2013 Lexus Ct 200h Fsport on 2040-cars
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Auto blogMon, 29 Jul 2013 09:30:00 EST
Last year Lexus sold 244,166 cars in the US, slotting into third place in the luxury segment behind BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Earlier this year Lexus said its target was 260,000 units in the US (which would still put it behind BMW's and Mercedes' numbers from last year), but Automotive News reports that it has raised its upper outlook to 270,000 cars.
The half-year pace hasn't been enough to make either number, but Lexus is gunning for a 15-percent gain in IS sales behind the arrival of the 2014 model, and this is also the first full year of sales of the new ES and LS. Lexus will most likely end the year in third place in the luxury segment behind BMW and Mercedes again, even if it does sell 270,000 units, but has said its prime directive is "good, steady growth."
You'd be forgiven for thinking just because the Lexus LFA has ended its production run (it's been over a year now) that Toyota would have ceased its development. You'd be forgiven, but Gazoo Racing is here to tell you you'd still be wrong.
One of Toyota's many works racing teams, Gazoo is returning to the 24-hour endurance race at the Nürburgring this year with a trio of entries. One is based on the Toyota GT86 (which we know as the Scion FR-S), and one is essentially the same LFA that it's entered in years past. But the third vehicle is dubbed Code X.
It's also based on the LFA, but its 4.8-liter V10 engine has been bored out to 5.3 liters, raising its output to untold levels. It's got a full carbon-fiber chassis and a range of other enhancements that Gazoo isn't telling us about just yet, but they should turn the LFA Code X from a road-going supercar beyond a racecar and into a rolling research lab. Considering that Gazoo has been racing at the 'Ring since 2007 and fielding versions of the LFA there since 2008, it'll be interesting to see how the Code X version fares.
While wandering the floor at this week's LA Auto Show, we had a bit of an epiphany at the Lexus stand. The traditionally stodgy Toyota premium outlet is really starting to come into its own in terms of exciting design. And not just with production models like the excellent new GS sedan. At the front of the display, a triangular formation of plinths was a feast for the eyes - the head was formed by the LFA Nurburgring Package supercar, flanked on either side by the company's outré LF-LC and LF-CC concept cars.
So consider it welcome news on our end that the LF-CC concept shown above has apparently been given the production green light, with a projected arrival by 2015. So says Autocar, which quotes an unnamed source at Lexus willing to confirm that a senior engineer has been tasked with the project. The British publication suggests that the production version of the 2012 Paris Motor Show star will probably be built in both coupe and convertible formats and ride atop the automaker's new modular rear-wheel drive architecture. Power is expected to be an evolution of the GS 350h's hybrid drivetrain.
In other news, that same shadowy source at Lexus has reportedly confirmed that the Japanese luxury brand is "seriously studying" offering a small SUV in the mold of the stylish Range Rover Evoque from Land Rover, though no further details are given. Lexus' own RX crossover range has long been a massive hit for the brand, leaving many industry analysts scratching their heads as to why the automaker hasn't already expanded its crossover offerings to include both larger and smaller formats.