First Drive: 2018 Lexus LC
The design revolution that began at Lexus several years ago has reached a new milestone with the introduction of the all-new Lexus LC, a beautiful luxury coupe that will now assume the role as the aspirational vehicle for the Lexus brand. I had the opportunity to drive the new vehicle around the Big Island in Hawaii, which was a perfect setting for this powerful and luxurious car that looks like a big hit for Lexus.
The LC grew out of the Lexus LF-LC, which was a true concept car that debuted at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The effort to bring this vehicle to market resulted in an entirely new platform called GA–L (Global Architecture – Luxury), which also forms the foundation for the all-new 2018 LS flagship sedan that will be released later this year and will underpin future front engine/rear-wheel drive Lexus models. The platform was designed with a lower center of gravity to aid agility and driving pleasure and to enable more alluring vehicle designs.
Lexus introduces all-new LS at NAIAS
Lexus unveiled the all-new 2018 LS at the North American International Auto Show last week, setting a new standard for its flagship sedan. I remember when the original Lexus LS 400 sedan was unveiled in 1990 and the effect it had on the luxury sedan market. That original vehicle helped establish Lexus as a dominant brand in the luxury market, so the new, fifth-generation LS is a very important launch for the company. The new LS has been design to be the brand’s global flagship and will be available around the world in roughly 90 countries.
The new LS will hit the showrooms later this year and features a wide variety of improvements along with a bold, new design.
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Chase Elliott talks about his rookie season and the 2017 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards
Kelley Blue Book recently announced the winners of the 2017 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards, honoring the top model-year vehicle choices available in the U.S. market. Of more than 300 new-car models available for 2017, KBB’s editors named the 2017 Honda Civic the Best Buy of 2017 alongside Best Buy Award winners in 12 major vehicle categories.
We spoke to NASCAR driver Chase Elliott about the KBB awards, his rookie season, and if his dad, legendary driver Bill Elliott aka “Awesome Bill From Dawsonville,” ever made him use KBB to help with an automobile purchasing decision like our dads did.
When was the last time you bought a car? When I was your age, my dad made me use Kelley Blue Book to confirm the right price. Did your dad ever make you do that?
Yes! I have in the past. I haven’t purchased anything recently because I’ve been so focused on my rookie season. But I have definitely looked at KBB over the years, trying to make a good move in terms of a purhcasing decision, and my dad got me started on that.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve thought of while driving 200 MPH on a racetrack?
That’s a good question. Once we get going in a race, we have so many things that are going on. Trying to make the car better, trying to improve, trying to drive better, communicating what you need to your team. We just have a lot of things going on. That being said, you don’t have a lot of time to think about anything outside of that. And if you do, your head probably isn’t in the right place. We try to stay as locked in as we can.
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First Drive: 2017 Prius Prime
The new Prius Prime from Toyota is a plug-in hybrid that pushes the envelope of what we’ve come to expect from hybrid vehicles. That’s not surprising as the Prius brand has led the way in this category for years, and now it’s also coupled with a bolder design to attract even more potential consumers. I drove the Prius Prime on some great roads in SoCal and came away very impressed.
As you can see, Toyota has gone with a much more aggressive design for the Prime. It will be interesting to see how loyal Prius buyers react to the new design but in my view it’s a significant improvement. The designers went with a more chiseled profile and edgy character lines along with very distinctive headlights and taillights. The quad LED headlights look like diamonds and highlight the front facia along with a bold acrylic grille, and the rear end with also catch your attention with prominent taillights.
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Lamborghini introduces limited edition Centenario Roadster
If you’ve been pining over a new Lamborghini, you’re going to have to look for something other than this new roadster. Lamborghini introduced the limited edition Centenario Roadster at Pebble Beach this weekend and announced they will only be making 20 of these beautiful beasts. All of them have already been sold at a starting price of 2 million euros!
This follows the introduction of the Centenario Coupé, with Lamborghini unveiling its latest one-off creation for fervent collectors and enthusiasts at Monterey Car Week in California.
“Lamborghini prides itself on the relentless pursuit of experimentation. We are proud to unleash Centenario’s further potential in the form of a classic roadster; the perfect harmony between innovation and timeless design. This unique engineering achievement is a befitting tribute to Lamborghini’s extraordinary past and a preview of its brilliant future. Centenario Roadster embraces the cutting edge characteristics of its coupé sibling and embraces the freedom of a true open-top super sports car for a pure drive experience,” said Stefano Domenicali, Automobili Lamborghini Chief Executive Officer.
It’s not just a beautiful vehicle. The new Centenario Roadster also boasts a V12 naturally aspirated engine with 770 horsepower, the most powerful built by Lamborghini, with a weight to power ratio 2.04 kg/hp. The 20 buyers should have some fun with this one!