Thursday, August 30, 2012

Toyota Launches the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge Contest

Four Top NASCAR and NHRA Drivers Compete Head-to-Head for Charity
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. today announced the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge, a vehicle-modification build competition where the fans get to determine the winner. Any fan in the world will be able to go to to watch the builds take shape through a series of reality-style “minisodes.”
NASCAR stars Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer will be modifying a Camry sedan and a Prius hybrid, respectively, while NHRA standouts Antron Brown will be building a Sequoia SUV and Alexis DeJoria a Tundra pickup truck. Though the drivers are competing for glory against one another, the real victor will be the winning driver’s charity of choice, which will receive a $50,000 check from Toyota.
“The Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge highlights Toyota’s commitment to great cars, great racing, and our great fans,” said Keith Dahl, Toyota national motorsports and engagement marketing manager. “Each driver was given the same resources to ensure a fair fight, and we ourselves are thrilled to see it all unfold.”
Voting will open on Oct. 20 and continue for 10 days. Fans will be able to vote once per day via Facebook and enter to win prizes, including a Toyota Racing “Dream Trip”, which will be given away to one lucky fan.
The final vehicle builds will be unveiled at a press conference in the Toyota display at the SEMA show in Las Vegas on Oct. 30. Fans will be able to tune in live to watch the entire press conference and see the winner announced in real time.

Source: Toyota

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The latest episode from Lexus TV highlights the LFA owner event, informs us of how the 2013 ES compares to its competition, and much more! Follow the link below to view the latest chapter!

Welcome to the August 27th Episode of Spotlight on LexusTV. In this episode, Tim Morrison brings you the highlights from our LFA owner event from Laguna Seca where they got to experience what their super cars are really made of on the world famous corkscrew track.

Wondering how the new 2013 ES compares to its competitors? The "2013 ES 350" App from Lexus College is now available on iTunes. It provides a virtual overview of the vehicle and gives you an option to send links to how-to videos and more!

Be sure to also catch Mark Templin's special announcement near the end of the broadcast.

Click on the link following to view the latest LexusTV Spotlight. Thank you for watching and look for the next episode on September 10th.

Click here to log in and watch the latest episode of Lexus TV!

Courtesy of Lexus TV

Calling all teachers! Don't forget about the Lexus of Orlando Teacher Appreciation Program still going on! Stop by today and start the new school year in style.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hear what happens when 14 LFAs gather in one place!

Toyota Announces Presenting Sponsorships of Morgan’s Wonderland, New Scorpions Stadium

Toyota today announced its presenting sponsorship of Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first theme park specifically designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for the enjoyment of everyone, as well as the new San Antonio Scorpions soccer and special-events stadium.  

 As presenting sponsor of unique and colorful Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio, Toyota will provide major financial support for the 25-acre theme park, which is completely wheelchair-accessible. It features more than 25 elements and attractions including rides, playgrounds and gardens, and in its brief history, it already has attracted guests from all 50 states and more than 30 other countries.

Presenting sponsorship of Scorpions stadium will include naming the facility as Toyota Field. As a member of the North American Soccer League (NASL), which is one step removed from Major League Soccer, the Scorpions are the only team in professional sports to be organized for the expressed purpose of supporting a non-profit such as Morgan’s Wonderland that seeks to help those with special needs.

“Toyota is pleased to support Morgan’s Wonderland and the San Antonio Scorpions,” said Jack Hollis, Vice President of Marketing at Toyota Motor Sales, Inc.  “We are honored to be able to support the mission of Morgan’s Wonderland. In less than three short years, the park has made a difference in the lives of thousands of people with special needs and their families. And now the Scorpions bring both the excitement of pro soccer and a revenue stream for the park; this is a win-win situation for everybody. Toyota, our regional distributor Gulf States Toyota, and the San Antonio-area Toyota dealers are proud partners in sponsoring Morgan’s Wonderland and the Scorpions.”

At the announcement, the new “Morgan’s Wonderland presented by Toyota” signage was unveiled by 18-year-old Morgan Hartman, namesake of the park. This signage will be featured throughout the park and in promotional materials. Three Toyota mobility vehicles will also be displayed at Morgan’s Wonderland.
Toyota Field signage on the 8,000-seat stadium under construction on Thousand Oaks Drive near Morgan’s Wonderland was also unveiled during the announcement. Toyota support for the Scorpions will be visible in multiple communications initiatives for the team.  Capable of expansion in stages to 18,000 seats, the new stadium home of the Scorpions will be completed in time for the 2013 NASL soccer season and also will host community events and concerts.  

“As the regional player here in Texas for Toyota, Gulf States Toyota and our six San Antonio dealers will take the lead in the Scorpions-Toyota Field portion of the sponsorship,” said J.C. Fassino, Vice President of Community Relations for The Friedkin Group, parent company of Gulf States Toyota. “We are pleased to be able to support the Scorpions, their games and their mission of funding for Morgan’s Wonderland. It is a unique sports partnership.”

San Antonio philanthropist Gordon Hartman and his wife, Maggie, led the effort to create Morgan’s Wonderland so people of all ages with and without disabilities could come together in a safe, colorful, barrier-free park for fun and understanding. 

