Archive for the 'Lexus News' Category
Beyond mp3 Players: Creating A Magazine Playlist
Lexus, Time Inc., and American Express Publishing redefine personal entertainment with
first-ever consumer customized magazine
TORRANCE, CA. and NEW YORK, NY (March 18, 2009)? In an innovative move
that allows consumers to literally create their own magazine, luxury automaker Lexus has
teamed up with Time Inc. and American Express Publishing Corporation to develop mine
magazine. mine, which carries the tagline, “my magazine, my way,” invites readers to choose
editor-selected content from Time Inc. and American Express Publishing brands to create a
free, personal, customized magazine.
Now, the ability to personalize entertainment has expanded beyond playlists on an
mp3 player to include magazine content. Beginning today, consumers will have the
opportunity to log on to www.timeinc.com/mine and choose editorial content from five of
eight select titles: Time, Sports Illustrated, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Money, InStyle, Golf,
and Travel + Leisure.
Participants can elect to receive their mine magazine either in a limited edition print
format or online. They can also receive news, information, and entertainment alerts through a
customized widget or mobile application sent via RSS feeds directly to their personal website,
social networking site or wireless device. Approximately 231,000 print and online copies of
each issue will be available, and readers who sign-up will receive a new issue of mine
magazine every two weeks, for ten weeks.
Based on the interests, input, and passions of the reader, and curated by the editors of
Time Inc. and American Express Publishing, mine represents a first in the evolution of
magazine production and consumer interaction.
“For the launch of our driver-inspired 2010 RX, we wanted to communicate within a
medium that demonstrated a like-minded commitment to user-centric innovation,” said David
Nordstrom, Lexus vice president of marketing. “We’re excited to have a partner like Time
Inc. who saw this as an opportunity to showcase their innovation and shake up the way
magazines are read.”
“At Time Inc., we’re always looking at new ways to engage readers with our trusted
content,” said Stephanie George, Executive Vice President, Time Inc. and President, Time
Inc. Advertising Sales & Marketing. “We’re thrilled to team up with Lexus on such an
At 36 pages, including four single-page ads for the Lexus RX, mine will represent the
best of the best. In addition to the customized editorial content, Lexus will personalize the
advertising for each recipient based on geographic location and taste in content, ultimately
creating more than one million unique issues of mine.
Lexus and Time Inc. Redefine Personal Entertainment
“Frankly, it’s an all new media model,” notes Nordstrom, who credits Lexus’ agency
of record, Los Angeles-based Team One, for continuing to explore new possibilities for
consumer engagement on the automaker’s behalf. “Time Inc. has taken an innovative lead in
consumer-inspired content, without sacrificing best-in-class editorial integrity.”
For consumers, it truly is their magazine, their way.
About Time Inc.
Time Inc., a Time Warner company, is one of the largest content companies in the
world. With 23 magazines and 26 web sites in the U.S., it is the country’s largest publisher.
Each month, one out of every two American adults reads a Time Inc. magazine, and nearly
one out of every six, who are online, visits a company web site (more than 25 million monthly
unique visitors). Time Inc.’s popular brands and successful franchises extend to online,
television, cable VOD, satellite radio, mobile devices, events and branded products.
About American Express Publishing Corporation
American Express Publishing Corporation is an authoritative content company primed
to deliver lifestyle expertise that informs choices, enriches perspective and empowers affluent
and accomplished people — and the businesses that serve them — to make decisions and lead
extraordinary lives. American Express Publishing’s parent company, American Express, and
Time Inc. entered into a management services agreement in 1993. This agreement enables
American Express Publishing and Time Inc. to share their publishing expertise, consumer
insights, resources, and relationships. A wholly owned subsidiary of American Express
Company, American Express Publishing magazine brands are Travel + Leisure, Food &
Wine, Departures, and Executive Travel magazine. The company also produces a variety of
travel, cooking, wine, time management, and financial books and products, creates online
content, operates luxury-marketing events and creates custom print and online programs for
About the 2010 Lexus RX
Lexus has introduced the next generation of its trend-setting RX luxury utility vehicles
for 2010, the V6-powered RX 350 and the RX 450h hybrid. Lexus inaugurated the luxury
crossover category with the original RX 300 model in 1998 and introduced the first-ever
luxury hybrid in 2005 when it launched the RX 400h. More than one million Lexus RX
models have been sold worldwide, making it the most successful luxury utility vehicle. The
new RX 350 which went on sale in February and the soon to launch RX 450h hybrid, will
once again raise the bar for design, engineering and luxury innovation in the segment.
