Concept Cars

Lexus HX Sleigh Concept upgrades Santa's ride as a sleek luxury distribution center

The Lexus HX Sleigh Concept is designed to upgrade Santa's traditional sleigh.

Photo courtesy of Lexus Canada

All around North Americans are spending time this holiday season hoping that they get an upgrade to their daily driver this Christmas making it a December to remember. Lexus, the luxury arm of Toyota, is helping Santa make his ride a little nicer, with a completely different take on the jolly man's transport than what Bentley offered earlier this week.

The Lexus HX Sleigh Concept incorporates the highlights of many modes Lexus vehicles, including the recently refreshed Lexus IS sedan.

"I'm a simple man, but the ol' sleigh has been looking a bit less refined than it used to," says Santa. "It was time for me to upgrade my capabilities to help deliver toys to all the children on my nice list more efficiently, so the Lexus HX Sleigh Concept couldn't have come at a better time. Mrs. Claus is excited to drive it, too!"

Lexus HX Sleigh Concept The sleigh has endless cargo space - part of the magic of Christmas!Photo courtesy of Lexus Canada

With exterior looks reminiscent of the Lexus LF-30 Electrified concept car, the model has a lustrous four-coat Infrared paint job. Slim headlights slip up the sides of the sleigh while the Lexus "L" emblem rides front and center on the nose.

Its hatchback-like design allows for massive cargo space. Lexus says that its capacity is "endless" and it makes "delivering billions of toys a snap". Elves with their hands full will appreciate the automatic trunk with kick sensor to ease with loading and unloading.

Climate Concierge with Neck Warmer keeps Santa toasty at 60,000 feet while a touch screen display with Embedded Air Traffic Control helps Santa navigate through even the most remote locations. Santa can list to his favorite carols along the way on the HX Sleigh Concept's custom Mark Levinson Surround Sound Audio System.

"It'll been great having some more help around the holidays," says Director of Reindeer Resources, Rudolph. "I run a tight sleigh, and the combination of Lexus's trademark hybrid electric technology and well-honed All-Reindeer Drive will really allow us to take our job to the next level. Plus, the fact that it runs on 100% renewable holiday spirit means even our planet gets a gift this year! With the added efficiency the Lexus HX Sleigh Concept gives us, I'm confident we'll even find some time to fit in some gift deliveries for grown-ups, too!"

The Lexus HX Sleigh Concept will be making its way around the globe later this week.

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New driver assist technology is coming to the Lexus lineup later this year.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

New Lexus Teammate driver assistance technology will debut on the 2022 Lexus LS 500h later this year. Its availability is constrained to all-wheel drive models.

The technology was developed based on the Mobility Teammate Concept. This automated driving concept is unique to Toyota sough to enhance communication between drivers and cars, "enabling them to reach out to each other for mutual assistance". The concept sees cars and humans interacting and partnering rather than having automation take over for drivers. This approach allows drivers to enjoy the experience of driving but allowing the vehicle to take over some functions of driver's duties at times. In this way, the tech works as both guardian and chauffeur.

2022 Lexus The company's flagship sedan will get the technology first.Photo courtesy of Lexus

2022 Lexus LS 500h

On the 2022 Lexus 500h, Lexus Teammate will offer two functions: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.

Advanced Drive is design to "accurately detect driving conditions to plan and execute acceleration, braking, and steering commands to maintain the vehicle within the lane, follow other vehicles, change lanes, navigate certain interchanges and traffic jams and overtake slower vehicles." It's a Level 2 functionality that "allows for driving on limited-access highways with partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation".

This description makes it sound a lot like the suite of lane keeping, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control technology that Hyundai offers rather than true Level 3 technology that General Motors's Super Cruise delivers.

Lexus will show operation of the technology on a screen with information displayed like this.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Advanced Park operates similar to how the Genesis GV80's hands-free parking assist technology works. The Lexus tech automatically controls steering, acceleration, braking, and gear changes with parallel parking or backing into a parking space. It uses a combination of 360-degree sensing technologies and a bird's eye view display to perform the task while allowing the driver to monitor progress.

"We are very proud of Lexus Teammate, which is the culmination of five years of close collaboration between our technical centers in Japan and the US. We conducted simultaneous development and rigorous testing in both markets with the goal of achieving industry-leading advanced driver assistance functionality," says Derek Caveney, executive engineer at Toyota Motor North America's Integrated Vehicle Systems team.

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The WarnerMediaRIDE App provides thousands of hours of streaming content to Toyota and Lexus vehicle owners.

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

If there's one thing parents want, it's a way to keep kids from fighting in the car. Not only that, it has to work. Toyota and AT&T have teamed up to deliver just such a solution to Toyota and Lexus vehicle owners.

When connected to AT&T in-car Wi-Fi, the WarnerMedia RIDE App allows Toyota and Lexus owners to connect up to five compatible devices to browse, stream and share content from the open road. Passengers can view a rotating selection of live and on-demand content, including thousands of hours of hit TV shows and movies from top channels and services such as Cartoon Network, CNN, HBO Max, and TruTV, spanning animation, news and sports programming and more.

Owners of select 2020 model year and newer Toyota and Lexus vehicles are eligible for a complimentary Wi-Fi data plan trial for up to 90 days. Owners can activate their trial within the Toyota and Lexus owners app.

2021 Toyota Highlander Select Toyota vehicles will get the tech. Expect the Toyota Sienna to be one of them. Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

"By working with AT&T to provide access to WarnerMedia RIDE, we are reimagining the in-vehicle entertainment experience and ensuring that passengers have access to their favorite content wherever the road may take them," said Steve Basra, group vice president, Toyota Motor North America, Connected Technologies. "We're also excited to offer additional enhancements within our customer app and to provide one resource for our customers to access their in-vehicle features."

"Customers are hungry for access to new experiences with integrated, everywhere connectivity. Our relationship with Toyota is helping us deliver more for our customers – whether they're on a long road trip or short commute," said Joe Mosele, vice president, Mobility & Internet of Things, AT&T Business. "Since the launch of WarnerMedia RIDE, passengers are enjoying their favorite animated friends with 'Looney Tunes', 'Tom & Jerry', and 'The Jetsons' as some of our most watched content."

The WarnerMedia RIDE is available now in the App Store and Google Play for all U.S. unlimited data plan subscribers. WarnerMedia RIDE is included at no additional cost for existing and new unlimited subscribers. The Toyota and Lexus Owner App download is available for iPhone or Android smartphones.

Toyota isn't the only company getting into the streaming game. Stellantis recently announced that select customers will be able to stream Amazon Prime TV programming in their new Jeep Wagoneers.

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