Posts tagged with "lexus"

Toyota Corolla hatchback, 360 MAGAZINE, vaughn Lowery

COROLLA HATCHBACK

By Alexandria Baiz × Vaughn Lowery

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback makes a design comeback, leaving a lasting impression with innovative upgrades and engineering. SE base model starts at $21,000 and the XSE somewhere in the ballpark of $24,000. Our midnight black souped-up model’s MSRP is around $27,000 and is fully stocked with 18-inch wheels alongside a massive back spoiler to add drama. With every pen stroke, the architects produced a dynamic, athletic yet sophisticated vehicle. The world’s best-selling car just got remixed. So, we promptly accepted the manufacturer’s offer to road trip it to Vegas to check out our favorite pop stars Tinie Tempah, Ellie Goulding, and Pitbull at the JBL Fest hosted by special guest Quincy Jones.

Different from former models, this version possesses a longer wheelbase. The black mesh honeycomb grille, emphasizes the evolution of the Corolla and its increased width. To provide better forward visibility, the hood is constructed to sit two inches lower than earlier. The rounded physique makes a simple, yet powerful three-dimensional landscape that is comfortable and pleasing to drive. Moreover, the interior quality is more delicate and stylish. The XSE stitching on dash and door is bold and fashion-forward. Thus, when we pulled up to the SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino all eyes were on us. Furthermore, the hatchback has technologically advanced features: three-door Smart Key system; Apple CarPlay; Amazon’s Alexa and 8-inch touch display screen. Other amenities include an 8-speaker JBL audio system (excellent for fist-pumping), 2 USB ports and a single-zone automatic climate control; a leather shift knob and paddle shifters behind the steering rack.

The Safety Sense 2.0 includes pre-collision warning with pedestrian, cyclist and roadside detection as well as dynamic cruise control and lane departure alerts. Alarms are popular amongst users, who enjoy a visual alert on infotainment screen and then a ringing alert if detection becomes more fatal. Seats empower comfort with updated cushioning which minimizes fatigue and also are great for cornering while in Sport Mode. Ideal access to the steering wheel, pedals, and gear shift are available with power adjustable seat.

The new fuel-efficient TNGA 2.0 liter four-cylinder, six-speed iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission) makes it easier to maneuver on highways. The CVT (continuously variable transmission) at an additional $1,100 includes more power and miles per gallon. The CVT simplifies the stop and go action, boosts fuel economy and makes blind spot monitoring available.

While both SE and XSE receive LED headlamps/taillights, chrome rear diffuser, and alloy wheels, the XSE is more distinctive. The SE sports 16-inch wheels while XSE rocks 18-inch wheels (with a 33 mpg). Additional features include LED fog lights; chrome grille surround and Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS). AFS matches the vehicle velocity and steering angle for the correct distribution of light – great for some of the darker strips in downtown Las Vegas. Behind the steering wheel, a 7-inch TFT Multi-Information Display (MID) which displays vehicle information, turn-by-turn navigation, and various vehicle settings: Lane Departure Alert, Lane Tracing Assist, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, and Blind Spot Monitor.

The sport-tuned suspension paired with rallycross looks and Toyota technology makes the Corolla Hatchback perfect for buyers seeking an easy, affordable drive.

Pre-order Corolla Hatchback

360 MAGAZINE, Corolla hatchback, Toyota, Vaughn Lowery, bear Walker, skateboard

360 MAGAZINE, Corolla hatchback, Toyota, Vaughn Lowery

Toyota, Corolla, 360 magazine, hatchback

360 Magazine, Toyota, Corolla, hatchback, sls Las Vegas,  Vaughn Lowery, Chris Gates, Crystal Dominguez, lizza Monet Morales

LTR – Vaughn Lowery, Chris Gates, Crystal Dominguez, Lizza Monet Morales

Lexus UX, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, Amazon headquarters, Seattle

LEXUS UX

By Alexandria Baiz × Vaughn Lowery

As of late, 360 Magazine had the opportunity to join Lexus in Seattle for an intimate ride and drive of their wholly-new UX SUV at the newly reimagined luxurious Loews Hotel 1000. This seaport city is home to both tech giants Microsoft and Amazon. With Lexus’s innovative track record for having unparalleled technology within their cabin, it was befitting that they brought us to the home of the Space Needle. Subsequently, this town is known to think outside of the box.

The 2019 Lexus UX takes a step into the future of modern luxury with its two most affordable and compact SUVs – the UX 200 and UX 250h. UX stands for urban crossover (x-over). The UX 200 will be released in December 2018 starting at $32,000 and the UX 250h will be released in January 2019 for around $34,000. Gearing towards an opulent compact car with an exterior design so specific, the UX has a signature three-dimensional shape that makes it different from its siblings.

The front has brow-shaped LED lights with optional ultra-small 3-projector LED units. Across the back of the boot, are an innovative wrap of three-dimensional LED lights which help with stability on the highways – a standout design element on the UX. The structure is built to mold into an everyday vehicle that is stable, perfect for urban use because it’s small and easy to park. We had no problem squeezing to the front of the Bainbridge ferry.

The 18″ 5-spoke aluminum alloy dark gray metallic wheels are proportional to the overall aesthetics of the vehicle. Available in a variety of twelve exterior colors, two of which are exclusive to the UX F Sport – Cadmium Orange and Nori Green. The Cadmium Orange includes a cherry base with yellow lowlights, making it appear vivid and adding tons of depth. Nori Green possesses bright highlights and dark contrast alongside of calm shades, drawing the color brilliant. Both of these colors are newfangled and daring for the Lexus brand.

