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Lexus UX is the world's first tattooed car

This Lexus UX is the world’s first tattooed car

Lexus UX is the world's first tattooed car

Lexus has commissioned the world’s first tattooed car, as ‘a celebration of fine craftsmanship and traditional Japanese artistry’.

The company has partnered with leading London tattoo artist, Claudia De Sabe, to ‘ink’ a UX crossover

With this tattoo, however, no ink was used. Instead, the white UX was drawn upon by the artist using a dremel drill. This was then painted over with high quality car paint, producing the sprawling koi artwork.

While the dremel was used to cut the outline through the paint to the metal, De Sabe added highlights using paint by hand. Gold leaf was the finishing touch, with a 3D effect.

To preserve the design, the car has been lacquered, as any new car would be, locking the artwork away from the elements.

Lexus UX is the world's first tattooed car

The process, from concept to completed car, took six months. The actual work on the car took five eight-hour days. The differences for De Sabe are obvious. A car is much larger than a person, and difficult to position comfortably.

The dremel, too, also produced more vibration than a tattoo gun would. And even though the subject is larger, because the dremel engraves, even more precision was required.

While this one-off piece of art isn’t priced, the work itself is estimated to be worth more than £120,000.

Lexus UX is the world's first tattooed car

“When you tattoo a person, you have to think about the muscles and tissue beneath the skin. With the car it was about the way the bodywork changes shape over the framework,” De Sabe said of the project.

“The best thing about tattooing the Lexus UX, and the reason why this car was ideal for the project, is its streamlined shape. Everything from the lines on the side of the body to the shape of the windows, everything is just so dynamic and beautiful. It was a perfect fit for the design and the concept itself.”

You can now order digital door mirrors for your Lexus

Lexus digital mirrors

Digital door mirrors were once the preserve of futuristic concept cars. They recently started to appear on supercars and EVs, and now Lexus is offering them as an option for its ES executive saloon.

The ES, a relatively conventional (albeit hybridised) BMW 5 Series rival, uses tiny cameras mounted on stalks. Two five-inch colour monitors are positioned at the base of the front pillars, closely aligned with traditional mirror height.

Being much smaller and more aerodynamic than standard mirrors, there’s a tangible reduction in wind noise, plus an increase in efficiency. The system is only available on the top-spec ES Takumi for the moment.

Lexus digital mirrors

The cameras can automatically reduce headlight glare and adapt to different conditions. They’re heated, to prevent freezing over, and there’s also a demister. For reversing, the monitors can present an extended view along the side and rear of the car. The driver can also turn this on manually, or disable it altogether.

The monitors can show reference lines, as you might see on a reversing camera, to help avoid kerbed wheels. Distance indicators can also be displayed when driving on the motorway.

Lexus digital mirrors

So what does all this cleverness cost? Your ES 300h Takumi can have digital mirrors for an extra £1,600. Quite steep, then, and they don’t even retract into the car.

That’s a symptom, we suspect, of the fact that the ES wasn’t designed for digital mirrors from the outset, unlike the Honda e or McLaren Speedtail. No doubt if they did integrate into the doors, they’d be more expensive.

Lexus spot the difference between real and Gran Turismo

Spot the difference: Lexus in London or Gran Turismo?

Lexus spot the difference between real and Gran Turismo

Can you spot the difference between these images? The subject is a Sonic Red Lexus LC500, photographed at various London locations. One of the slides is shot in Gran Turismo Sport’s excellent photo mode, the other is a real shot. 

To test the theory that modern game graphics are truly lifelike, Lexus enlisted the help of professional photographer Jayson Fong to help create some images in-game, and then retake them in real life. They picked Air Street, Cromwell Place and Wellington Street in London, as featured in the game’s ‘Scapes’ mode.

As for the car? It’s a good one to test both photographer and observer. With a nice mix of clean and harsh lines, we love the way the LC500 looks in certain environments, reflecting what’s around it.

Lexus spot the difference between real and Gran Turismo

Then, once the images were taken on the game, Jayson and his team noted down the exact geometry, time of day and light settings to replicate the pictures in real life. As Jayson follows, lighting was the biggest challenge. 

“For some locations, we had to be on the street at 4am and it was difficult to get the timings right because the sky was always going to be one of the biggest giveaways.”

