Entries Tagged as 'News'

Hype: RAYS Engineering & BFGoodrich Officially Join The Global MX-5 Cup Series Because Wheels & Tires Are Important

Posted on 02.04.16 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

2016 MX-5 Cup - front three quarter_small

A while ago Mazda Racing announced that their extremely popular MX-5 cup would be going global and their new 2016 MX-5 roadster will take over as the new platform.  That news made us all “squeee” collectively and I thought it couldn’t get much better than that.  However, yesterday it was announced that RAYS Engineering yes that RAYS would be the official wheel for the Global MX-5 cup and that BFGoodrich would be stepping in as the official tire!  How cool is that?  Both companies will be making applications specific to the racing series.  BFGoodrich will produce a custom variant of their “g-Force” racing slick while RAYS will produce what looks like a custom variant of their ZE40 wheel but I could be wrong about that.

Both BFGoodrich and RAYS have had previous experience working with Mazda with BFGoodrich providing tires for previous series and RAYS producing wheels for Mazdaspeed cars in the past.  The MX-5 cup series is a favorite among grassroots racers for its low cost to entry and its huge support system.  A full turn-key Global MX-5 Cup race car could be had for $53k which is extremely inexpensive relative to the cost of other brand new turn-key race cars available.  Currently, 80 cars have been ordered for production during the off-season and there will more than likely be more on the way.  So, who wants to let me borrow 53 grand?  No one?  OK, just thought I’d ask…

Anyhow for more information on the new partnerships and the MX-5 Cup series check out the official press release below.

Press Release:

IRVINE, Calif. (February 3, 2016) – Racing as we know it would not exist without great partners.  Mazda announced two key partners for the 2016 MX-5 Cup – BFGoodrich Tires, and RAYS wheels, will be joining Battery Tender for the 2016 racing season.

“After extensive testing and evaluations, from both an engineering and business perspective, Mazda is thrilled to announce BFGoodrich Tires, and RAYS as strategic partners for 2016,” said John Doonan, director of motorsports, Mazda North American Operations. “With BFGoodrich, it’s perfect continuity as the racers know and love the BFG tires from the current series.  The RAYS wheel, which will be a Mazda exclusive, offers great performance and great looks, a requirement in the Mazda world.”

“Since 2009, BFGoodrich Tires has been proud to partner and support Mazda MX-5 Cup” stated Peter Calhoun – Motorsport Manager BFGoodrich Tires.  “2016 brings a new era with the global MX-5 Cup race car and BFGoodrich is elated to continue our partnership with Mazda, along with the development of a series specific BFGoodrich g-Force(r) race slick.  BFGoodrich can’t wait for the 2016 season to kick-off as the large fields will produce some spectacular racing.”

Shigeru Mine, COO, RAYS CO., LTD, noted that: “We are very excited to be working with Mazda as the wheel supplier for the Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Series. We have a long history together including the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans victory as well as MAZDASPEED wheel programs. With the strong presence both in our home country Japan and globally, we look forward to the growth this will continue to have in 2016 and beyond.”

The price for the turnkey ready-to-race Mazda MX-5 Cup car is $53,000.  Long Road Racing began production last month and will be busy during the off season with more than 80 orders in hand. Details for the ordering process, including financing options, are available at www.MazdaMotorsports.com.

Additional partners, and the complete 2016 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires race schedule, will be announced in the weeks ahead.  The season will kick-off during the Continental Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda weekend at Mazda Raceway. April 29 – May 1.

Additional information on the MX-5 Cup can be found at www.MX-5Cup.com. You can follow the progress of the 2016 Global MX-5 Cup car development on the new Twitter handle: @GlobalMX5Cup

Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers.  Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.  For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com

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Hype News: Toyota Is Deleting The Scion Brand Name. Will Rebadge Cars As Toyotas

Posted on 02.03.16 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Scion_Killed_Off

It was announced this morning that as of August 2016 Toyota, the parent company of Scion will essentially kill the youth brand and transition their models into the Toyota line up.  The good news is that Toyota isn’t killing off any of the cars; just the brand name.  In August the FR-S, iA, and iM will be rebadged as Toyotas.  I know it sounds like I’m joking but I am being totally serious here.  Toyota is really doing this!  Why?  Well, its hard to say.  Toyota attempts an explanation in the press release but if I’m being honest with myself I don’t really see a definitive answer there.

Toyota admits that Scion accomplished its goal for being the “youth” brand and as their own numbers indicate, Scion was exactly that.  The average age for a Scion buyer was 36, making them the “youngest brand in the industry”.  The average age of a Scion tC buyer was 29 according to their own reports.  So, why kill off a brand name that was doing exactly what it was designed to do?  According to Toyota this is a “response to customer needs.”

Toyota says their young customers still want the good looks of Scion but also want practicality.  Perhaps Scion did its job too well and average buyers felt that a “Scion” can’t be practical.  Although since they will still be the same cars I’m not sure changing their names to “Toyota” will make much difference.  However, I am not an automotive sales expert and Toyota is one of the biggest car companies on the planet, so they’re probably right to do this in the long run.

While I am sad to see the brand name go, I am interested to see how this move will change things for Toyota.  One thing is for sure, now is the time to buy as much Scion-branded stuff from dealerships as you can get your hands on because as time clicks down to August any official Scion-branded merch will become increasingly rare!

What do you think of what Toyota is doing?  Do you agree with the move to end the Scion brand?  Or do you think Toyota should have left things alone?  Let us know in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.

Press Release

Scion Brand to Transition to Toyota

Valuable Insights Will Aid Toyota in Attracting New, Young Customers

 

TORRANCE, Calif., Feb. 3, 2016 – Scion, established as a separate brand in 2003 as a laboratory to explore new products and processes to attract youth customers, is now transitioning back to the Toyota brand. Scion achieved its goals of developing unique products and processes, and bringing in new, younger customers to Toyota. With more than a million cars sold, 70 percent of Scions were purchased by customers new to Toyota and 50 percent were under 35 years old.

“This isn’t a step backward for Scion; it’s a leap forward for Toyota. Scion has allowed us to fast track ideas that would have been challenging to test through the Toyota network,” said Jim Lentz, founding vice president of Scion and now CEO, Toyota Motor North America. “I was there when we established Scion and our goal was to make Toyota and our dealers stronger by learning how to better attract and engage young customers. I’m very proud because that’s exactly what we have accomplished.

“We could not have achieved the success we have had without the incredible support of Scion’s customers, dealers and team members, so supporting them throughout this transition process will be one of our top priorities,” said Lentz.

Toyota’s decision was made in response to customers’ needs. Today’s younger buyers still want fun-to-drive vehicles that look good, but they are also more practical. They, like their parents, have come to appreciate the Toyota brand and its traditional attributes of quality, dependability and reliability. At the same time, new Toyota vehicles have evolved to feature the dynamic styling and handling young people desire.

Scion has consistently been the youngest brand in the auto industry with an average age of 36 years old. At 29, the tC sports coupe has the lowest-average age buyer in the industry. The most recent additions to the line-up, the iA sedan and iM 5-door hatchback, are bringing in new buyers with 70 percent being first-time new car purchasers. Additionally, more than 50 percent of iM and iA buyers are under 35 years old.

As part of the brand transition, beginning in August 2016, MY17 Scion vehicles will be rebadged as Toyotas. The FR-S sports car, iA sedan and iM 5-door hatchback will become part of the Toyota family. The tC sports coupe will have a final release series edition and end production in August 2016. The C-HR, which recently debuted at the L.A. Auto Show, will be a part of the Toyota line-up.

The service and repair process for Scion customers will be unaffected by this change as customers will continue to visit Toyota dealerships’ service departments. “We appreciate our 1,004 Scion dealers and the support they’ve given the brand,” said Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations. “We believe our dealers have gained valuable insights and have received a strong return on their investment. During this time of transition, we will work closely with them to support this process and help communicate this change to customers.”

Scion’s 22 dedicated team members, who represent sales, marketing, distribution, strategy, and product and accessories planning, will have the opportunity to take on new jobs at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. in Torrance. Scion regional representatives will assume different responsibilities in their respective Toyota sales offices.