Morgan’s Wonderland opened in spring 2010 along with the South Texas Area Regional (STAR) Soccer Complex, which like the Scorpions, conveys net profits from the operation of 13 first-class, FIFA-sized playing fields to the theme park. Because anyone with a physical or cognitive special need is admitted free to Morgan’s Wonderland, Hartman sought other revenue streams to help the park meet its financial obligations as well as to expand programs and services for the special-needs community. In April 2012, the San Antonio Scorpions FC began play as the newest team in the NASL and started generating net profits for Morgan’s Wonderland. 

“We are deeply grateful to Toyota for the support pledged to Morgan’s Wonderland and the Scorpions,” said Hartman, CEO of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation. “Toyota is a world-class company with a passion for excellence that extends to helping causes that truly make a difference in people’s lives. We’re just beginning to scratch the surface in helping those with special needs, but Toyota’s involvement, commitment and generosity will definitely help accelerate our efforts.”

Scorpions President Michael Hitchcock said Toyota Field will be “a first-class playing facility where exciting professional soccer will ultimately produce victories for individuals with physical and cognitive challenges. We’re proud to have Toyota’s name on the stadium because it will remind us to continually strive for outstanding performance. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Toyota.”
Courtesy of Toyota Pressroom

In appreciation of all the U.S. Military does, Lexus is offering a special $750 rebate on all new and Certified Pre-Owned Lexus vehicles to eligible active duty personnel.

Click Here for Details!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Many thanks to Dan for this glorious review! Keep up the great work team!

Lexus of Orlando - (5) Star Review on DealerRater

  • I've been taking my IS250 to Dominic numerous times, his professional attitude and his knowledge is what makes my visit easy. I have been in the hospitality industry for a very long time and this is what I consider World Class Service, very comfortable atmosphere and professionalism. Thank you always. -Dan321

2013 CT 200h Premium Hybrid Compact Is Efficient and Exhilarating

Lexus continues to dominate the luxury hybrid market with the ever-popular CT 200h. The CT demonstrates the brand’s commitment to unparalled quality, sophistication and technology in a fun-to-drive package. The CT moves into the 2013 model year with minimal changes.

The CT 200h’s size, packaging, full hybrid technology and ultra-low emissions perfectly meet the requirements of a young, highly discerning, environmentally conscientious customer. Yet it offers no compromise on the refinement and driving pleasure which hallmark the progressive luxury inherent in every Lexus.

The CT 200h boasts remarkably low fuel consumption and has an impressive combined EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 42 mpg, 43 mpg city and 40 mpg on the highway using regular 87-octane gasoline. Moreover, the CT 200h can be operated under certain conditions, in a driver selectable EV mode which generates zero emissions.

The CT employs an exhaust heat recovery system that captures the heat of spent exhaust gases to speed engine coolant warm-up and allows the hybrid system to stop the engine earlier and more often in the driving cycle when it’s not needed, for example in low power demand conditions in city driving.

The CT 200h pairs an electric drive motor to generate a total system output of 134 horsepower. A second motor in the hybrid system serves as both engine starter and generator to charge the hybrid battery pack.

For a fun-to-drive experience, the CT 200h also incorporates a drive-mode selector that allows the driver to toggle between four distinct modes: Normal, Sport, Eco or EV. Normal mode has an essentially linear throttle response that gives naturally progressive power. Sport mode can be selected when the driver wants a more dynamic experience. In Eco mode, air conditioning settings are adjusted and the throttle response is reduced relative to the pedal angle to emphasize fuel economy. Under certain circumstances, the EV mode can allow the vehicle to be driven short distances using only the electric motors.

Responsive passing acceleration is enabled by the instant torque of the electric motor and the E-CVT’s ability to quickly find the optimal gear ratio enhance the driving experience.

An optional F SPORT package takes inspiration from the Lexus F SPORT performance accessories, combining F SPORT-tuned suspension and 17-inch wheels with high-gloss finish. Adding to the sporty feel are a front grille with mesh pattern, metal front scuff plates, perforated leather steering wheel, leather shift knob, aluminum sport pedals and metallic trim on the dash panel.