Lexus today revealed the 2010 HS 250h, the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid vehicle, at the North American International Auto Show. This year’s show marked the 20th anniversary of the debut of the first Lexus vehicles, the LS 400 and ES 250. The cars were introduced at the NAIAS in 1989. The HS 250h will be Lexus’ fourth hybrid and is expected to offer the best combined fuel mileage of any luxury vehicle in the U.S. It also will be the first Lexus to utilize carbon-neutral Ecological Plastic materials in a new futuristic cockpit and interior design, helping the car to be 85% recyclable.
A welcomed addition to Lexus’ entry-luxury sedan lineup, the HS 250h fits nicely between the IS luxury sport sedan and the ES luxury sedan. Research has shown that more than 60 percent of entry-luxury car buyers would have considered a hybrid if available, and the HS will provide these consumers with a viable purchase option.
Equipped with Lexus’ first four-cylinder gas engine, the 2.4-liter Atkinson-cycle powerplant is part of the latest Lexus Hybrid Drive System, which generates 187 total system horsepower. The highly efficient Atkinson-cycle engine, made possible by the Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) system, allows the expansion/power stroke to be longer than the compression stroke so that combustion energy can be more effectively used for production of engine power. The HS 250h sedan’s expected fuel efficiency will be more than 30-percent better than the most fuel-efficient model currently in the Lexus lineup, while earning a SULEV emissions rating utilizing regular 87-octane gasoline. Among the technologies adopted in the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine are cooling piston oil jets; an optimized balance shaft rate for improved noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics; and a hot-air venting system mounted behind the radiator.
Like the all-new 2010 RX 450h hybrid utility vehicle that made its debut in November, the HS 250h will include a new system designed to improve efficiency. The exhaust heat recovery system reduces engine warm-up time, thus allowing it to stop earlier, more often, and for longer periods. A windshield with infrared-ray (IR) reduction properties, which helps keep the interior more cool, has been adopted in order to decrease the amount of air conditioning needed to lower the cabin temperature. In addition to the exhaust heat recovery system and the IR windshield, available power-saving LED headlamps also contribute to improved fuel efficiency and emissions.
The all-new HS 250h sedan’s 0.27 drag coefficient (Cd) makes it among the most aerodynamic in its class. Airflow management over the exterior, below the under floor and through the air passages was extensively examined. A unique gull-wing-shaped roof-panel design reduces mass and overall vehicle height, thus reducing drag and improving fuel efficiency. The front spoiler, rear spoiler, rear under spoiler, and diffuser fins all reduce turbulence. Smooth A-pillar shape and the optimized angle and curvature of the bumper side panels also reduce wake turbulence, as does the increased taper of the fender side panels. The under-floor covers have been optimally positioned for reduced drag, while airflow restriction in the engine compartment has been lowered by optimizing the air-duct profiles around the radiator.
Aerodynamic design has also contributed to decreased wind noise. A smoother transition between windshield (complete with a sound-insulating inner layer) and roof line has improved air flow and reduced turbulence.
As is appropriate for the first dedicated luxury hybrid vehicle, the HS 250h includes proactive adoption of plant-based, carbon-neutral “ecological plastics” or bio-plastics in specific interior areas. Ecological plastic emits less carbon dioxide during a product’s lifecycle than plastic made solely from petroleum. Among the areas of utilization will be an industry-first use in luggage-trim upholstery. Other areas are the cowl-side trim, door scuff plate, tool box area, floor-finish plate, seat cushions, and the package tray behind the rear seats. Overall, approximately 30-percent of the interior and luggage area is covered with ecological plastic. Over the estimated lifecycle of the vehicle, the HS 250h will have approximately 20-percent fewer carbon-dioxide emissions as a result of utilizing the Ecological Plastic trim pieces.
Like all Lexus hybrid models, significant time was spent in developing the HS 250h with optimized NVH characteristics. Dynamic dampers at each engine-mounting point reduce noise and vibration, resonators improve intake air noise, and optimized exhaust flow reduces exhaust sound. Special coatings dampen both engine and road noise, while improved seals around doors, hood and fenders reduce wind-noise penetration into the cabin. Vibration has been reduced by improving the shape and thickness of the suspension-mounting points. In addition, power-window speed controllers have been adopted from the LS luxury sedan, which insure a slower, soft closing rate.
The HS 250h chassis design provides an outstanding ride and comfort with the decreased NVH required by a Lexus hybrid. The MacPherson strut front suspension is designed to achieve both straight-line and braking control, and a positive steering feel. A double-wishbone rear suspension provides excellent maneuverability, control and comfort with a low spring mount that contributes to better packaging and superior cargo space. Coil springs, anti-roll bars and shock-absorber rebound springs are utilized front and rear. The HS 250h will have uniquely designed standard 17- and optional 18-inch wheels.
