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With whacky choices like the Holden Commodore Maloo available, it might take more than a powerful V8 to catch an Australian customer’s attention.
Lexus will be bringing a fine collection of vehicles to this year’s SEMA Show, and AutoGuide has compiled a guide to all the ones we’re expecting to see. In addition to the previously mentioned GS 350 F-Sport, Lexus will also be showing off a custom GS F Sport and CT 200h by Five Axis, a custom IS 350C by VIP Auto Salon, a custom LX 570 by JT Grey Racing, while Lexus themselves will be bringing F Sport variants of their CT 200h, IS 350, and IS 250C models to go along with their IS F.
Starting with the pair of Five Axis projects, the GS F Sport by Five Axis will feature a Five Axis widebody conversion on a Glacier White GS350. The white exterior will further be accented with unique Slate Gray pieces, while the GS350 will be brought down to the show floor thanks to AirRunner’s TC-5 air suspension system. On all four corners will be Five:AD S5:F alloy wheels while Stoptech’s front and rear big brake kit will be concealed behind each wheel. Last but not least, a custom fabricated exhaust with dual finishers will be housed in the rear diffuser.
Turning our attention to the CT200h hybrid, Five Axis worked their magic with another custom widebody with a striking JDSU “Dark Passage” paint job. Suspension duties are handled by TEIN’s Flex coilover system while custom Five:AD wheels finish off the exterior. Braking performance is upgraded with Stoptech’s high performance big brake kit, featuring large 12-inch front rotors. The interior has been redone by Turinmodel, Inc. with uniquely appointed seats with laser-etched Ultrasuede EcoDesign inserts. The headliner also received a similar treatment with Ultrasuede EcoDesign upholstery.
Next on our list is a customized IS350C by VIP Auto Salon. The convertible coupe features a custom Chameleon paint by K&W while it gets a more aggressive stance thanks to F Sport springs and Bilstein shocks. Wheel upgrade comes in the form of 19-inch F Sport full-faced forged alloys while a Seibon carbon fiber hood round off the exterior modifications. A nice performance upgrade is courtesy of Power Enterprise’s Rotex supercharger by A’PEXi and VIP Auto Salon. The interior has been overhauled by Top Stitch with custom inserts while the fog lights received the HID treatment.
The custom LX 570 by JT Grey Racing was built to show off how capable, reliable and durable the Lexus LX 570 is. Custom King Road shocks were fitted onto the LX 570 along with 17-inch F Sport wheels paired with 37-inch BF Goodrich Baja TA race tires. The off-road race theme continues with 70-watt carbon fiber HID lighting and Sparco race seats in the interior.
All the F Sport vehicles Lexus will be bringing sport various F Sport modifications to their respective models, including wheels, suspension, and aerodynamic packages.
GALLERY: Lexus SEMA 2011 Cars
See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 SEMA Show preview here and look for complete coverage starting November 1st.
This past week, The International Motor Press Association (IMPA) held a track day at the Monticello Motor Club in New York, where a number of automotive journalists from various publications gathered together to test cars, critique each vehicle’s merits objectively, and perform all the good work being an automotive journalist entails.
Unfortunately, during this particular track day, the good times stopped rolling. One of the journalists at the event took a turn for the worse and wrecked a 416 horsepower Lexus IS-F test car, effectively committing what is probably the most humiliating thing any automotive journalist can do while in the company of his peers.
Luckily, no one was harmed in the incident, although one journalist’s ego was likely bruised.
For a luxury brand to be taken seriously nowadays it is a must to go racing with its most potent family car. All the European luxury brands are heavily involved in racing series like DTM, BTCC and the FIA World Touring Car Championship, and their successes on the track are well decorated in showrooms, to show their customers what the brand is capable off.
Japanese luxury car firm Lexus has, however, been less keen on taking the IS-F to racing circuits, but that hasn’t stopped some privateer entries from making race cars out of the brand’s most powerful sedan.
The latest IS-F race car hails from Europe and is campaigned by MN Motorsports team in the Superstars International Series where it will compete alongside other RWD V8-powered monster sedans like the BMW M5, Audi RS4, Cadillac CTS-V, Mercedes C63 and even the Maserati Quattroporte and Chrysler 300C SRT8.
The team, which is owned by Mauro Nocentini will wear the number 06 and will be driven by Diego Romanini, who is a two-time Formula 3 champion.
The team has had problems at the start of the season, but we wish them all the best for the upcoming races.
Light-weight Lexus could foreshadow hard-core production model
Tucked away towards the back of Toyota’s booth at the 2010 Tokyo Auto Salon was this IS-F CCS Concept that looks to be a lightweight version of the performance-minded sedan. Not much details could be found on this CCS Concept, but we definitely fell in love with the bright orange shade and carbon fiber accents. The hood, trunk, and spoiler were all constructed on carbon fiber while the front bumper and side skirts got a mild trim accent and the rear bumper its own carbon fiber diffuser. A slightly different exhaust system also appears to be a part of the package, as do the light weight wheels. It also doesn’t take an expert to see that this IS-F features a significantly lowered suspension.