The F Sport package is available in both the UX 200 and UX 250h model as well as has enhanced features and style which contributes to its name. This option comes in the two colors – Ultra White and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0. The F Sport performance is exceptional, transforming the UX into a bespoke-like designer car with front sports seats, grille design, and jet-black trim.

The concept of UX stems from the versatility and adaptability this vehicle offers. With a seamless interior coupled with the Japanese concept of engawa offers a richer field of vision. Executed with a high-strength structure, placement of sound absorbing and insulating materials throughout, one can enjoy an extremely quiet ride.

The connection between driver and the vehicle is apparent with the “seat-in-control” concept. Entering and exiting is made easy with hip-point bottom cushions. 8-way power driver seats (including lunbar) allows the driver to operate with a comfortable yet natural posture.

All UX models are fabricated to ensure safety while driving. The Pre-Collision System alerts drivers of pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles with a forward-facing camera and radar system. The LSS+ 2.0 system enhances this with specific light detection for different hours of the day. If the Pre-Collision System detects a high possibility of collision, an audio and visual alert will prompt the driver to take action. If the driver does not break at that point, the system may automatically apply brakes to help mitigate impacts. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control maintains a preset distance and operates between 0 to 110 mph. The Lane Departure Alert is extremely helpful with the Multi-Information Display (MID) the system can use forward-facing cameras to detect colored land marking illustrations. If the driver deviates from a visibly marked lane, the system alerts the driver with an audio and visual alert. In addition, the UX has an Electric Power Steering and Steering Assist. The Road Sign Assist can read a variety of traffic signs and will display them on the vehicle’s MID. Furthermore, Parking Support Brake uses braking control and visual warnings to reduce possible contact with moving objects while parking.

This Lexus is extraordinary with its high definition, intuitive technology, and overall performance. The UX includes a standard 7″ TFT (thin-film-transistor) LCD control panel while the UX F Sport features an 8″ TFT LCD panel design with a movable meter ring. By pressing a switch on the steering wheel, it moves to the right, enlarging the multi-information display. With the Lexus Remote Touch Interface, the 2019 UX feels as familiar as a smartphone. The most impressive tech feature is Amazon’s “Alexa” – which immediately connects you to play music; find directions; open your garage door on a rainy day; lock/unlock from a smart device and amongst other things control the lights in your home. The Lincoln Navigator is the only other vehicle in Northern America which offers Alexa. Moreover, additional driver connectivity features include Apple CarPlay, 4GB Wi-Fi Hotspot, Voice recognition for commands and the SiriusXM. The heads-up display allows drivers to focus more on the road and less on the infotainment unit.

The UX complies with the global trend of efficient gas mileage vehicles – UX 200 at 33 mpg (2.0- liter inline four-cylinder engine, similar to competitors but with less under-hood heat and lower weight for better vehicle balance). The UX 250h at 39 mpg, making it the wave of their next generation of hybrids. With 181 hp, the UX 250h is the fuel-efficient leader with the best-combined mpg of any CUV and/or SUV without a plugin NA.

In short, the Lexus UX 200 and UX 250h is a shoo-in for a ‘xennial’ buyer – a person who grew up in an analog environment and can easily adapt to present-day’s digital society. Just think of all of your friends and family members with a recent graduate degree or higher residing in a metropolis. Most likely they have a high appreciation for the arts and take local trips within their surrounding area with one or more cronies and a small lap dog in tow.

The Work-To-Weekend Luxury SUV

Practicality meets luxury with the 2018 GX 460 SUV, a work-to-weekend warrior that’s as at home on the trail as it is in the city or suburbs. Underscoring the three-row GX 460’s all-weather capability and comfort that seats up to seven passengers, the heated/ventilated front seats are available as a standalone option for the base model (standard on the Premium and Luxury models). In addition, the top-line GX 460 now offers captain’s chairs for the second-row seating in the Sport Design Package.

The Lexus signature spindle grille gives the GX 460 a distinctive, standout style. The Sport Design Package puts an extra accent on that design with special details such as an exclusive front bumper, rear bumper spoiler, special exhaust tailpipe tip, a redesigned side mirror case, scarlet tail lamps and unique 18-inch split-six spoke alloy wheels.

One Vehicle, Two Ways Easy maneuverability and the comfort of the GX 460 make it an ideal contender for the modern family. A dual-purpose vehicle, the luxury SUV can go from the office to an active, demanding 4×4 environment on the weekend without looking out of place. The standard and sole engine is a 301-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 that issues 329 lb.-ft. of peak torque. Combine that with 6,500-lb. towing capacity, and you’ve got an ideal boat hauler. Towing is aided with Trailer Sway Control, a function of the Vehicle Stability Control that enhances straight-line tracking.

A key to the GX 460’s dual personalities is its standard Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which helps to significantly reduce body lean without resorting to stiffer springs and dampers. Lexus made the stabilizer bars stiffer to help reduce maximum body-lean angle by as much as 50 percent. Hydraulic cylinders act on each stabilizer bar, and linked by a pressure-sensing valve, they continually vary the lean resistance. During on-road cornering, when both front and rear hydraulic cylinders are in a neutral position, no fluid flows in the system and the stabilizer bars work conventionally to help reduce body lean.

Driving in off-road situations, KDSS is designed to reduce sway resistance, which allows the wheels to move with a larger degree of side-to-side independence. When the GX 460 encounters an uneven surface, one compressed cylinder causes fluid to flow to the other cylinder, helping the vehicle to keep all four wheels on the ground. The system works without any action needed by the driver.