New for 2013
  • New exterior colors include: Silver Lining Metallic and Ultra White available on F SPORT package
  • Updated Navigation with next generation Lexus Enform® with Safety Connect® and App Suite, and HD Radio™ with iTunes® tagging
  • Navigation screen can be kept closed at start up
  • Padded driver’s arm rest
  • Park Assist available as standalone option
  • Seat Comfort Package - heated front seats and four-way power passenger seat (required with Premium Package).
  • CT 200h features a suspension design which combines a MacPherson strut front system with a fully independent double-wishbone rear suspension.
  • A unique lateral performance damper system has been designed to absorb and minimize body vibrations to offer a more linear steering feel and further enhanced ride comfort.
  • The CT 200h braking system is augmented by regenerative braking which also helps recharge the hybrid battery pack and improve fuel economy.
  • Standard 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels on the CT 200h are equipped with P215/45 R17 all-season tires.
  • Standard eight-airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) with dual-stage driver and front passenger airbags and knee airbags, side curtain airbags, and front seat-mounted side airbags.
  • Optional Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control can help reduce collision damage and uses millimeter-wave radar to measure and help maintain a pre-set distance from a vehicle traveling ahead. PCS is equipped with a front-mounted radar sensor that is designed to detect certain obstacles in front of the car.
  • 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support and four-way manual-adjustable front passenger seat.
  • The standard six-speaker audio system features the world's first automotive speakers constructed with sustainable bamboo and resin.
  • Voice recognition and Bluetooth® technology hands-free communication when paired with a compatible smartphone.
Luxury Options
  • Optional Navigation Package includes HDD navigation system, back-up camera and voice command. Also features Bluetooth hands free phone, phone book download capabilities, and Lexus’ exclusive Remote Touch controller with user-adjustable haptic feedback. Includes App Suite (Bing™, Pandora®, iheartradio, Open Table®, Movie and HD Radio with iTunes tagging.
  • An optional Premium Audio Package includes the Lexus premium audio system with 10-speakers and six-disc CD changer, Homelink® and electrochromic rearview mirror with compass.
  • An optional Leather Package includes perforated leather seats, driver memory, and rain sensing variable intermittent wipers.
  • LED low beam headlights with dynamic auto-leveling with headlamp cleaners, Electrochromatic (auto-dimming) rearview mirror with backup camera and Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
  • Park Assist
  • Seat Comfort Package: Heated front seats and 4-way power passenger seat
Exterior Design
  • The grille is flanked by headlamp clusters positioned on a higher plane than the grille itself.
  • Headlamps themselves focus on piercing, single halogen or optional twin LED low beam lamps.
  • Compact and aerodynamic door mirrors with an integral, LED side turn signal lamp.
  • Tail lamps incorporating a Lexus-unique L-shaped motif.
  • Careful aerodynamic detailing of the lower bumper and finned rear undercover smooths airflow from beneath the car, further improving both vehicle stability and fuel consumption.
Interior Design
  • The dashboard is divided into two distinct zones: an upper, Display Zone, with an eight-inch, LCD multi-display screen located at an ideal distance for at-a-glance viewing, and a lower, Operation Zone, which allows access to the uniquely designed shift lever and system controls.
  • The front seats feature pronounced side bolsters engineered with internal wire framing for additional lateral support during high-G cornering.
  • The extensive use of metallic finishes and dark, soft touch materials reinforces the premium quality of the cockpit.
  • Ecological Plastics with 30 percent plant-based Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) materials are used for the floor mats, deck side and deck board trim. The CT is more than 80 percent recyclable and is designed to be easily dismantled. Recycle marks have been placed on the front, rear and tailgate trim to facilitate optimum recycling.
F SPORT Package
  • Combines F SPORT-tuned suspension and 17-inch wheels with high-gloss finish.
  • A front grille with mesh inserts, metal front scuff plates, a perforated leather steering wheel, leather shift knob, aluminum sport pedals and metallic trim on the dash panel, add to the sporty feel.
  • Black NuLuxe trimmed seats or perforated black leather-trimmed seats with white perforation are available in the F SPORT package
  • 48-month/50,000miles basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48 months/unlimited
  • miles.
  • 72 months/70,000 miles powertrain and restraint system coverage.
  • 72 months corrosion perforation protection coverage, regardless of mileage.
  • Eight years/100,000 miles hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery-control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter.

Courtesy of Toyota Pressroom

Friday, August 24, 2012

Self Driving RX: Where is it?

Back in 2010, the auto world was abuzz with Google’s revelation that it had been conducting some serious on-the-road research with cars designed to drive themselves.

As you may recall, Google has been working with roboticists, engineers, and an array of other smart, innovative folks to equip the vehicles with cameras, radar sensors, laser range finders, detailed maps, and connectivity to Google’s data centers—all of which allow the cars to navigate their surroundings without a driver at the wheel. By fall of 2010, the cars had logged a collective 140,000 miles on public roadways.

But where are they now? Are Google’s self-driving vehicles still out there?

It turns out they are, including the Lexus RX 450h shown above, as Google reminded us via a blog post this month:

“Our vehicles, of which about a dozen are on the road at any given time, have now completed more than 300,000 miles of testing. They’ve covered a wide range of traffic conditions, and there hasn’t been a single accident under computer control.

We’re encouraged by this progress, but there’s still a long road ahead. To provide the best experience we can, we’ll need to master snow-covered roadways, interpret temporary construction signals and handle other tricky situations that many drivers encounter.”

So there you have it. If you see a Lexus RX 450h cruising along a mountain road this winter with a curious device on top and no driver, don’t be too alarmed.

In fact, it’s grounds for a little self-knowing pride. The brilliant minds at Google understand what Lexus drivers also know: If you’re going to try and invent something as big as the self-driving car, it helps to start with a vehicle that’s already a pillar of ahead-of-the-curve innovation.

Courtesy of

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lexus Joins America's Cup As Official Vehicle And Sustainability Partner

Lexus has been one of the world's leading luxury auto brands for years, and more recently have decided to pair up with the world of competitive yacht racing by joining America's Cup as the event's Official Vehicle and Sustainability Partner.