“Scion has had some amazing products over the years and our current vehicles are packed with premium features at value prices,” said Andrew Gilleland, Scion vice president. “It’s been a great run and I’m proud that the spirit of Scion will live on through the knowledge and products soon to be available through the Toyota network.”

Scion Accomplishments:

Scion Processes – Scion served as a laboratory for products and key sales and marketing processes that have provided valuable lessons for other Toyota brands:

  • Pure Pricing – dealers set a price for a car and customers did not need to negotiate
  • Mono-Spec cars – providing cars with only two options: transmission and color
  • Personalization – offering a large array of accessories to help customers customize their vehicles
  • Pure Process – transparent financing process
  • Pure Process Plus – an online system so much of the car-purchase process could be completed online
  • Scion Service Boost – pre-paid maintenance plan
  • Release Series – dynamic life cycle management through special features and options
  • Grassroots marketing – initial Scion brand was “discovered” by customers through unique events

Scion Products — Scion has had some outstanding products that have made an impact in the industry including the original “box,” the xB and the FR-S affordable sports car. The tC sports coupe has consistently attracted the youngest buyer in the industry.

 

Scion Executives — Scion served as an important training ground for Toyota vice presidents, many of whom have been promoted to other roles:

  • Jim Lentz — Chief Executive Officer, Toyota Motor North America
  • Mark Templin – Managing Officer, Toyota Motor Corporation, Executive Vice President, Lexus International
  • Jack Hollis – Group Vice President, Toyota Marketing
  • Doug Murtha – Group Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Planning,

Toyota Motor North America

  • Andrew Gilleland – current Vice President, Scion

 

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Movie Hype: Dates Are Set For The Next Fast & Furious Trilogy Via Twitter

Posted on 02.03.16 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

FastFurious_TrilogyReleaseSchedule_small

Late last night the official twitter account for the Fast and The Furious films officially announced the release dates for the next three films in the franchise.  Yes, you read correctly; a new trilogy of films will be released between 2017 and 2021.  According to the image tweeted out (which can be seen below) Fast 8 will debut April 14th 2017, the untitled 9th film (probably furious 9) will release April 19th 2019, and the tenth film will drop April 2nd, 2021.  With 10 films under its belt, Fast And Furious will become among the longest movie franchises of all time.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t count the rumored spin off movies starring the “Hobbs” character played by Dwayne Johnson and another rumored spinoff staring Eva Mendes’ character.

Haters of the Fast And Furious films may be confused as to why Universal would go in on three more films but they would have to be reminded that the last movie made over a billion (yes with a B) dollars in the worldwide box office.

What do you think of this development?  Are you excited for more Fast And Furious movies?  Do you think the franchise can last until 2021?  Do you think there will be more films after the tenth?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments or tweet to us @MotorworldHype

Fast And Furious tweet:

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Hype: NASCAR Team Owner Buys First 2017 Acura NSX For Over A Million Dollars At Auction

Posted on 02.01.16 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

First 2017 Acura NSX Scores Record Auction Price of .2 Million a

Over the weekend the world famous Barrett Jackson Auction took place in Scottsdale, Arizona.  More often than not major OEMs will take advantage of all the media attention that the event brings by auctioning off a “first off the line” vin 001 vehicle from a new production model.  Ford usually does it whenever there is a new Mustang, Chevrolet did it with the Stingray, and now it looks like Acura is the latest OEM to jump on this train as they brought the very first production 2017 Acura NSX  to the Barrett Jackson Auction with the hopes of raising big bucks.

The auction winner was none other than Rick Hendrick, the owner of Hendrick Motorsports AKA one of the biggest teams in NASCAR.  Hendrick won the NSX to the tune of 1.2 million dollars which is the highest price a vin 001 vehicle has fetched at the Auction.  Before you get too jealous that he got to buy an NSX before everyone else, you should note that this auction was for charity.  All the proceeds from the auction will be split between the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Camp Southern Ground.  Those are two great groups well deserving of the cash.

The rest of us will be able to put orders in for the 2017 Acura NSX starting February 25th, 2016 at select dealers.  The online configurator will launch that same day as well; that will also be the day that the internet breaks as all of us who can’t afford a NSX (including me) will spend all day on that configurator dreaming about what could be.  Sigh…

Anyhow, you may not be able to get an NSX but if you can still help out the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (CureTheKids.org) and Camp Southern Ground (CampSouthernGround.org) by visiting their websites to learn more about them and find ways that you can help their causes.

Press Release:

Jan 29, 2016 – SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.  — At the auctioneer’s final call, the next-generation 2017 Acura NSX supercar tonight smashed the record for a vehicle auction at Barrett-Jackson for the highest-selling designated vehicle identification number (VIN) 001 with the final hammer price set at $1.2 million. Winning bidder Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and founder of Hendrick Automotive Group, has earned the right to custom order the first production model of Acura’s highly anticipated NSX, which comes to market this spring. All proceeds of the auction will go to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, based in North Carolina, and Camp Southern Ground in Georgia, the passion project of Grammy® Award-winning music artist Zac Brown.

“It was amazing to witness such generosity of spirit and passion for the new NSX,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of Acura. “Mr. Hendrick will have the great satisfaction of owning and driving the very first next-generation NSX, and making a difference in the lives of thousands of children.”

Customer ordering for the 2017 NSX will begin on Feb. 25 at authorized NSX retailers, in concert with the launch of the Acura NSX on-line vehicle configurator on Acura.com.

About Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is the leading nonprofit funder of research into one of the deadliest forms of childhood cancer. Our programs also include free educational resources, college scholarships for brain tumor survivors, emergency financial aid and mission-focused events such as Ride for Kids and the Starry Night 8.5K. Brain tumors are the leading cause of solid tumor cancer death in children between the ages of 0-19. More than 28,000 young people in the United States are living with the diagnosis of a brain tumor, and nearly 13 new cases are identified each day. To help us cure the kids, call 800-253-6530 or go to www.curethekids.org.

About Camp Southern Ground
Nestled on over 400 acres in the farmlands of Georgia, Camp Southern Ground is the passion project of GRAMMY-Award winning artist Zac Brown. Inspired by Brown’s personal experience as a camp counselor, this state-of-the-art facility will serve children, ages 7-17, from all backgrounds, races and religions. There will be a special focus on young people with neurobehavioral challenges, at risk populations and children from military families. For more information, please visit http://www.campsouthernground.org/.

 

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Hype: Great Scott! The DeLorean Is Going Back To The Production Line!

Posted on 01.27.16 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

delorean_small

OK, this gets the award for coolest and craziest news story of the day.  In an interview with a local Texas radio station the current CEO of DeLorean Motor Company Stephen Wynne announced that the car made famous for its role in the Back To The Future films will be going back into production for an extremely limited run.  The company has enough parts in their warehouse to build 300 more cars from scratch.  Wynne didn’t say how much the cars would cost exactly but that they would be “less than $100,000”.

Considering how rabid the DeLorean restoration community is I am sure they will easily find 300 people who would be willing to buy a brand new all-original DeLorean built straight from the factory.  The cars will go on sale in 2017 and be based off the 1982 model.

Would you pay $100k (or just under that amount) for a brand-new freshly built DeLorean?  Let us know in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.

[Source: TIME]

[Picture: CNET]

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Hype: James Bond’s Aston Martin DB10 From “Spectre” Is Going To Auction

Posted on 01.21.16 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Aston_Martin_DB10_Auction

If for nothing else, the one thing that is always associated with James Bond is a cool car.  The makes and models have changed a few times along the way.  Those may remember James having a fling with Lotus and a brief dalliance with BMW but the one brand that Bond always comes back to is Aston Martin.  This held true in the latest Bond film Spectre (I saw it and loved it by the way) and one of the stars of the film was a concept-esque Aston Martin dubbed the DB10.  The DB10 is an amazing one-off designed specifically for the film and produced by Aston Martin themselves.

Several cars were built for filming; some used for stunts like jumping and others for high speed chasing.  Two were held back strictly for display purposes and the world famous auction house Christie’s is putting one of them on the block as part of a James Bond themed auction event.  This particular car will be the only DB10 officially approved for sale to the public by Aston Martin and is expected to fetch between 1.5 to 2 million dollars!