The rack-and-pinion steering system utilizes a brushless Electric Power Steering (EPS) motor on the steering column, which provides improved steering feel, a reduction in harsh feedback, and better emissions by not draining engine power like conventional hydraulic systems.
The EPS is an integral part of an available lane keep assist system, a new driver-assist that adds smooth steering torque to help the vehicle stay in the center of the lane. The amount of assisted torque is dependant on a lane-marker detection camera. It includes a lane departure warning feature that is designed to detect possible lane departure; it then gives the driver an audible warning and provides feedback via the steering wheel to encourage corrective action.
The HS is slightly longer than the IS and is taller than both the IS and ES. It also has a greater couple distance (distance hip to hip between front and rear passengers) than any other vehicle in its class other than the ES. The contoured front-seat backs also add to increased rear-seat legroom.
The HS features a unique advanced cockpit and an interior design that emphasizes innovation and craftsmanship. The uniquely stylish cabin has standard leather-trim seats, a moonroof, Lexus premium audio systems, and a new standard multi-media package. The media features include Bluetooth® technology, integrated satellite radio (subscription required), voice recognition, and USB iPod connectivity controlled via steering-wheel controls or a display screen. A high-contrast multi-information display, located in the instrument panel’s hybrid system indicator gauge, is controlled via steering-wheel-mounted controls, allowing the driver to easily control various functions and information.
Another key element of the modern interior is Lexus’ new available Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Navigation System, which features a retractable navigation screen that is positioned well back and up front in the dash. The positioning helps improve visibility and reduce driver eye movement. Similar to the new RX, the HS system features the all-new “Remote Touch” controller that is both intuitive and ergonomic and allows for easy use of the Navigation System. The controller is positioned on the center console and is as natural to the driver’s hand as a computer mouse. It can also be customized to the desired level of haptic feedback.
The Navigation System also includes a new casual-speech voice recognition feature. This allows drivers to give more flexible, conversational commands for easier access and control of the audio, climate and navigation functions. Also included are XM® NavTraffic® and NavWeatherTM, along with XM Sports and Stock information.
Also helping to reduce driver eye movement is an optional Heads-up Display (HUD). The HUD uses high-intensity LEDs to make the display bright enough to be read even in direct sunlight.
A class-leading 10 airbags will be standard on the all-new HS 250h as well as active front head rests, which help passengers in case of certain types of rear-end accidents. The HS also will feature Lexus’ Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system and optional Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
An available wide-view front monitor helps the driver to check hard-to-see areas. Using a camera mounted in the front grille, the monitor provides a 190-degree front view on the Navigation screen with the push of a button on the steering wheel.
The HS 250h will also offer Lexus’ next generation telematics systems, Lexus Enform and Safety Connect. Safety Connect will provide automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle location, 24/7 emergency and roadside assistance.
Lexus Enform’s Destination Assist features operators who will help drivers look up points of interest such as shopping centers or other business locations like Zagat-rated restaurants, and then wirelessly send directions directly to the vehicle’s navigation system.
Lexus Enform’s eDestination service will allow customers to pull up multiple points of interest on any computer and send them directly to the car’s navigation system. This innovative new feature will allow drivers to send a total of 200 destinations at a time to their vehicles.
The all-new 2010 HS 250h will reach dealerships nationwide in late summer.
When Lexus introduced the LS 400 luxury sedan and ES 250 entry-luxury sedan at the 1989 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the primary question was whether a luxury brand from Toyota could compete in the U.S. luxury market.
Now, 20 years later, Lexus has proven that it can not only compete in the industry, it can lead it. And it’s done that by listening to customers and exceeding their expectations every step of the way. Lexus was created in response to Toyota owners’ wishes for a car that had the quality of their Toyota, but came in a more luxurious package. Since the first Lexus vehicles rolled out of dealers’ showrooms in September 1989, Lexus has emerged a leader in quality, innovation and, most importantly, in customer satisfaction.
This pursuit of perfection began in the early 1980s when then-Chairman Eiji Toyoda challenged a group of engineers to develop the best luxury car in the world. Hundreds of prototypes and thousands of test miles later, the LS 400 emerged.
Customers flocked to the 80 carefully selected Lexus dealerships across the country and read media reviews that included Automobile Magazine saying the LS 400 “had come about as far toward the achievement of true automotive perfection as we could come.” Car and Driver said “the Lexus transports you literally and figuratively into another dimension.” Motor Trend stated “we are frankly astounded that the LS 400 is this great.”
But just as Lexus was gaining speed, it hit a roadblock. Shortly after the launch, two minor quality issues were discovered in the LS 400. A few people complained that the third high-mounted stoplight was not as bright as it should be and one customer complained about a cruise-control malfunction.
