The new Lexus UX SUV concept is the most remarkable-looking vehicle to debut at the Paris motor show this October. The UX concept offers a peek at what will likely replace the CT 200h hatchback in the coming SUV lineup. “We are ready for the next chapter of a bolder Lexus SUV – the UX concept,” Dr. Johan Van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota Lexus in Europe stated. He elaborated on the futuristic cabin design and technology, explaining it will offer an “immersive driver experience.” Potential design and technology features to look forward to include:
- Suicide doors with a curvy appearance
- Sharp LED tail lights
- Rear-facing cameras to replace side-door mirrors
- Lexus designed Kinetic Seat Concept technology
- Wrap-around dashboard
- Dual-screen infotainment system
- Shift paddles integrated into the steering wheel
- Gear selector buttons, replacing the traditional shifter
Browse our new inventory of 170 Lexus SUV models and contact the knowledgeable staff at our Santa Monica, CA dealership through our online contact form or phone at (424) 229-9998 to schedule your test drive today!
There aren’t any figures on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf yet, but the automaker is hoping to come out with a bang. The latest model is set to debut in November, and Volkswagen is pulling out all the stops to make it as efficient as possible. It’s likely that the Golf will achieve mileage figures that helps it compete with Prius vehicles, something that most automakers don’t even try to do today.
At least one of the variations of the 2018 Golf is expected to come with a 1.0 liter three-cylinder engine. The engine will be enhanced by an electric-powered supercharger as well as an electric generator. The vehicle is shooting for fuel efficiency figures around the 60 MPG mark, and if the automaker manages to achieve such figures, it would certainly stand out as a more environmentally conscious brand than before.
High Tech Gesture Controls
Volkswagen showed off gesture controls with its Golf R Touch concept vehicle back at CES 2015, and now it’s likely that those gesture controls are going to be introduced on the 2018 Golf. With the system in place, it would be possible to open and close the sunroof, adjust the temperature, change radio stations and do a whole lot more without using any buttons at all. Instead simple gestures are used as input and make necessary changes to the system.
New Media Display
Volkswagen is also planning on replacing the standard media setup with a much more robust 12.3-inch LED panel that’s similar to Audi’s virtual cockpit. This setup might not be used on all Golf models, but would certainly offer interested buyers with a more exciting media experience and a more technical vehicle overall.
The Volkswagen Golf is the most popular vehicle offered by the Automaker and it’s sure to come out with a serious bang in November. While nobody has gotten a good look at what Volkswagen is up to, everyone is excited about what the latest compact car is going to bring to the market. Will it be as revolutionary as everyone is saying? You’ll just have to wait and see.
For luxury-loving Santa Monica, CA drivers, the 2017 Lexus IS offers the exclusive driving experience you’ve been waiting for. Detailed changes to improve its overall aesthetics make the handsome Lexus IS even more desirable and safety system upgrades ensures that the changes are more than just cosmetic. The exciting advancements to the 2017 Lexus IS will definitely impress at the workplace and after hours as well.
2017 Lexus IS: Exterior Design
The bold 2017 Lexus IS was diligently modified to have a sportier look. The spindle grille that Lexus is so famous for stretches further up the fascia than the 2016 Lexus IS. You’ll look like you’re floating as you pull up to the light since the air intakes give the front fender a hover-like appearance. The rear has L-shaped LED lights with three guide layers stylishly standing out in a way that no other model can compete with. Additional available exterior updates sure to turn heads include:
- A more sculpted hood
- Rectangular chrome exhaust
- Three-dimensional mesh pattern
- Five-spoke 18-in. wheels
- Caviar and Nightfall Mica color options
- Jet black metallic coating
2017 Lexus IS: Safety
High-quality improvements don’t end with the exterior design. The Lexus Safety System now comes standard on all 2017 IS models. Multiple safety must-haves included are Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Intelligent High Beam (IHB), Pre-Collision System (PCS), and Steering Assist.