America's Cup has a history dating back to 1851, pitting the world's best sailors and fastest boats against one another to find the best of both. For the AC, sustainability means many different things, from natural habitats and wildlife to energy and emissions. They strive to optimize the "social, economic, and environmental impacts of [their] activities." They even have a plan that lays their intentions out, which can be found on their site for anyone interested.

The success of sailing sponsorship is often directly related to matching brand values with the right product, and the environment is a concern both Lexus and America's Cup share. The luxury car company will be providing the Cup many of their energy-efficient vehicles, further solidifying the commitment they share with AC regarding environmental goals.

Since its start in 1989, Lexus has earned a reputation for high-end cars and in recent years become one of the world’s leaders in luxury hybrid vehicles. With five hybrids providing some of the best in modern technology it comes as no surprise that Lexus was selected to provide a fleet of vehicles for use at the AC Series events, along with the Louis Vuitton Cup (America’s Cup Challenger Series) in San Francisco in 2013 and the AC Finals.

“The America’s Cup is a showcase for innovation, technology and design excellence,” explains Stephen Barclay, CEO of the 34th America’s Cup. “It’s a sport where designers and engineers are pushed to create the fastest boat, which allows the best sailors in the world to prove their skills. With Lexus on board, we feel a synergy in this tradition of design, technology and excellence.”

A pioneer in innovative, hybrid technology, Lexus is committed to providing energy-efficient vehicles without sacrificing performance, according to the company, and has produced vehicles that offer 63 percent fewer smog-forming emissions and more power than comparable gasoline-powered automobiles.

“Lexus and the America’s Cup share a similar audience, and partnering with this performance-driven sporting event offers us an exciting way to connect with our fans,” Lexus vice-president of marketing, Brian Smith said. “We look forward to introducing our line of hybrid vehicles to a new audience during the most prestigious sailing competition in the world.”

The America’s Cup began their partnership with Lexus in Newport, R.I. for the final event of the 2011-12 America’s Cup World Series, and the Lexus brand will continue to have a significant presence at all future 34th America’s Cup events, including the opening event of the 2012-2012 America’s Cup World Series with races in San Francisco from August 21-26.

Courtesy of

Everyone can have a different vision of perfection. Share your favorite Lexus model and year with us on Throwback Thursday.


All-New 2013 ES 350 With Enhanced Handling and Lexus Signature Design

The introduction of the all-new 2013 ES 350 marks the sixth generation of Lexus’ popular luxury sedan since its introduction over 20 years ago. Featuring the signature Lexus spindle grille, a progressive new design and enhanced handling, the ES brings new levels of refinement and quality to the entry luxury segment.

The ES 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine with Dual VVT-i that delivers 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 248 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,700. The six-speed sequential-shift automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) provides enhanced driving performance, fuel efficiency and smooth shifts. Low friction materials further improve efficiency and help the ES 350 to achieve EPA-fuel economy estimates of 21 mpg city, 31 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined.

The ES 350 features a Drive Mode Select feature, with Normal, Eco and Sport modes, allowing drivers to customize their experience.

  • NORMAL mode provides a blend of performance and efficiency that is suited to everyday driving.
  • ECO mode revises throttle mapping and climate control systems to favor fuel economy while the meter lighting changes to blue.
  • Sport mode increases powertrain and steering responsiveness, while the IP changes from the hybrid power monitor to a tachometer.
  • Suspension changes, a stiffer body and a quicker steering gear ratio to deliver more precise handling.
  • Front suspension employs opposite-wound coil springs to help enhance straight-line stability.
  • Revised rear suspension geometry and improved shock absorber damping characteristics enhance ride comfort.
  • Steering gear ratio has been reduced from 16.1:1 to 14.8:1 to help deliver a more responsive and direct steering feel.
  • Increased body rigidity is achieved through lightweight, high tensile strength steel, added bracing and more spot welds.
  • Airflow is smoothed beneath the vehicle, improving stability and fuel economy, and reducing drag.
  • Equipped with standard 215/55R17 low rolling resistance tires on 17-inch alloy wheels or optional high-gloss 17-inch wheels.
  • For the first time, 18-inch high-gloss alloy wheels are offered.
Safety/Security Features
  • The optional Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) helps detect vehiclesin side blind spots.
  • The RCTA alerts the driver to rear cross traffic when backing out of a parking spot.
  • Available Lane Departure Alert (LDA) is integrated with automatic high beam dimming technology.
  • The available Pre-Collision System (PCS) uses sub-millimeter wave radar, designed to detect certain obstructions traveling ahead and prepare the vehicle for a potential collision.
  • The ES features a class-leading 10 airbags as standard equipment, including driver and front passenger knee, front and seat-mounted air bags, as well as rear seat-mounted side airbags and front and rear side curtain airbags.
  • Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) front seats are designed to limit excessive head movement in certain rear-end collisions, helping to decrease the severity of whiplash-type injuries.
  • Genuine leather is available, as is semi-aniline leather for a more refined look and feel.
  • The optional HDD Navigation System includes voice command, an integrated backup camera, an eight-inch screen, and the next generation Lexus Enform® system with App Suite.
  • Lexus Enform provides seamless connectivity with Bing™ search, iHeartRadio,, OpenTable®, Pandora®, Yelp® and Facebook Places through compatible smart phones. (A one-year subscription to Lexus Enform with App Suite is included.)
  • An available 15-speaker 835 watt Mark Levinson® audio system features an eight-inch display screen, HD Radio with iTunes tagging, DVD audio/video and a Sirius XM Satellite Radio receiver. Exclusive GreenEdge technology from Mark Levinson doubles the output of the amplifier, while reducing energy consumption by fifty percent.
Exterior Design
  • The wheelbase has been lengthened by 1.8 inches, while overall length of the vehicle has grown by one inch, resulting in shorter overhangs and a more spacious interior.
  • The “L” design motif is reflected in the LED daytime running lights and combination rear lamps. Fog lamps are integrated into the sculpted lower front bumper fascia.
  • The ES 350 sports dual exhaust pipes.
Interior Design
  • Rear headroom is increased by 0.8 inches, knee room is increased by 2.8 inches andlegroom is lengthened by 4.1 inches. Additional foot room below the front seats enhances rear passenger comfort.
  • An available 12-way power seat allows the seat cushion to extend by 1.4 inches for better leg support.
  • The steering wheel angle has been reduced from 24 degrees to 22 degrees for a more natural control position.
  • The instrument panel places the main information display directly in the driver’s line of sight, supplemented by a center-mounted 3.5-inch color TFT multi-information display screen or available navigation and multimedia system.
  • The second-generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI) allows the user to operate the climate, audio, phone controls, optional navigation system and more. The screen menus are selected with a controller located on the center console.
  • The interior is offered in Black, Light Gray, and Parchment. Trim colors and materials include Piano Black and Espresso Bird’s-eye Maple.
  • 48-month/50,000 mile basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48 months/unlimited miles.
  • 72 months/70,000 miles powertrain and restraint system coverage.
  • 72 months corrosion perforation protection coverage, regardless of mileage.

