Toyotas luxury division has earned reputation for refined and sophisticated luxury sedans and sports utility vehicles and this reputation will be lifted once again with its new vehicle, the Lexus IS F. It will belong to Lexus line of reliable but elegant family and commuter vehicles.
The Lexus IS F sports car will go on sale in spring causing shakeups with cars of the same platform from European premium brands like BMW, Porsche, Volvo (makes original Volvo catalytic converter), Audi, as well as the American Chevrolet Corvette.
Lexus doesnt have a halo vehicle, and in the luxury automotive world thats important, said Michael Robinet, an automotive analyst at consultancy CSM Worldwide.
The IS F is a vehicle that wont necessarily drive up Lexus bottom line, but it will drive traffic to showrooms and bolster the companys image. Lexus is looking for younger buyers right now, and so they want to make a big splash with this vehicle.
Starting to gain fame, last week the new Lexus vehicle was featured in the annual Neiman Marcus holiday catalog, the Christmas Book being one of the costliest items on its list. Its tag price of $68,000 comes from its black leather interior, hand-polished wheels and Special Build Badge.
The BMW 3 Series, Audi RS4 and Porsche 911 will have quite a formidable foe in the Lexus IS F when it joins its club of performance-tuned sports sedans. So far, it is the fastest production Toyotas luxury division has ever built.
You can mistake the Lexus IS F to be carrying a German DNA with its performance of zero to 60 mph in just a matter of 4.9 seconds. 20 miles per gallon is boasted by its powerful five-liter V8 engine producing 400 horsepower, says its Japanese automaker. For a sports car, its mileage is already a respectable one considering the EPA mileage standards of Audi RS4s 15 mpg and Porsche 911s 18 mpg.
According to Toyotas domestic operations manager, Akio Toyoda, their Lexus division is envisioning to inject its reputation some emotion with the IS F more than what the LS 430 luxury sedan did.
Lexus has long been renowned as a luxury, high-quality brand, he said at the cars unveiling last week at Fuji Speedway, the automakers racing circuit near Mount Fuji in Japan.
But to be recognized as a true global premium brand, we knew we needed more emotional vehicles.
As Lexus equipped the IS F with its supercharged technologies and premium substance, Toyota expects that the car will give its consumers the peak satisfaction to raise sales to 7,000 models globally next year even with its premium price. According to Paul Newton, Lexus is maintaining a good stand in the auto market for producing the best luxury cars making the sales target very feasible.
There appears no reason why the brand will not reach its targets based on the styling and early reports of its performance, he wrote in a research note, adding that the models prospects in Europe and Japan are less clear.
A sporting halo model cannot harm its somewhat staid image in Europe, he said, but the brand needs time to gain traction in Japan, where it has only been present for the last three years.
The exchange rate of the dollar versus the Euro will help Lexus beat the European vehicles which are becoming pricey although European maker resisted price increase.
Now is key time for luxury Asian brands because of the strength of the euro, which is making it hard for the luxury European manufacturers, he said. Any time the value of the dollar falls, import prices rise, and the import manufacturer has to take a haircut on the sales margin to keep the price of the vehicle the same.