Winter is fast approaching and there are steps that you should take to make sure your car is ready for the weather to come. Cold driving conditions are harder on your vehicle, and snowy roads are more difficult to drive on. It’s important to take the necessary precautions to make sure your vehicle, and you are ready to handle the challenges that come along with the season change.
Check Your Coolant Mix
The coolant that runs through your vehicle’s engine is what keeps it from overheating and dying a very fast death. This coolant must remain a liquid even in subzero temperatures, and it’s the antifreeze that’s added to it that allows it to do so throughout the winter. Before the temperatures get too low, you’re encouraged to check the antifreeze levels in your coolant, to be sure that your mixture is good enough to prevent any freezing.
Pick up a testing kit at your local auto supply store and use it to check your current fluid levels. If they aren’t ready to handle the freezing temperatures that you’ll soon be dealing with, adjust the mixture by adding more antifreeze. It’s an easy process to complete, and really important for keeping your vehicle functioning properly.
Make Sure Your Tires are Ready
The next step is to go over your tires to ensure that they have enough tread to guide you through snow and other adverse weather conditions. Take a simple penny, and insert it into the tread of your tire with the top of Lincoln’s head facing down toward the tire itself. If you can see all of his head you need to get some new tires that have more protective tread. If his head is at least a little obscured you’re probably good to make it through the season.
When winter is approaching you can also consider swapping out your all-weather or summer tires in exchange for snow tires. These tires are designed to handle cold temperatures more effectively, and many can be fitted with studs or chains to help them handle really poor driving conditions more effectively. Just be sure that you pick out a quality brand of tire to use on your vehicle to avoid any potential problems.
Buy Winter Wiper Fluid
You might not realize it, but not all wiper fluid is designed to work well in the winter. Some fluids freeze up nearly instantly when used in very cold environments. That’s why you should purchase a good quality fluid that is going to function properly even when the temperatures fall below zero. Take a look at your local auto parts store, and you’re sure to find a good quality fluid that is going to work well for you all throughout the winter.
Consider a Thinner Oil
Some vehicle owners rely on thin vehicle all throughout the year, but for vehicle owners that are running 10W-30 in their vehicles, it’s worth considering a 5W-30 oil for the winter months. This oil maintains an improved viscosity in colder temperatures and allows the engine to function more freely. Consider making the switch at your next oil change before the temperature drops down too low. You’ll notice that your engine seems to be doing better throughout the colder months.
Making these simple changes can help you get more life out of your vehicle and improve your winter driving conditions. Most are very easy to make, and pretty affordable as well. Take a bit of time to make sure your vehicle is ready for this upcoming winter, you won’t regret it.
Porsche recently released the latest Boxster, and it’s a beast of a machine that makes the most of a four-cylinder engine. Even though it relies on a smaller power plant, it’s actually faster than ever before and a really exciting sports car to test out. It’s common to pay more than $70,000 for the Boxster, pitting it firmly above the Cayman, but lower than most 911 models, but this sports car model is a good solid performance that’s exciting to anyone that cares about high-speed driving and good handling mechanics. I’m just going to go over the most notable changes with the latest model of the vehicle, most readers are likely familiar with previous Boxster models.
More Power with the Same Efficiency
The new Boxster comes fitted with a four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 350 HP instead of the 325 offered by the flat 6. It also puts out a very nice 309 lb.-ft. of torque, giving you plenty of grab. Not only that, but the engine makes all this power available earlier on than before. Max power is available at 6500 rpm instead of 6700 and top torque is available as soon as 1900 rpm. All this added power doesn’t increase fuel requirements at all, and city driving efficiency remains the same for the Boxster, while highway driving economy increases by 1 point.
Even though the engine is far superior on paper, it’s hard not to miss the purr of the flat six, and the characteristic rumble of the engine. It still sounds pretty darned good, but it’s quite a bit different than the flat-6, which is going to upset some purists with a history of owning Porsche cars.
