When Toyota first launched their luxury car division Lexus in the late nineties, they knew that they would have a fight on their hands, going head to head with such long term luxury car heavyweights as Audi, Volvo, BMW, Mercedes and Lancia from Europe and Cadillac, Buick and Ford from the US. However in the first ten years that Lexus cars were in production, they soon developed a strong following and by the end of the Noughties there were Lexus sedans being driven all over the World.... (full review continues below)
When Toyota first launched their luxury car division Lexus in the late nineties, they knew that they would have a fight on their hands, going head to head with such long term luxury car heavyweights as Audi, Volvo, BMW, Mercedes and Lancia from Europe and Cadillac, Buick and Ford from the US. However in the first ten years that Lexus cars were in production, they soon developed a strong following and by the end of the Noughties there were Lexus sedans being driven all over the World.
Spurred on by this success, in 2008 Lexus launched their first coupe, the IS C based on their starter model LS Sedan. Since its launch, the Lexus IS Coupe has gone on to carve itself a niche in the luxury coupe market against the same strong opposition that the sedan succeeded in pushing aside.
With a retractable hardtop, capable of being folded automatically inside the trunk, and with considerable flair, in just over twenty seconds, the Coupe is a spectacular looking piece of motoring machinery that will certainly turn the heads, even in the most discerning of company. Not to the faster convertible/coupe on the road, the IS takes its power from a 3.5-liter V6 engine that can call on 228 horsepower, paired with a standard six speed automatic transmission that comes with paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.
Similarities to the Sedan range are strongly felt in the cabin, with all of the standard features such as keyless ignition, tilting and telescoping steering wheel, and luxury wood interior trim. power adjustable leather upholstered front seats, satellite radio, CD hooked up to a 13-speaker sound system, cruise control, fog lights, heated exterior mirrors, automatic wipers, climate control, driver memory functions, and 17 inch alloy wheels with all season tyres among a number of other top of the range accessories. Special safety considerations have been added in taking into account the car having a sunroof, and, no less important, Lexus have thrown in a specially developed air conditioning system that can adjust to variations in temperatures outside the car when the roof is down. Add to that Lexus's specially primed sound equalizer system, which will compensate for any loss of clarity when the roof is down.
Coupes in general and ones with retractable roofs in particular are geared towards a particular market. The one where the driver is less concerned about how many passengers they can fit in comfort on the back seats, or how much luggage they can fit in the trunk. And the Lexus IS Coupe is no different from any of its competitors in that respect, with limited leg room and baggage space coming as standard. However it appears that the ever growing numbers of people who are buying this particular coupe are less worried about that problem. All in the entire Lexus IS Coupe is a good looking car and excellent value for money.
For those who want to be and can afford to be almost one of a kind, then Lexus may have provided them the answer, their LFA coupe. A car that costs close to $400,000 has to be perfect, and that's what the LFA might well be.
The LFA Coupe can only be described as a ridiculous piece of self indulgence for the people who designed and produced it (Lexus) and the very few people in the World (confidential) who can afford and would want to buy it. Powered by a 4.8-liter V10 engine generating 552-horsepower, and weighing in at just more than 3.250 pounds thanks to it's largely carbon fiber body, the LFA will hit speeds that defy the imagination. Yet no matter how many LFA Coupes are sold the chances of them being seen on the road are extremely slim, as the car will probably spend it's very long life in the air conditioned garage of its ultra- wealthy owner.