Report: Lexus shares details on future plans, to make compact crossover, more hybrids to enter lineup
TheDetroitBureau recently sat down with Lexus’s general manager, Mark Templin, for a little interview. And in that interview, TDB was able to obtain some information regarding Lexus’s lineup in the near future.
As Lexus’s rivals from Germany expand their lineups, offering a vast slew of models, you’d think that Lexus would be following suit. But Mark Templin reportedly said that he was “not a big fan” of “having 100 different models in your line-up.”
But interestingly enough, Templin also did share that Lexus is carefully monitoring market demand. That said, there’s a most likely chance that Lexus could see the addition of a compact crossover to its lineup. It would be used to compete against the Mercedes-Benz GLK, BMW X3, and Audi Q5. Though Templin apparently hinted at it and said that Lexus is in no rush because their RX crossover is still the best-selling CUV for its ability to appeal to a very broad range of crossover buyers.
Another addition Lexus may be considering is a successor to the LF-A supercar, which Templin commented that all LF-As were sold with no additional production planned.
“The LFC (concept) we showed in Detroit this year was a smash hit,” Templin told TBD, “and everyone is asking us to build that car without change.” He also said that the LF-C could take as much as four years to complete its engineering.
This test simulates, at 40 mph (64 km/h), crashes that occur on a car’s front outer edges which often fall outside of the required crush-zone structures. The transfer of energy from the crash is directly transmitted through to the front wheel, suspension and firewall.
The new test is a direct result of information pulled from a 2009 Institute study where nearly 25% of vehicles involved in frontal accidents, resulting in serious or fatal injury to front occupants, were of the small overlap type.
The big news here is that of the 11 midsize luxury cars evaluated, only three of them earned good or acceptable ratings. In an unusual twist, at least for Toyota, their Lexus IS and ES cars performed poorly. The best results were had by the Acura TL and Volvo S60.
Please understand, I mean that endearingly – the fat suit comment. At 702 lbs, the K1600 carries a lot of heft, but there are talents housed within its frame that render it sporty in a way no 700 lb bike should be. The K1600, then, is a curious machine, good at many seemingly contradictory things.
The police and my mother may not like it, but I’m a sport bike kinda guy. Thus, my perceptions are somewhat skewed when reviewing a luxury touring bike. I submit this to you early on in the interests of full disclosure. That said, I can put myself in the slippers of a lux-touring rider to gain an appreciation for the strengths and weaknesses of a machine tailor made for the job.
We put the K1600GT through its paces on every road surface and in the heart of every traffic condition known to Ontario roads. On an adventurous road trip, we got to the heart of this motorcycle, and discovered its true virtues and weaknesses.
A two wheeled 7 series?
That was my alternate title; I took the more daring path and risked sounding tabloid-esque. The K1600GT really is a 7 series for two, rolling on two. As far as motorcycles go, it doesn’t get any more luxurious, techy, or comfortable. I stand corrected: the K1600LT is slightly more comfortable and spacious, but these bikes are differentiated by little more than their panniers. The guts are the same.
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Earlier today, we shared a pair of photos of the 2013 Range Rover. At the time and due to the low quality of the images, we weren’t 100 percent sure whether they were real or the result of some crafty photoshop work.
Well, now, thanks to a Russian website that dropped high-resolution versions of those photos and then some more including the first image of the SUVs interior, we can say that this is indeed Land Rover’s brand new 2013 Range Rover.
Beginning with the interior, it quickly becomes clear that the smaller Evoque heavily influenced the modern and de-cluttered design of the 2013 Range Rover’s dashboard that sports a large multimedia screen on the center console and a sizeable electronic display for the instrument gauges.
The flagship Land Rover model also gets a Jaguar-style rotary gear selector, as first seen on the XF, for controlling the eight-speed automatic transmission. Right behind are the controls for the Land Rover Terrain Response system.
The cabin in this model features three different colors of leather along with wood and aluminum trims.
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Tony Posawatz, the former head of the Volt program at General Motors, has been named the new CEO of Fisker, as the automaker hunkers down on development of its second model, the Fisker Atlantic.
Posawatz is now the third CEO to man the helm at Fisker, following the appointment of Tom LaSorda this past February, who took the reigns from the company’s founder, namesake and current Executive Chairman, Henrik Fisker.
“We are delighted to be adding an executive of Tony’s caliber to the Fisker Automotive leadership team,” Fisker said in a statement released today. “His depth of knowledge and experience in this innovative field of new technology means that he is one of the world’s most experienced leaders in vehicle electrification technology and the plug-in ecosystem. In the long-term he will ensure that Fisker is well-positioned to maximize the potential of not only the Karma sedan, but also bring the Fisker Atlantic smoothly to market.”
Posawatz certainly has the bone fides to work for Fisker, with over three decades of experience in product development, management and manufacturing, along with spearheading GM’s electric vehicle development – specifically leading the team that brought the Chevrolet Volt to market – as well as holding down the chairman of the board for the Electric Drive Transportation Association.
LaSorda will be moved to an advisory role, and Fisker took the announcement as an opportunity to declare that Joseph Chao will lead Fisker’s operations in China and Asia as its Executive President and CEO.
Burning Cars — By MR on August 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm — 1 Comment
Yesterday we reported on a second Fisker Karma burning down on a parking lot somewhere in the United States. The US-based company has now released a second statement following the start of their investigation.
Fisker says that evidence revealed thus far supports the fact that the ignition source was not the Lithium-ion battery pack, new technology components or unique exhaust routing.
Continued investigative efforts will be primarily focused within the specific area of origin, located forward of the driver’s side front tire.
Google announced today that its self-driving car project is progressing positively.
“Our vehicles, of which about a dozen are on the road at any given time, have now completed more than 300,000 miles of testing,” Google said in blog post. “They’ve covered a wide range of traffic conditions, and there hasn’t been a single accident under computer control. We’re encouraged by this progress, but there’s still a long road ahead.”
Google said that members of its self-driving car team will now star using the cars alone for trips like commuting to work. While commuting, the team will be testing the algorithms.
Some of the new commuting testers will be providing with the self-driving family SUV – the Lexus RX 450h. So far, the self-driving car has been restricted to a Toyota Prius.