Courtesy of Toyota Pressroom

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Want to turn some heads? Then come into Lexus of Orlando and test drive this Pre-Owned 2011 Lexus ES 350 and make your desires a reality!

2013 Lexus ES 350 iPad App

Lexus USA has released a new iPad app for the 2013 ES 350, and it’s great for exploring the new sedan in a very unique way.

Much like the previous 2013 GS app, there’s a very candid and informative comparison between the new ES to its competitors — here is an interior screenshot as an example:

Very impressed with this app — using the iPad as an advance sales tool is a very smart move, and more than that, it demonstrates some real understanding of what potential customers want to know. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the 2013 ES.

Courtesy of

Lexus is at America’s Cup this week as the Official Vehicle and Sustainability partner. Things are just starting to gear up!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hope you’re ready for this, for the first time ever, here’s some footage of the Lexus LFA & the LF-LC concept out for a drive together!

A big thank you to the author of this glowing review! Great job team!

Lexus of Orlando - (5) Star Review on DealerRater

  • I Live in Jax,and saw the Lexus when i was in Orlando,visiting my son and sister.My experience with Ralph Rosen was one of the best. -Sweety1650

2013 Lexus IS Lineup Announced

The 2013 Lexus IS lineup has been announced, with only minimal changes. To start with — all models receive a navigation software update that includes the Enform 2.0 app suite & HD Radio™ with iTunes tagging.

There’s also some model-specific changes, let’s break them down.

2013 Lexus IS 250 & IS 350 Sedan

The only major change for the IS sedan is that the manual transmission IS 250 has been discontinued. Beyond that, pricing has been raised $100 USD — $35,065 for the IS 250 RWD; $37,525 for the IS 250 AWD; $40,320 for the IS 350 RWD and $42,780 for the IS 350 AWD.

2013 Lexus IS 250C & IS 350C

The 2013 IS convertible has a couple minor changes:

  • The manual transmission IS 250C has been discontinued,
  • The 18-inch wheel has changed to a split-five spoke design,
  • there’s a new Red leather-trimmed interior color option,
  • the Cerulean Blue exterior color option has been discontinued,
  • and Silver Lining Metallic has replaced Tungsten Pearl.

A full-on F SPORT package is now available for the IS-C with two exterior color choices: Ultra White and Ultrasonic Blue Mica.

The package also includes: F SPORT 18-inch wheels with dark superchrome finish, badging on steering wheel and exterior, upper and lower grille insert, leather-trimmed interior, steering wheel/shift knob, scuff plate; front lip spoiler; heated and ventilated front seats; and a sport-tuned suspension.

Finally, the 2013 IS-C sees a $150 price increase, with the IS 250C starting at $42,510 and the IS 350C starting at $46,790.

2013 Lexus IS F

Only three IS F changes to speak of:

  • Exterior color options have changed, with Ultra White replacing Starfire Pearl & Liquid Platinum replacing Mercury Metallic,
  • All exterior colors receive a scratch-resistant clearcoat,
  • and there’s been some refined suspension tuning.

Exactly how the suspension has been “refined” is unclear from the press release, but this type of minor mechanical adjustment has become an annual event for the IS F.