That is a lot of scratch for a car meant to be a display piece.  Christie’s doesn’t mention if the DB10 in question actually drives or is capable of driving at practical speeds but I suppose who ever buys this car is more interested in having a piece of James Bond history rather than a car to drive around.  I figure anyone who could afford to pay over a million dollars for movie memorabilia probably already has more than a few drivable cars in their garage already.

Are you a James Bond fan?  If you could afford it, would you be willing to pay over a million dollars for this DB10?  Let us know in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.

[Sources: Christie’s via Road & Track]

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Hype News: Christian Bale Drops Out Of Enzo Ferrari Bio-pic Because He Can’t Get Fat Fast Enough

Posted on 01.19.16 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Christian_Bale

A while back we learned that a film was being produced based on the life of Enzo Ferrari the father of, well, Ferrari.  This was in and of itself somewhat mundane news to me until I learned that Christian Bale would be playing a young Enzo while Robert Freakin De Niro would play Enzo in is later years.  I was beyond sold at that point but it looks like there is some unfortunate news on the films development today.

It looks like Christian Bale has decided to back out of the movie due to “health concerns”.  Apparently Enzo was a bit on the chubby side in his younger days so the naturally fit Bale felt it necessary to gain some weight to better fit the role.  However, after taking a second look at the film’s production schedule Bale realized that he couldn’t “safely” gain the required weight in time to start shooting so he had to call it quits.

This sucks as I think Bale is a great actor and he really transforms into his roles but I am still holding out hope that this movie will turn out well.  The film’s director Michael Mann is currently on the search for a replacement for the former Batman actor.

Who do you think would be a good fit to play a young Enzo Ferrari?  Let us know in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.

[Source: Variety]

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Hype: Lexus Reveals Their New LC 500 Halo Car In Detroit (Gallery)

Posted on 01.12.16 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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The 2016 Detroit Auto Show officially kicked off yesterday and Lexus easily grabbed the lion’s share of the attention when they revealed their new halo car the LC 500.  While at first glance the LC 500 make look like the stuff of concept, what you see in these photos is pretty much what the production version of this car is going to look like.  Despite its radical sweeping lines and not-too-distant future headlights and taillights, this is the car that buyers will get once it goes on sale in 2017.

So, what’s special about the new LC 500?  Why is it deserving of its “halo” status?  Effectively this car is Lexus going back to the drawing board in its mission to establish itself as a brand to reckon with in the “luxury performance” segment.  They are on a mission to create future classics that may one day be seen parked on the grass at pebble beach and they feel that the LC 500 is the first step in that direction.

Lexus_LC_500_1 Lexus_LC_500_2 Lexus_LC_500_3 Lexus_LC_500_4 Lexus_LC_500_5

I’ll start with the important stuff.  The LC 500 is equipped with a 5.0 liter 467 horsepower V8 (likely the same engine found in the GS F and RC F) mated to a 10 (yes, 10) speed dual-clutch transmission on a drivetrain that spins the rear wheels only.  This car is also built on an entirely new chassis that Lexus will utilize as a global platform.  The chassis incorporates 5 different materials: steel, high-tensile steel, glass-sheet molding compound, aluminum, and a sprinkle of CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) for flavor.  The shape and materials used result in chassis stiffness that exceeds even the LF-A hypercar.  Although Lexus hasn’t revealed how this new chassis affects weight.  In fact we have no weight numbers at all for the LC 500 yet although I would expect it to be on the hefty side since Lexus is every bit as focused on luxury as it is on performance with this model.

Despite its mystery weight Lexus claims the LC 500 will make it from 0 to 60mph in “less than” 4.5 seconds.  The car should be fairly grippy as its set to have its 20 inch (or optional 21 inch) wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport tires.  Inside the 2+2 interior (I figure no one older than 5 would want to sit in the back seats) is covered in leather and all the important information is fed to the driver and front passenger via digital displays and touch screen interfaces.  The LC 500 will also have all the cool new goodies like dynamic cruise control, lane assist, and collision mitigation.

Lexus_LC_500_6 Lexus_LC_500_7 Lexus_LC_500_8 Lexus_LC_500_9 Lexus_LC_500_10

As a mentioned before, the LC 500 will be available in 2017.  While there is no official MSRP to speak of yet, Lexus has no problem stating that the LC 500 is going after the BMW 6 series so expect the LC’s price tag to be in the same neighborhood.

What do you think of the LC 500?  How do you feel about its looks?  Does it change the way you think of Lexus?  Let us know in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.  For a better look at the LC 500 just click any of the thumbnail pictures for a bigger version.  For more information check out the incredibly long press release below.

Press Release

  • Alluring, expressively designed luxury coupe defines a new era for the global luxury brand

  • The coupe’s styling, performance, and craftsmanship help position the vehicle as one of Lexus’ flagship products

  • LC 500 utilizes the brand’s new architecture that promises enhanced dynamic capability and performance

  • A symbol of an evolving vehicle development culture that embraces heightened collaboration between Design and Engineering teams

 

DETROIT (Jan. 11, 2016) — When the Lexus LF-LC Concept debuted at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, the press, loyal customers, and enthusiasts wondered if the concept’s arresting styling and dramatic proportions could ever evolve into a production 2+2 coupe. Today, four years after the debut of the breakthrough concept that inspired it, Lexus has revealed the all-new LC 500 luxury coupe. This provocative, athletic flagship coupe makes the strongest statement yet about Lexus’ future product direction.

The past five years have seen Lexus evolve rapidly with the creation of the luxury brand’s globally-focused organization, Lexus International. Exciting new models involving elevated levels of emotional styling and dynamic driving characteristics such as NX, RC, and IS have also helped Lexus’ brand shift with consumers. Akio Toyoda has been at the center of the Lexus global expansion, personally driving a heightened level of collaboration among design, engineering and marketing teams to help build a luxury brand better suited to meet the needs of the next generation of consumers.

“The LC 500 has been an important product for Lexus and me personally,” said Akio Toyoda, Chief Branding Officer and Master Driver for Lexus. “A few years ago, we decided to guide the future of the brand with products that had more passion and distinction in the luxury market. This flagship luxury coupe’s proportions, stunning design and performance make a strong statement about our brand’s emotional direction and will grow the Lexus luxury appeal globally.”

Design and Engineering Teams United
Beyond its styling and impactful performance, the new LC 500 serves as a symbol of the achievement that can result from heightened collaboration between design and engineering groups and their commitment to help overcome each other’s hurdles. When Akio Toyoda challenged these development groups to produce this special car, it meant surpassing many manufacturing, design, material, and dynamic obstacles that could typically compromise a vehicle’s targets or design vision.

The LC 500 was driven by a strong, appealing fundamental design target (LF-LC), and engineering teams worked tirelessly to find new solutions to maintain as much of the concept in the production car as possible. Likewise, vehicle designers were very involved from the earliest stages of the dynamic development process to understand the engineering targets and collaborate with design viewpoints and potential solutions. With LC 500, additional levels of prototype vehicle build also allowed both teams to better study design or engineering ideas and refine key elements. For Lexus, the LC 500 project became much more than simply the development of a new coupe. The LC 500, with the shift in engineering processes and design ideologies it represents, symbolizes the beginning of a new phase for the Lexus brand.

“Design and engineering sides worked together on issues and obstacles that were overcome one by one. I feel we achieved something greater than simply preserving the spirit of the concept’s design,” said Chief Engineer Koji Sato.

Exterior Design
At first glance, it becomes apparent that the engineering and design team’s collaboration was highly successful, considering how much of the LF-LC’s design ideology the team was able to transfer into the new LC 500. The new production model shares many of the key design elements, proportions and visual dynamism of the concept car that inspired it. The LC 500’s visual appeal is defined by an athletic aerodynamic shape. It features sensual curves, emotional forms, an available flowing carbon-fiber roof (glass roof standard), helping create a low, wide imposing stance that comes together for a highly functional, passionate package.