The GX 460 has another ace up its fender for on-road smoothness. Available Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) uses electronically controlled dampers that adjust to road surface conditions. The driver can tailor ride and handling characteristics by selecting from among Normal, Sport or Comfort modes.
In today’s world, a full-capability SUV means the ability to casually traverse highways and grocery store parking lots while also offering the ability for an off-road excursion. That’s why the Lexus GX 460 uses a full-time automatic four-wheel drive system that can enhance everyday handling on the pavement as well as on the trails.

A Torsen® torque-sensing limited slip center differential distributes power 40:60 under most driving conditions and changes the ratio as needed based on wheel slip. The system offers a low range for off-road driving, and the center differential can be electronically locked.

Driving through a curve on pavement, for example, the Torsen differential can change the torque split to 30:70 to enhance vehicle tracking. If wheels spin, the center differential can change the ratio to 50:50 to help control slippage. The system can respond to sudden changes in road-surface conditions, such as driving through a puddle or over an ice patch. A two-speed transfer case with low range is supported by a wide array of chassis control technology. With Downhill Assist Control (DAC), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and available Crawl Control, the GX 460 has the ability to roam unpaved, uneven trails and steep inclines.

In some off-road conditions, where the driver might have a hard time knowing which direction the front wheels are pointing – the GX 460 comes with a standard steering angle indicator in the gauge panel. A-TRAC provides the traction benefits of having locking front and rear differentials, but with lower weight. The system can apply the brake to a slipping wheel, while transferring torque to the wheels with better traction.

Trail drivers who encounter steep and rocky hills know well the skill and concentration needed to manipulate the throttle, brake and steering to help keep the vehicle moving forward securely. The GX 460 makes it easier with available Crawl Control, which automatically modulates the throttle and brake, allowing the driver to concentrate on steering.

Engaged when the vehicle is in low range, Crawl Control allows the vehicle to move forward or in reverse at one of five driver-selectable low-speed settings. Crawl Control also engages the front and rear “virtual” locking differentials to help reduce tire slippage and optimize chassis behavior. Crawl Control can also help the driver navigate the GX 460 through sand, mud or snow.

The GX 460’s multimedia system is a multitasker, offering a customizable home screen that can display three sections simultaneously. For example, you can view a single display (navigation/map), dual display (navigation/map + audio, compass or other function) or three displays on the same screen (navigation/map + audio + weather). The available Navigation System’s three-dimensional map view makes it an even more effective driving partner. The touch-screen Display Audio uses an eight-inch screen that includes a backup camera, HD RadioTM, Bluetooth® audio, automatic phone book transfer, a vehicle information display and complimentary traffic and weather data provided via HD Radio.

The system also incorporates cache radio, which can pause live radio, recording up to 15 minutes of broadcast for later playback. Drivers with an iPhone ® (iPhone 4S and later) can get things done just by asking through standard Siri® Eyes Free Mode. Siri lets you call contacts, select and play music from iTunes®, get turn-by-turn navigation through Siri and Apple® maps, and much more.

The Lexus GX 460 also goes above and beyond with safety features. Technologies that exemplify the brand’s forward thinking are found in the optional Driver Support Package, which includes the Pre-Collision System (PCS), Driver Attention Monitor, Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Outside Rear View Mirror (camera + Blind Spot Monitor indicator) and a Wide-view Front and Side Camera that is designed to enhance visibility in tight settings and around corners. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control uses millimeter-wave radar to measure and help maintain a pre-set following distance from a vehicle traveling ahead.

The Driver Attention Monitor helps to address a growing safety concern, that of driver inattention. The innovative system uses a camera to monitor the orientation of the driver’s face. If it determines that the driver is not facing forward when an obstacle is detected by PCS, a warning chime and a warning display convey alerts. If the driver doesn’t respond as the vehicle closes on the obstacle, the next level of warning is PCS gently applying the brakes. At the same time, the system automatically retracts the front seat belts and prepares the brake system to respond with increased force when you apply the brake pedal.

By monitoring visible lane markings, Lane Departure Alert can detect unintentional lane departure and sound a warning buzzer and display a visual alert. Also part of the Driver Support Package, Intelligent High Beam brings courtesy and safety to the road by automatically switching high beams to low when meeting oncoming vehicles or approaching vehicles from the rear.

When equipped with the available Navigation System, the GX 460 also comes with a one-year complimentary subscription to Lexus Enform Destination Assist, and the subscription-free Lexus Enform App Suite.

These voice-enabled apps let you search the Internet through Destination Search, make restaurant reservations through OpenTable®, order movie tickets via MovieTickets.com, listen to Internet radio (including Pandora®, iHeartRadioTM and Slacker), and search business reviews on Yelp®.

The 2018 GX 460 includes Lexus Enform® Safety Connect featuring Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, Emergency Assist Button, Enhanced Roadside Assistance and Lexus Enform Safety Connect and Lexus Enform Destination Assist (includes a complimentary one-year subscription). Lexus drivers can also opt in for Lexus Enform Service Connect with a complimentary one-year subscription included. This service allows customers to remotely view information about certain aspects of their Lexus vehicle via the MyLexusandBeyond mobile application for iOS smartphone users or LexusDrivers.com for others.

