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Melbourne show: Lexus tempts with LX570 and IS-F

Sports sedan: The V8-powered IS-F goes on sale here in late 2008.

Toyota’s luxury brand reveals LX570 details a month early, and shows IS-F and GS460

29 Feb 2008

LEXUS gave its all-new 5.7-litre luxury SUV and 5.0-litre performance sedan their Melbourne International Motor Show debuts today, when the Australian arm of Toyota’s luxury brand also reiterated its stated aim of producing a dedicated hybrid concept within 12 months.

Lexus Australia chief executive John Roca welcomed the commitment made by Toyota and Lexus president Katsuaki Watanabe at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in January - to debut a new Lexus-badged hybrid-only model at next year’s show – and added that petrol-electric versions of the RX, GS and LS were already up to 40 per cent cleaner than some rivals, as well as being the performance leaders in their respective model lines.

“Lexus is the only vehicle manufacturer with a comprehensive hybrid vehicle line-up,” said Mr Roca. “When Lexus pioneered hybrid drive technology and introduced it three years ago, many were sceptical. Today, these vehicles are highly regarded as some of the most innovative on the market.

“It is important that Lexus continues to innovate in this market and that our hybrid vehicles remain as the benchmark for reducing environmental impact without sacrificing performance. We are excited about future developments for Lexus hybrid products, and the unveiling of the dedicated hybrid concept at the 2009 Detroit motor show will capture this excitement,” he said.

Lexus, which sold its 50,000th vehicle in Australia yesterday and will celebrate its 20th year here in 2009, also used the MIMS to showcase new technology in both its redesigned LX570 off-roader due on sale in April, and the piping hot IS-F that hits Australia late this year – both of which made Australian debuts at the Sydney show in October.

31 center imageLeft: IS-F.

It said the M3-rivalling V8 sedan will debut the most advanced version of Lexus’ eight-speed automatic transmission - the so-called Sports Direct Shift (SPDS), which offers both seamless (D-Range) and direct (M-Range) gearshift modes. The latter is claimed to offer 0.1-second gear changing and torque converter assistance only between first and second gears, allowing revs of up to 6800rpm.

Next month’s new LX570 will debut the world-first Wide View Blind Spot Monitor, which employs cameras in the grille and passenger-side mirror to display a 180-degree view of what’s in front, beside and (when reverse is selected) behind the vehicle.

The new GS460 flagship of the facelifted GS sedan range was also shown in Melbourne following its Brisbane motor show debut on February 1, featuring new bumpers, mirrors, wheels, door-handles, instrument panel and steering wheel – not to mention its upgraded 255kW/460Nm 4.6-litre V8 that mates with the LS460’s eight-speed auto to improve fuel consumption over the GS430 it replaces to 11.0L/100km.

Finally, demonstrations of the self-parking LS600hL fitted with the Intelligent Parking Assist (IPA) system, which is also available on the LS460, will continue at the Melbourne Exhibition, where the Lexus limousine is expected to notch up 500km of hands-free parking following appearance at the Sydney and Brisbane shows.

Read more:

Brisbane show: updated Lexus GS also cheaper

Sydney show: IS-F here in a year

Lexus commits to dedicated hybrid


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