The LC 500’s front fascia features a powerful interpretation of Lexus’ distinctive grille, bordered by chrome on three sides and a radical new 3D mesh design that varies its visual tension. The “L”-shaped daytime running lights rest below a new Triple LED headlamp unit, specially designed to include one of the industry’s thinnest projectors enabling a low hood with a short front overhang. Functional venting also plays into the LC 500’s exterior design to help improve aerodynamic stability and cooling. The car’s athletic profile is characterized by its fast, sloped roofline, its wind-cutting silhouette, a long 2,870 mm (113 inches) wheelbase with compact front 920 mm ( 36.2 inches) and rear 970 mm ( 38.2 inches) overhangs and low hood height. The sexy curves and flowing lines maintain a consistent tension in sheetmetal through to the rear end that features slimly designed, multi-layered tail lamps with a unique lighting effect that helps convey a sequential L motif. A rear diffuser and available active rear spoiler also help manage airflow during performance driving. It rides on machined cast aluminum 20-in. or available 21-in. forged aluminum wheels.

Interior Design
The interior design of the LC 500 is influenced by the dynamic luxury theme of the exterior with a layout that is both cockpit-focused and elegant. The coupe’s driving position was calibrated to invite spirited, sporting driving, and help develop easier confidence with a more intuitive control layout. In fact, for LC 500, the driver’s hip point was engineered to be as close as possible to the vehicle’s Cg (Center of gravity) where feedback from the car is the most communicative to the driver. The front seats offer excellent support and comfort for long drives while available sport seats offer additional bolstering and lateral support during cornering. Lexus engineers put considerable effort into creating an engaging yet seductive atmosphere for the driver, focusing on details such as the size and angle of the steering wheel, the feel and positioning of magnesium alloy paddle shifters, and available supple leather and Alcantara seating surfaces. The LC 500’s exquisite door panels, center console and dash pad structures feature elements of Lexus’ world-renowned, detail-obsessed Takumi craftsmanship in their finish.

“At an early stage, the designers collaborated with the engineers to understand their image for the LC 500’s driving dynamics, and they incorporated this into the design,” said Tadao Mori, the chief designer of the LC 500. “For example, we gave serious consideration to where the driver’s eyes would focus, and designed the surface shape in that area to help support a driver’s mindset. This project was one of the first times that designers were closely involved in the dynamic engineering development so we could understand the driving goals and support with the car’s design.”

Chassis
In helping to drive the future of the Lexus brand, the mission for LC 500 is to offer a dynamic driving experience and character unlike any Lexus vehicle prior to it. The pursuit of a sharper, more refined driving experience became the mission for the development team who also sought to maintain a superior Lexus ride quality befitting a flagship luxury sport coupe.

The LC 500 is the first Lexus to use the brand’s all-new, premium rear-wheel-drive luxury platform and is part of the new corporate global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA-L). The underpinnings of this new coupe will become the blueprint for the company’s future front-engine/rear-wheel-drive vehicles. In an effort to sharpen the car’s handling, the LC 500’s engineers focused on the platform’s fundamentals by placing most of the mass, including the engine and the occupants, in a position more centralized and lower in the chassis to improve the center of gravity.

Internally, Lexus engineers referred to this menu of mass-arranging tactics as the “inertia spec.” The driver hip and heel points have been lowered, wheels have been pushed to the corners of the car with shortened overhangs, and the drivetrain mass has been located behind the front axle line to create a front mid-ship layout. The LC 500 also relies on run-flat tires to improve packaging, reduce weight (thanks to no spare), and help shorten overhangs to achieve dynamic targets. The 12-volt battery has been relocated to the trunk as part of the mission to redistribute weight.

Other mass management measures include the available carbon fiber roof, aluminum door skins mounted to the carbon fiber door inner structure, and a composite trunk floor. The LC 500 also represents the Lexus brand’s most intensive use of high-strength steel. This provides enhanced rigidity while reducing—and ideally positioning—vehicle mass to optimize dynamics. As a result, the LC 500 is very balanced with a nearly ideal front/rear weight distribution of 52/48.

To help achieve the level of chassis performance targeted for this new coupe, Lexus engineered the stiffest unibody the brand has ever produced. For LC 500, the strategic use of lightweight, high-strength steel helps make for a high degree of torsional rigidity that is more resistant to twisting forces than the exotic, carbon fiber-intensive LFA supercar. The platform design maintains a consistent level of resistance to flexural forces and stiffness across the vehicle’s wheelbase to help create consistent, predictable handling behavior and sharper steering responses. Special braces in the engine compartment (usually a more twist-prone part of the chassis), the adoption of stiff aluminum front suspension towers, and the addition of a ring structure near the rear fenders are all measures that help further bolster the strength of key chassis structures.

Particular attention was devoted to the LC 500’s multilink suspension system. Double ball joints on the upper and lower control arms allow for control of the smallest movements from the driver inputs and road conditions. Beyond sharing workload, a dual ball joint arrangement helps optimize suspension geometry to increase wheel control and create a more precise steering response with better initial effort. To help reduce unsprung mass and improve suspension response, all but one of the control arms are made of lightweight forged aluminum. Providing the grip on the show prototype car are concept versions of Michelin Pilot Sport tires with Premium Touch® sidewall technology: 245/40RF21 up front and 275/35RF21 at the rear. When all the handling elements come together, LC 500 becomes a world-class luxury sports coupe that exhibits razor-sharp reflexes, exceptional handling balance and rock-solid stability. This all-new platform will continue to undergo continuous improvement and enhancement throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle.

Said Sato: “We spent more than triple the usual amount of R&D time to pursue linear steering and to find the sweet spot for road contact feel. We also focused our efforts on suspension rigidity and enhancing geometry. Thanks to advancements in product engineering, we are now at a world-class level for suspension rigidity, and performance when lateral g’s are applied.”

Drivetrain
The power delivery to the rear wheels for LC 500 is handled by a new, very well matched set of components that maximize output to the wheels. The heart of the new LC 500 is derived from the proven, high-revving 5.0-liter V8 that is found in the RC F and GS F. The naturally aspirated V8 was selected for its smooth, linear throttle response and emotional engine sound. The all-aluminum, 32-valve V8’s output targets 467 HP and 389 lb.-ft. of torque. The new engine is built for durability with lightweight, high-strength forged connecting rods and titanium valves that allow the engine to flourish at high rpm. This naturally aspirated engine makes an ideal pairing to a balanced sports coupe with its linear power delivery that allows easier control and exhilaration behind the wheel.

The engine in the LC 500 uses a dual intake inlet that help improve breathing and allow the engine to produce its fantastic sound. The new coupe features an active exhaust that opens baffles in Sport mode to help give the car a more aggressive exhaust note even in start-up. In fact, even when the vehicle is in Normal mode the exhaust baffles open above 3500 rpm. During acceleration, a Sound Generator involving tuned acoustic plumbing enhances the engine’s raucous melody into an aural thunder that helps distinguish the LC 500 in its competitive segment.

Helping power transfer to the rear wheels is a newly developed 10-speed automatic transmission—the first ever in a luxury automobile—with shift times rivaling those of a dual-clutch transmission. The component is smaller and lighter than some current 8-speed transmissions. The wide bandwidth of shifting afforded by 10 closely spaced gears is ideal for all forms of driving, providing an optimal gear in all conditions. This transmission is matched to a new electric control system with software that helps anticipate the driver’s inputs by monitoring acceleration, braking and lateral g forces.

The new transmission is just one key element in a vehicle that has had all of its dynamic control elements such as power application, braking, and steering tuned to operate rhythmically in sport driving conditions. Drivers will feel the controlled balance between the quick, smooth shifting actions, the application of linear engine power, and the deceleration afforded by 6-piston front brake calipers (4-piston at rear).

All of the platform and drivetrain engineering helped endow the LC 500 with performance and agility uncommon for a four-person coupe; the vehicle targets a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 4.5 seconds.

Interior Electronics
This flagship coupe will debut the 2017 Lexus Multimedia package that will feature updated, faster, more flexible software enabling future enhancements and a more inviting graphic user interface. Occupants also will be treated to an exceptional audio experience inside the cabin: in addition to the available audiophile-worthy Mark Levinson audio package, a new premium Pioneer audio system comes as standard equipment. Pioneer’s sound engineers worked in collaboration with LC 500 body and cabin designers to enhance interior sound performance within the cabin, studying the acoustic environment and driving structural changes to enhance sound performance.