Information includes maintenance alerts, warning light notifications and a vehicle health report that includes email and push notifications for diagnostic information, required maintenance reminders, current vehicle alerts, service campaigns, and more. Available Lexus Enform Remote (one-year subscription included) allows the owner to remotely view and control certain vehicle features using a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Key features include remote door lock/unlock, remote stop/start for the engine and climate control, vehicle finder, guest driver monitor and more.

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2019 Lexus LC500, LC500h

By Shin Takei

For those of us lucky enough to experience driving the Lexus LFA we lamented the fact that it was a limited production (500) high dollar super car (MSRP $375K USD) produced from 2011 to 2012. Needless to say, it remains an icon and a collector car. For most driving enthusiasts, the word exciting, sexy, exhilarating, thrilling was never associated with Lexus. In fact, after the LFA, nothing from Lexus could be labelled exciting, until now. Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation and Chief Branding Officer of Lexus heard the automotive journalist’s call and vowed that Lexus will never be associated with those words. Being an avid car enthusiast and master driver who honed his skills at Nurburgring, Mr. Toyoda wanted Lexus to be emotional and exciting vehicles to drive.

As part of the Lexus Flagship lineup which consists of the LS500 and LX570, the LC500 and LC500h, the Flagship Sports Coupe is part of the Global Architecture-Luxury platform that features a low center of gravity, aerodynamics and high- speed stability which is shared by the LS sedan. The styling of the LC Flagship coupe is aggressive starting with the prominent spindle grille and wide flared out hip and low frontal area due to a multi-link front suspension system. The ultra-compact LED 3-projector headlamps are flanked by the L-shaped daytime running lights. An optional carbon fiber roof panel is available and at the rear the spindle profile is carried out. A set of optional 21” black wheels enhance the sporting look. The coupe looks purposeful and its aggressive looks generated a few stares wherever we drove it. Liberal use of light weight high strength steel, aluminum and CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) contribute to the stiffest unibody ever built by Lexus and with much of the drivetrain behind the front axle a 52:48 weight distribution was achieved resulting in the driver’s hip and heel points to be lowered in the cockpit.

The LC500 is powered by a naturally aspirated 5.0 liters V8 with 471 HP @7,100rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque @4,800rpm. The DOHC 32 valve Dual VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence) engine is hooked up to a 10-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic with paddle shift and manual mode. 0-60mph arrives in less than 4.5 seconds. To increase the exhaust sound, Active Exhaust channels the sound to the firewall through a special resonance tube. The engine switches to the Atkinson cycle for efficiency and to he Otto cycle for performance. The LC500h features Lexus Hybrid Synergy Drive and is mated to an Atkinson cycle 3.5 Liter gasoline engine and allows for operating the vehicle up to 87 mph without the gas engine. To enhance the sports driving experience, the owner can opt for the Lexus Dynamic Handling system (LDH) which coordinates EPS (electric power steering with Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) and Active Rear Steering (ARS).

The interior of the coupe was designed to maximize the driving experience by positioning the driver low and close to the center of gravity to transmit road feel more directly. The seats feature bolsters in the shoulder area and the optional sports seats provide more grip around the driver during hard cornering. The Alcantara door panels with drape-surfaces are similar to the flowing exterior lines. The TFT display and the Lexus Multi-Media display integrates the Remote Touch Interface touchpad control for Navigation, Audio and Connectivity. As if the standard 12 speaker Pioneer surround sound system isn’t enough, there’s the optional Mark Levinson 13 speaker sound system to blow your ears away.

So how does this all work out? Quite well, thank you. The coupe is easy to drive, and in true GT car fashion, comfortable and relaxing but turning the Drive Mode Selector switch to Sport+ brings out the true character of this coupe. Faster shifting, enhanced engine performance and increased engine sound contribute to an exciting driving experience. There’s a lot of Japanese culture incorporated in the car. The chrome strip next to the rear glass panel is not unlike a samurai sword and words like Kizashi (a sign of great things to come) and Omotenashi (hospitality) are integrated throughout the car.

There is a limited edition of 100 Lexus LC500 Inspiration Series that are painted in Flair Yellow, which does draw your attention and a new pigment called Structural Blue was formulated taking characteristics from butterfly wings tropical fish and precious stones. Both are brilliant and intense and unique in enhancing the profile of the car but you better hurry to get one.

The Lexus LC500 is a true GT (Grand Touring) car. It is quick, handles well and finally has feeling and excitement. Yet it is comfortable enough to drive it for an evening out. However, we feel they’ve left a little wiggle room for more performance and believe a LC500 F-Sport is coming soon that would satisfy the hardcore sports car enthusiasts. Until then, the Lexus LC500 and LC500h will be more than adequate for most of us who won’t be driving it to the limit.

360 magazine, Lexus, lc500, lc500h, Vaughn Lowery, shin takei

360 magazine, Lexus, lc500, lc500h, Vaughn Lowery, shin takei

360 magazine, Lexus, lc500, lc500h, Vaughn Lowery, shin takei

360 magazine, Lexus, lc500, lc500h, Vaughn Lowery, shin takei

2019 Lexus ES 350 Longer, Lower, Wider

By: Shin Takei, Automotive Editor at Large

Following the debut of the RC and LS models, the all new 2019 Lexus ES series features their Global Architecture-K (GA-K} platform and is longer, lower and wider than previous ES model. Realistically it looks much better than its predecessor and despite its lower roof, there’s more room inside. There are three models offered at this time, the ES 350, ES 350H and for the first time the ES 350 F-Sport. The signature spindle grill is a vertical pattern in the ES 350 and 350H while for the F-Sport it’s similar to the LS with a wider meshed “L” pattern. The overall look is a smooth, fluid faster looking shape. Three wheel choices are available; standard 17,” 18” and the 19” for the F-Sport. Powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 (2GR-FKS) engine that develops 302 horsepower @ 6,600 rpm and 267 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm the ES still returns 22mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. Each ES is built by a team lead by Master Craftsmen who go through rigorous technical training back in Japan. This includes strict discipline such as to feel by touch tolerances in panel gaps and surface irregularities.

