20 years ago, Lexus (plural Lexii) were little more than dreary Toyota’s covered in a veneer of luxury which was clearly lost in translation. Very little was wrong with the products bar the fact that they made you feel old and miserable because you and your grey shoes were not driving around in a German.
Since then, though, Lexus has come a very long way and now the average motorist will be hard pressed to actually find Toyota bits in a Lexus. In more recent times they even decided to have a performance division like the big boys, complete with a letter of the alphabet and shouty noises. The letter they chose was ‘F’ which can mean either fast or something else but regardless, the IS F, LFA, GS F and RC F gave the Germans a proper scare with their left-of-field design and stonking performance.
The grey shoe brigade will no doubt be elated then at the news that not one but two whole new Lexii will be making their way to South Africa! One of them is already here, in fact. It’s the updated IS and it comes with a re-fettled face, now with standard LED headlights, as well as new wheel designs, new colours and interior finishes and a big, fat 10.3 inch multimedia screen. The engine line-up remains the same which isn’t a bad thing and consists of the IS200t (180kW/350Nm) and the IS350 (233kW/378Nm). Both power plants are silky smooth and while the 3.5l V6 might feel slightly asthmatic on the reef, especially when pitched against its turbocharged rivals, its induction noise will have your hair stand up. This, of course, is incredibly important when on the daily toil…
The second of the two, the LC is due in South Africa in the first half of 2017 and from the looks of things, we’re in for one cracker of a cruiser. Look at it this way – if ever there was a recipe for success, a 351kW N/A V8 motor, Lexus interior and rear wheel drive was that recipe. And if that wasn’t enough to touch you where you wee, just look at it! Hubba hubba. It also has a 10-speed transmission but that’s silly.
There will also be a hybrid model with a similar setup to the RX450h but unfortunately/fortunately we will not be afforded the opportunity to save the earth one LC at a time.
Expect prices of around R1 million for Lexus’ SL/6 Series rival, although you can be guaranteed that it will be a lot more exclusive than those two.