High Speed Launch
The improved power of the Boxster allows it to achieve some very impressive acceleration speeds. With the PDK clutch setup 0 to 60 is accomplished in just 4.3 seconds, the same time that the 911 achieves. With the manual clutch acceleration times drop down to 5.3 seconds at best. Going from 0 to 100 takes just 8.5 seconds with the automatic transmission. This car is very fast and is a whole lot of fun to drive when you don’t have to worry about speeding.
Deciding Between the PDK and Manual
The manual transmission in the Boxster is also of fun to use, and really adds to the driving experience, but there is a lot of benefit that comes from relying on the PDK as well. The PDK is just plain faster and will get you up to speed in less time. It’s also more fuel efficient. When in use the Boxster gets 21 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway, which is pretty good compared to a 20 city and 26 highway offered by the manual.
The 2017 Toyota Highlander is the very first fuel-only Toyota vehicle to get stop-start technology. This is a pretty nice breakthrough for the automaker and a nice perk for drivers considering picking up a new SUV this year. Sure other automakers have been offering the technology for a few years now, but drivers that favor Toyota vehicles will be really pleased to hear about the tech offering that will soon be available to buyers.
What is Start-Stop?
Start-stop is a technology that shuts off a vehicle’s engine when it isn’t in motion. This is technology that is used on all Toyota hybrid vehicles, but something that hasn’t been added to standard vehicles yet. It’s pretty cool tech, that will keep you from worrying about all the fuel that you’re wasting in traffic jams and slow driving conditions with plenty of braking and stopping.
The Major Benefits
The main benefit of start-stop technology is saved fuel. That’s because any time that you are idling you are wasting fuel. With this tech you won’t idle any longer. Instead the car shuts right off and when you get ready to go it kicks right back on again seamlessly.
Another benefit is the reduction in pollution. With your engine running less, you’ll be putting off less pollution and helping to keep the environment just a little bit nicer. By running your engine less, you’ll also likely extend the lifespan of the engine, helping it to last longer and function more reliably.
Turn it on or Off
Highlander owners won’t have to rely on the technology if they don’t want to. There is going to be a button that allows drivers to shut off stop-start if they would rather not use it. There are also some conditions when the technology won’t be available. For instance, if the vehicle is sitting on a significant slope, or if the AC is turned all the way up. This prevents stop-start from initiating to prevent issues from arising.
Toyota plans on adding the technology to most of its vehicles in the future, but would not divulge which vehicles specifically would be getting the technology. If you are looking for a way to be more efficient, or you just like the idea of stop-start tech, you should consider the 2017 Toyota Highlander. Just make sure it isn’t the LE model, or it won’t come with the technology available.
Porsche has always been known for having nice doors. That’s because most Porsche vehicles come with hydraulic struts that firmly hold the door in place. The only downside to that system is that you have to push a bit harder in order to get the doors to shut fully. Overall Porsche doors are more reliable than the industry standard that simply relies on hinges with a small detent. Even though Porsche doors are already some of the best in the industry, the automaker figured out a way to improve on them even more, and is working on putting a powerful magnetic door stop into place.
Porsche is considering a magnetic system that uses electro-magnets to vary the resistance applied to a door. The door could be held open through electrical power, and then that resistance could be removed entirely just as fast as it was originally applied. By combining such a system with traditional hydraulic door stops, Porsche doors could be kept nice and smooth, while also making them easier to open and close.
Why it Hasn’t Happened Yet
Though Porsche is looking at this technology to create an even more superior door, there are still some problems standing in the way of accomplishing that goal. For one thing, there has to be a mechanism in place controlling the magnet. The door would have to know when you were holding it and when you wanted to close it. Sure it could rely on force calculations or some sort of touch sensor, but Porsche hasn’t decided how they want to do it just yet. The automaker would likely consider the technology for vehicles like the Cayenne and the Panamera where weight isn’t as much of an issue, and avoid it on some of the sleeker sports cars.
Sure cool electromagnet doors aren’t going to make a Porsche drive any better, but they will make getting in and out of the vehicle even more enjoyable. Plus it’s a cool bragging point. After all, who doesn’t want to brag about having a technologically advanced door?