Lexus spot the difference between real and Gran Turismo

It proved a tall task practically when it came to shooting the car for real, then. Given the closeness of the results, we wouldn’t blame you for leaving it to the professionals and taking to the PlayStation for some artistic automotive photography.

The results really are spectacular, given that we’re never quite sure which is real. Especially in the case of the Cromwell Place daytime shot. We’re unsure what the giveaway is. The bin bag? The reflections on the car? The yellow lines? The scaffolding? They’ve done a great job of matching the shots.

Norway finds Lexus ‘self-charging hybrid’ adverts misleading

Norway deems Lexus ‘self-charging’ adverts misleading

Lexus’s ongoing battle over its self-charging hybrid advertisements has taken a new northern-European turn. Norway’s Consumer Authority has deemed the advertisements misleading.

Complaints about adverts in magazines referenced the claim that the car could charge itself, without a cost to the driver.

One of the ads translates in English to: “In hybrid form Lexus, the power (always costs) absolutely nothing”. Another phrase used in ad copy that has been contested read: “Lexus offers the power”.

The Norway decision contrasts with an earlier ruling by the UK’s ASA that Lexus self-charging hybrid ads are not misleading

Self-charging – a “spiked lie”?

A Lexus owner said that: “Lexus and Toyota market their hybrids heavily as self-recharging, without notifying the customer that all energy used for recharging comes from the combustion of gasoline.

“In its latest ads, Lexus even uses the phrase, ‘Lexus offers the power’. This is purely [a] spiked lie.”

So the issue is not necessarily that self-charging is misleading. The cars do indeed charge themselves using regenerative braking, the recuperation of energy lost in braking.

The problem is when that recuperated energy is implied to be “free”. In reality, that energy came from the burning of fuel, which cost the driver money.

Norway’s Consumer Authority has therefore taken issue with the claim that the energy recuperated didn’t cost anything.

This idea is reiterated in a variety of ad copy, including lines like “produce power itself; charges when you release the gas, when you slow down, yes, even while driving.” (Again, for clarity, we’ve run a literal translation here.)

Norway deems Lexus ‘self-charging’ adverts misleading

The country’s marketing act prohibits false, misleading or unreasonable claims in advertisements, which aspects of the ‘self-charging’ claim fall under. 

Authorities concluded that Lexus’s ads could lead customers to believe that their car generates free electricity. It claims this marketing content could have influenced customers to buy the car under this false claim.

First Lexus electric vehicle unveiled in China

Lexus UX 300e electric car

Lexus has unveiled its first battery-electric vehicle in China. The UX 300e will go on sale in the UK in 2021, following a launch in China next year.

Power is sourced from a 54.3kWh lithium-ion battery, which offers a claimed driving range of 250 miles. The maximum charging speed is 50kW.

The UX 300e looks similar to the standard Lexus UX compact SUV but gains a new grille, more aerodynamic wheels and electric badges. The charging port is located where the fuel filler cap is normally situated.

Lexus UX 300e interior

Lexus says the UX 300e has ‘one of the quietest cabins in its class’, but Active Sound Control (ASC) transmits natural, ambient sounds to communicate the driving conditions to the driver.

Drivers can also link their smartphone to an app to check battery status and driving range. The app will also say when a full charge is reached and when to charge based on low energy prices.

Although performance figures haven’t been released, Lexus says the UX 300e will deliver ‘brisk performance’. A Drive Mode Select function allows the driver to manage smooth acceleration and declaration according to the driving conditions.

Lexus UX 300e charging

There’s no word on price, but the standard Lexus UX costs upwards of £30,000. You can expect to pay a significant premium for the electric version.

It’ll launch under a new Lexus Electrified banner. The company is ‘targeting a fundamental leap in vehicle performance, handling, control and driver enjoyment’.

Not for the United States

Why did Lexus choose to unveil its first electric vehicle at the Guangzhou International Automotive Exhibition and not at the LA Auto Show? Quite simply, because the UX 300e will not be sold in the United States.

China is likely to be a key market for the electric compact SUV, and it’ll launch there ahead of its European debut in 2021.

