The Lexus Group Enthusiast – ‘Yet’ Philosophy Inspires Lexus Design Award 2017 Finalists, Announced Today

Lexus

Finalist Selection Marks First Time US Designers Advance to Final Round

NEW YORK, Jan. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Lexus International today announced the 12 finalists for the Lexus Design Award 2017.  3 finalists based in the USA were selected, marking the first time designers from this region have advanced to the final round. First launched in 2013 to help stimulate the ideas necessary to build a better tomorrow, Lexus is celebrating the 5th anniversary of this international design competition that supports up-and-coming designers and creators worldwide. Lexus Design Award 2017 drew 1,152 entries from 63 countries under the theme of “Yet.”

As the philosophical soul of Lexus innovation, “Yet” is particularly appropriate for the 5thanniversary of this Lexus event. “Yet” inspires us to find synergy effects by fusing seemingly incompatible goals – spacious yet aerodynamic design – for example. By harmonizing contradictory elements, “Yet” opens up visionary frontiers of progressive design and technology to deliver amazing, new experiences to the world.

In November 2016, a panel of world-renowned designers and creative mentors gathered to judge the entries. After rigorous evaluation and extensive discussion, the judges chose 12 finalists.

Out of these 12 finalists, the following four were selected to prototype their designs, mentored by globally recognized creators.

  • Structural Color- Static Yet Changing, Jessica Fügler (USA)

Static YET Changeable structure depending on viewpoint.

  • Having nothing, and yet possessing everything., Ahran Won (Korea, USA-based)

A capsule for mobile living, Having nothing YET Everything.

  • PIXEL, Hiroto Yoshizoe (Japan)

A structure to experience the existence of Light YET Shadow.

  • Player’s Pflute, Jia Wu (China)

Vegetable YET a Musical instrument provides fun and learning experience.

To provide creative guidance to the above four finalists, Lexus Design Award 2017 has enlisted four renowned mentors: architects and interdisciplinary designers Neri & Hu, designer Max Lamb, designer/architect Elena Manferdini and artist/architect Snarkitecture. All served as mentors to last year’s finalists, as well.

The four completed prototypes will be featured as part of the Lexus exhibition at this year’s Milan Design Week, along with presentation boards introducing the other eight finalists’ designs. The event will run from April 3 (press and award presentation day) through April 9. On April 3, the finalists will present their designs to the judges and international media. The judges will evaluate the four prototypes and announce the Grand Prix winner, marking the climax of the Lexus Design Award 2017 award cycle.

More information and pictures can be found on:

Lexus Design Award website: http://www.lexusdesignaward.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexusdesignaward/   @lexusdesignaward

Official hashtags:#LexusDesignAward; #MilanDesignWeek;

 

Further details on the Lexus presence at 2017 Milan Design Week* will be announced in mid-February on the Lexus Design Award website.

* The world’s largest design exhibition, also known as Salone Del Mobile, presents events and exhibits by brands and designers in many categories including furniture, fashion and textiles.

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The Lexus Group Enthusiast – 2017 LEXUS LS TO GET A HYDROGEN VARIANT, RELEASE DATE SET TO 2019

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The 2017 Lexus LS is set to get a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain variant which is set to be release in 2019. It is likely that its technology will be very similar to the LF-FC’s, meaning it may have one electric motor driving the rear wheels and two in-wheel motors sending power to the front.

It is worth nothing that just recently, spy photographers have caught the first prototype of the 2017 Lexus LS testing on the road. The car is still covered though by a thick black canvas color prompting that it will be a completely new design.

The fourth generation of the saloon representation of Lexus has been in business since 2006 so it is clear that a huge update is needed to be done for the 2017 Lexus LS as their main rivals have already surpassed the Japanese brand since all have modern versions of their models. One of them is the BMW 7 Series, which in the same time interval has launched three generations.

At the moment many details about the flagship of Lexus, the 2017 Lexus LS are still unknown, but recent news from Carscoops say that the executive saloon will feature the new global architecture of the company and offer gasoline powered V8 and V6 engines as well as a hydrogen variant set to arrive in 2019. For its part, Toyota recorded the LS500 and LS500h denominations last year, confirming these speculations.

