Concept Cars

Lexus debuts lunar mobility concept vehicle

Lexus designers submitted their ideas for lunar mobility to Document Journal magazine.

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

To infinity and beyond! Okay, maybe not all the way to infinity. Lexus has contributed a sketch of a concept vehicle for the journey to the moon. The sketch has been selected to appear in Document Journal's issue No. 15.

The issue of the art and fashion magazine centers around The Lunar Design Portfolio. It seeks to answer the questions, "How shall we live? What will we wear? What will we drive?"

The European Advanced Design Studio for Toyota and Lexus, ED2, is dedicated to developing advanced concept proposals and was selected to take on the task of conceptualizing lunar mobility.

Design characteristics were harvested from the recent LF-30 Future Concept vehicle. To get to the finish line, ED2 created seven concepts from five different designers, together depicting a full lineup of space vehicles.

"When Document Journal approached us about the Lunar Design Portfolio, our team was working on the LF-30 Concept, which represents the "Lexus Electrified" futuristic vision for Lexus. The design team was already looking beyond near-term production and ahead to how advanced technology will change the way we interact with vehicles," said Ian Cartabiano, President of ED2. "The lunar project came at the right time, half way through the LF-30 development. It gave the team a chance to dream further out, and then apply some of the design language from the LF-30 interior to their lunar proposals."

One of the concepts presented to Document Journal made it to print. Zero Gravity is a single rider vehicle that evolves the LF-30's "Lexus Electrified" vision to incorporate Magnetic Levitation technology.

According to a release, "The design reinterprets the signature Lexus spindle grille and uses the motorcycle-style of driving to employ the new concept of Tazuna (which mean "reins" in Japanese): the fundamental human-centered philosophy. Inspired by how a single rein can be used to achieve mutual understanding between horse and rider, the steering control provides active driving enjoyment created by the direct communication between human and machine."

See all the concepts below with descriptions by Lexus.

Lexus Cosmos, by Jean-Baptiste Henry

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

A transportation concept designed for both space and the lunar surface, the Lexus Cosmos features a fully sculpted glass shape that functions as a massive observatory to not only enjoy the view, but also explore the low gravity phenomenon. With a rear cockpit that emphasizes the driving feel and a front portion dedicated to contemplation, the idea was to create a new luxury and exclusive experience for the future.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

A new grade of performance for the Lexus brand has debuted.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

Remember the V8? In a world that's told it's hungry for electric cars, there's also still a large contingent of people who want their cars, trucks, and SUVs powered by a V8 engine. For them, Lexus has created the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance, a model powered by a 472-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8.

Lexus has paired the V8 with the same eight-speed automatic transmission that's in the IS 300 and IS 350 RWD models. The drive mode selector allows for the driver to opt for Sport, Sport+, Eco, Comfort, or Custom drive modes. Drive mode adjustments effect the powertrain, chassis, and air conditioner.

The engine tucks nicely into the recently refreshed 2021 Lexus IS. It has a maximum output of 472 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 395 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. That power gets the car from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Lexus says that the engine achieves a manufacturer-estimated 24 mpg combined.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

Despite being a monster of an engine, the curb weight of the new IS is just 143 pounds more than the traditional IS 350 F Sport.

It will come standard with the IS RWD F Sport's Dynamic Handling Package, which includes an adaptive variable suspension and Torsen limited slip differential. The car's engineers have added a Yamaha rear performance damper to the model and made brake cooling enhancements - the car now has 14-inch two-piece aluminum front rotors and 12.7-inch rear rotors.

The IS 500 has unique features that separate it from the rest of the IS lineup. This includes a throaty quad exhaust system with dual-stacked tailpipes, a raised hood (up two inches over the traditional IS), 19-inch split-10-spoke Enkel alloy wheels, a revised lower rear diffuser, black rear lip spoiler, and dark chrome window trim. There's also unique black badging on the sides to distinguish it from F models.

Inside the cabin is a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel and sill plates with black F Sport Performance badging. There's also the IS F Sport accelerator pedal, brake pedal, and footrest. The driver's instrumentation meter has gotten a startup animation unique to the IS 500.