The LC 500 also will boast Lexus’ renowned safety technology, Lexus Safety System + , which integrates several of Lexus’s active safety technologies: an All-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (All-speed DRCC) that relieves stop-and-go traffic stress, the Pre-Collision System (PCS) helps prevent and mitigate collisions; Lane Keep Assist (LKA) helps prevent vehicles from departing from their lanes; and  Automatic High Beam (AHB) that helps ensure optimal forward visibility during nighttime driving.

These technologies are part of a multi-faceted approach to active safety, the Lexus Safety System + package, and combines millimeter-wave radar with a camera to help achieve a high level of system reliability and performance.

*Spec and equipment might differ by market

Specifications

LC 500

Horsepower

467 HP@7,100 (redline 7,300 rpm)

Torque

389 lb-ft@4,800

Transmission

10 speed Automatic

Seating Capacity

4

Overall Length

4,760 mm (187.4 inches)

Width

1,920 mm (75.6 inches)

Height

1,345 mm (53 inches)

Wheelbase

2,870 mm (113 inches)

Layout

Front engine, Rear Wheel Drive

Fr/Rr Overhang

Fr: 920 mm (36.2 inches), Rr: 970 mm (38.2 inches)

Wheel size(front and rear)

1. 21 inches (forged aluminum – available) 2. 20 inches (forged aluminum – available) 3. 20 inches (cast aluminum – standard)

Tires size

  1. Fr: 245/40 RF21, Rr: 275/35RF 21
  2. Fr: 245/45 RF20, Rr: 275/40RF 20
  3. Fr: 245/45 RF20, Rr:275/40 RF20

0 – 60 mph

Under 4.5 seconds

 

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Hype: Lexus 2016 GS F Is A Heavy Breathing V8 Brute With Room For Five

Posted on 01.06.16 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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While everyone previewing new tech at CES in Las Vegas, the auto industry is also getting ready for the Detroit Auto Show which is rapidly approaching.  Lexus is attempting to get ahead of the curve by revealing the 2016 GS F a bit early.  From the looks of things the GS F will continue play its role as a bully in a suit as it will pack a 467hp 5.0 liter naturally aspirated V8 under the hood but still have lots of luxury comforts within the interior.  It will also have the obligatory driving modes so that users can tailor the car’s handling and response to different situations but they have also carried that over to its new electronically controlled “Torque Vectoring Differential” (TVD).  The TVD will split torque between the left and right tires depending on data it records such as yaw, throttle input, and braking.  The TVD will have three modes available: standard, slalom which should tighten steering response, and track which is meant to enhance handling at high speeds.

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When it comes to interior creature comforts buyers can choose between a 12-speaker or 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system with a microSD card slot for onboard music storage and all of the “infotainment” is centralized in a big 12.3 inch digital display.  From the display the users can control audio, AC, navigation, and a host of other “smart” features like weather forecasts and local fuel prices.  It can also connect with pretty much any smart phone to add even more features.

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All together it sounds like a pretty nice package.  Although no pricing (or availability) has been announced yet I would expect the GS-F to go up against the BMW 5 series M sports and Audi A6’s of the world.  For a better look at the 2016 Lexus GS F just click on any of the thumbnails for an HD resolution picture.  For more info check out the incredibly lengthy press release below!

Press Release:

  • Latest addition to “F” brand stable of performance cars

  • Aggressive-yet-elegant exterior styling with a well-appointed interior cabin

  • High-revving naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 produces 467 Horsepower

  • Standard Lexus Safety System + to Help Bring Peace of Mind with Integrated Safety Features

 

Madrid, Spain – Oct. 13, 2015 – The new GS F performance sedan—based on the popular GS—is armed with a potent 467 horsepower, 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 and excellent handling developed on the most demanding race circuits, including the legendary Nürburgring.

Its elegant-yet-aggressive styling effectively characterizes the essence of Lexus’ performance-oriented “F” brand, highlighted by bold front fascia with race-inspired functional air inlets, triple-beam headlamps, low-slung wide stance, large brake calipers, carbon-fiber rear spoiler and quad exhaust rear diffuser. While it’s more than capable of taking on a twisty mountain road, the GS F is still a sedan that’s ideal for everyday use. It seats five comfortably in a luxuriously appointed cabin filled with high-tech amenities and advanced safety technologies, including standard Lexus Safety System +.

The GS F offers enthusiasts the best of all worlds: it’s a car that will provide thrills and excitement on challenging switchbacks, all the while offering occupants unprecedented style and comfort.

“As Lexus’ “F” brand vehicles continue to evolve and grow in number, it is important that these models offer differentiated and unique driving characteristics in their segments. The GS F is a very capable performance sedan that offers excitement behind the wheel in all facets of performance driving. It’s something that’s fun to drive no matter who is driving or where it’s being driven. The sedan embraces the virtues of sound, response and limitless power feel to support Lexus’ “F” brand identity of a performance car,” said Yukihiko Yaguchi, Emeritus Chief Engineer of the GS F.

POWERTRAIN

  • Powerful yet highly refined race-bred normally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine
  • Smooth-operating 8-speed Sport Direct Shift (SPDS) transmission for maximum sporty performance
  • Inclusion of new Active Sound Control (ASC) which synthesizes the original sound through acoustic design, creating a more dynamic and three-dimensional sound inside the cabin.

High-output V8 Engine:
The heart of the exciting new GS F is undoubtedly its naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8, which has been finely tuned to deliver excellent power and responsiveness. The engine’s reciprocating assembly targets lower mass with the help of lightweight forged connecting rods and titanium intake and exhaust valves, allowing it to reach a 7,300-rpm redline. Free-breathing 32-valve cylinder heads take full advantage of this engine’s reduced internal friction, and aggressive valvetrain. The working angle and lift of the camshaft have been designed to achieve ample torque production for continuous acceleration throughout the rev range. Add to the mix optimized intake and exhaust manifolds, and the seamless operation of a high-performance-tuned Variable Valve Timing (VVT-iE) that delivers optimal power in all situations, and the result is an engine that delivers 467 horsepower and 389 lb.-ft. of torque.

In addition to producing plenty of power, the GS F’s V8 is also remarkably efficient, thanks in part to the tuning of its high-pressure D-4S direct injection system (Direct injection 4-stroke gasoline engine Superior version), which allows the engine to operate with a very high compression ratio of 12.3:1. Another important factor in maximizing power and efficiency in a high-performance engine is to include a precision-engineered exhaust system. The cross section area of the exhaust gas passage of the GS F has been increased, while joint sections of the exhaust system have been enlarged to help reduce backflow pressure. Additionally, to help enhance the sound quality of the exhaust note, a high-function baffle has been placed near the exhaust tips that utilize stainless steel wool as well as glass wool to help achieve a more baritone exhaust note. The exhaust tip design is aesthetically pleasing thanks to the implementation of a stylish baffle end cap structure integrated into the low-slung bumper section that envelops it, giving the setup a very tidy-yet-aggressive appearance at the rear of the vehicle.

Recognizing that sound is a key ingredient of the “F” brand formula, Lexus engineers have taken the auditory experience of the GS F to a new level with the inclusion of Active Sound Control (ASC). ASC electronically synthesizes and assists the sound to the engine and the exhaust note in response to accelerator and shift lever operations, then disperses a sonic note via the speakers installed at the front and the rear of the cabin. When engaged, the sound output from the front speaker rises along with the engine speed to emphasize the high tone of the air intake as well as the mechanical sounds from the engine itself. Simultaneously, the rear speaker delivers a strong low-frequency sound that emphasizes the powerful exhaust note coming from the rear of the vehicle. The front and rear speakers operate during SPORT S+ mode, while only the rear speakers function when driving in SPORT S mode; ASC is automatically turned off when driving in NORMAL or ECO mode. When there is a sudden change in engine rpm—such as when a gear shift takes place—the ASC system will instantaneously respond in kind to further elevate the dynamic driving experience. The driver can manually turn the ASC system on or off with a switch located on the driver’s side of the instrument panel. The V8 engine adopts Atkinson cycle to enhance fuel efficiency at cruising speeds and Otto cycle for higher performance levels when accelerating.