Lexus faced the challenge head-on. It recalled all 8,000 vehicles that had been sold, picked them up from their owners, fixed the problem and returned the cars washed, with a full tank of gas. Owners also received a gift as a thank you for their understanding.
Instead of stopping the young brand in its tracks, this unprecedented customer outreach established a new level of customer service that propelled the brand even further.
In 1991, Lexus introduced an all-new ES 300 as well as the SC 400 and SC 300 sport coupes. By this time there were 141 Lexus dealers across the country and Lexus outsold both Mercedes-Benz and BMW to become the best-selling luxury import brand in the U.S.
Through the early 1990s, Lexus continued to hone its brand and its products, as reflected by quality and customer service awards from J.D. Power and Associates. Lexus also introduced the GS 300 luxury sport sedan in March 1993.
But by 1995, Lexus was facing some new challenges. The economy was weakening, the yen was fluctuating against the dollar, and Lexus spent months in flux as the U.S. and Japanese governments negotiated on proposed 100 percent tariffs on Japanese luxury cars.
The tariffs didn’t happen, and the overall luxury market kept on growing. Lexus brought out the LX 450 luxury sport utility vehicle in 1995 and new versions of the ES in 1996 and the LS and GS in 1997.
Then, in 1998, Lexus showed how it uniquely listened to customers. When talking to customers about their SUVs, owners consistently said, “I love my SUV, but….” Lexus heard about rough rides, difficult entry/exit and a lack of luxury. To solve those issues, Lexus introduced the RX 300 in 1998, which created the luxury crossover segment. Ten years later, the RX continues to be the segment leader. The same year, the new LX 470 luxury sport utility vehicle debuted. In July of that year, Lexus had higher monthly sales than any luxury competitor – a first for any international automaker. Lexus became the top-selling luxury brand in the United States in 2000, a title it has held for nine consecutive years.
In the early part of its second decade, Lexus starting moving beyond its traditional segments to introduce new vehicles to people who may not have considered Lexus previously. In July 2000, Lexus developed a second offering in the entry-luxury sedan category with the IS 300 sport sedan. The next year, Lexus updated its classic SC model and turned it into a hardtop convertible. The GX 470 mid-size luxury sport utility vehicle was added to the stable in 2002.
With its extensive selection of sedans, luxury utility vehicles and a hardtop convertible, Lexus was offering products in nearly every luxury segment. It was time to start demonstrating Lexus’ passion and its pursuit of innovation.
Lexus made its mark by introducing the world’s first hybrid luxury vehicle. The RX 400h went on sale in April 2005. With its lower emissions, improved fuel economy and outstanding luxury, it demonstrated that eco-conscious buyers didn’t need to sacrifice luxury to be kinder to the earth.
Lexus’ second hybrid offering, the GS 450h hybrid luxury sport sedan, went on sale in April 2006, and the LS 600h L premium hybrid sedan, the world’s first full V8 hybrid vehicle, went on sale in July 2007.
While Lexus’ image was definitely shifting from its traditional attributes of being reliable and luxurious, it still needed something to showcase its passion for performance. The IS F high-performance luxury sedan was just the answer. Powered by a 416-hp V8 engine, the Lexus IS F was the most uncharacteristic car Lexus had ever built, and it demonstrated that the brand really could make a car for high-performance enthusiasts. For those customers who wanted more performance on their standard IS 250 or IS 350 sport sedans, the company responded by introducing the F-Sport performance accessories through dealerships.
Whether it’s making performance parts, introducing new and exciting products, or treating each customer as a guest in our home, Lexus’ pursuit of perfection comes through.
Today, Lexus has 226 dealers who have invested billions of dollars in creating state-of-the-art facilities and services to ensure that customers continue to drive the division. The information gathered from dealers, as well as from luxury customers across the country, feeds back into everything Lexus does.
Now, as Lexus gears up for its 20th Anniversary, it will once again be demonstrating how it can lead the industry by listening to customers. In spring 2009 the next-generation RX 350 luxury utility vehicle will go on sale, with the RX 450h luxury hybrid going into production a few months later. Just in time for summer 2009, Lexus will offer the all-new IS 250C and IS 350C convertible versions of the popular entry-luxury sport sedan.
In late summer 2009, Lexus will bring its fourth hybrid to market. The HS 250h will be the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid vehicle, meaning it’s not a hybrid version of an existing product. It will provide enhanced fuel economy and lower emissions while giving customers the luxurious features they’ve come to know from Lexus. It will be the perfect vehicle to kick off Lexus’ third decade of pursuing perfection.