Last thing — pricing for the 2013 IS F also sees a minor bump of $300, and will have a MSRP of $61,600.

Courtesy of

Monday, August 20, 2012

Do your keys weigh you down? Here is a Monday maintenance tip to help prevent a trip to the maintenance department for you!

Lighten up your key chain

  • Does your car key share a chain with a dozen or more other keys? That’s a pretty heavy load hanging off the car key when it’s in the ignition. The weight, combined with bouncing while you drive, can wear out the tumblers inside the ignition and eventually lead to ignition switch failure. To add years of service to your ignition switch, purchase a lightweight key chain that allows you to separate your ignition key from the others. Drive with only the ignition key in your ignition. If your ignition key “sticks” when you try to turn on the car, it’s a warning that your ignition switch is about to fail. Replace it before you get stranded.

Welcome back to the mighty UCF Knights! Here's to a fantastic 2012 fall semester!


There's only one day left before the winner of the Unleash the LFA contest is announced. After tomorrow, it might be your reality.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hybrids, Supercars and Compact Crossovers: Lexus Looking at Future Product Options

Shifting market trends have changed the face of the automotive luxury market – leading some manufacturers to flood showrooms with new models. By comparison to its German rivals, Lexus has taken a relatively cautious approach to product proliferation but that may have to change, suggested the Toyota luxury brands top U.S. executive.

While Mark Templin, general manager of the Toyota luxury brand, insists he is “not a big fan of” the rampant product proliferation “that calls for having 100 different models in your line-up,” he told that Lexus is closely evaluating market trends and may very well need to add new models in the not-too-distant future.

The biggest challenge, he laughed, is that, “We’re running out of the alphabet,” as makers not only add more models but shift to alphanumeric naming policies.

The most likely addition to the Lexus line-up, Templin hinted, would be a compact crossover smaller than the current RX line, one that could directly target competitors like the Mercedes-Benz GLK, BMW X3 and Audi Q5.  But Lexus is in no rush, the executive cautioned, since the RX remains the best-selling luxury CUV by appealing to a broad range of crossover buyers.

The other segment under close study that Templin would discuss would return Lexus to the supercar market.  The maker has all but sold out its LFA supercar and no additional production is planned.  But the maker is weighing the potential for its potential successor.

“The LFC (concept) we showed in Detroit this year was a smash hit,” Templin asserted, “and everyone is asking us to build that car without change.”

But he cautioned that if Lexus does bring the LFC to market it could take as much as four years to complete its engineering. Templin acknowledged that might seem to run counter to Toyota’s past approach to product development – which emphasized speed to market – but added that Toyota “has started to build cars more slowly again.”

That appears to be a response to the quality and safety problems the maker faced several years ago, which some have blamed on an over-reliance on computer simulations and a lack of slower real-world testing.

The other area where Lexus is likely to expand its portfolio is in the hybrid market, Templin indicated during a lengthy interview.

“Absolutely,” the executive stressed, “we’re dedicated to hybrids and will have a lot.” By 2014 or 2015, Lexus expects to have at least eight hybrids, in fact, in its global product portfolio – though not all will necessarily make it to U.S. shores.

The maker already has more than any other luxury marque and is just getting ready to roll out a new version of its flagship Lexus LS 600h model.  Meanwhile, the recently added ES 300h is out-performing the maker’s initially ambitious targets – dealers in San Francisco and some other parts of the country having to put customers on waiting lists for the hybrid sedan.

Not all gas-electric offerings have been big hits, though.  The compact HS 250h failed to generate much enthusiasm and has been dropped from the line-up, though the similarly sized CT 200h has done significantly better.

The hybrid CT is the smallest model in the line-up and competes in the emerging U.S. market for small luxury cars. Yet even with new offerings coming from the likes of BMW, with its updated 1-Series, and the addition of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Templin said Lexus isn’t looking to downsize its line-up.  He questioned whether there’s real demand for such small luxury cars and argued that makers like BMW and Mercedes are simply being forced into those segments to meet increasingly stringent U.S. fuel economy standards.

“We don’t have to,” Templin said, noting that with the mainstream Toyota brand selling “millions” of small cars like the Corolla and Yaris, Lexus doesn’t have to stretch its own brand down-market.

Nonetheless, Templin acknowledged the traditional definition of luxury is rapidly changing.  For one thing, demand for high-line products like the LS – and such competitors as the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series – isn’t likely to keep pace with the overall growth in luxury car sales.

At its peak, in 1990, the Lexus LS generated 42,806 sales, and even when the outgoing version was introduced, six years ago, it pulled in 2,000 to 3,000 buyers a month.  Last year, however, sales totaled just 9,568.  And even with the major improvements Lexus has made in the new 2013 LS, Templin forecast sales won’t reach much more than 1,000 a month.

Complicating matters, the premium-luxury segment has seen a raft of new product entries, such as the Hyundai Equus, so the Lexus share isn’t likely to reach past levels.  As recently as 2007, it had a 37.8% share, according to Ward’s Automotive.  For the first seven months of 2012 that was down to 11.0%, though that should rebound somewhat with the upcoming launch of the new LS sedan – which will add several new versions including the F Sport.

