Arts & Culture

Malcom Gladwell launches new podcast that takes listeners behind the scenes at Lexus

Celebrated storyteller Malcom Gladwell takes listeners behind the scenes at Lexus in a new podcast.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

He's written several bestselling books, been a longtime storytelling in The New Yorker magazine, and has hosted the Revisionist History podcast. Malcom Gladwell is also a self-proclaimed car nut. He's has teamed up with Lexus for a six-part podcast that is available now.

The podcast is titled "Go and See", which is an approximate translation of the Japanese "genchi genbutsu," or "go and see for yourself." The idea stems from the idea that if someone goes to see how something is made, designed, or created, they'll gain a greater understanding of the people behind the method. Lexus has invited Gladwell to visit Japan to take a behind-the-scenes look at Lexus operations.

Go And See Malcom GladwellThe podcast is available on a number of platforms.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

"Human-centered design has been a Lexus core value since inception, and this has led to some interesting and original approaches through the years," said Lisa Materazzo, vice president of marketing at Lexus. "Malcolm Gladwell's curiosity is contagious, and we are so pleased that he accepted our invitation to take a closer look at Lexus. I believe he was able to gain an understanding of how we learn by studying people. The resulting podcast series is truly intriguing."

According to a release, the podcast series follows Gladwell as he travels to the company's headquarters in Japan, explores a top-secret racetrack, and shadows engineers and executives.

Lexus excels at infusing key components of Japanese culture into its vehicles' identity. Take, for example, the oragami-inspired folds of material in the Lexus LS.

The podcast takes a deeper look at this including how a Japanese tea ceremony influenced the engineering of a car window; to the musical composition of a coupe's engine and the emotions it elicits.

"I once had a Lexus sports car and loved it. But after I gave it up, I didn't really give them much more thought," said Gladwell. "In Japan, I saw firsthand just how much thought and cultural know-how and expertise goes into the final product."

Recorded over 10 weeks from December through February, Gladwell's own Pushkin Industries produced the six-part series in partnership with Lexus. The first episode became available on March 5, 2020, and new episodes launch on subsequent Thursday.s Listeners can stream or download the series from Apple Podcasts, Radio.com, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, Pocketcast, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Castbox, NPR One, Web Players and more.

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Refreshed luxury crossover

2022 Lexus NX earns Top Safety Pick +

The 2022 NX earned a Top Safety Pick + award.

Lexus

The redesigned 2022 Lexus NX just got its crash test scores, and they're strong. The new crossover picked up a Top Safety Pick + award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the agency's top award. It's the NX's fourth consecutive Top Safety Pick + award, and before that the vehicle earned Top Safety Picks.

2022 Lexus NXThe NX has picked up top awards for several years in a row. Lexus

The 2022 NX picked up top scores in testing, earning a "Good" rating in all crash-test categories, a "Good" score for headlights, "Superior" scores for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention, and a "Good+" score for LATCH system ease of use. Though the 2021 model also picked up a Top Safety Pick + award, it scored lower for its car seat anchors.

Lexus offers the new NX with a whopping four propulsion options, including a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 203 horsepower, a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 275 horsepower, a 2.5-liter hybrid with 239 horsepower and a plug-in hybrid powertrain with 302 horsepower. The two gas engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive, while the two hybrids both get all-wheel drive.

2022 Lexus NXLexus offers the NX with four powertrain options. Lexus

Pricing for the 2022 NX starts at $39,025 for the base NX250. Moving up the line, the NX350h starts at $42,125 and the NX450h+ starts at $56,725.

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New luxury EV

Lexus announces all-electric RZ 450e

Lexus just announced the new RZ 450e

Lexus

Lexus and Toyota have finally jumped onto the EV train, and we’ll soon see new all-electric SUVs from both. The Lexus variant, named RZ 450e, features a reasonable range, upscale interior, and neat all-wheel drive technology. We don’t have firm pricing for the Lexus, but expect it to start in the mid-to-high $40,000 range.

2023 Lexus RZRange is expected to reach 225 miles per chage. Lexus

The RZ shares a platform and much of its underlying engineering with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, but will take a more upscale approach. Though its size and overall shape are similar to the others, the Lexus’ exterior styling is sharper and sportier, with functional aerodynamic bodywork. A new Lexus logo is spelled out on the rear gate, instead of the traditional “L” of previous models.

The SUV comes with a 71.4-kWh battery that should deliver a range of around 225 miles on a charge. All-wheel drive is standard, and uses the RZ’s dual electric motors to shift power between the wheels that need it most.

Inside, the RZ features a minimalist, open space with controls meant to remind drivers of a horse’s reins. Ultrasuede upholstery and woodgrain trim come standard. Lexus notes the RZ’s head-up display is controllable via steering wheel-mounted buttons that handle navigation, audio, and other functions.

2023 Lexus RZThough similar to the Toyota bZ4X inside, the Lexus IS more upscale and minimalist. Lexus

Speaking of the steering wheel, the first RZs will be available with a round wheel only, but later on, Lexus will offer a yoke-style wheel like the one seen in the Toyota bZ4X concept and Tesla’s Plaid models.

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