2008 Lexus Gs 350 Awd! Nav, Sunroof, Rear Camera! on 2040-cars
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Auto blogMon, 25 Aug 2014 09:14:00 EST
It's been a topsy-turvy summer for foreign businesses in China ever since that country's National Development and Reform Commission and State Administration for Industry & Commerce launched a horde of investigations into anti-monopoly practices. When the law outlining monopolistic behavior was passed in 2008 foreign companies appreciated it, expecting it to illuminate some of the more opaque corners of Chinese government enforcement. That hasn't exactly been the case, and now as more than 1,000 auto-sector firms get investigated and pay huge fines to settle the nebulous charge of having prices that are too high, that hoped-for clarity is all but gone.
A recent news report said Audi, Chrysler and Daimler "would be punished for unspecified violations" concerning the prices of spare parts. Earlier this month Toyota said that Lexus China was being looked at, and before there's been any public notification of punishment Lexus has decided to lower the price of its replacement parts. From next month, customers will save an average of 26 percent on roughly 15,000 parts. It's unknown whether the move will appease authorities enough to end the investigation, which outside analysts have said targets foreign firms in China over domestic industry.
While Google and Audi explore the possibilities of autonomous vehicles, Toyota and its Lexus division are studying the intermediate step of vehicles equipped with a deep suite of technology that help drivers make the best decisions. Introduced at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Lexus advanced safety research vehicle is an LS sedan fitted with three high-def color cameras to detect objects up to almost 500 feet away, 360-degree Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) lasers that can detect objects up to 220 feet away, three radar units to keep track of other vehicles at intersections, a precision odometer on the rear wheel, GPS that estimates orientation and an accelerometer.
Currently testing at a purpose-built 8.6 acre urban testing ground at the Higashi-Fuji Technical Center in Susono, Japan the Toyota research vehicle is being used to study how to make better drivers, as well as figuring out how to reduce crashes as the industry's journey through passive and active safety systems progresses. In the event of a crash, new rescue systems are also being tested.
Further investment is being put into the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) that would use shortwave signals to harness information from the car and from other vehicles on the road, as well as roadside infrastructure and even pedestrians. Toyota reasons it could then build a picture of interactions and, for instance, alert the driver to a potential collision at a blind intersection.
It's the showdown everyone's been looking forward to, the East versus West grudge match of the year. We're talking, of course, about the BMW M4 versus the Lexus RC F.
Although BMW uses a twin-turbo straight-six and the Lexus uses a free-breathing V8, the two are pretty closely matched on paper: a luxury coupe with over 400 horsepower channeled to the rear wheels.
The BMW has been doing these cars for longer, and the M4 boasts a higher power-to-weight ratio. But then the RC F has more power - and without forced induction to break up the rev range. So which is the better luxury muscle coupe? Watch the latest episode of Motor Trend Head 2 Head to find out.