The GA-K chassis is an extremely rigid chassis with structural adhesives and laser-weld screws as well as reinforcements for the front strut towers to improve front end stiffness. Sound deadening insulation covers 93% of the floor plan and performance dampeners reduce vibration on all Ultra Luxury and F-Sport models. Furthermore, the wheels are designed to direct road noise into the tire chamber to help quiet the ride. Dynamic Control shocks were designed to smooth out the ride and reduce roll. In the F-Sport Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) is offered with 650 levels of adjustment to deliver optimal ride and precise control. Instead of the steering column mounted power steering assist, a rack-assist Electric Power Steering (EPS) has been incorporated to provide precise feedback.

The ES is equipped with a Drive Mode Select system that allows the driver to choose from Eco, Normal and Sports node for the AVS cars and those with AVS gets Sports S, Sports S+ and Custom where there are three engine and transmission programs and two steering and suspension programs. Fun stuff like quicker throttle response, faster shifting and steering parameters are enhanced. The Eco Mode is for those more environmentally concerned and the ES 350h has an all new Hybrid drivetrain that gets up to 44 combined mpg. We will report on this car when we have time to test it later. For the ES the already driver-centric cockpit has been further enhanced with a Seat in Control concept which places all instruments and switches within the direct view and reach of the driver with up to an 8” LCD display as well as an optional Heads-Up display. An additional Multi-Media display sits high in the line of sight with up to a 12.3” Navigation Electro Multi Vision (EMV) screen. All of this is accessible through an updated Remote Touch Interface (RTI). Headroom was increased despite the lower roofline because of a lower hip point and headliner positioning. A more natural steering wheel angle as well as revised pedal position and the 10-way power adjustable seats contribute to a comfortable driving environment. There are three interior color schemes, four types of trim and three different material choices for the seats. The F-Sport gets an additional Circuit Red seats and door panels. There are three wood trims and for the F Sport an aluminum trim inspired by the Japanese sword called Hadori Aluminum is included.

Being connected is now a breeze with the ES with Apple CarPlay© and Amazon Alexa©. While the standard audio is a 10-speaker Pioneer system, the optional Mark Levinson with 17 speakers and 1,800 watts of power is available for the audiophile. Onboard Wi-Fi by Verizon is standard and the Lexus Enform Safety Connect is free for a year and Lexus Enform Service Connect reminds you of maintenance schedules. Other features include Lexus Enform Remote that connects your phone with your ES to perform certain functions, Lexus Safety System 2.0 with daytime bicyclist detection, Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Assist (LDA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), All Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) and Road Sign Assist (RSA) in case you missed it.

So how does it drive? The ES 350 is a pretty nice package of comfort and performance which brings the car to previously uncharted territory and finally cuts the grade with its rivals. The F Sport brings excitement by being a worthy contender with added emotional content. Because of the engineering, one might forget that the ES is still a front drive configuration until it is driven to the limit and even if so, it retains its composure. Most drivers will never get there but it is reassuring to know that if you ever do, the ES will be quite stable. The steering has enough feel and stability and directs the car exactly where you want it to go in spirited driving. It’s refreshing to think you can drive an ES hard and actually enjoy it.

The result of Chief Designer Yasuo Kajino and Chief Engineer Yasuhiro Sakakibara’s creation is remarkable. They set out to move on from the past image often associated with the ES which were good but boring or unexciting. The 2019 Lexus ES 350 is a car to look forward to specially if you are looking into buying or leasing a car in this crowded segment. You will be looking forward to driving this car for fun and not just a car to transport yourself to and from your destination.

For more information visit: www.lexus.com

New-Vehicles Improve × J.D. Power

New-Vehicle Initial Quality Improves Again, J.D. Power Finds

Genesis, Kia and Hyundai Are Three Highest-Ranked Brands

New-vehicle quality has improved for the fourth consecutive year—by 4% from 2017—and has reached its best level ever, according to the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS),SM released today.

Initial quality is measured by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the first 90 days of ownership, with a lower score reflecting higher quality. In this year’s study, quality improves across six of the eight categories measured, with 21 of the 31 brands included in the study improving their quality from 2017. The industry average of 93 PP100 is 4 PP100 better than in 2017.

“There’s no question that most automakers are doing a great job of listening to consumers and are producing vehicle quality of the highest caliber,” said Dave Sargent, Vice President of Global Automotive at J.D. Power. “That said, some vehicle owners are still finding problems. As vehicles become more complex and automated, it is critical that consumers have complete confidence in automakers’ ability to deliver fault-free vehicles.”

Following are some key findings of the 2018 study:

• Most vehicle areas improve: Of the eight categories measured, vehicle exterior improves the most, now at 15.2 PP100, compared with 16.6 PP100 in 2017. Improvements include less wind noise and fewer paint imperfections. Significant year-over-year improvements also occur in the seats (8.0 PP100 vs. 8.7 PP100) and vehicle interior (14.3 PP100 vs. 14.7 PP100) categories.