“The GS F’s V8 delivers the high level of performance worthy of the “F” model. Painstaking tuning to the VVT-iE, the adoption of a high static compression ratio and the Atkinson cycle have resulted in fuel economy that is beyond the usual range of a large-capacity 5-liter engine, particularly during high-speed cruising. Furthermore, with control that includes idling speed in response to air conditioner load, the GS F boasts practical fuel economy comparable with vehicles equipped with idling stop systems during urban driving,” Yaguchi said.

8-speed Sport Direct Shift Automatic Transmission
The GS F’s V8 comes mated to an equally efficient gearbox: the 8-speed Sport Direct Shift (SPDS) automatic transmission that offers smooth shift feel, excellent drivability, linear acceleration and exceptional fuel economy under all driving conditions.

Remarkably lightweight and compact, thanks to a die-cast aluminum case and internal components including the clutch hub and drum sun gear, the transmission’s operation and fuel efficiency are enhanced due to the inclusion of a high-efficiency oil pump and an ultra-compact high-pressure large flow volume solenoid that have been designed to reduce frictional and mechanical losses.
In configuring gear ratios, the first gear has been tuned to provide excellent response from a standstill. Conversely, the middle close-gear ratios have been selected for their combination of fuel efficiency as well as the ability to briskly accelerate at intermediate speeds. At the far end of the transmission spectrum, the eighth and final top gear is an optimal ratio for enhanced fuel economy at high speed.

Transmission performance is further enhanced with the adoption of the Lexus G force Artificial Intelligence Shift control (G AI-SHIFT). When driving in the SPORT S mode, the system selects the suitable gear ratio for sporty driving by monitoring the vehicle’s G sensor while simultaneously tracking the degree of throttle opening; if the driver invokes a higher degree of throttle (i.e. when accelerating), a quicker upshift will take place due to high-response shifting. Furthermore, the G AI- SHIFT control further elevates spirited driving by intuitively and succinctly blipping the throttle on downshifts. When driving in the SPORT S+ mode, performance driving is further aided by the system allowing the engine to maintain a higher rpm level, which may be desired when driving under high-load conditions such as on a race track or a winding mountain road.

DRIVING DYNAMICS

  • Drive Mode Select control offering NORMAL, ECO,  SPORT S, SPORT S+ modes
  • Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD) enhances traction control for extraordinary levels of handling and performance in all conditions

The all-new Lexus GS F has been designed to be enjoyed by all driving enthusiasts, from recreational commuters to more experienced drivers. While this 4-door doesn’t forget its sedan utility, its main mission is to provide an exhilarating driving experience in a wide range of conditions.

Drive Mode Select
The innovative Drive Mode Select system allows for enhanced driving performance and enjoyment by allowing the driver to choose the most appropriate drive mode to match their preferred driving style and/or situation. Selections include NORMAL, ECO, SPORT S and SPORT S+. The driver can easily cancel a given drive mode at any time.

NORMAL
Provides the smoothest, most balanced ride quality and drivetrain performance. Engine output and throttle opening operate in a manner that perform equally well in traditional city and highway driving.

ECO
Helps to enhance fuel efficiency by optimizing throttle opening, engine output and the air conditioning/heating (HVAC) system. Excessive throttle input by the driver at low speeds is automatically adjusted and suppressed to enhance fuel efficiency. The heating/cooling capacity and airflow of the climate control system are adjusted lower for engine speed and compressor operation; if the outside temperature is 68°F or higher, the air conditioner will automatically switch to the recirculation mode for a certain period of time.

SPORT S
Exhibits more powerful acceleration characteristics for performance-oriented driving with controlled engine output and throttle opening from the powertrain. Simultaneously, the engine, transmission and other key components become more powerful and responsive in terms of power output and vehicle acceleration.

SPORT S+
Makes available maximum sports performance potential of the vehicle by extracting the most from the powertrain with the SPORT S driving mode and providing additional performance capability through further modulation of the Electric Power Steering (EPS) steering assist for the greatest degree of communicative feel to the driver.

Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD)
Meticulously tuned through countless hours of test driving on the world’s most distinguished racing circuits, the available Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD) enhances dynamic performance by precisely controlling rear wheel torque, helping to manage the vehicle’s orientation when cornering. What’s more, the TVD system has been tuned to provide a very natural feel—its operation is virtually imperceptible to the driver.

The TVD transfers torque between the right and left tires with the ideal amount based upon data including throttle input, braking, yaw rate, longitudinal and lateral G-force, and other pertinent parameters. More remarkable still, the amount of torque transferred between each rear wheel (right/left) is virtually instantaneous and optimally controlled regardless of whether the accelerator pedal is depressed or not. Allowing the driver to navigate with more confidence than ever before, the Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD) on the GS F accentuates driving enjoyment well beyond that of what a traditional rear-wheel-drive vehicle can offer.

The TVD allows the driver to choose among three distinct settings via a switch on the center console that best suits their style of driving or driving conditions:

STANDARD
Delivers a high level of control and agility for ideal vehicle behavior.

SLALOM
Places additional emphasis on steering response, giving the vehicle a more agile character akin to one with a smaller wheelbase.

TRACK
Helps provide added handling when driving at higher speed, allowing the driver to accelerate with confidence.

A unique attribute of the TVD is Drive Power Control. By using high-response compact motors as the ECU computes the ideal amount of torque transfer, a speed-multiplying planetary gear instantaneously changes left/right torque distribution through the engagement of a multi-plate clutch. This highly advanced system is able to finely tune torque distribution in only 1/1000th of a second.

Evolved VDIM SPORT mode
Lexus VDIM integrates the usually separate ABS, VSC and TRAC functions, to provide proactive seamless control of basic “drive-turn-stop” vehicle performance. It can anticipates any loss of traction and provides smooth control for the normal driving range.

Similar to the RC F, the GS F has new SPORT and EXPERT modes for its Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) system. VDIM with SPORT and EXPERT modes is exclusive to “F” models.

VDIM SPORT mode gives priority to driver control. This mode offers greater driving enjoyment for circuit use, applying optimum VSC/TRAC mapping.

EXPERT mode is a control mode for drivers who want proactive handling of the vehicle. For this mode, the system turns off TRAC, switches VSC controls and controls the engine and brakes to assist the driver. This mode not only contributes to the enjoyment of sporty driving on the circuit, but also helps drivers hone their driving skills. When SPORT S+ is selected with Drive Mode Select, the Expert mode is activated by operating the VSC off switch. Normal mode is for smooth driving with active safety features under normal driving conditions.

Special features of GS F’s vehicle control systems include a newly adopted vertical G sensor in the ABS control, to help ensure optimized brake force.  In addition, Lexus has extended the VDIM co-operative control function, allowing the VDIM to delegate two brake control functions to the Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD) control – drive-force distribution and yaw moment control. VDIM controls the torque transfer co-operatively with the TVD, for more seamless control of driving and turning.

PRECISION-TUNED CHASSIS

  • High structural rigidity body/chassis to maximize handling and ride comfort
  • Performance-tuned double wishbone front/multi-link rear suspension systems
  • Performance from Brembo® braking system with front brake duct cooling
  • Refined Electric Power Steering (EPS) for enhanced responsiveness and driver feedback

Elevated Driving Pleasure
The GS F drives efficiently through corners with its straight line stability, thanks in part to its newly developed chassis that features a rigid structure, responsive yet compliant suspension system, and excellent brakes.

New parts have been developed to help maintain handling control and performance of the GS F. These include placing high-rigidity front and rear body braces at key positions (the front brace is closed-section for an even higher degree of stiffness); increasing the number of attachment points for the front brace; and newly developed mounts for the rear suspension.

