Jan 31 2010 Ian Johnson
Latest Lexus breaks £300,000 barrier
AFTER demonstrating for years that it is the master of the large luxury car, the executive saloon and the powerful SUV, Lexus moves into the world of the supercar with the launch of the LFA.
The LFA has been greeted by critical and public acclaim worldwide. Even though it is one of the most exclusive supercars money can buy, the number of formal expressions of interest in purchase received by Lexus is already greater than the limited production run of just 500 examples with price tags in excess of £300,000.
This does not mean that anyone wanting to own an LFA has missed their chance, as they can still register their interest up to mid-March and the end of the Geneva Motor Show. It is at this point that the 500 cars will be allocated across the 56 countries where they are on sale, with confirmed orders with deposits to be invited from the end of May.
The LFA is designed to deliver the supreme driving experience, powered by a mid-front mounted 4.8-litre V10 engine that produces 552bhp for nought to 62mph in just 3.7 seconds. Hand built in strong but ultra-lightweight carbon fibre material, it represents the pinnacle of advanced automotive design and engineering.
And in the world of hybrid power where Lexus offers some superb choices, the RX 450h luxury SUV has recently proved that it is far from a carbon breathing gas guzzler.
A vehicle like this weighing more than two tonnes isn't a natural choice for a fuel economy challenge, but then the RX 450h is far from being a typical vehicle. Yes, there's a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine under the bonnet, but as an element of the advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain, it contributes to the kind of fuel efficiency and low emissions other manufacturers, so far, have only been able to dream about.
Taking part in a recent MPG Marathon, the full hybrid Lexus returned an average 54.75mpg over more than 350 miles of driving on regular A and B-class roads, a figure that marks a 20 per cent improvement on its official combined cycle figure.
Outstanding fuel economy is just one dimension of the new RX 450h's appeal. Launched last summer, the vehicle delivers CO2 emissions of just 148g/km, far below the level achieved by any rival models. It is priced from £42,504.
But this is how Lexus has leapt to fame, bringing in models that are right for the times.
Whether it is the RX or the IS sporty saloons, the GS executive range or the LS luxury models all maintain Lexus's unmatched reputation for luxury, comfort, reliability and the country's best customer service - as acknowledged by nine successive J.D. Power and Associates awards.