• Porsche 911 posts best score of any model: The Porsche 911 has the lowest overall problem level (48 PP100) of any model this year. This is also the lowest level recorded in this generation of the study (2013-2018). The U.S. Initial Quality Study, which was first published in 1987, is currently in its fourth generation.

• All domestic corporations improve faster than the industry: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (7 PP100 improvement), Ford Motor Company (5 PP100 improvement) and General Motors (5 PP100 improvement) all outpace the industry average rate of improvement (4 PP100).

• Infotainment problems are decreasing: Audio/Communication/Entertainment/Navigation (ACEN) remains the most problematic category for new-vehicle owners. However, this area has improved for the third consecutive year, led by fewer problems with built-in voice recognition systems.

• Globalization of auto industry continues: Vehicles in the 2018 study are manufactured in 25 countries, 11 of which weren’t present in the study five years ago. Those 11 countries include Brazil, China, Finland, India, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Thailand and Turkey. The other 14 countries include Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States.

• Increasing problems with driver assistance systems: As automakers add more advanced driver assistance systems to their vehicles, more consumers are experiencing problems. The level is still low (3.5 PP100 on average) but has been increasing by about 20% a year for the past three years.

“As we look to the future, avoiding problems with safety and driver assistance technology is critical,” Sargent said. “In an era of increasingly automated vehicles, vehicle owners have to be comfortable using foundational technologies like lane keep assistance and collision avoidance. Otherwise, automakers will not easily overcome consumer resistance to fully automated (driverless) cars.”

Highest-Ranked Brands and Models

Genesis ranks highest in overall initial quality with a score of 68 PP100. Kia (72 PP100) ranks second and Hyundai (74 PP100) ranks third. This is the first time that three Korean brands are at the top of the overall ranking, and it is the fourth consecutive year that Kia is the highest-ranking Mass Market brand. Porsche (79 PP100) ranks fourth and Ford (81 PP100) ranks fifth.

Mazda is the most-improved brand, with owners reporting 25 PP100 fewer problems than in 2017. Other brands with strong improvements include Mitsubishi (20 PP100 improvement), Cadillac (15 PP100 improvement), Infiniti (15 PP100 improvement), Hyundai (14 PP100 improvement) and Lexus (14 PP100 improvement).

The parent company receiving the most model-level awards for its various brands is Ford Motor Company (five awards), followed by Hyundai Motor Group (four), and BMW, General Motors and Nissan (three each).

• Ford Motor Company models that rank highest in their respective segments are Ford Expedition; Ford Mustang; Ford Super Duty; Lincoln Continental; and Lincoln MKC.

• Hyundai Motor Group models that rank highest in their segments are Genesis G90; Hyundai Tucson; Kia Rio; and Kia Sorento.

• General Motors models that rank highest in their segments are Buick Envision; Chevrolet Silverado; and Chevrolet Silverado HD.

• BMW models that rank highest in their segments are BMW 4 Series; BMW X1; and BMW X6.

• Nissan models that rank highest in their segments are Nissan Altima; Nissan Frontier; and Nissan Maxima.

Other models that rank highest in their respective segments are Acura ILX, Dodge Grand Caravan, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Toyota Corolla.

Plant Quality Awards

Toyota Motor Corp.’s Yoshiwara plant (Japan), which produces the Lexus LX and Toyota Land Cruiser, receives the Platinum Plant Quality Award for producing models with the fewest defects or malfunctions. Plant quality awards are based solely on defects and malfunctions and exclude design-related problems.

Toyota Motor Corp.’s Cambridge North (Canada) plant, which produces the Toyota Corolla, and Georgetown 3 (Ky.) plant, which produces the Lexus ES, each receive the Gold Plant Quality Award in a tie for the Americas region. BMW Group’s Dingolfing 02 (Germany) plant, which produces the BMW 6 Series and BMW 7 Series, receives the Gold Plant Quality Award for the Europe/Africa region.

The 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study is based on responses from 75,712 purchasers and lessees of new 2018 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study is based on a 233-question battery organized into eight vehicle categories designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate the identification of problems and drive product improvement. The study was fielded from February through May 2018.

Find detailed information on vehicle quality, as well as model photos and specs, at jdpower.com/quality

For more information about the 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study, visit http://www.jdpower.com/resource/us-initial-quality-study-iqs

See the online press release at http://www.jdpower.com/pr-id/2018086.

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., and has offices serving North/South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer.

Media Relations Contacts

Geno Effler; West Coast; 714-621-6224; media.relations@jdpa.com

Shane Smith; East Coast; 424-903-3665; ssmith@pacificcommunicationsgroup.com

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules www.jdpower.com/about-us/press-release-info

ALCANTARA × LA AUTO SHOW

ALCANTARA®

Los Angeles Auto Show

A RIDE INTO LIFESTYLE

The home of the LA Auto Show saw Alcantara train its headlights on its very special relationship with the automotive industry at a landmark exhibit that debuted at the Petersen Automotive Museum last night, November 29th 2017. The “Ride Into Lifestyle” pop-up show artistically reimagined the intersections of luxury fashion, design, technology, art and engine that Alcantara is known for globally.

The show was a creative tribute to one of Alcantara’s key assets and distinguishing features – versatility. Curated by revered artist and designer Rebecca Moses, “Ride into Lifestyle” was an experience. Guests ‘took a spin’ through an imaginary landscape celebrating symbols of contemporary style, outsized objects that rendered guests Lilliputian and revealed the extraordinary. The unique installation was the backdrop to an event that promised to take guests on a journey of the mind and spirit, transposing elements of the everyday and pushing the boundaries of the imaginary. The installation interpreted elements of luxury lifestyle – the It Bag, the Designer Shoe, mood-setting statement furniture, the next-gen tech device, and a gown fit for a silver screen star with a train doubling as a fairy-tale highway – all crafted with Alcantara®. The automobile is the dreamlike visitor and observer of this world of style and fashion that marries art and technology.