The double wishbone front suspension includes lightweight high-rigidity forged upper and lower aluminum control arms with exclusive coil springs, stabilizer, and bushings. The rear multi-link unit features forged aluminum control arms with increased torsional rigidity along with optimized suspension arm bushings. To enable faster vehicle speeds when cornering—especially noticeable in high-speed sweeping turns—suspension performance is further enhanced thanks to the fitment of large diameter and wide tires that are capable of handling the high lateral G loads generated by the vehicle as well as responsive ZF Sachs® shock absorbers.

The GS F’s stopping power is provided by Brembo brakes that feature lightweight and high rigid opposed 6-piston aluminum mono block calipers with 380-mm diameter brake discs at the front and opposed 4-piston aluminum mono block calipers and 345-mm diameter discs at the rear. The ventilated brake discs are equipped with slots on the braking surface for high fade resistance and stable effectiveness, as well as spiral fins for excellent cooling performance. A large diameter master cylinder and booster combination helps to achieve highly responsive brake feel along with a short, performance-oriented brake pedal stroke.

For cooling engine and transmission oil, a stylish pair of fully-functional brake duct
openings has been placed in the front fascia just below the headlights and forward of the wheels at the front corners of the vehicle. The GS F’s electronic power-assisted rack and pinion steering has been designed to achieve excellent dynamic performance and steering feel. Intensive testing and calibration of the power-assist curve ensures the steering feel matches vehicle characteristics. A damper-less intermediate shaft has been added to the steering column to help increase steering rigidity upstream and ensure high responsiveness to steering input.


DESIGN

  • Bold and emotional exterior styling
  • Aggressive front-end design with functioning air inlets to cool engine oil
  • Carbon-fiber rear spoiler for improved downforce and high-speed stability
  • Driver-focused interior design with GS F unique combination meter, steering wheel, seats, pedals and trim
  • Advanced on-board technologies and premium features including S-Flow air conditioning,

12.3-inch navigation system, and an available Mark Levinson® premium surround sound audio system

Sleek Performance-Oriented Aerodynamics
The GS F was designed with high performance in mind; as such, aerodynamics played a key role in determining the car’s exterior shape. One of the most challenging areas to tackle was the front tires, as they created a great deal of turbulent air that increased drag as it passed the rest of the vehicle. Special groove-shaped front fender liners have been fitted that allow air to flow more freely near the front section of the car.

The vehicle’s overall aerodynamic efficiency has been enhanced with specially designed undertrays (beneath the engine compartment) and lateral trays (beneath the midsection of the vehicle near the rocker panels) that optimize cooling air to flow toward the rear differential. There’s a special undertray at the rear section of the vehicle that rises at an angle to function like a rear diffuser. Aerodynamic stabilizing fins have also been added to various sections of these panels to help further suppress airflow turbulence and reduce drag.

The front fascia is defined by an aggressive representation of Lexus’ trademark spindle grille, featuring special “F” series mesh and a pair of dramatically wide and tall air inlets beneath the headlights. These openings funnel massive amounts of air into specially-designed ducting inside the grille to maximize brake cooling. The grille also features a new lower molding, made from Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) that provides downforce to the front of the car. Wide front fender flares with large air outlets allow excess airflow to escape down the sides of the vehicle, while broad fenders and sculpted rocker panels provide visual muscle, hinting at the car’s sporty nature.

When viewed in profile, the GS F’s flowing silhouette is further enhanced by aerodynamically shaped side mirrors and B-pillar trim sections covered in glossy dark-colored metallic paint to contrast with the vehicle’s exterior paint color. Also adding distinction are available bright orange-colored front and rear brake calipers emblazoned with the Lexus “F” logo, and hand-polished 19-inch multi-spoke forged aluminum wheels manufactured using weight-reduction technology shod with low-profile 255/35ZR19 tires at the front and 275/35ZR19 tires at the rear.

The rear of the vehicle follows the same aggressive design theme as the front, highlighted by the “F” brand’s trademark quad exhaust tips. Other highlights here include a downforce-generating CFRP rear spoiler mounted on the trunk lid (matching the carbon-fiber used on the grille lower molding), a rear diffuser beneath the rear bumper section, fin-shaped aerodynamic enhancements adopted at the bottom edge of the rear bumper’s painted lower garnish to improve airflow and reduce drag, and organically shaped rear taillights with jet black plated moldings within the lamp unit and on the trunk garnish.

Although based upon the existing Lexus GS platform, the GS F possesses different exterior dimensions than those of its counterpart. It measures longer and wider, the result of extended front and rear overhangs, while standing lower to the ground. There has been no sacrifice made in interior or luggage space, which can accommodate up to four golf bags. A trunk pass-through adds additional cargo capacity.

Available exterior paint colors include Molten Pearl, Ultrasonic Blue, Ultra White, Atomic Silver, Liquid Platinum, Nebula Gray Pearl, Caviar and Matador Red.

Driver-centric Interior Design
The interior of the GS F tastefully melds superior craftsmanship and affluence with world-class ergonomics and functionality. But as a performance premium sedan, designers made sure to place special emphasis upon creating a driver-centric cockpit.

This pilot-focused design theme is characterized by the information display/gauges positioned directly in front of the driver. Close attention has been paid to important details such as the size and thickness of fonts and indicators for easy recognition by the driver. The center analog Thin Film Transistor (TFT) tachometer has a large diameter with silver ornamentation. Of particular note, the look and information displayed within the center meter changes in accordance with each Drive Mode selected (see “Driving Dynamics” section for more info). A standard color Heads-Up Display (HUD) allows the driver to see pertinent info such as speed, tachometer/read indicator and gear shift display conveniently without taking his/her eyes off the road ahead.

In pursuit of outstanding comfort and ergonomics as well as instilling the proper “F” atmosphere, the GS F adopts “F”-exclusive sport seats with Smooth Leather seating surfaces for the front and the rear, with high backs in the front seats. The bucket-type front seats provide optimum support and comfort, thanks to pronounced bolstering for the thighs, hips and lumbar sections, as well as an ergonomically enhanced design for the shoulder section. What’s more, the sewing pattern and stitching on the front seats have been placed so that it closely mimics the skeletal and musculature of the human body for the highest degree of comfort and stability, while greatly reducing fatigue on long drives. The rear seats utilize the same ergonomically-enhanced sewing/stitching pattern while also including exclusively designed headrests that mimic the seatback design of the front buckets.

Along with the seating, the performance theme is carried over to the exclusive “F”-badged multifunction three-spoke steering wheel with short-stroke gearshift paddle shifters, shift knob and foot pedals.

Only the highest-quality materials and trim have been used throughout the cabin, notably in the ornamentation. Carbon Fiber trim adorns a number of surfaces, and the door trim, the center register and the base of the Remote Touch Interface feature a lustrous Metallic Dark Silver paint. High-grade Alcantara envelops the top of the instrument panel, door trim, center console and palm rest; in addition to its excellent slip resistance, the Alcantara-clad section above the instrument cluster is an ideal material for reducing glare and reflection. In a further nod to the exquisite attention to detail of the GS F interior, specially-crafted decorative rivets featuring the Lexus logo have been used to secure the Alcantara to the instrument panel.

A new white LED interior illumination concept has been implemented that combines warmth with superior illumination qualities. Specially selected LEDs have been adapted to the system to help maintain uniformity throughout the cabin. Interior color schemes available on the GS F include Stratus Gray, Black, and Circuit Red.


PREMIUM AND ADVANCED ON-BOARD TECHNOLOGIES

In addition to its exceptional handling and power, the all-new GS F benefits from the comprehensive array of advanced on-board technologies that have become a Lexus trademark.

Audio System
In developing the audio systems for the GS F, the engineering team targeted a speaker system that replicates the sensation of sound experienced in a concert hall or movie theater. To achieve this powerful and realistic sound quality, the door panels that house the high-quality sound system components have been redesigned to achieve maximum acoustic performance. Two audio systems are available: a fully-digital 12-speaker system with a high-efficiency 299-watt amplifier, microSD card slot and a Coherent Source Transducer (CST) that smoothly blends high and mid ranges while suppressing phase deviation to help support the perception of sound localization, and a 17-speaker Mark Levinson surround sound system with an amplifier capable of outputting the equivalent of 750 -watts that includes GreenEdge speaker technology that enables more than double the sound output with the same amount of power.