2020 Lexus RX 450h review: dependably different

Lexus RX 450hIn 1983, Toyota’s CEO challenged his company to build “a car that is better than the best in the world”. The benchmark Eiji Toyoda had in mind was almost certainly the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. And the Lexus LS 400, revealed six years later, duly went above and beyond. Its near-silent V8 and peerless build quality led to many a sleepless night in Stuttgart.

The herculean effort put into the LS 400 makes you wonder if it ever made money. No less than 1,400 engineers were assigned to the project, driving 450 prototypes more than 2.7 million miles. Almost 1,000 development engines were tested, too. Oh, and 24 types of wood were assessed for the interior. This was perhaps the closest a ‘mass-production’ car has come to being built without compromise.

The LS 400 wasn’t simply about being the best, though. Its real raison d’être was to launch Toyota’s then-new luxury brand. Thirty years on, the success of Lexus owes much to this flying start. However, the subsequent RX also deserves much credit. When it debuted in 1997, the RX 300 was the original luxury crossover: an SUV with no pretensions to going off-road. The RX 400h of 2004 was another milestone, offering a hybrid alternative to diesel for the first time in its class.

Lexus RX 450h

Today, 95 percent of Lexus cars sold in the UK have hybrid power, while the RX is well into its fourth iteration. Which brings me, somewhat circuitously, to the new RX 450h. The time when this SUV had a sector to itself is long gone – competitors include the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE – so Lexus has given it a mid-life update for the 2020 model-year.

You could be forgiven for not spotting the differences straight away. Pointier headlights – now with ‘Bladescan’ adaptive high-beam tech – frame a subtly redesigned grille, while the bumpers are better blended with the bodywork. Still, the RX remains a striking design: angular, aggressive and unmistakably Japanese. It looks particularly svelte in F Sport trim, with dark chrome, 20-inch alloys and a sportier chassis. More on that shortly.

Inside, the big news is the arrival of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which lets you operate your phone, including music and messages, via the touchscreen (I gave up on the skittish touchpad controller). Quality seems good enough to satisfy even a nit-picking LS 400 engineer, but the cluttered dashboard shows its age. Even if I was perversely pleased to discover a new car that still has a CD player.

Lexus RX 450h

I grab the keys to seven-seat RX 450hL and glide away in silent EV mode. Around town, Lexus says up to 50 percent of driving is electric and emissions-free, although the snarling 3.5-litre V6 kicks in when you reach the open road. The E-CVT gearbox reacts promptly, without the ‘rubber band’ lethargy once a hallmark of hybrids, and a combined 313hp petrol/electric output makes for effortless overtaking. However, while a ride softer than a freshly-plumped pillow is lovely in a straight line, it all goes a bit awry in the corners.

To be blunt, the standard RX feels like a car built for America. And indeed it is – this is the bestselling luxury SUV there by a huge margin. Most UK buyers, however, opt for the F Sport, and rightly so; stiffer dampers and beefier anti-roll bars really transform how it drives. It’s still less engaging than, say, a BMW X5, but it no longer feels you’re grazing the door handles on a rural road.

With public opinion turning against diesel, the RX feels more relevant than ever. As a ‘self-charging’ hybrid, it isn’t as cheap to tax as newer plug-in rivals – particularly for company drivers – but it majors on the original Lexus strengths of comfort, refinement and reliability. The LS 400’s legacy lives on.

Price: £55,205

0-62mph: 7.7sec

Top speed: 124mph

CO2 G/KM: 172

MPG combined: 35.3-35.7

Lexus RX 450h: in pictures

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ASA rules Lexus self-charging hybrid ads ‘not misleading’

Lexus self-charging hybrid advert

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rejected complaints about Lexus and its ‘self-charging hybrid’ adverts.

A total of 25 people challenged whether the claim ‘self-charging hybrid’ was misleading because they believed it misrepresented the way in which the battery was charged.

In response, the ASA said: “Because the ads did not misrepresent the way in which the electric battery was recharged by using the petrol engine, we concluded they were not misleading.”

The complaints centred on a campaign for the Lexus UX, specifically a television advert, poster and Facebook post.

In the television ad, a voiceover said: “To capture something striking, you need to keep your eyes open, and the more you look the more you will see. So keep going. The all-new Lexus UX self-charging hybrid.”

In response to the complaints, Toyota GB said the hybrid electric vehicles use a petrol engine and and an electric motor that could operate independently to each other, as well as working in tandem.