The Lexus keeps its Lexus Safety System+ 2.5, which includes front collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, bicyclist detection, emergency steering assist, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with steering assist, lane trace assist, automatic high beam headlights, and road sign assist.

The IS 500 is exclusively for the North American market. The car's MSRP, options, and exterior and interior color schemes will be revealed ahead of the car's arrival at dealerships in the autumn.

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The redesigned 2022 Subaru BRZ joins the company's lineup this year.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

Want to buy a new refrigerator? They have a ranking for that. Consumer Reports also takes a close look at automotive brands rating them based on a combination of feedback from testing and member surveys. Each year they release a list ranking all the brands sold in the U.S.

Here's how Consumer Reports determines their rankings, straight from the horse's mouth:

Brand report cards are built on an average of the Overall Score for each model tested. A brand must have at least two models tested to be included. The Overall Score is based on four key factors: road test, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety.

• The road-test scores are for vehicles purchased by CR and run through more than 50 tests.
• Reliability predictions are based on problems reported by CR members in 17 trouble areas.
• Owner satisfaction from surveyed CR members reflects whether drivers would purchase the same car if they had it to do again.
• Safety includes crash-test results and extra points awarded for proven advanced safety features that come standard for the model.

From worst to first, check out how the brands scored below. Click here to see 2020's results.

No. 32 - Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo 4C

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Alfa Romeo scored a 59/100, 15 points lower than they did in 2020. Consumer Reports tested two of the company's vehicles and was not able to recommend either of them.

No. 31 - Land Rover

2020 Land Rover Defender

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Land Rover earned a 46/100 in the ratings, four points less than in the 2020 ratings, and drops one position. None of its products are recommended by Consumer Reports.

No. 30 - Mitsubishi

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander: Exterior Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi is up three spots from their 2020 position with a score of 46/100 - the same score as lat year. None of their vehicles are recommended by Consumer Reports.

No. 29 - Jeep

Jeep Gladiator

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Jeep earned a 48/100 score but went up two places from their 2020 position, which was up from the 2019 spot. The company has only one product Consumer Reports would recommend out of the six they tested.

No. 28 - Lincoln

Lincoln Corsair

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

Lincoln fell 15 spots in this year's rankings, after falling five the year before, getting a 53/100 score despite earning a respectable 78/100 in road testing.

No. 27 - Jaguar

2021 Jaguar XF: Exterior Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Jaguar climbs one in 2021 and was up four places in 2020. The company scored a 54/100 and has one green vehicle in its lineup.

No. 26 - GMC

GMC Acadia AT4

Photo courtesy of GMC

There's some good news for GMC. Despite being in the bottom third of the ratings, Consumer Reports recommends one of their vehicles. That's one more than they did last year. Overall, the company earned a 57/100, down two points from 2020.

No. 25 - Ford

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford fell three places in 2020 and two more in 2021, earning a 57/100 score, the same as what GMC got.

No. 24 - Chevrolet

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Chevy is up one place in 2021, scoring 58/100. Out of the 13 Chevy vehicles Consumer Reports tested, they recommend two of of them.

No. 23 - Acura

2021 Acura TLX Advance Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura is up one spot for 202, earning a 59/100. The company had decent road test scores but Consumer Reports doesn't recommend any of their models.

No. 22 - Cadillac

2020 Cadillac XT5 Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac's brand score of 62/100 helped it jump seven places in the 2021 rankings. Consumer Reports recommends one out of the five Caddy products they tested.

No. 21 - Mercedes-Benz

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

With its 62/100 score, Mercedes-Benz finds itself one spots lower on the list than where it ended up last year. Consumer Reports recommends three of their vehicles.

No. 20 - Volvo

Volvo XC60

​​Photo courtesy of Volvo Car Corporation

Volvo pops up two spots in the' rankings with its 64/100 score. Two of its five vehicles that were tested by the Consumer Reports team are recommended.

No. 19 - Kia

2021 Kia K5 Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia fell down 10 spots in the rankings earning a 64/100, a score 10 points lower than the company scored in 2020. The good news is that out of the 11 of their vehicles that were tested, Consumer Reports recommends four of them.