Templin insisted it still makes sense to market a big car like the LS, though he acknowledged, “In the future, I think we’ll see multiple flagships in our line-up and (from) other manufacturers.”

That, he hinted, could include a supercar like the LFC — reportedly a personal favorite of Toyota Motor Co. President Akio Toyoda. The grandson of Toyota’s founder, Toyoda has been actively involved in the Lexus brand, Templin confirmed.

The Japanese executive personally came to the States to introduce a sportier version of the GS sedan in 2011 and “he’s had a huge influence” on the brand, pressing it to develop more passionate products, said Templin.

“He’s looking for us to change the way the company thinks,” added the Lexus general manager.

Courtesy of

Thank you so much Juan for taking to time to write this glowing review! Great job team!

Lexus of Orlando - (3 out of 3) Rating on Google+ Local

  • Came to see if I could schedule an appointment for my vehicle, not only I was not expecting to be seen but I also expected to be just brush off with the “maybe next week” Surprise! I did not have leave the building, they can do it in a couple of hours and I did not even had to miss any work since their waiting area even has a computer room! William delivered on the promise, I was out in no time at all and the vehicle even got a wash and the tank was top off, that is a nice touch and I can say that I was WOWED Great job! -Juan M.

Students Compete for $500,000 in Grants from Lexus

The Lexus Eco Challenge is designed to inspire middle and high school students to better the global environment by offering them a chance to compete for $500,000 in grants and scholarships. Since 2007, over 16,000 students nationwide have participated in the program. Our goal is to help them all develop their potential to build a greater, greener world.

Courtesy of

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Golf-loving Lexus owners, the U.S. Women’s Open kicks off this week, which means you’re likely approaching the apex of your own golfing season.

With that in mind, we asked the Lexus-sponsored pros to offer just one piece of golfing advice that they themselves live by out there, something that they’d like to share with their fellow Lexus owners for a little from-one-golfer-to-another inspiration:

Lexus-sponsored since:

Golfing advice he lives by: “Ben Hogan once told me to keep my lower body very still—to feel as if it is in cement. This will allow your upper body to coil properly, with your lower body turning later in your swing. It helps you create a more powerful swing.”

Lexus-sponsored since:

Golfing advice she lives by: “I was 15 years old and practicing on the range at Bro-Bålsta Golf Club. It started to rain so I called my dad to pick me up. As we drove out, my dad saw several juniors still hitting balls. He turned to me and said, ‘you know, Annika, there are no shortcuts to success.’ That was over 25 years ago and it still drives me to this day—not just in golf, but in life.”

Lexus-sponsored since:

Golfing advice he lives by: “The best advice I ever received was from my father, who told me the game of golf was not fair.”

Lexus-sponsored since:

Golfing advice she lives by: “To have fun. It’s a gift to be able to play the game of golf and it should be treated that way.”

Lexus-sponsored since:

Golfing advice he lives by: “In golf, nothing is given. You have to work hard or get passed.”

Lexus-sponsored since:

Golfing advice he lives by: “Truly enjoy your good shots, and when you do hit a good shot, celebrate it.”

Lexus-sponsored since:

Golfing advice he lives by: “My father taught me to play, and he always stressed the importance of rhythm in the swing. Any hurried motion in your swing will cause problems!”

Lexus-sponsored since:

Golfing advice he lives by: “Keep proper perspective. Always be mindful that golf is just a game.”

Lexus-sponsored since:

Golfing advice he lives by: “Find a coach or teacher you believe in, then work hard, work hard, work hard.”

Lexus-sponsored since:

Golfing advice he lives by: “What you put into it, you will get out of it.”

Courtesy of

Many thanks to Anita for this amazing review! Great job Manny!

Lexus of Orlando - (5) Star Review on DealerRater

  • I have had my Lexus for three years now and I have been dealing with Manny since then. He is a true asset to Lexus and should be commended for his excellence in customer service. No matter how busy it gets, he never fails to be courteous and friendly. I always and will always plan my service when he is available because I know I won't get anything but the best!! -Anita C.

Who’s been watching Top Chef Masters on Bravo? Did you notice the all-new 2013 RX 350? Let us know what you think and if you have a favorite to win.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lexus IS F Peaks at Pikes

Lexus has finished second in class at its first attempt at the infamous Pikes Peak hill climb, held in the hills of Colorado with its IS F CCSR.

Testing man and machine, the race is run over a 20-kilometre course consisting of 156 turns - concluding at 14,110 feet above sea level.

The thin air at the summit of Pikes Peak robs vehicles of almost 30 per cent of engine power.

Piloted by US racer Ken Gushi, the IS F CCSR completed the feat in 11 minutes, 35.17 seconds - finishing second in class behind a lightweight V12 race car.

The Lexus IS F CCSR, which debuted at the Tokyo Auto Salon in 2010, features a number of modifications from the standard IS F road car to enhance performance and satisfy racing safety regulations.

These include lightweight carbon fibre bodywork and interior details as well as polycarbonate windows, helping to reduce the standard vehicle's weight by 314kg.