In a statement, Toyota said it “believed that consumers would be aware that the hybrid vehicle was powered through a combination of petrol and electricity and that the ‘hybrid’ was descriptive of that dual source of power”.

Lexus UX self-charging hybrid

The ASA agreed with Toyota. “Consumers would interpret the ads to mean that the Lexus UX was a new model of ‘self-charging hybrid‘ car,” it said.

It was noted that the ads “did not include content which implied the battery was charged via plugging in”.

In conclusion, the ASA said: “We considered the ads did not contain any references to other types of car, ‘hybrid’ or otherwise, and did not make any stated or implied claims in relation to the car’s environmental impact.

”We therefore considered consumers would be unlikely to view the ads as a comparison which implied the ‘self-charging hybrid’ engine was an improvement, including by being more environmentally friendly, compared to other types of hybrid vehicle.”

The UX is the smallest of three SUVs in the Lexus range and prices start from just under £30,000. You can read our first drive review of the car here.

30 years of Lexus: how Japan took on the world and won

30 years of Lexus

Lexus sold its 10-millionth vehicle in February 2019 – a remarkable achievement for a brand with just 30 years heritage to its name. The LFA (pictured) is arguably the company’s most high profile vehicle, but the Lexus story begins in the mid-1980s with the development of bespoke luxury car. We’ll attempt to tell the Lexus story in just 30 captions.

Toyota Century

30 years of Lexus

The Lexus timeline begins in 1983, when Toyota chairman Eiji Toyoda asked his staff if they could build a world-beating luxury saloon. Merely competing wouldn’t be enough; this car would need to exceed the high standards set by Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and BMW. Toyota knew how to build a luxury car for the domestic market – the Century was proof of that – but creating something for export was a different proposition.

Toyota Camry

30 years of Lexus

Toyota knew the market was there, particularly in the United States. “The luxury car market is projected to be the fastest growing segment over the next several years as the ‘baby boomers’ enter their peak earning years,” it said with confidence. As much as their loyal customers liked the Camry, as they became more affluent, they began demanding more. A Toyota badge just wouldn’t cut it – not when they could afford a Cadillac, Mercedes or Jaguar. Yukiyasu Togo, president and CEO of Toyota US was highly supportive and actively encouraged the Japanese to progress the project.

Project F1

30 years of Lexus

The result was the F1 project – that’s F for Flagship and 1 for excellence. Amazingly, Toyota didn’t set a time limit for completion; the engineers and designers were given free rein in the pursuit of excellence. Researchers were sent to America for four weeks to explore the heart and minds of the US consumer. A five-person design team was dispatched to Laguna Beach to study the lifestyles of the traditional luxury car buyer. When Japan sets out to do something, there are no half measures – no stone is left unturned. Toyota identified which manufacturer led its field of expertise, analysed why, and then developed a plan to beat it.

Lexus LS 400

30 years of Lexus

The result was the Lexus LS 400: a car we waxed lyrical about in February. The car unveiled at the 1989 Detroit Auto Show followed 450 prototypes, millions of miles of testing and a team of thousands. No fewer than 973 prototypes engined were created, with Toyota opting for a 4.0-litre V8 because a six-cylinder unit wouldn’t have delivered the smoothness and efficiency required for a high-end luxury vehicle.

Lexus dealers

30 years of Lexus

The Lexus brand debuted a year earlier at the 1988 Los Angeles Auto Show, with the first 70 dealers named in May. A massive 1,500 US dealers enquired about a Lexus franchise, but each one was subjected to a careful and considered selection process. Toyota dealers were considered if they could demonstrate a track record of delivering first class customer service, but ultimately 121 outlets were selected for Lexus’ first year of business.

Lexus advertising

30 years of Lexus

Toyota’s incumbent advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, was given the task of launching Lexus to the world, but a new outlet (Team One) was created to maintain a distance between the mainstream and luxury operations. “It’s not a car. It’s an invention”, proclaimed the press ads, laying the foundations for a brand that would hit a million US sales in 10 years.