The common thread was Alcantara® – a modern sustainable material made in Italy with unrivalled versatility and ability to adapt to the needs of a broad range of industries. Alcantara’s many applications embody style, sustainability and luxury.

“We are very excited to be here, in the beautiful framework of the Petersen Museum of Los Angeles. The “A Ride Into Lifestyle” event represents an extraordinary occasion for Alcantara® to strengthen its capability to master all the realities of contemporary lifestyle, from fashion to automotive, from hi-tech to interior design, always combining tradition and innovation under the banner of authentic Made in Italy quality,” said Andrea Boragno, Alcantara’s Chairman and CEO. “Thanks to our privileged long-time relationship with the world of art and design, Alcantara® embodies elegance, style and beauty”.

Alcantara S.p.A. – www.alcantara.com

Founded in 1972, Alcantara represents a prime example of Italian-produced quality. As registered trademark of Alcantara S.p.A. and result of a unique and proprietary technology, Alcantara® is a highly innovative material, offering an unrivalled combination of sensory, aesthetic and functional qualities. Thanks to its extraordinary versatility, Alcantara is the choice of leading brands in a number of application fields: fashion and accessories, automotive, interior design and home décor, consumer-electronics. These features, together with a serious and certified commitment in terms of sustainability, make Alcantara a true icon of contemporary lifestyle: the lifestyle of those who want to fully enjoy their everyday life, respecting the environment. Since 2009 Alcantara is certified “Carbon Neutral”, having defined, reduced and offset all the CO2 emissions derived from its activity. To mark out the path of the company in such a field, every year Alcantara draws up and publishes its own Sustainability Report, certified by Bdo authority and available also on the corporate website. Headquartered in Milan, Alcantara production site and R&D department are located in Nera Montoro, in the heart of Umbria Region (Terni).

 

 

For further information:

www.alcantara.com

twitter.com/alcantaraspa

facebook.com/alcantara.company

youtube.com/alcantaracompany

instagram.com/alcantara_company/

LEXUS × MARVEL STUDIOS

When a Super Hero is your muse, the results can be amazing. And Lexus is proving just that with two new vehicles inspired by its team-up with Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther”—a 2018 LC Inspiration Series production car and a concept coupe dubbed the Black Panther Inspired LC. As previously announced, Lexus and Marvel have collaborated to pair the 2018 Lexus LC 500 with Marvel’s dynamic Black Panther character in the highly anticipated film, Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther,” in U.S. theaters Feb. 16, 2018.

The limited-edition 2018 Lexus LC Inspiration Series features an exclusive deeply saturated, iridescent Structural Blue color. This vehicle is the first in a succession of Inspiration Series vehicles Lexus plans to create for each of its flagship models.

“The Inspiration Series takes our flagship products and makes them even more exclusive and distinguished,” said Brian Bolain, general manager, Lexus marketing. “Our collaboration with Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Panther’ features a technologically advanced blue LC and was the perfect inspiration for the first car in the Series.” 
Separately, the Black Panther Inspired LC concept coupe is a celebration of the Black Panther and Wakanda itself—complete with a powertrain that gets an extra boost from vibranium, the mythical ore found only in the Black Panther’s home of Wakanda.

“With this vehicle,” Bolain added, “we took the LC Inspiration Series vision one step further into a universe that defies reality.”

“This is what it’s all about,” said Mindy Hamilton, Marvel’s SVP of global partnerships & marketing. “We’re bringing our two worlds together by letting our imaginations run wild like there are no limits to what’s possible. That’s what Black Panther and the nation of Wakanda represent in the film, and it’s been incredible to work with Lexus as we attempt to re-create that ideology here in our own corner of the universe.”­­

2018 LC Inspiration Series

The first vehicle in Lexus’ Inspiration Series is a limited-edition 2018 Lexus LC, celebrating the attributes of sophistication, performance and innovation embodied by the Black Panther character, King T’Challa, and his home country of Wakanda. With only 100 slated to be sold in the U.S., the Lexus LC Inspiration Series features a first-of-its-kind paint technique called Structural Blue. Inspired by the morpho butterfly, the paint is developed through an eight-month process. While the paint contains no actual blue pigment, its unique construction reflects blue light and highlights the vehicle’s dynamic design and features to produce a compelling motion effect even when parked. A more in-depth look at the technology can be found here.

Additional features of the Inspiration Series LC include:

  • Unique carbon fiber scuff plate
  • Bespoke white interior
  • 21″ forged alloy wheels
  • Signature Barneys sommelier set, a limited-edition collection of barware inspired by the vehicle’s elegant design

The Inspiration Series LC will be available in Spring 2018 and pricing will be announced closer to that time.

Black Panther Inspired LC Car

Fit for a Super Hero who is also a king, this vehicle is part Lexus Takumi craftsmanship, part Wakandan vibranium engineering and all badass.

This concept vehicle incorporates (mythical) vibranium into its very core to provide added boost. Much like Black Panther’s uniform, the sheet metal of the Black Panther Inspired LC is reinforced with a layer of vibranium weave, making the vehicle almost entirely bulletproof. Top-secret refinement processes also allow for a self-sustaining fueling component (vibranium-powered core) that enhances the Black Panther Inspired LC’s driving dynamics.