Head of Lexus said that they know and have the technology of hydrogen fuel cells. The only challenge is how to package a fuel cell in a car that also needs a certain level of performance such as the 2017 Lexus LS. The premium buyers have certain expectations that needs to be maintain according to DriveSpark.

Rumors suggest that the 2017 Lexus LS will have a mechanical hydrogen fuel cell. If so, it would be one that would inherit all the advances in hydrogen than the group has been performing with the version of Toyota Mirai. This could mean that it will equip with an electric motor on the rear train and two on the front wheels.

The Lexus Group Enthusiast dealers await halo car, more utility vehicles

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Michael O’Brien has been chairman of the Lexus National Dealer Advisory Council since January 2016 during a time of near-record sales and the continuing shift of consumers toward utility vehicles over traditional sedans.

O’Brien, 60, also was chairman during much tougher times, in 2009-10, when he preached dealership discipline to get through the downturn in the luxury market.

He owns O’Brien Auto Group in the state of Washington, with two Lexus dealerships in Bellevue and Tacoma. The group has other luxury and nonluxury brands that stretch into Portland, Ore.

O’Brien is excited about the coming Lexus halo car, the LC 500 coupe, and sees better SUV and crossover availability in 2017, bolstering the brand’s already enviable position in the luxury market.

He was interviewed by Staff Reporter Laurence Iliff in December.

Q: How was 2016 for Lexus dealers?

A: Overall, the industry was good. Lexus business is down slightly — but 2015 was a record year for the brand. All in all, it was a really solid year, but it didn’t feel like a mid-17 million SAAR.

What major issues do Lexus dealers face?

Capitalizing on the shift in the market to SUVs. It took several months to right-size dealer inventory with the right amount of SUVs.

What do you hope to accomplish as chairman of the dealer council?

I want to help bring the right product at the right time so we can compete in all categories.

How best could the factory help dealers sell more vehicles?

We need to have the right vehicles at the right time with competitive incentives. We have a great relationship with Lexus — they listen to our needs and concerns and are very responsive.

Is Lexus adding dealerships?

In the last several years, Lexus has only added a few stores in markets where they need representation. For Lexus dealers this is a nonissue.

Do you expect to see more or less leasing for Lexus in 2017?

Leasing is a core part of Lexus’ overall customer retention strategy — and we expect it to stay about the same.

Are inventory levels a concern?

There was a concern, but it has gotten much better. We expect to finish the fourth quarter very strong and to start 2017 off with great SUV availability.

Is there anything specific Lexus is doing to support dealer profit as volume flattens out?

Lexus has made the adjustments to inventory to build more SUVs and cut back on sedan production.

What products are you looking forward to?

Dealers are looking forward to having a halo sports car with the LC 500.

What would you like to see Lexus do to help dealers handle more service business?

Service business is up as Lexus has seen very solid growth in our customer-pay service business year-to-date. In addition to ensuring Lexus and its dealers continue to take tremendous care of

Lexus customers to maximize retention, they have also been very proactive in providing new ways to drive more service business to our stores.

One great example: our biannual nationally promoted Exclusive Tire Events. These have gone a long way to ensuring our owners know their Lexus dealer can handle all of their service and maintenance needs, including tires.

Another example is our new Enform Service Connect technology, which has been available for about a year. Through the vehicle telematics system, Lexus owners who opt-in for Service Connect have added peace of mind with visibility to vehicle health reports. Owners can be reminded via email or a service alert in their vehicle when they have maintenance due. A great dealer advantage to Service Connect is our improved visibility into a guest’s needs as we also can see these health reports. We now can proactively contact a guest to schedule maintenance, providing a personalized, elevated guest experience.

The Lexus Group Enthusiast goes wild at the 2017 Tokyo Auto Salon

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The Tokyo Auto Salon is recognized as the first major car event of the year but it is also one of the world’s biggest and most entertaining. Held annually in Chiba’s futuristic waterfront district, the show is dedicated to Japan’s thriving tuning scene. And like the automotive equivalent of a New Year’s resolution, trends launched here have a habit of affecting other western markets for the rest of the year.

