LFA #006 arrives in Oklahoma City!

Slowly but surely, Kaizen Factor is becoming Lexus LFA central as the first customer supercars arrive on U.S. soil. Following on our earlier stories on the de-vanning of the first 3 U.S. LFAs, our full account of the first 6 U.S. LFAs and their characteristics and the arrival of LFA #026 in Chicago comes word of another such arrival: LFA #006 at Eskridge Lexus in Oklahoma City.

Our most heartfelt congratulations to its new owner!

Thanks, Chris, for the tip and photos.

VIDEO: LFA #026 delivered in Chicago’s South Suburbs!

IMG_2146.JPGIt was only a matter of time before the LFAs leave the Port of Long Beach and arrive to their destinations across the country. LFA #026 has finally been delivered to its new owner in Chicago’s South Suburbs. The dealership of delivery is Lexus of Orland in Orland Park, Il. Despite the snow on the ground, the Black on Black LFA stands out. Congratulations to the new owner and his family!

Check out the video on WGN’s page: http://www.wgntv.com/videobeta/676c9705-32ed-442d-b975-84c2f0bec369/News/Half-million-dollar-Lexus-in-South-Suburbs

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Source: WGN-TV Chicago

Lexus Manila grows 37% for 2010, CT and LFA to come!

The Lexus brand has been around globally for over 20 years. Yet, it was only 2 years ago last month that Lexus launched the brand in The Philippines with its one and only dealer located in Manila. Prior to the opening of Lexus Manila, Filipinos interested in driving or buying a Lexus in their homeland were out of luck. They would have to resort with drooling at what was offered around them in nearby Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and, of course, here in the United States. For those with unlimited financial backing, some would go to the trouble of importing gray market Lexus vehicles (usually sourced from the United States) and pay exorbitant amounts of money due to local tariffs and taxes. Now the Philippines have their own Lexus store and Filipinos have warmed up to the luxury brand.

Just last year, for 2010, Lexus Manila has shown positive growth of 37% selling 235 new Lexus vehicles. In its first year of operation, Lexus Manila sold 172 new vehicles which was just shy of their projected 200 mark. Of course, these numbers are only a fraction of what one dealer Lexus dealer in the United States can push, but this is a big step forward for Lexus in the Philippines as Mercedes Benz and BMW dominate their luxury car market. It’s no surprise that the bread-and-butter ES 350 and RX 350 lead the sales in the P.I. like they do here in the United States.

IMG_6952.JPGLike the rest of the Asian markets, Lexus Manila will be launching the all-new CT 200h premium compact hybrid hatchback later this month. With its low price point and value-packed luxury amenities, the CT should be a hit among Filipinos. On a more exciting note, the supercar Lexus LFA has recently started production and has already been shipped to destinations worldwide. As everyone awaits their custom ordered LFAs, Lexus Manila is reported to receive their one and only LFA order in Red. We don’t have any other details to share, but we can’t wait to see it! Special thanks to the homie Vern at Top Gear Philippines for sharing the news.

TopGear.com.ph Philippine Car News - Lexus LFA

Courtesy: Top Gear Philippines
Images: Lexus Philippines, Top Gear Ph.

Toyota and Subaru at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show: what to expect

With January 2011’s Detroit Auto Show relegated to history and next week’s Chicago Auto Show expected to reveal little news except for the Lexus Five Axis Project CT 200h Concept, we look forward to March and the Geneva (Switzerland) Auto Show, which should be more compelling in terms of new model debuts.

The big news, of course, is the debut of the final concept versions of the “Toyobaru twins” before the expected debut of the production versions at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show in December. The much-discussed and anticipated collaboration between Toyota and Subaru on a (hopefully) lightweight rear-wheel-drive Subaru-powered sports coupe will see a second, presumably closer-to-reality Toyota FT86 II as well as Subaru’s first concept preview, the lengthily-titled Subaru Rear-Wheel Drive Sports Car Technology Concept.

Now, via a Toyota Europe press release comes word on the rest of Toyota’s agenda at Geneva. Given the 3rd-generation Toyota Vitz (Japan’s Yaris counterpart, and Toyota’s largest-selling model in Europe via its assembly in Valenciennes, France) debut last December, something Yaris-related was certainly to be expected. Toyota has now confirmed the Toyota Yaris HSD Concept that “anticipates Toyota’s intention to bring full hybrid technology to the B segment, the biggest volume segment in Europe… Incorporating several hybrid-specific styling cues, the Yaris HSD concept introduces a new, forward-looking design execution”. Expect this “concept”, then, to be a barely-disguised version of the upcoming French-built 3rd-generation Yaris and its Yaris HSD variant. That Yaris HSD, by the way, may well be Europe’s sole Toyota B-segment hybrid, since some British pundits rightfully predict that the production version of Detroit’s smaller Prius c concept will not be sold in the Old Continent because the current strong yen/weak Euro exchange would make importing Prius c from Japan a money-losing proposition.