It also has a reinforced monocoque with roll cage, racing brake package, modified race suspension and racing exhaust system.

The IS F CCS-R is powered by the 2UR-GSE 5.0-litre V8 of the IS F that develops 311kW and 505Nm of torque, mated to an eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission with paddle shift.

Courtesy of

The latest episode from Lexus TV spotlights the LA Food and Wine Festival, the ES "invigorate" training, and much more? Follow the link below to view the latest chapter!

Welcome to the August 13th episode of Spotlight on LexusTV. The Lexus Grand Tasting event at the LA food and Wine Festival was a great success. The Lexus booth treated our current and future owners to a southern hospitality style atmosphere where they enjoyed learning about our vehicles while enjoying cocktails and great food.

The ES "invigorate" training is off to a great start. Take advantage of this tour when it comes to your area to learn about key features of the ES against the Mercedes Benz C350 and the Cadillac CTS; the two other sessions take a deeper dive into all you need to know about the ES and Lexus Enform.

We're dedicated to supporting our Lexus Vehicle Specialists and Lexus Delivery Specialist with information they can use to better serve their customers. Look for the Lexus Technology Center newsletter in your inbox the middle of each month and be sure to sign up to receive news and tips on your mobile device.

Click on the link below to view the latest Spotlight episode. Thank you for watching and see you on the next LexusTV Spotlight on August 27th.

Click here to log in and watch the latest episode on LexusTV!

Courtesy of LexusTV

A huge thank you to Nathan for this extraordinary review! Keep up the great work Steven!

Lexus of Orlando - (5) Star Review on DealerRater

  • Service with a smile every time. I've been dealing with Mr. Persaud for my last three or four visits on both my vehicles and he is the absolute best individual to deal with. I've never had such great service from someone at a dealership. Stephen answers every question and addresses any concerns on the spot and if he can't he promises to get back to you which he always does. Hats off to him on an amazing job every time!!! -Nathan R.

Champion Climate Control

Last June, the 2013 Lexus GS earned itself quite the prestigious award.

This particular recognition wasn’t for the vehicle’s overall technological prowess, although the GS 450h already picked up accolades in that category as a CNET Editor’s Choice.

It also wasn’t for safety, although this too has been recognized (the honors here: the Lexus GS earned a Top Safety Pick Award by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).

No, this time the GS drew top honors for its climate control system, which took home the Interior Innovation of the Year award at the Automotive Interiors Expo Awards in Europe—and rightly so.

Particularly impressive to the judges was a component not yet available in U.S. models—an air cleansing system that releases negatively charged ions that deodorize the vehicle seats and roof lining, as well as have a moisturizing effect on skin and hair.

But even though this aspect of the system isn’t in U.S. models, the 2013 GS climate control system is still a technical wonder, and given the levels of extreme heat descending on much of North America lately, we deemed it an appropriate time to list some reasons why the 2013 GS Climate Control system may, quite possibly, be one of the world’s greatest:

1. The system “sees” who’s in the car: For energy efficiency, the climate control system—via its S-Flow feature—uses occupant detection technology to focus airflow only to the areas where passengers are actually seated. For example, if you’re driving alone, only your temperature settings will be engaged.

2. Climate control is part of the vehicle’s ECO mode efficiencies: The 2013 GS comes with Lexus’ ECO drive setting, which, when engaged by the driver, essentially regulates several systems to be as energy efficient as possible (to help improve fuel economy)—and climate control is one of the key systems controlled by ECO mode.

4. The system can be controlled remotely: The GS climate control system is, of course, also part of the vehicle’s Remote Touch system, which allows drivers to control temperature settings (along with other vehicle systems) via a computer-mouse-like joystick and multi-display screen.

5. And speaking of screens: The Lexus GS climate control settings on the vehicle’s multi-display screen get the benefit of an enormous 12.3-inch screen with enhanced graphics.

Courtesy of Lexus Magazine

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hard to shoot photos uphill. Harder to race at 14,000 ft. Congrats to Ken Gushi for taking Lexus to new heights.


Happy Monday fans! Here is a Monday maintenance tip to help you drive safely on those rainy days!

Before you go

  • Wet-weather driving demands gentle use of all the main controls - steering, clutch, brake and accelerator - and a larger allowance for errors and emergencies. When you begin a journey in rain, your shoes will be wet and liable to slip off the pedals. Scuff the soles on the rubber matting or carpeting of the car before you start the engine. All motorists should regularly check that their headlights, tail lights, brake lights and turn signals are working properly.

Many thanks to the author of this tremendous review! Keep up the great work team!

Lexus of Orlando - (5) Star Review on DealerRater

  • It was time for a new car, but it was hard to let our 2001 Lexus ES300 and 2005 PT Cruiser go to "used car heaven." After consulting with William in service, and talking to Alfredo in the Lexus Exchange Program, we knew that now was the time. We worked with both Alfred and Ashley to find just the right vehicle. Alfredo was able to make our budget wishes a reality and Ashley was by our side, answering questions, until we drove our beautiful 2011 Lexus ES350 off the lot. We will be asking for William when it's time for that first oil change. It's great to be a member of the Lexus Family! -GloJo