Looking at the IS-F CCS Concept, we can’t help but think of the equally-orange BMW M3 GTS, which debuted recently in Germany as a track-only club racer. Is Lexus thinking of offering a similar model, or perhaps a light-weight street legal version? We certainly hope so.
GALLERY: Lexus IS-F CCS Concept
A British police force, known for using high-powered Subaru WRX STIs, has just decided to add even more beefy power to its lineup by specking-out a Lexus IS-F to be its new high-speed chase car.
While the STI’s are powerful with 300hp turbocharged four-cylinder engines, the IS-F makes 416hp thanks to a 5.0-liter V8 engine.
Sergeant Mike Peck of the Humberside Police Roads Crime Section told the U.K.’s AutoCar that, “The Lexus was tested during a 12-month period, along with similar vehicles, and proved itself to be ideally suited in providing a dynamically safe high-performance chassis along with an electronically stable platform for the computer equipment. In the past this equipment has placed huge demands on vehicles, but the Lexus IS-F easily met with our requirements.”
Along with the car’s already costy base price it has been outfitted with £30,000 ($50,000) of computers and communications equipment. The ECU was also modified to limit the car’s top seed to “just” 168 mph.
GALLERY: Lexus IS-F Police Cruiser
With the launch of the IS convertible, rumors started almost immediately that Lexus might build a high-performance F version of the retractable hard-top. Now it appears those hoping for such a drop-top beast will get their wish.
According to a report by Car & Driver, a convertible version of the IS-F will be due out in 2011.
In our recent review of the IS250 C we noted a definite lack of excitement due mostly to the added 400 lbs of weight. The IS350 C proved a significantly more entertaining drive as its 300-plus horsepower 3.5-liter V6 is so over-powered in the sedan form.
Now we can look forward to 416hp in the IS C, along with the thumping 5.0-liter V8′s incredible 371 ft-lbs of torque. We can also expect some seriously upgraded aerodynamics and a sporty interior.
In related convertible Lexus news, Car & Driver is also reporting that the out-dated SC model will get a successor, which is to have a light-weight soft-top rather than a retractable hard-top.
The upcoming Lotus Esprit may be powered by a 500hp Lexus V10 according to a report in the U.K.’s EVO magazine. Lotus has a long time partnership with Lexus parent company Toyota, using its Celica-sourced 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine for the Elise and Exige, as well as its the Camry-sourced 3.5-liter V6 for the Evora. According to EVO this relationship extends not just to the Toyota powertrain department but also to the Lexus division – and Lexus just so happens to be readying its LF-A exotic with a 500 horse V10. There is also the possibility that the IS-F’s 417hp 5.0-liter V8 could be an option, as well as an entry-level 300hp direct-injection V6 motor.
The new Evora platform, which is to be the basis for the Esprit’s chassis, is capable of holding engines in either a transverse or longitudinal layout – giving more credence to the possibility that several different engines could be made available to buyers.
Lotus doesn’t plan to bring the Esprit to market until 2012, but it is dedicated to delivering a true exotic capable of taking on the Lamborghinis and Ferraris of the world.
There is also a strong possibility that Lotus could offer the Esprit with an electric powertrain.
The design sketch, above, gives a hint at what the upcoming Lotus Esprit may look like.
Just one of seven show cars for Lexus at SEMA
For the second year in a row Lexus had a significant presence at the SEMA Show. To help continue to promote the IS-F, Lexus sent out four of the sport sedans to different tuner shops and media outlets for them to tune as they please.
The real gem from Lexus was, however, a modified GS model. Lexus commissioned Five Axis, which created the wild matte-black IS-F from the 2007 SEMA Show, to build a similarly-styled GS460.
Sporting a custom wide-body conversion, the Five Axis GS is coated in many layers of Satin Titanium Pearl paint with what Lexus calls “onyx and papaya” accents.
The wheels are a current Five Axis design called FIVE:AD ONYX R5:F (a name that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue) and measure 20×8.5-inches up front and 20×10.5-inches in the rear. Yokohama got involved with the project providing tires, but these are no ordinary pieces of rubber. The Advan tires feature a concept design.
Inside the rollers you’ll find a big brake kit with six-piston calipers and 14-inch rotors up front and four-piston calipers with 13.6-inch rotors in the rear.
The suspension has also been tuned with a custom set of shocks and lowering springs, while performance is optimized (if only slightly) through the use of a performance exhaust system.
A FULL GALLERY of the Lexus IS-F SEMA vehicles can be found after the jump: