A minor affliction, to be sure, but a blight upon any car enthusiast worth his salt. Hybrids are for eco-weenies and hollow shells of men too insecure not to be seen caring about the environment. They’re for Greenpeace protestors and farmer’s market frequenters. Hybrids are driven by people as an excuse to wrong the world in other ways, like driving really, incredibly slowly or not recycling. The electric motors that eerily propel Hybrids can’t possibly replace the lost displacement. Nothing can. We’ve been taught this by our fathers, who were taught this by their fathers before them.
For a visceral automotive experience that will shake your brain around in your skull like a vibrator in, uhh, something, there’s only one car that comes close to the Ferrari 430 Scuderia. You’re think that it must be a Lamborghini, or a Pagani, or an Aston, or something European. But it isn’t. It’s the new Lexus LFA. Yes, the maker of cocooning luxury sedans like the LS600h has a supercar that can be mentioned in the same breath as the modern greats. Even if the LFA’s price tag is the cause of much consternation and discussion, that doesn’t change the nearly miraculous result. From a company known for dreary reliability no less.
You can thank Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s new President/CEO, grandson of the company’s founder, and the man who has spent much of the last 10 years working on the LFA project personally. It’s really no wonder that the car was finally green-lit for production after Akio-san took the helm of the company.
With a V10 that revs to 9,000 rpm in only six tenths of a second, the tachometer is a TFT screen, rather than an analogue dial out of complete necessity. An analogue dial simply couldn’t keep up with the manic engine.
There is a fine line between barking madness and brilliance and that is embodied in no vehicle better than the LFA. So sit back and enjoy a Japanese Domestic Market commercial of the LFA. Ignore the Japanese voiceover and note the tail-out winter shennanigans. Those Japanese… they really get us Canadians, eh?
Sometimes it’s fun to compare car brands to people. For instance, I would equate Toyota to be Ben Stein. Smart and likeable, but ultimately, the dullest automaker in the business save for a couple of models in their Lexus brand. They don’t offer much to excite the senses.
BMW would be Kanye West. Brilliant, creative, and innovative. They set the standard. But like Kanye they are also hopelessly cocky, conceited and is the brand everyone loves to hate. They know they make awesome cars and are not shy to let the world know it.
Audi is considered to be much of the same only without the same negative stereotypes painted towards BMW and Audi’s cockiness is somehow less offensive, more accepted and almost encouraged for some reason. Therefore, Audi is the Muhammad Ali of the car business.
So what about Mercedes-Benz? It’s the brand that always gets shout outs in rap songs/videos, yet its core market is driven towards middle-aged/more seasoned individuals. The brand can hold its own in the performance department with its AMG division and McLaren partnership, but overall its known more for luxury than performance.
Take a quick trip through your local private golf club and you’ll notice more than a few Lexuses. Well-heeled golfers just like their comfort, I suppose. This also explains the number of Mercedes cars and SUVs at the G&CC. What you don’t see are many Buicks, despite Tiger Woods and his (previous) affiliation with the brand.
So now that Buick and GM are cutting back on sponsorship of golf events like the US Open, the door is, errr, open for companies like Lexus to make their presence known. And that’s pretty much how a dimpled LS460 L ended up at Bethpage Black this week for the US Open’s return to the famed public course for the first time since 2002.
Although the tournament itself has been struggling with rain-related postponements, you can still cheer for the Canadians in the field. Who, I should mention, are doing exceptionally. Mike Weir, winner of the 2003 Masters, is in 3rd place at -6. Nick Taylor, the 20-year-old amateur from Abbotsford BC, is in an incredible 7th place at -2.
This is a new one for me. The Lexus ES250. I suppose this has something to do with my age, something to do with the length of time I’ve been following cars, and something to do with this car only being produced for 3 years, but older Lexuses are a bit foreign to me. No pun intended.
According to Wikipedia, it looks like this little gem started the Lexus onslaught in North America, along with the famously reliable LS400. The littlest Lexus wasn’t as popular as the big LS, though. This was probably due to the fact that the ES was Camry-based and the LS was on a dedicated (and all-new) platform. Who knew that Toyota’s Camry-platform-whorefest goes back some 20 years? (Note: Today, the Camry platform underpins the Lexus RX350, the Lexus ES350, the Toyota Venza, and maybe even some others)
I learn something new everyday.
And no, that brown stuff on the left part of the trunk isn’t the reflection of an overhead tree, it’s rust. There’s another pic of this cubic zirconia diamond in the rough after the jump.
It’s true: in Japan, you can get almost anything your heart desires out of a vending machine. There have been reports of Smart car vending machines popping up in Tokyo that do have actual Smarts in them—but those ones are only for display purposes, and all you’ll get out of them are marketing materials to entice you to buy a Smart.
This, too, is an exhibit, and you unfortunately can’t actually get a Toyota from it. It’s part of Toyota’s Megaweb, located in Odaiba, which is a man-made island off the coast of Tokyo that’s a giant theme park in itself.
It’s a good thing this is only an exhibit; imagine your frustration at your newly-purchased car getting stuck in the machine! No way you’d be able to use any “technical tapping” effectively on this one!
The 2009 Hyundai Genesis has been getting praise left, right, and centre from the media. It has already garnered the 2009 AJAC Canadian Car Of The Year as well as the North American Car of the Year. Impressive for a company that is still remembered for entering the North American market with the much-maligned Pony. Hyundai is certainly on a roll right now in terms of both product and sales (they are one of the few companies experiencing real growth in the rapidly-contracting NA market). The Hyundai Genesis represents the first time that the Korean manufacturer has sold a rear-wheel-drive platform for our market. The Genesis name is available on the back of a sporting coupe aimed at the Camaro/Mustang/370Z, as well a sedan that competes in the luxury segment against the S-class/7-series/LS models. Now, CarEnvy.ca has tested the fully-loaded sedan with the 375 hp 4.6L “Tau” V8 and the Tech Package.
Follow the jump for the unfiltered driving impressions.