Additional features of the Black Panther Inspired LC include:

  • Pulsating underbody glow
  • Side-view mirror design based on a panther’s claw with instinctual positioning technology to align with driver’s eyeline
  • Black Panther mask inlay on hood with vibranium-powered core indicator nodes
  • Vibranium-infused self-healing paint treatment
  • Customized body-widening kit
  • System controlled by unique Wakandan B-CPU (Brain/Computer Interface) creating a symbiotic relationship between the vehicle and its driver
  • Remote Pilot Kimoyo Bead Interface allows the Black Panther Inspired LC to be driven remotely from control stations within Birnin Zana

“Black Panther: Soul of a Machine” Custom Graphic Novel

Lexus and Marvel Custom Solutions also released the first four chapters of the graphic novel, “Black Panther: Soul of a Machine.” Envisioned by head writer Fabian Nicieza, the story teams Black Panther with the ultimate machine—the LC 500—as they work together to thwart Machinesmith’s villainous plans to infiltrate Wakanda’s systems. Contributors to the novel include Geoffrey Thorne and Chuck Brown. The full novel will be released in Dec. 2017. To read the first four chapters, visit https://marvel.com/lexuslc.

See photos of the Inspiration Series LC and Black Panther Inspired LC on LexusNewsroom.com. Both vehicles will be on display at the Lexus booth at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show (SEMA) Central Hall Booth #21601 starting on Oct. 31, 2017.

The Black Panther Inspired LC is not available for purchase.

About Lexus

Lexus’ passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its customers. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 238 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With five models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers six F SPORT models and two F performance models.

www.facebook.com/lexus

www.twitter.com/lexus

www.youtube.com/LexusVehicles

https://plus.google.com/+Lexus/posts

www.instagram.com/lexususa

https://vine.co/LexusUSA

https://www.pinterest.com/lexususa/ 

About Marvel Studios’ Black Panther 

Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.
“Black Panther” stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, with Angela Bassett, with Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis.
The film is directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Jeffrey Chernov and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole wrote the screenplay. Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” hits U.S. theaters on February 16, 2018.

About Marvel Entertainment 

Marvel Entertainment, LLC a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy-five years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit marvel.com. © 2017 MARVEL.

Automotive Video Association Top Finalists

(Courtesy of Instagram— Mercedes-AMG)


THE AUTOMOTIVE VIDEO ASSOCIATION (AVA) ANNOUNCES TOP FINALISTS FOR THE AVA AWARDS – APPROPRIATELY TITLED: “THE MOUNTAIN RUN”



— Performance is the Theme for 2017 with 12 Vehicles Making the List —




The Automotive Video Association (AVA), which represents nearly 500 million unique viewers per year, today announced the list of finalists for the first-ever AVA Awards. The AVA award program will be hosted Saturday, September 23rd, 2017, and held at the Resort of the Mountain in Welches, Oregon. Titled “The Mountain Run,” the AVA selected High Performance as the vehicle category for 2017 pitting some of the world’s most incredible cars and SUV’s up against one another in an all-out battle for driving supremacy. The Finalists are:
Performance Car

 
Performance SUV

 
Awards competition programs are serious business in the auto industry and the AVA has developed a program that both tests out the cars capabilities, but also sets a tone of having fun while doing it. Consumers in the market place do care about horsepower numbers, but they also car about how a car will function as a daily driver. They care about how the Bluetooth works and whether the adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning actually help the driver operate the vehicle. The AVA Award program sets out to showcase all that is great about these top finalist vehicles, but also where they may be lacking in some areas. One vehicle will be crowned in each category, but the scores will be public knowledge on all vehicles.

The AVA was formed by video media outlets that span the country and this group represents the auto industry’s first-ever national media organization that focuses on video exclusively. 
The AVA was established to provide media outlets that specialize in video content the ability to promote their industry, which is the fastest growing segment within the spectrum of automotive media. The organization is made up of some of the most prominent and most followed automotive outlets in the country.

Over the past month, the AVA has been solicited by a handful of video media outlets to join this organization. The AVA looks forward to having more members join and to do this in a way that benefits all parties involved, the AVA is developing a solid foundation in 2017 and 2018 with its founding members. Once this association has been fully developed and two AVA Awards events have taken place, the group will gladly open its doors to new members.

The AVA has no boundaries and its content spans the globe. The new coalition helps promote the video aspect of covering the greater auto industry. The organization also isn’t limited to just card carrying journalists. The AVA has members that have a variety of backgrounds. The unifying nature is video and all video content is owned by its members.

The overarching goal of the AVA is to promote video as the primary outlet for content, but is also aimed at auto makers as well to showcase the power of video. Consumers today, look to video for their news. The combined bandwidth of the AVA is in the millions for monthly unique views. This is something no traditional media outlet can do.

Although we reported on the founding members in our last news release, the below is a quick reminder of these media groups are:

Nik Miles (OurAutoExpert.com) – Northwest

Roman Mica (The Fastlane Car) – Midwest

Alex Dykes (AlexOnAutos) – Northern Cal

Kyle Lindsey (Saabkyle04) – North Carolina

Sofyan Bey (Redline Reviews) – DC

Jason Fenske (Engineering Explained) – Idaho

Matt Maranowski (Matt Maran Motoring) – Pennsylvania

 
For more details and information on the Automotive Video Association, please contact DRIVEN360 at 310-374-6177 or officeadmin@godriven360.com.