F Sport – The Racy Side of Lexus

by Chris Crowley on April 29, 2013

Lexus F SportIn just 24 years of existence, Lexus has emerged as a successful, popular luxury brand known more for its comfort and dependability than its ability to quicken pulses and turn heads. As a brand that sprouted as the luxury branch of the Toyota tree, Lexus cars were initially seen (and in some cases, actually constructed) as more plush versions of Toyota vehicles. While the original flagship LS sedan was a new model unique to the U.S., the original Lexus ES was a Camry in Mercedes clothing, with chrome, leather, and wood sprucing up the more utilitarian cloth and plastic of its lower-class twin.

Toyota and Lexus executives have since admitted that although a strong seller, Lexus was often seen more as a cash cow throughout its early years, as opposed to a unique brand with its own identity.

So, six years ago Toyota execs decided to inject a bit more excitement and edginess into the Lexus lineup, giving the brand a definite personality. Enter the F Sport line of racing-inspired performance vehicles. Introduced at the North American International Auto Show in 2007, the Lexus LFA supercar concept took the world by storm. The LFA seemed completely out of character for Lexus at the time… a two-seat, 550 hp monster of a sports car that earned its racing stripes at the famed Nürburgring race course.

The “F” badge has a history with Lexus, as the original LS was dubbed the “F1 project” when Toyota began its development in 1983. So what better name to associate with the evolution of the brand?

Although the LFA recently completed its limited run as a production car, F Sport lives on in the IS F sport sedan, as well as in LFA-inspired, F Sport variations of five current Lexus models: LS, GS, IS C, CT, and RX.  Lexus also markets a line of F Sport accessories, offering enhanced performance and style, similar to Toyota’s TRD line.

The F Sport revolution has begun at Lexus, and appears to be here to stay. Are you on board with this edgy, more exciting path of development, or do you think Lexus should stick to the conservative but comfortable quality that made it a major luxury competitor? Lexus hopes it is striking the perfect balance between both schools of thought as it looks to revitalize the brand.

Source: blogs.motortrend.com/akio-toyoda-the-man-who-can-save-lexus-17405.html#axzz2Rsda9pVq

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