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The people at Toyota Motorsport GmbH have been responsible for the Japanese automaker's motorsports efforts since the 1970s, but since Toyota pulled out of Formula One after the 2009 season, the tuning shop has been developing a super sedan based on the Lexus LS called the Sports 650. Details on TMG's first road car have been scarce, but XCAR was recently invited to drive the 641-horsepower Lexus on track.
Here's what we know: the Sports 650 has enough power to sprint to 60 miles per hour in under four seconds, tops out at 199 mph, weighs over two tons and utilizes LFA brakes. Oh, and its twin-turbo V8 bellows like an AMG V8. That last part isn't surprising when considering TMG could become Toyota's in-house tuning arm - like AMG is to Mercedes-Benz. As for the bespoke body kit, fender flares and stacked exhaust pipes? They fit the car well and even remind us a bit of Lexus' other high-performance sedan, the IS F. Currently there are no plans for the Sports 650 to be made into a production car, but we doubt TMG is devoting this much effort developing the LS into a road-rocket for nothing.
Check out XCAR's video below to see the AMG-fighter wrung out on track, and then ponder what could be if TMG were let loose to fiddle with other cars in Lexus' lineup. Now that's something we could get used to!Permalink | Email this | Comments
Remember that early Lexus commercial from 1989? You know the one, where an LS 400 is sitting on a dynamometer and makes a run up to 145 miles per hour, then the camera pans to the hood, where a large pyramid of crystal champagne glasses calmly sits? An Arizona Lexus owner decided to recreate that clip using his much newer LS 460.
So, does the more advanced and powerful LS fare as well the second time around? Certainly, the owner has a rather different approach, so click past the jump and see for yourself (we've also posted the classic '89 ad for those that need a refresher).
[Source: YouTube via Lexus Enthusiast]Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments
True to predictions, The Detroit News is reporting that Lexus has issued a stop sale on its LS 460 and LS 600h (standard and long-wheelbase) luxury sedans due to a problem with the electronic steering system that can temporarily cause the steering wheel to become off-centered. Apparently, the wheel will return to its correct position after about five seconds of misalignment. Toyota issued a recall on Friday, May 21st to address the defect. Click here to see the recall notice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Although Toyota has reportedly fixed the problem on new models rolling down the assembly lines in Japan, those recalibrated machines are not expected to hit dealership lots in America until the middle of June. In the meantime, the 3,800 or so owners of affected 2009 and 2010 LS sedans are being urged to avoid turning the steering wheel rapidly after holding it in full lock in the opposite direction.
We would imagine that there are certain scenarios where following such advice may prove difficult to follow, but Toyota is so far reporting that no injuries or accidents have been caused by the issue.
[Source: The Detroit News]Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments
Bloomberg is reporting that Toyota will again be bit by the recall bug, this time due to steering problems with its Lexus LS 460, LS 460L, LS 600h and LS 600h L. The recall, reportedly announced by Toyota spokesperson Mieko Iwasaki, will cover 11,500 models globally, including 3,800 units in the States. The company says that some customers in Japan have complained that the front wheels don't turn to their original position quickly enough after executing a turn, and the issue is reportedly both mechanical and software related
The reported recall comes just one month after the Lexus GX460, was recalled for a stability control issue that was discovered by Consumer Reports. Toyota recalled 9,400 GX460 SUVs in the U.S. and 13,000 units globally. The Lexus LS recall is not currently listed on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, and there is no word yet regarding which model year(s) will be covered under the recall.
Gallery: First Drive: 2010 Lexus LS 460 Sport
[Source: Bloomberg]Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments