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New for 2011-Lexus

New for 2011-Lexus

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2010

Lexus debuts an all-new flagship LFA supercar

Subhead: All models benefit from standard brake override technology and minor changes to equipment and colors

2011 Lexus ModelsHistory
Lexus is the premium brand of Toyota Motor Corporation. It was launched in North America in 1989 with the introduction of its first model, a full-size 8-cylinder luxury sedan called the LS 400. Lexus was on a quest to challenge premier luxury brands, such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW, with its all-new, rear-wheel-drive, 8-cylinder, full-size luxury sedan.

While the luxury automaker only sold two models in its early years (a second model, the 6-cylinder ES 250, debuted at the same time as the LS 400 but at a lower price point), the Japanese automaker added a coupe (SC 400) in 1992 and a midsize sport sedan (GS 300) in 1993. By 1996, Lexus had added a full-size SUV (LX 450) to the lineup. Leading its charge with a focus on customer service, Lexus built its brand over the next decade. Its model range would eventually grow to encompass a full range of models, competing in nearly every premium segment.Today, Lexus manufactures a variety of passenger automobiles and sport utility vehicles. These include coupes, convertibles, sedans, and SUVs with up-to-7-passenger seating capacities. Models include those with front, rear, and all-wheel drive with gasoline and hybrid powertrains. Lexus vehicles are manufactured in Japan and North America and sold around the world.

2011 Lexus Models at a Glance:

  • ES-Revised engine tuning, new standard brake override technology
  • GS-New standard brake override technology
  • GX-New standard brake override technology
  • HS-Mostly a carryover
  • IS-Minor exterior refresh, new performance package
  • IS C-New performance package
  • LFA-All-new model for 2011
  • LS-Suspension changes, new standard brake override technology
  • LX-New colors and standard brake override technology
  • RX-New colors and standard brake override technology

For More Information:

2011 Lexus ES

2011 Lexus ES

The Lexus ES was introduced in late 1989 for the 1990 model year-the same year the Lexus brand debuted. Selling alongside the LS 400, the 6-cylinder ES 250 was based on a Japanese Toyota sedan that was not offered for sale in the States. Production of the front-wheel-drive sedan was only for a limited time, as an all-new second-generation model arrived for the 1992 model year.

The new ES 300 (with a larger 3.0-liter engine) set the model's styling direction, with each subsequent model adapting the familiar bodywork. Now in its fifth generation (last redesigned for the 2007 model year), the ES shares its platform and much of its mechanicals with the Toyota Camry. The Lexus ES received a mild refresh for 2010 (a slightly revised exterior, new interior appointments, and additional safety features). For 2011, the engine has been tuned to run on regular unleaded fuel, there are standard 10-way power front seats, and the ES has been equipped with a standard brake override system.

Highlights:

  • Minor updates for 2011
  • One model: ES 350
  • Standard 3.5-liter 6-cylinder engine rated at 268 horsepower
  • Standard 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Standard front-wheel drive
  • 5-passenger seating
  • NEW Engine tuned to run on regular unleaded fuel
  • NEW Standard 10-way power-operated front seats
  • NEW Standard brake override system


2011 Lexus Models at a Glance:

2011 Lexus GS

2011 Lexus GS

The Lexus GS is a midsize 4-door luxury sport sedan that was first introduced for the 1993 model year. The model lies between the entry-level ES sedan and the flagship LS sedan and aims to deliver a sporty driving experience.

The Lexus GS is marketed as a direct competitor to the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Like its competitors, the GS is offered with a choice of 6- or 8-cylinder engines with a rear- or all-wheel-drive powertrain. In addition to the standard gasoline powerplants, Lexus also offers the GS as a hybrid.

A new addition to the GS family is the availability of optional "F Sport" accessories for GS 350 and GS 460 models. These include performance parts such as 19-inch forged alloy wheels, special brake features, suspension systems, air intake, exhaust systems and more. After a mild refresh for the 2010 model year, the 2011 Lexus GS receives only minor changes.

Highlights:

  • Carryover for 2011
  • Four models: GS 350, GS 350 AWD, GS 460, and GS 450h
  • Standard 3.5-liter 6-cylinder engine rated at 303 horsepower (GS 350 models)
  • Standard 4.6-liter 8-cylinder engine rated at 342 horsepower (GS 460)
  • Standard hybrid 3.5-liter 6-cylinder and electric motor rated at 340 system horsepower (GS 450h)
  • Standard 6-speed automatic transmission (GS 350 models)
  • Standard 8-speed automatic transmission (GS 460)
  • Standard continuously variable transmission (GS 450h)
  • Standard rear-wheel drive
  • Optional all-wheel drive (GS 350)
  • 5-passenger seating
  • NEW Standard brake override system

2011 Lexus GX

2011 Lexus GX

The Lexus GX is a midsize sport utility vehicle that was first launched as a 2003 model. At its debut, it was touted as a smaller sibling to the automaker's flagship LX 470 sport utility (in contrast to the Toyota Camry-based Lexus RX 300 crossover, the GX model shared a body-on-frame platform and heavy-duty off-road mechanicals with the Toyota 4Runner).

The first-generation GX 470 offered seating for up to 8 passengers. The model had a long list of standard features, including an Adaptive Variable Suspension, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, and privacy glass.

The second-generation model, introduced as the Lexus GX 460, debuted in the fall of 2009. The new 4.6-liter engine was downsized, but it offered improved performance and it was mated to a new 6-speed automatic transmission. Like its predecessor, the body-on-frame chassis was again shared with the Toyota 4Runner (and FJ Cruiser). As it was all new last year, the 2011 model receives only minor upgrades. These include a fuel-saving "Start/Stop" engine function and a brake override system.

Highlights:

  • Minor changes for 2011
  • Two models: GX 460 and GX 460 Premium
  • Standard 4.6-liter 8-cylinder engine rated at 301 horsepower
  • Standard 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Standard 4-wheel drive
  • 7-passenger seating
  • NEW Standard brake override system

2011 Lexus HS

2011 Lexus HS

The Lexus HS is a compact hybrid sedan that was launched for the 2010 model year. While the automaker offers other hybrid models (RX 400h, GS 450h and LS 600h L sedan), the HS is the company's first dedicated hybrid; it is not available with a traditional gasoline engine like the others.

Lexus has positioned the HS as a front-wheel-drive counterpart to the IS sedan, although the rear- or all-wheel-drive IS sedan model is sportier than this hybrid cousin. The HS shares a platform with the Toyota Allion, a model not available in North America. Its hybrid powertrain is also unique to the HS, but it does bear resemblance to the hybrid powertrain on the Toyota Camry Hybrid.

Under the hood of the HS 250h is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and a 30-kW electric motor for a total combined system power of 187 horsepower. From the cockpit, the driver is able to choose between three power settings (EV, Eco or Power) based on driving needs; each controls how long the HS stays in pure-electric mode, or whether it mixes its gasoline and electric powerplants for propulsion. New last year, the HS Sedan is a carryover for 2011.

Highlights:

  • Carryover for 2011
  • Two models: HS 250h Standard and HS 250h Premium
  • Standard gasoline-electric hybrid, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor rated at 187 total system horsepower
  • Continuously variable automatic transmission
  • Standard front-wheel drive
  • 5-passenger seating

2011 Lexus IS

2011 Lexus IS

The Lexus IS is a compact sedan that serves as the entry-level model in the automaker's lineup. The IS was launched in 2001 as a 4-door sedan engineered to compete with the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Under its hood was a standard 3.0-liter inline-6 engine mated to a rear-wheel-drive powertrain. In 2002, the automaker introduced a five-door hatchback ("SportCross") variant, but that was dropped after just four years of production.

Completely redesigned for the 2006 model year, the second-generation IS arrived in two variants: IS 250 and IS 350. In the first two years, all models were fitted with 6-cylinder engines, and a choice between rear- or all-wheel drive (all-wheel drive was only an option on the less-powerful IS 250). A high-performance model fitted with a V-8 engine, called the IS F, debuted for the 2008 model year to go head-to-head against the BMW M3 and Audi RS4.

Now in its sixth year, the 2011 model receives a minor refresh, including a new front grille, new bumper, and new LED running lights (on certain models). In addition, a new F Sport package (for RWD A/T models) includes 18-inch alloy wheels, sport suspension, front lip, rear spoiler, sport front seats with microfiber inserts, heated front seats, and unique badging.

Highlights:

  • Minor refresh for 2011
  • Six models: IS 250, IS 250 AWD, IS 350, IS 350 AWD, IS 350 C, and IS F
  • Standard 2.5-liter 6-cylinder engine rated at 204 horsepower (IS 250 models)
  • Standard 2.5-liter 6-cylinder engine rated at 306 horsepower (IS 350 models)
  • Standard 5.0-liter 8-cylinder engine rated at 416 horsepower (IS F)
  • Standard 6-speed manual transmission (IS 250 models)
  • Standard 6-speed automatic transmission (optional on IS 250 models, standard on all other models)
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Optional all-wheel drive (not available on IS F)
  • 5-passenger seating
  • NEW Revised front grille and bumper
  • NEW HID headlamps with LED daytime running lights (IS 350 models)
  • NEW F Sport performance package
  • NEW Exterior colors: Deep Sea Mica, Cerulean Blue Metallic, Ultrasonic Blue Mica

2011 Lexus IS C

2011 Lexus IS C

The Lexus IS C is a compact convertible that serves as the entry-level drop-top in the automaker's lineup. The IS C is based on the IS Sedan, a model launched in 2001 as a 4-door sedan engineered to compete with the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Most of those competitors, including Infiniti, offer a convertible model.

Lexus chose to develop a new 2-door variant of the IS with a power-operated folding hard top. The model was introduced for the 2010 model year with a standard 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 306 horsepower. In addition, all models of the convertible featured rear-wheel drive and a standard 6-speed automatic transmission.

While the IS C was all new last year, Lexus still made a few changes for 2011. Most notable is a new F Sport package that includes 18-inch alloy wheels, sport suspension, front lip, rear spoiler, sport front seats with microfiber inserts, heated front seats, and unique badging.

Highlights:

  • Minor refresh for 2011
  • One model: IS 350 C
  • Standard 2.5-liter 6-cylinder engine rated at 306 horsepower
  • Standard 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • 4-passenger seating
  • NEW F Sport performance package

2011 Lexus LFA

2011 Lexus LFA

The Lexus LFA is a limited-production, 2-seat exotic supercar. It was introduced, after years of speculation, at the Tokyo Motor Show in late 2009. The Lexus LFA comes on the heels of the Lexus IS F, an enthusiast-tuned IS sedan. The IS F was the first of the new "Lexus F" models-a new high-performance division for the automaker (the "F" marquee, conceived years ago, originally referred to "flagship").

The automaker has followed the IS F with its first supercar, the "LFA." The innovative 2-seater is constructed of lightweight alloys and carbon fiber. A race-inspired V-10 engine sits mid-mounted within its chassis. Limited to a production run of just 500 units-and only available as a lease during its first couple years (to keep speculators at bay)-the Lexus LFA promises performance to compete with the exotics around the world. It is the most advanced street-legal vehicle Lexus has ever produced.

Highlights:

  • All-new model for 2011
  • One model: LFA
  • Standard 4.8-liter 10-cylinder engine rated at 552 horsepower
  • Standard 6-speed automatic sequential gearbox transmission
  • Standard rear-wheel drive
  • 2-passenger seating
  • Limited to just 500 copies
  • Lease-only policy in the United States

2011 Lexus LS

2011 Lexus LS

The Lexus LS is the automaker's full-size flagship luxury sedan that was first introduced in 1989. Now in its fourth generation, last redesigned for the 2007 model year, the LS is fitted with-and often debuts-the automaker's latest innovative technology.

The hybrid LS 600h L is equipped with a 5.0-liter V-8 engine, a high-output electric-drive motor, and a continuously variable transmission. The powerplant generates 438 horsepower under the hood of the Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV). The standard gasoline-powered models feature a 4.6-liter V-8 engine, rated at 380 horsepower. Power is sent though an 8-speed automatic transmission to the wheels (rear- or all-wheel drive).

Lexus offers its LS sedan in standard- and extended-wheelbase models (note the "L" in the name designation). A recent addition to the LS is the available Sport package (it is available only on the LS 460 RWD model). It includes 19-inch alloy wheels, Brembo brakes, and upgraded sport-tuned air suspension with specific stabilizer bars and shock absorbers. In addition, this option features unique exterior styling with a distinctive aero kit on the outside, and perforated Black/Saddle leather interior with sport front seats, and a unique leather-trimmed steering wheel (with paddle shifters) within the cabin. Lexus only made minor changes to the LS sedan for 2011. These include revisions to the suspension and a brake override system.

Highlights:

  • Minor refresh for 2011
  • Five models: LS 460, LS 460 AWD, LS 460 L, LS 460 L AWD, and LS 600h L
  • Standard 4.6-liter 8-cylinder engine rated at 380 horsepower (all LS 460 models)
  • Standard hybrid gasoline-electric 5.0-liter 8-cylinder engine and electric motor rated at 438 total system horsepower (LS 600h L)
  • Standard 8-speed automatic transmission (all LS 460 models)
  • Standard continuously variable transmission (LS 600h L)
  • Standard rear-wheel drive (LS 460 and LS 460 L models)
  • Standard all-wheel drive (LS 460 AWD, LS 460 L AWD and LS 600h L models)
  • 5-passenger seating
  • NEW All-wheel-drive models receive standard coil suspension with air suspension optional
  • NEW Standard brake override system

2011 Lexus LX

2011 Lexus LX

The Lexus LX is a full-size, luxury-oriented 7-passenger SUV. Introduced in 1996, the first-generation LX 450 was a near clone of the off-road-capable Toyota Land Cruiser, as the two shared the same chassis, engine and powertrain. However, while they were mechanical clones, the Lexus LX was fitted with more upscale appointments and a longer list of standard features-befitting its flagship SUV role. Following an engine upgrade and more passenger amenities, the LX 450 was re-introduced as the LX 470 in 1998.

In 2008, the third-generation model arrived, this time with a 5.7-liter V-8 engine under the hood and the LX 570 badge on it rear tailgate. As has always been the case, the LX 570 is mechanically capable of serious off-road use (even though Lexus realizes few owners will subject their vehicles to it), yet it still offers luxury and technology features. The 2011 LX 570 receives only minor changes. These include new interior colors and a standard brake override system.

Highlights:

  • Minor changes for 2011
  • One model: LX 570
  • Standard 5.7-liter 8-cylinder engine rated at 383 horsepower
  • Standard 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Standard 4-wheel drive
  • 7-passenger seating
  • NEW Standard brake override system
  • NEW Interior colors

2011 Lexus RX

2011 Lexus RX

The Lexus RX is a midsize luxury crossover. It was introduced for the first time in 1999, as the RX 300, when it joined the full-size LX 470 in the lineup (the GX 470 didn't debut until 2003). Using a modified Toyota Camry platform, the RX 300 was fitted with a standard 3.0-liter V-6 engine and front- or all-wheel drive. With a car-like ride and relatively low ride height, the RX found a following.

The second-generation model arrived in 2004. Only slightly bigger (now sharing platforms with the Toyota Highlander), and with a more powerful V-6 engine, the renamed RX 330 continued its success. In 2006, Lexus used the RX platform to showcase its first hybrid-the RX 400h.

In 2007, the RX line was again refreshed with the introduction of an all-new third-generation model. The new RX 350 (the model designation referred to its new 3.5-liter V-6 engine) joined the second-generation RX 400h in the showrooms. For 2010, Lexus redesigned its midsize RX, including appearance revisions, stronger gasoline and hybrid powertrains, and a new 6-speed automatic transmission for the RX 350 model. For the 2011 model year, Lexus has made only a few changes to the RX lineup. All models are now fitted with a standard brake override system and there are new exterior colors.

Highlights:

  • Minor changes for 2011
  • Four models: RX 350, RX 350 AWD, RX 400h, RX 400h AWD
  • Standard 3.5-liter 6-cylinder engine rated at 275 horsepower (RX 350 models)
  • Standard hybrid 3.5-liter 6-cylinder engine and electric boost motor for a combined 295 system horsepower (RX 400h models)
  • Standard 6-speed automatic transmission (RX 350 models)
  • Standard continuously variable transmission (RX 400h models)
  • Standard front-wheel drive
  • Standard all-wheel drive (RX 350 AWD and RX 400h AWD models)
  • 5-passenger seating
  • NEW Standard brake override system
  • NEW Exterior colors


For More Information:
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