The third officially-announced Toyota debut is no real surprise, either. The Toyota Prius+ is essentially the larger Prius v that debuted last month in Detroit with the third-row +2 seat it deserved all along. As such, Toyota Europe proudly notes that “The Prius+ is the first car to offer European customers the versatility of 7 seats combined with a full hybrid powertrain (and) the lowest fuel consumption of any 7-seat MPV on the market”. As to why the third row is unavailable in North America, we can only guess that our general intolerance of vehicles with sub-10 second 0-60 mph acceleration times is at least partly to blame, as that third seat may add another hundred or two pounds to the curb weight and burden its 1.8-liter hybrid powertrain.

As to Subaru, in addition to the Rear-Wheel Drive Sports Car Concept, it will mark the European debuts of the Subaru Impreza Design Concept that first appeared at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2010 and is hailed as a predictor for the next-generation Impreza due around the 2013 model year; and of the Subaru Trezia, a rebadged Toyota Ractis/Verso S that marks a rare export outing for one of the many small Japanese Domestic Market front-wheel-drive Subarus that are, in reality, renamed Toyotas and Daihatsus. The Euro Subaru Trezia even shares the Toyota Verso S choice of 1.3-liter gasoline or 1.4-liter turbo diesel engines.

VIDEOS: Coming to America – The Lexus LFA

IMG_1737.JPGNow that the first six LFAs have landed in the United States, Lexus has released a series of videos which highlight the special arrival of the LFA. We covered this story exclusively just a few weeks ago.  The first video is of the de-vanning process of the LFA from the shipping container. The second video is of Mark Templin, Vice President and General Manager of Lexus USA welcoming the new LFA owners to the Lexus family. Third video is of Paul Williamsen, National Manager of the Lexus College doing an overview of features on the Pearl Yellow LFA. The last video was filmed at the newest mega Lexus dealer in the United States, Lexus of Escondido, located in northern San Diego County. Details are everything and we know Lexus is very attentive in the smallest details. Take a look at the videos below:


A Superior Journey: Transporting the LFA:


A Warm Welcome to LFA Owners:


LFA Product Highlights:

Courtesy of Lexus USA

Five Axis CT 200h Concept coming to Chicago!

Troy Sumitomo is no stranger to making concept cars a reality. As the man with the plan at Five Axis, he’s responsible for building many Lexus concept cars including the Five Axis Concept IS F, GS F-Sport, IS F-Sport Sedan, Convertible, and of course the Yellow Lexus LF-Ch Concept that eventually gave birth to the CT 200h. Just last year in Las Vegas at the SEMA Show 2010, Five Axis was commissioned to put together a CT F-Sport concept car featuring F-Sport goods for the upcoming premium compact hybrid hatch. Just this morning, Lexus teased us with a rendering of whats to arrive in the Windy City. Despite the current blizzard conditions hampering Chicago, we expect the Five Axis CT Concept to bring some heat to the Lexus display at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. If you’re looking for some warmth, come down to the Chicago Auto Show!

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Source: Lexus

FT86 II Concept to be unveiled at Geneva!

Just about a month from now, we will get a chance to see the latest interpretation of the Toyota FT86 concept at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show 2011. Entitled the FT86 II, Toyota Motor Europe gives us a sneak peak at whats to come. The teaser pic shows us a familiar FT86 concept but with a little more muscle. Most notable are the larger, more defined headlamps and the very angular but raked nose. Also the fender lines are much more squared off at the sides which allow the FT to gain a more aggressive look. The FT86 II almost looks like an eagle ready to pounce on its prey. We are anxiously awaiting for the FT to arrive as we are ready to put “Fun” and “Toyota” back in the same sentence again. Here in the United States, we have a little bit of a dilemma as we aren’t sure if this will be branded a Toyota or rebadged as a Scion. Only time will tell.

Here is a photo of the FT86 concept I took at the Paris Motor Show 2010:
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Teaser FT 86 II photo courtesy of TME.