I was able to squeeze in an hour at this cars and coffee held at my local Porsche dealer before breakfast with the family. It was one of those cases where I woke up early anyway, so why not just go? Boy was I glad I did. The cars were all very high quality and there’s plenty more features to come from it.
For $25K you have many great options for a high-performance daily driver. If you want a brand new car you can get a Honda Civic Si or a Volkswagen GTI, both great “hot hatches” with amazing handling and turbocharged power. Looking a couple years used, you can find a current-gen Subaru WRX, or variants of the Ford Mustang or Chevy Camaro. But what if you want something even more serious with more emphasis on luxury and even higher performance? For $25K, the cars will be a few years older, 8-10 years old in this case, but you are getting $60K worth of car for less than half the price.
I’m starting to look around in this general price range for my next step, and I have various options depending on what I decide to do with my current stable of cars. I decided to go have a drive in some of the cars I’ve been looking at to see what they’re really like from behind the wheel.
I went to a local dealer to check out two Audi B8 S4s, and low and behold, they had a Lexus IS F on the lot as well – it hadn’t been listed online yet. IS Fs are pretty rare, and this one was in my range, so I added it to my list to drive.
The S4 and IS F are a somewhat strange comparison, the Audi is AWD with a supercharged V6, and the Lexus is RWD with a 5.0L V8. When it comes to driving in bad weather, they don’t really do the same things. That said, both are midsize sedans that offer high performance with a lot of polish. Overall, they serve the same basic function for the same basic price, so, despite their vast differences in many areas, that means they compete.
Luxury isn’t about needs, luxury is about wants, or rather, desires. Practical concerns come second to delivering a highly remarkable experience. A luxury object is an art form, and it must appeal deeply to human emotion, even at the expense of being practical or being objectively inane.
The upscale part of Toyota, Lexus has always been extremely focused on delivering on practical concerns. They have the best reputation for build quality in the entire industry, and their cars have always been solid. A Lexus has always been a nice and dependable way to get around, but they never really rose above being just a well-polished transportation appliance. They never evoked any sort of deep carnal desire, or had a sense of occasion that made you want to go out and drive just for the hell of it.
Since 2008, Lexus has been taking serious steps to spice up their brand and make themselves a player in the true luxury segment. It’s a marketplace where people want something genuinely special, not just a Camry fitted with leather and wood. Lexus needed to define their own unique experience, and boy have they made moves in the years since.
This is the new Lexus LC 500, and it just might be the best GT car you can buy for $100 grand.
We attended the CF Charities Supercar Show at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia this weekend. This was the first year for the event in Philly, and we liked the new venue a lot. There were some truly incredible cars, and there’s a lot more to come, but here are some highlights for starters.
I’ve become more and more of a fan of Lexus over the years. It’s not because I’ve gotten older and more mature, either, it’s because they’ve improved their approach to building cars. High performance and driving dynamics used to mean nothing to Lexus, it was all about having a silky ride with unparalleled build quality and reliability. What I really love about Lexus’ coming of age in the last decade, or so, is how their gains in dynamic performance have not come at the expense of their foundational values. Sure, the F models may compromise a silky smooth ride in the name of handling prowess, but they’ll still run over 200,000 miles without breaking down. Lexus is still Lexus, just a better version of themselves.
You have to remember that Lexus was only founded in 1989, four years after Mercedes-Benz had celebrated it’s first century of building cars. In the luxury realm, they are still a very young marquee.
In the past, a Lexus was a simpler alternative to the many German luxury options. It was always a nice car, very well built, and could be counted on for many, many years. They always lacked most of the fancy new features found in the German cars, though, you know, the sort of cool stuff you want when you spend a lot of money. Well, here in 2017, I finally feel like Lexus isn’t lagging behind their German competition. This is the new Lexus LS 500, and the Germans should be pretty nervous.