Toyota Celsior

30 years of Lexus

Although rival companies wouldn’t like to admit it, Lexus made a huge impression Stateside, hitting 16,302 sales by the end of 1989, of which 70 percent were the LS 400. The following year, Lexus sold 63,534 cars. Roger Smith, chairman of GM, said: “It’s the customer that benefits from the increased competition, so I say to Lexus – or whatever its name is – come on aboard.” Meanwhile, in Japan, Lexus models were badged as high-end Toyotas. In the case of the Lexus LS 400, the Japanese equivalent was the Toyota Celsior.

Lexus LS 400 in the UK

30 years of Lexus

Early LS 400 owners were treated to a book on the history of Lexus, which included a wonderful paragraph written by Dr Shoichiro Toyoda. “In our language we have a saying for the occasion when a daughter is given away in marriage: ‘Here’s our cherished child – please take good care of her.’ That’s just how we feel about the Lexus LS 400. This beautiful motor is, indeed, our cherished child.” Lexus arrived in the UK in June 1990, and although its impact was less dramatic than in the US, the LS 400 was given rave reviews by the motoring press. Journalist Richard Bremner famously did a twin-test against a Rolls-Royce.

Lexus ES 250

30 years of Lexus

Lexus arrived in the UK as a single model manufacturer, but things were different in America. Sitting alongside the LS 400, you’d have found the ES 250, which was essentially a 24-valve V6-engined Toyota Vista or Camry with a new badge and all of the toys. It’s “more like a Camry that went to finishing school”, proclaimed Motor Trend, rather brilliantly.

Lexus SC 300

30 years of Lexus

This isn’t a definitive history of Lexus; listing every car and the company’s most notable achievements would require far more than 30 slides. That, in itself, demonstrates how far the company has come in a relatively short space of time. But Japan has a strong track record of upsetting the establishment. Witness the success of the Mazda MX-5, the original Honda NSX and Mazda’s and Toyota’s victories at Le Mans. The Lexus SC was aimed at the Mercedes SL market, with the exterior development handled in California. It was never officially sold in the UK, but many were imported from Japan, where it was known as the Toyota Soarer.

Lexus GS 300

30 years of Lexus

The Lexus GS 300 arrived soon after, looking every inch the lovechild of the LS 400 and SC 300. The elegant Giugiaro-designed GS (Grand Sedan) – which was known as the Toyota Aristo in Japan – debuted with a 3.0-litre straight-six Supra engine, but a 4.0-litre V8 engine arrived later. Further versions followed, including the fourth-generation of 2012, which featured the world’s first 12.3-inch display.

Second-generation Lexus LS 400

30 years of Lexus

Meanwhile, work on the second-generation LS 400 began in 1991, just two years after the launch of the original car in 1989. Although it looked similar, 90 percent of the components were either new or redesigned, with Lexus working hard to answer many of the criticisms of the first LS 400. A 35mm longer wheelbase resulted in 65mm more rear legroom, while interior storage was up 300 percent. Other highlights included the world’s first six-disc CD autochanger, the first seat suspension, and the first production car with a collapsible steering column.

Lexus RX 300

30 years of Lexus

With the RX 300, Lexus was way ahead of the curve. The idea of a premium crossover was floated in 1993, before development started in 1994. The final design was approved by the end of 1995, with prototypes tested in early 1997. It launched in Japan as the Toyota Harrier in December 1997, before exports started in March 1998. It became the best-selling car in the range – at one point it accounted for half of all Lexus sales – with 370,000 RX 300s sold worldwide before the second-generation model debuted in 2003.

Lexus IS 200 and IS 300

30 years of Lexus

The IS 200 and IS 300 represented Lexus’ assault on the compact executive market, with the Japanese company hoping to woo buyers of the 3 Series and C-Class. Development was led by Nobuaki Katayama, who had previously worked on the AE85/86 Corolla, as well as being involved in Le Mans and rallying. Known as the Toyota Altezza in Japan, the IS arrived in the UK in 1999.

Lexus SC 430

30 years of Lexus

The much-maligned and misunderstood SC 430 was first shown at the 1999 Tokyo Motor Show as the Sport Coupe concept. A production version was unveiled at the 2000 Paris Motor Show, before being released in 2001 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Toyota Soarer. Designer Sotiris Kovos took inspiration from Italian Riva powerboats, with power sourced from the 4.3-litre V8 engine found in the LS 430.

Lexus RX 330

30 years of Lexus

In the RX 300, Lexus claims to have created the premium crossover segment, and it soon became America’s best-selling SUV. The second-generation RX 330 went on sale in 2002, becoming the first Lexus vehicle to be manufactured in North America. The plant in Ontario was the first plant outside of Japan to produce a Lexus model.

Lexus RX 400h

30 years of Lexus

In 2004, Lexus sold its two-millionth vehicle in the US and introduced the world’s first luxury hybrid vehicle: the RX 400h. In the same year, Lexus unveiled the third-generation GS 300 and GS 430, along with all-new IS 250 and IS 350 saloons. A timeline will show that Lexus was churning out cars with a fair degree of regularity, but it was struggling to recapture the euphoria associated with building the ‘best car in the world’, aka the LS 400. It needed a halo model.

Lexus LF-A concept

30 years of Lexus

Step forward the LFA supercar, which by the time it debuted as the LF-A concept in 2005 had already undergone five years of development. For a brand built on the luxury of hydraulically-damped cup holders, ashtrays and coin holders, the idea of a supercar was straight outta the weird closet. This was Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s Volkswagen Phaeton or Bugatti Veyron. A project designed to show the world what Lexus can do when let off the leash.

Lexus LFA

30 years of Lexus

The five-year development plan turned to seven when Toyota decided to build a car entirely from carbon fibre. A second concept was unveiled in 2007, before the production version debuted at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. Power was sourced from a 4.8-litre V10 engine co-developed by Yamaha. Jeremy Clarkson said: “If someone were to offer me the choice of any car that had ever been made ever, I would like a dark blue Lexus LFA.”

Lexus in Japan

30 years of Lexus

The year 2005 was a significant one for the company, with Lexus-badged products sold in Japan for the first time. The likes of the Toyota Aristo, Harrier and Altezza bowed out with grace and dignity.

Lexus GS 450h

30 years of Lexus

The LS 400 might have laid the foundations for Lexus as a luxury brand, but the RX 330 and GS 450h (pictured) were two of the first luxury hybrid vehicles. Earlier this year, Lexus announced that it had sold 1.45 million hybrid cars, with sales of ‘self-charging’ vehicles up 20 percent in 2018.

Lexus IS F

30 years of Lexus

In 2007, Lexus unveiled the 416hp IS F. Designed to take on the might of BMW’s M division and Mercedes’ AMG, this was the first F product and it was, according to Lexus, “the most uncharacteristic car [it] had ever built”. Well, it did pre-date the production version of the LFA.

Lexus HS 250h

30 years of Lexus

Lexus likes ‘world-firsts’. The HS 250h might be largely unknown in the UK, but it just happened to be the world’s first hybrid-only luxury vehicle…

Lexus CT 200h

30 years of Lexus

This was followed by the CT 200h – the world’s first hybrid premium hatchback. In truth, low running costs and Lexus’ legendary reputation for reliability were its two strongest points, because the CVT transmission was woeful, space in the back was compromised and it wasn’t that great to drive. Still, if you wanted a Toyota Prius with a tad more luxury, the CT 200h would fit the bill.

Lexus LF-LC

30 years of Lexus

Lexus has a habit of building drop-dead gorgeous or dramatic concepts. Or, in the case of the LF-LC, drop-dead gorgeous and dramatic. That’s Future-Luxury Coupe, by the way.

Lexus LC

30 years of Lexus

Lexus wasn’t lying when it said ‘Future’, because the LF-LC concept spawned the equally alluring LC performance coupe. We don’t think it’s possible to buy something more dramatic or eye-catching for less than £100,000.

Lexus RC F

30 years of Lexus

We could be closing this gallery with a look at the countless saloons and crossovers launched by Lexus over recent years, but you’ll forgive us for highlighting the RC F instead. This is Lexus’ response to the German performance saloons and coupes – a kind of BMW M4 with a Japanese twist. You can even get a Track Edition of this V8 monster, complete with a significant weight reduction and carbon ceramic brakes.

Lexus UX, NX and RX

30 years of Lexus

But as much as we like to watch videos of the LC and RCF – not to mention dream about the LFA – the future of Lexus will be underpinned by crossovers with hybrid powertrains, like the UX, NX and RX. Alternatively, you could buy a sub-£2k LS 400 to relive the glory days.