No. 18 - Volkswagen

2022 Volkswagen Taos Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen has better road-test scores than anyone lower than it on this list. The company scored 65/100 and Consumer Reports recommends two of its models.

No. 17 - MINI

2021 MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition Photo courtesy of MINI

Mini was up five places in the 2020 rankings compared to 2019, but fell seven places from their 2020 level in 2021. The company earned a 66/100 score for this year.

No. 16 - Tesla

Tesla Model X Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

Tesla was the biggest mover in this year's rankings, gong up eight places to end up at No. 11. But, this year, they're down five spots scoring just 66/100.

No. 15 - Genesis

2020 Genesis G90 Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

Genesis placed second with an 66/100 score, 18 points lower than they scored in 2020. The automaker fell 13 spots from their 2020 placement

No. 14 - Dodge

2020 Dodge Challenger Photo courtesy of Dodge

Dodge was up four places in 2020 earning a 68/100 score. For 2021, the company moves up one place but only earned 67 points.

No. 13 - Nissan

2021 Nissan Rogue Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan jumped four places to No. 17 earning 70/100. For 2021 they are up another four places, getting a 68/1000 with Consumer Reports recommending half of their 12 tested vehicles.

No. 12 - Infiniti

2021 Infiniti QX80 Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Infiniti, the premium arm of Nissan, jumps two spots for 2021 earning a score of 70/100. Like Nissan, Consumer Reports recommends half of the company's vehicles to shoppers.

No. 11 - Audi

Audi Q7

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi fell five spots in the 2021 rankings earning a 71/100 score, just one better than Infiniti. However, Audi's road test score was an 88 compared to Infiniti's 77.

No. 10 - Hyundai

2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Hyundai jumped three spots in the 2020 rankings, earning a 75/100 score. For 2021, they fell three spots with a 71/100 score.

No. 9 - Buick

Buick Envision

Photo courtesy of Buick

Buick slid down one spot with its 69/100 score in 2020, but has made up for it in 2021, jumping up 10. Out of the three Buicks Consumer Reports tested, they recommend two of them.

No. 8 - Chrysler

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Like Buick, Chrysler is up 10 places for 2021 earning 74/100. This is on top of the four places they gained in 2020 with a score of 69/100.

No. 7 - Toyota

2021 Toyota Venza Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Toyota fell three places in 2020's rankings, but gained five in the 2020 ratings, scoring 74/100. Consumer Reports recommends 15 of the 19 Toyotas it tested - impressive!

No. 6 - Lexus

Lexus LX

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

Lexus is down one position for 2021, scoring 75/100, which is two points worse than the company scored in 2020. Seven fo the eight Lexus vehicles tested by the publication are recommended.

No. 5 - Honda

Honda Accord Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Like Buick and Chrysler, Honda jumped 10 places in 2021 with a 75/100 score. In 2020, the company earned a 72/100. Eight of the 10 Hondas tested are recommended by Consumer Reports.

No. 4 - Porsche

2021 Porsche Panamera 2021 Porsche Panamera Photo courtesy of Porsche AGPhoto courtesy of Porsche AG

Porsche scored 10 less points in 2021 than they did in 2020 (76 vs. 86/100). The company has earned the same road test score as Audi: 88. Three of the four Porsches that were test driven earned recommended ratings.

No. 3 - Subaru

2022 Subaru BRZ Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru sits in the same place in 2021 as it did in 2020. The company scored worse, however, earning just 76/100 compared to the 81/100. Five out of the seven models Consumer Reports test drove they recommended.

No. 2 - BMW

BMW X7

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW is up six spots compared to their 2020 ranking, earning 78/100. Subaru and BMW scored the same in Consumer Reports road testing, getting an 87. Ten out the 12 BMWs Consumer Reports tested are recommended.

No. 1 - Mazda

Mazda CX-5

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

Mazda moved up three places to claim the 2021 crown with a score of 80/100. That rating is one point higher than the company earned in 2020. Consumer Reports recommends all seven of the Mazdas they test drove this year.

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