Kind of a (not so) quick update on some of our project cars.
Things are getting a little crowded these days. The Grand Marquis doesn’t want to fire up. It sounds like the fuel pump is dead just in time for summer. We never did find the Lexus key but we do have a spare.
In a previous article, I talked about many of the superlatives that encompass the Lexus LF-A. From its mid-mounted V10 engine to its eye-popping price tag, the first supercar from Lexus is one that only 500 people can own.
As if the LF-A weren’t exclusive enough, the end of the LF-A’s production run was capped off with the last 50 cars carrying a special “Nurburgring Edition” designation. I saw one of these ultra-rare cars on display at SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas. The “Nurburgring Edition” has a few goodies which are not found on the standard coupe. These include:
In the 1980s, Toyota undertook a massive project to develop a luxury car that would compete with the best of the European brands. The company spent years and over $1 billion dollars developing the LS400: the vehicle that became the flagship for the new brand called Lexus.
As the LS400 was being prepped for its 1990 release, Toyota felt that launching an all-new company with just one model was a bit silly. They needed a second car – a smaller model to balance out the product offering – and they needed it quickly.
From the very beginning, Lexus was founded as a company that would break down the traditional ways of doing things in the auto industry. For decades, the market for luxury cars was dominated by the established titans of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Looking to take a piece of their pie, parent company Toyota formed the Lexus brand in the 1980s and began developing a flagship car unlike any the world had ever seen.
Lexus spent seven years and over a billion dollars designing their top-secret new car. Over 450 exterior designs were tested along with 900 engine prototypes. They spent two years on the interior alone. What they built was a luxury sedan that stood unparalleled in automotive history.
It is 2013 and the world still does not have jetpacks, Star Trek Replicators, or time machines. But before you give up on your dreams of a high-tech future, listen to what Lexus has just come out with. Their Integrated Safety team was on hand at this year’s CES Show in Las Vegas to show off a self-driving car.
You may remember that I wrote about Google’s Self-Driving Prius as part of my SEMA 2012 coverage. This car works in much the same way as Google’s car: it relies on a multitude of sensors and instruments to safely navigate its way to your destination.