Navigation System/Telematics
An available Remote Touch Interface (RTI) offers intuitive functionality like that of a computer mouse. A high-resolution, high-color definition 12.3-inch  Electro Multi Vision (EMV) touch-screen display allows for convenient operation and setting adjustments of a number of systems including audio, climate, telephone, navigation, etc. The navigation system allows touchscreen access to five frequently used functions—map, audio, ECO mode, telephone and air conditioner— as well as hands-free phone operation and, in a Lexus first, incorporates an Inrix information display that can obtain a variety of information via a mobile phone or a Wi-Fi network including current location, five-day weather forecast, fuel prices, etc. The available Lexus Enform system operates in conjunction with the integrated SiriusXM® Satellite Radio receiver (with all-access 90-day trial subscription).

Air Conditioning System
Optimum cabin comfort is maintained even during track outings, thanks to the GS F’s climate control system that includes S-FLOW, an energy-saving airflow control mode that only operates the climate control for the front seat occupants when the system detects that there are only two people on board, allowing for improved cooling/heating efficiency as well as reduced fuel consumption. An available Lexus Climate Concierge system automatically controls heating devices, seat heaters and airflow volume of the seat ventilation which directly comes into contact with the vehicle’s occupants and includes a deodorizing filter that, in addition to removing pollen and dust, also removes exhaust gas from the ambient air.

SAFETY & DRIVER ASSIST SYSTEMS

  • Available advanced safety technologies include: Parking Assist Monitor/Rear View Monitor; Intuitive Parking Assist/Lexus Parking Assist-sensor; Blind Spot Monitor; Rear Cross Traffic Alert/Rear Crossing Traffic Alert; and Lexus Safety System +.
  • A full complement of safety features such as Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags, Drive Start Control, security alarm system with ultrasonic break-in sensor, and tire pressure warning system are included on every vehicle.
  • Active Safety: Lexus Safety System +

The standard Lexus Safety System + helps mitigate collisions across a wide range of vehicle speeds and conditions. It integrates several of Lexus’ existing active safety technologies including: the Pre-Collision System (PCS) which uses sensors to detect sudden stops initiated by the vehicle in front, warning drivers of potential contact with obstacles ahead; Lane Departure Alert (LDA), which issues an audible signal if the vehicle strays from its intended visibly marked lane; Automatic High Beam (AHB) that helps provide optimal forward visibility during nighttime driving; and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).

  • Pre-Collision System (PCS): Utilizing both camera and a millimeter wave radar sensor, the available Pre-Collision System uses sensors to detect other vehicles or, under certain conditions, pedestrians in front of the vehicle. If the system judges that there is a possibility of a collision, a warning is activated. After the warning, the amount of additional hydraulic brake pressure provided when the driver depresses the brake pedal is increased in stages according to the level of possibility of a collision. An additional layer of peace of mind is provided within the system through Pre-Collision Brake. If the system detects there is a possibility of a collision, the vehicle’s brake lights illuminate before the driver applies the brakes.  In addition, if the system judges that there is a high probability of a collision, it automatically activates the brakes, helping to avoid the collision or mitigate the impact force to occupants and the vehicle.
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control System (DRCC):In addition to maintaining a set cruising speed, the DRCC also has a vehicle-to-vehicle distance control mode
  • Lane Departure Alert (LDA): The LDA issues an audible signal if the vehicle strays from its intended visibly-marked lane.
  • Automatic High Beam (AHB)/Adaptive High-beam System (AHS):AHB helps provide optimized forward visibility during nighttime driving and automatically turns off the high beam headlamps when another vehicle is detected. When no other vehicle is present, the system turns on the high beams. AHS, an optional enhancement for the AHB, automatically optimizes the headlamp light distribution so that the high beams do not directly illuminate preceding or oncoming vehicles.

Other Advanced Safety Systems Available on the all-new GS F include:

  • Drive Start Control
If an abnormal shift (R → D, D → R, N → R, P→D, P→R) is detected while accelerating, a warning is displayed in the multi-information display and power output is reduced to limit the acceleration.
  • Auto Location Tire Pressure Warning System (AL-TPWS)
The AL-TPWS monitors tire pressure at each individual wheel and alerts the driver if a tire has low air pressure. Based on data from a sensor installed in the tire, the tire pressure values for all four tires are displayed in the instrument cluster. When low tire pressure is detected, the air pressure value of the affected tire is shown in amber, and the figure is highlighted. With conventional systems, when air pressure drops in one of the tires, the driver is notified by a general warning lamp; however, AL-TPWS clearly indicates which of the four tires has low-pressure status. The TPWS reset operation can be done by the steering wheel switch and on the Multi-information Display.
  • Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)
Employing a quasi-millimeter wave radar installed on the back of the vehicle, the Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) can detect a vehicle present in adjacent lanes as well as a vehicle traveling at a high speed approaching the driver’s blind spot.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert/Rear Crossing Traffic Alert (RCTA)
Working in concert with the Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), the Rear Cross Traffic Alert/Rear Crossing Traffic Alert (RCTA) alerts the driver to objects approaching the rear-side of the vehicle with an audible alert as well as flashing indicators on the vehicle’s external side mirrors.
  • Rear View Monitor System and Intuitive Parking Assist/Lexus Parking Assist- sensor
The Rear View Monitor System helps the driver to back into and out of parking spaces by displaying lines indicating vehicle orientation and vehicle width by a camera mounted at the back of the vehicle. The intuitive parking assist/ Lexus parking assist-sensor notifies the driver of the approximate distance between the vehicle and an obstacle using a display and buzzer.
  • Passive Safety
Every Lexus GS F model features a comprehensive Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) that includes dual-stage driver’s and front passenger’s dual-stage airbags, driver’s and front passenger’s knee airbags, front side airbags, front and rear seat side curtain airbags and rear side airbags. An advanced security system that includes security alarm control with an ultrasonic break-in sensor and tilt sensor incorporated within the yaw rate G-sensors available for some regions.

 

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Hype News: US Grand Prix In Trouble As Texas Mulls Cutting Circuit Of The America’s Funds

Posted on 11.11.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

COTA_Funding_Cut

When Formula One came back to America after a lengthy absence fans were thrilled.  They were more thrilled to see F1 come back at a brand new top-notch facility known as the Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) which was constructed in Austin, Texas.  Since the track opened in 2012 its been not only host to Formula 1 but Moto GP and several other racing series.  Even the X Games chose COTA as their new venue after leaving Los Angeles.

One of the more impressive things about COTA was how fast everything came together once contracts were signed.  Much of that had to do with the fact that the owners of COTA had an agreement with the state of Texas that COTA would receive subsidies which would help them fund operations for the track, most importantly pay the FIA’s hefty sanctioning fee for the right to have an F1 race at the facility.

Well according to the Austin-American Statesman, Texas’ Governor Gregg Abbott is thinking of reducing the state funding promised to COTA and this directly effect’s COTA’s ability to pay the FIA fee which could mean that the only American F1 race on the calendar may not return in 2016.  Also since the FIA sanctions Moto GP as well that event would also be gone.

It seems at this point nothing is quite set in stone yet but even the thought of this has F1 fans all over the world up in arms.  The COTA twitter account has been retweeting local and international F1 fans pleading with Gregg Abbott to re-consider cutting COTA’s funding.

Now if you’re wondering why COTA is so dependent on state funding at the moment that is because this year’s USGP was a pretty big financial hit for COTA.  Despite the race itself being incredibly exciting, the heavy rain during the race weekend severely impacted attendance.  An additional kick in the wallet came when the FIA decided to schedule the Mexico GP only a week after the USGP.  This hurt COTA because Mexican F1 fans would travel to Texas to see watch their countrymen race.  However, this year many of them stayed home since they were going to have a race in their own back yard just a week later.

This issues could very well combine into a perfect storm that will see F1 leave America again just 3 years after its return.  We sincerely hope that doesn’t happen!  For more information you can read the story from the Statesmen by clicking the source link below.  This is normally a subscription site but they allow you to read one article for free before having to pay up so you’ll be fine.

After reading the story let us know your thoughts in the comments or tweet to us @MotorworldHype!

[Source: The Statesman]

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