The diversity of cars displayed at the huge Makuhari Messe venue is astounding. If you can imagine any genre, sub-genre or niche within the automotive aftermarket, you will be able to find a company with designs on it. Fortunately, the fact that Lexus specializes in delivering a luxury experience has focused the outcome somewhat, but that hasn’t stopped companies using that theme to embrace new challenges.

Leading the way here was Lexus itself, revealing the new production-based Lexus RC F GT3 to the world’s stage. This carbon-skinned beast will be unleashed in North America in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship under 3GT Racing, and in the GT300 class of Japan’s Super GT series under the LMcorsa team. If that wasn’t dramatic enough, Lexus also showed its bold new competitor (above and below) for the highest echelon of the Super GT series, GT500. Come the start of the 2017 race season the new LC 500 racer will be adorned in team livery but we can’t help thinking that the naked dry carbon offers an incredibly intimidating, Batmobile effect.

Showing what the new challenger had to live up to, the LC 500 stood alongside last year’s champion – the Denso Kobelco Sard RC F driven by Heikki Kovalainen and Kohei Hirate.

Talking of Sard, the tuner’s race experience has been put to good use in development of a new LSR Edition aerodynamic system for the RC model. The full package is shown below, which consists of a carbon fibre front splitter, vented bonnet and neat ducktail rear spoiler. Also fitted is the company’s exhaust, chassis and brake components.

Super GT was also the inspiration for fellow tuner/race team TOM’S, which put on a masterclass of understatement with a pair of current F-line cars decked in spotlight-popping Sonic Silver. Would you believe that a total of 26 different products enhance this GS F below, extending from body and chassis to engine and interior. Definitely one of our favourite cars of the show.

Similar thinking was applied by Novel, which also displayed an RC F and GS F, alongside its race-prepared IS F that came third-in-class in last year’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring. Products fitted to the race car have informed the development of an attractive yet functional series of aero, chassis and engine parts.Carbon-over-white colour schemes are popular among Lexus tuners, especially those which aim to retain an air of restrained dignity with their demo cars. This was true of the subtle Black Label RX and IS models displayed by Artisan Spirits

At first glance, the Lexus IS below appears to follow a similar theme. But look a little more closely and you realise that it is a second-generation model with a spindle grille conversion. This convincing makeover is produced by Fixer and is also available for the fourth-generation LS – a modification that might prove popular following the announcement of the next-generation flagship.

If there is one area of the aftermarket that Lexus has got sewn up, it’s VIP style. Contrary to the perceived understanding of the initials, VIP isn’t a who, it’s a trend associated with large, rear-wheel drive cars. Always impossibly low-slung, the style requires the right stance – dished alloys and negative camber geometry in order to squeeze the widest possible wheels within the arches. Cars modified in a VIP style are not about going fast, they’re designed to cruise along and look good.

T Demand’s GS 350 (above) exemplified this VIP approach, using its air suspension system and staggered SSR 19-inch wheel set-up to achieve the desired effect. However, the car’s incredibly shiny black paint reflected every surface and made it almost impossible to see. A similar approach is also seen on this RC F Sport on the XO Luxury Wheels stand.

From this foundation, all sorts of fun and games ensues as tuners take the rule book and rip it to shreds. Which is precisely what the Tokyo Auto Salon is all about.

Vehicle stance is being pushed beyond the boundaries of surrounding bodywork. Just because the top of the tyre needs to be covered by the body, that doesn’t mean the rest of the wheel has to. This is seen in 326 Power’s show-stopping RC 350 below, the rear tyres of which are so stretched over the alloys that the rims sit a good 40mm proud of the sidewalls.

Wide wheels do not have to mean stretched tyres, as the popularity of race-inspired over-fenders has now been adopted by the VIP crowd in order to increase the car’s footprint. For instance, Aimgain’s Lexus LS 460 F Sport (below) manages to completely swallow its 21-inch Savini alloys with the help of a JUN VIP GT aero kit, which includes front and rear over-fenders that are 50 and 80mm wider than standard respectively.

 

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