10 million vehicles sold

30 years of Lexus

In Europe, Lexus has sold around 875,000 cars since 1990 – less than 10 percent of the 10 million vehicles sold since the brand launched in 1989. However, the European market appears to be on the up, with sales increasing by 76 percent in the last five years. We’re expecting to see the first all-electric Lexus in 2020, while all models will have an electrified option by 2025.

The Loft by Lexus and Brussels Airlines is Europe’s best airport lounge

The Loft is the best airport lounge in Europe

The Loft by Brussels Airlines and Lexus at Brussels Airport has been named Europe’s best airport lounge at the 2019 World Travel Awards.

More than 450,000 travellers have enjoyed The Loft since it opened its doors in June 2018, with the votes of consumers and the opinions of industry professionals helping to secure the award at a gala ceremony in Madiera.

Zurich was named Europe’s best airport, while the Hilton London Heathrow was named best airport hotel. There were many other awards and you can view the full list here.

Lexus sees itself as more than just a car manufacturer, referring to itself as a “global luxury lifestyle brand”. Guests using The Loft can “immerse themselves in the world of Lexus”, enjoying an area of 2,040mand seating for 500.

The lounge is divided into areas with different ambiences and features, including a central bar, seating zones and a break-out space. The Lexus zone draws inspiration from Lexus brand experience centres in Tokyo, Dubai and New York.

Features include:

  • Japanese hospitality values brought by Lexus
  • Chocolate experience hosted by a Neuhaus maître chocolatier
  • At-home SPA Grohe shower suites
  • Individual nap rooms with starlit ceiling
  • Lexus LS shiatsu-effect massage chairs
  • Variety of fresh organic dishes and drinks by Foodmaker and Rombouts
  • Beer taps, including best Belgian beers
  • Eco-consciousness by banning plastic bottles
  • Award-winning artworks and inspirational design elements by Lexus
  • Dedicated Mark Levinson hi-end audio listening room
  • Regular events ranging from wine tasting to music ensembles

‘Exceptional hospitality’

The Loft at Brussels Airport

Pascal Ruch, head of Lexus Europe, said: “We are delighted that the travel industry recognised the unique experience brought to business travellers by Lexus and Brussels Airlines through our lounge partnership at Brussels Airport.

“For Lexus, this partnership is an exciting opportunity to bring our core brand values of design and craftsmanship to a global audience, reaching beyond the automotive world.

“This is a place where people can enjoy and get to know Lexus’s true spirit of omotenashi, the Japan-inspired personalised and exceptional hospitality and service experience we bring to our guests.”

The Loft is open from 5am to 9pm daily. We suspect many travellers might find it hard to leave.

Lexus launches monthly car subscription service

Lexus One subscription service

Lexus is the latest manufacturer to launch a subscription service offering motorists the opportunity to access its cars in exchange for a monthly fee.

Lexus One, which is operated in partnership with Drover, gives people the chance to drive a hybrid car for a fixed fee, with fuel the only ongoing cost. 

Prices start at £619 for the Lexus CT 200h, rising to £1,099 for the Lexus RX 450h. Fancy an RC 300h F Sport? It’s yours for £939 a month.

The fees cover delivery and collection, comprehensive insurance, routine servicing and maintenance, plus a weekly wash at a Lexus dealer. All vehicles are covered by breakdown cover, but given Lexus’ reputation for reliability, this might not be required.

Drivers are limited to 1,000 a miles a month, but this can be carried over for successive months for the same vehicle if the limit is not reached. All cars come with a BP fuel card giving customers a 5p per litre discount.

In common with other schemes, at the end of the month, Lexus One customers can choose to keep the car they have, opt for a different Lexus, or end the agreement.

Lexus One for all

Lexus CT 200h

Ewan Shepherd, director of Lexus in the UK said: “Lexus One opens up exciting new opportunities for people to experience our vehicles. It’s designed to be completely user-friendly, letting you choose the vehicle you want, when you want it.

“The subscription covers all the principal financial aspects of running a car and the customer can decide when they want a change of model, or to end their participation.

“We are proud of our reputation for delivering amazing experiences and the highest standards of customer service and we see Lexus One as another example of how we can introduce more people to the great range of vehicles we offer.”