Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Europe, Government/Legal, Lexus What do you do if you have enough money to buy a Lexus LFA but can't get the car safely to your house? Get local government involved, of course. Rune Berge Vik, of Stavanger, Norway, did just that after he bought a Lexus LFA (the only LFA in the Nordic region according to tv2.no) last year only to find out that it could not clear a speed bump in his neighborhood. To remedy the situation, Vik got in touch with his city, which had the speed bump removed. Talk about your tax dollars hard at work. On the other hand, it's commendable that the man actually uses his supercar as a daily driver, and besides, doesn't a street-legal car have the right to access said public streets? Lexus LFA owner gets town to remove speed bump originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 17 May 2013 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Podcasts, Acura, Chevrolet, Dodge, Jeep, Lamborghini, Lexus, RumormillAcura NSX, 2014 Chevy Silverado, Lamborghini Egoista and Urus, Jeep CEO Mike Manley interview, Ugly Horse update Episode #333 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Zach Bowman and Steven Ewing talk about the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado, the Lamborghini Egoista concept and the apparent production greenlight for the Lamborghini Urus, the forthcoming Acura NSX, an interview with Jeep CEO Mike Manley and an update on Zach's Project Ugly Horse. We also address lots of your questions and comments, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. You can follow along after the jump with our Q&A. Thanks for listening! Autoblog Podcast #333: Topics: New Acura NSX to be built in Ohio Lamborghini Egoista concept and Urus production confirmation 2014 Chevrolet Silverado An interview with Jeep CEO Mike Manley A very special Project Ugly Horse update In the Autoblog Garage: 2013 Dodge Dart 2013 Lexus LS 460 2013 Lexus LS 600h L Hosts: Dan Roth, Zach Bowman, Steven Ewing Runtime: 01:50:29 Get the podcast: [UStream] Listen live on Mondays at 10PM Eastern at UStream [iTunes] Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes [RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator [MP3] Download the MP3 directly Feedback: Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com Review the show in iTunes Continue reading Autoblog Podcast #333Autoblog Podcast #333 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 May 2013 16:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Lexus, Luxury, Quick Spins I have spent the last seven days driving the Starfire Pearl (read: white) 2013 Lexus LS 600h L you see here. And after roughly 500 miles of errand-running, highway-cruising, commuting and people-schlepping, I can safely say this: I don't get it. The LS hybrid is a nice car. It's comfortable, has every amenity you'd ever want in a luxury boat, and with its freshened appearance for 2013, it looks modern, integrating the company's new spindle grille into an overall package that's elegant. None of this is bad news. But let me explain why I still cannot wrap my head around the overall LS 600h L package: Driving Notes For starters, the LS hybrid mates a 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 to a 165-kilowatt electric motor. The gasoline engine on its own is good for 389 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque, and with the electric motor factored in, Lexus states that the total system output is a robust 438 hp. (All of that, by the way, resides in what editor Zach Bowman refers to as the "world's saddest engine bay.") That makes for one quick sedan, even here with all-wheel drive and a hefty 5,159-pound curb weight. Hitting 60 miles per hour takes 5.5 seconds, and top speed is limited to 130 mph. Hybrid or no, as you'd expect with a package like this, fuel economy isn't exactly stellar. The EPA rates the LS 600h L at 19/23/20 miles per gallon (city/highway/combined). My average over the week was 19.2 mpg. For comparison, let me introduce you to the non-hybrid LS 460 L AWD, powered by a 4.6-liter V8 that makes 360 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the 600h, the 460 is slower to 60 mph by 0.4 seconds and its fuel economy numbers are 16/23/18 mpg. That's right: The highway economy number is the same as the hybrid, and the combined rating is only reduced by two mpg. Lexus does call the LS 600h L a performance hybrid, so rather than it being a more efficient version of the flagship sedan - sort of the way a Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid is really just a more frugal S550 - this electrified LS is supposed to be the zenith of the line, offering the most power, quickest acceleration, and top-level refinement. Thing is, it's not all that good to drive. Even with the Drive Mode Select button toggled to Sport S+, the LS 600h L delivers driving dynamics that are far closer to that of a Hyundai Equus than an Audi A8 or BMW 7 Series. It's a giant rolling couch, with vague steering, plenty of body roll, and a suspension that, even in its firmest setting, doesn't offer a whole lot of sport. Comfy and plush, yes, but hardly engaging. The interior is really where the LS excels, yet lags. It has every comfort and convenience feature you can imagine, the materials are top notch, and it's, well, Lexus quiet. But from a user standpoint, there are issues. I know that Audi's MMI, BMW's iDrive and Mercedes-Benz's COMAND aren't always peachy systems to use, but they at least offer more user-friendly controllers than the horrible mouse-like Remote Touch controller in the LS. Several passengers commented on this during my week with the car, each one of them failing to understand the point. Perhaps Lexus could bring that 12.3-inch screen out a little more and just make it a proper touchscreen interface. But here's where it totally falls apart: as-tested, the LS 600h L I drove stickered for $135,029, including $895 for destination and handling. Remember that LS 460 L AWD I mentioned earlier? The one that's not much slower and, in most cases, just as efficient as the hybrid? Option it up to the exact same levels of equipment as this 600h and it's still $34,749 cheaper. That's right, nearly thirty-five thousand dollars less. Or hey, check out the BMW 750Li xDrive sedan. It has 445 horsepower, gets 24 mpg highway, and completely loaded, is $20,000 less than the LS 600h L. And if efficiency really is your thing, allow me to introduce you to the Audi A8L 3.0 TDI that claims up to 36 mpg highway. It starts at $82,500. What we have here is car that is, in a vacuum, fine. Everything that it does, it does well enough. But not for this price. And certainly not when there are so many more attractive options for buyers in the segment. Regardless of your preference for power, efficiency or just straight-up luxury, there are better ways to spend your cash than on this LS 600h L. 2013 Lexus LS 600h L originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 May 2013 15:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Etc. Strategic Vision has released its annual Total Quality awards, and some of the winners may come as a surprise. To quote Alexander Edwards, President of Strategic Vision, "For the first time in over a decade our comprehensive and complete study of Quality resulted in more domestic winners than imports." That's not to say import brands performed poorly. Volkswagen was voted the best overall corporation in Total Quality for the eighth-straight year, and Audi tied with Lexus for the best individual brand. Breaking things down on a model-by-model basis, here are some notable victories: Dodge Dart, Best Small Car Ford Fusion / Chevrolet Volt, Best Midsize Car Volkswagen CC, Best Large Car Hyundai Genesis / Audi A4, Best Near-Luxury Car Lexus LS, Best Luxury Car Chevrolet Corvette, Best Premium Coupe Chrysler Town & Country, Best Minivan Volkswagen Tiguan / Toyota FJ Cruiser, Best Entry Utility Chevrolet Traverse, Best Midsize Crossover Utility Dodge Durango, Best Midsize Traditional Utility Chevrolet Avalanche, Best Full-size Pickup Ford F-250 / F-350, Best Heavy Duty Pickup Scroll down below for the full list of winners, both import and domestic, in each and every category.Continue reading Domestics win majority of annual Total Quality awardsDomestics win majority of annual Total Quality awards originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 May 2013 09:13:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
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