season tires standard; the LX and GX models, which are rated for off-road use, come standard with mud-and-snow-rated tires. In most areas of the country, Lexus OEM tires are suited for year-round use.

Some performance models, like the IS F, offer larger optional wheels that can accommodate tires with a wider tread and lower aspect ratio. This improves handling and cornering capability—suited, as mentioned above, for those particular vehicles.

How do I know when my tires are worn out and ready to be replaced?
The legal minimum tire tread allowed in most U.S. states is 1/16th of an inch. By law, every tire sold in the U.S. has a tread wear indicator; this is a raised bar of material 1/16th of an inch high running across the tire tread. When the tire has worn down to the indicator, the tire is no longer legal for use. But before that happens, the comfort, performance and safety of the tire can become diminished. That’s why your Lexus dealer makes it a point to check your tires as part of your regularly scheduled service.

Can tires go bad just sitting?
Lexus vehicles, of course, use high-quality tires, but all tire materials eventually break down with age, and things like sunlight and ozone can accelerate this process. Special tire covers are available for vehicles that are stored for long periods of time.

I have one tire that keeps losing air. What’s going on, and can it be fixed?
The most common cause of slow leaks is an embedded nail that was lying on the road. In these cases, the tire can most likely be fixed at the dealer, but it must be removed from the rim to do so properly. Note that your Tire Pressure Warning System must be recalibrated after the tire is remounted, but your dealer can handle that. (Also, note that, outside of emergency repairs, Lexus recommends against pressurized emergency spray repairs for a permanent fix—they can interfere with your Lexus’ Tire Pressure Warning System.)

I damaged one of my tires and have been told I should replace all of them. The tread looks fine on the others, so why not just replace the one?
It’s important that all your tires wear evenly, which is why Lexus recommends a regular tire rotation every 5,000 miles. If your tires are worn, a newly added tire will literally be a different size than the three existing tires, which can impact performance and safety. If your existing tires are relatively new, you may be able to add a single tire. Your dealer will tell you if that’s the case.

I’ve been told a differently sized tire will give me better performance. Should I try that?
It’s not something that Lexus recommends. Using tires that weren’t specified for the vehicle can have safety ramifications; the stability control could be affected, braking could be affected, and the speedometer sensor could provide incorrect data.

Where should I get new tires?
Hubbard recommends that most Lexus owners get them at their dealer. The extremely knowledgeable Lexus Enthusiasts out there who live and breathe Lexus-vehicle modifications (and inherently don’t mind voiding their warranties), of course pursue aftermarket tires in cool-looking ways, but for most Lexus owners, it’s their dealer who knows how to perform the necessary wheel alignment and how to replace the tire pressure warning valves and transmitters.

Also, Hubbard points out that going to the dealer helps ensure you get tires that match the OEM specs that Lexus engineers set for your vehicle. Tires from retailers—even tires produced by the same manufacturer with the same rating info—may not be of the same quality.

He cites an example from his own experience, in which a Lexus owner was having an ongoing handling issue. The tires were fine, as was the suspension and alignment, and still the problem wouldn’t go away. Finally, they ran the serial numbers on the tires, and discovered they were aftermarket replacements. The tires were replaced and the problem went away.

Courtesy of LexusMagazine

Tomorrow the all new Lexus ES 350 will make it's official debut at the New York International Auto Show! Do you plan to watch the unveiling, fans?