For the longest time Subaru was the only option if you were interested in an all-wheel station wagon for use outdoors or just as a reliable driver. That’s not the case any longer. Volkswagen took the Golf Sportwagen, and transformed it into the Golf Alltrack, a highly capable station wagon that can tackle a mix of weather conditions and even handle some off-roading thanks to the lifted body and top-notch all-wheel drive. It’s a fun little car to drive around, and perfect for small to mid-sized families looking for comfort, safety and performance when taking trips, camping or doing just about anything else.
The Alltrack looks like a station wagon fit for a camping trip on the outside, but on the inside, well it’s beautiful. Sure it’s obvious that this isn’t a Mercedez or Lexus, but the interior is quite luxurious. The surfaces and seats are covered with soft touch materials, the cabin is laid out with care and there isn’t any clutter to be seen. It looks like a $40,000 car easily, and it’s amazing that it can be had for less than $30,000.
You won’t have to worry about storage space with the Alltrack. It was designed for that sort of thing. Sure it’s sleek and low to the ground, but it’s got a massive hatch space that will hold all your camping gear with ease. If that’s not enough, you can make use of the roof rack up top to lash on some more bags or a cargo carrier to really expand your storage options. The Alltrack is designed for day trips, road trips and camping. It’s a good solid option for families that need storage.
One of the main reasons that you’ll probably consider the Volkswagen Alltrack is for the all-wheel drive, and that’s a pretty darned good reason. The Alltrack is equipped with 4Motion all-wheel drive, which can put up to 50% of the total vehicle power to the rear wheels while driving around. That level of power control allows the Alltrack to handle dirt roads, a bit of slush and most driving conditions admirably. You’ll feel in control under most circumstances, and if you do happen to take it off-roading the 6.9 inches of ground clearance should help you avoid getting snagged on anything along the way.
Fun to Drive
The Volkswagen Alltrack doesn’t seem like the type of car that would be fun to drive, but once you’re behind the wheel, you’ll forget all those stereotypes that you slapped the car with, because it’s a blast to drive. This compact station wagon comes with a powerful 170 HP engine, and a massive 190 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s outfitted with either a dual clutch automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission, and it packs a whole lot more power and character than similar vehicles that rely on a CVT to get around.
You’ll look forward to taking cross country trips in this little wagon, because it’s a blast to take around winds and turns. There are few vehicles that drive so out of character compared to their appearance than the Volkswagen Alltrack, and that’s a good thing.
Porsche wants to work with the likes of Tesla, Mercedes and other car companies to come up with a universal charging standard for electric vehicles. It will be nearly impossible to achieve success with an electric vehicle without coming up with a universal standard, which is exactly why Porsche wants to get everyone on the same page before it releases its first high-powered EV.
Agreeing on a Standard
Porsche says that from a technical standpoint most automakers are on the same page when it comes to an electric charging infrastructure, but the companies can’t yet agree on a specific standard. They are going back and forth about the different types of chargers, but want something that’s going to work with Tesla vehicles as well as other standard vehicles around the country.
Universal Charge Stations
Electric vehicles need universal charging stations that work for everyone. That’s what Porsche is trying to accomplish and the automaker states that Tesla is open to allowing other car users to make use of its charging network.
Porsche has developed an 800-volt charger, the fastest available today. It’s nearly twice as fast as the 450-volt charging system that Tesla currently has in place, and it’s an effort to make charging up electric vehicles a bit faster and easier. Even still, it will take about 15 minutes to charge the Mission E battery to 80 percent with that high-powered charge. It’s still more time-consuming to charge up batteries than it is to refill a car with gasoline, which is an issue that automakers around the world are trying to sort out.
Using Adapters for Charging
It’s clear that not every manufacturer is going to agree on the same port size. Which isn’t really that important. What is important is that the manufacturers can agree on a basic charge station setup. That way electric vehicles can make use of chargers produced by other manufacturers. It’s easy to make adapters for different charge stations, it’s not so easy to charge vehicles when the station doesn’t rely on the same type of power output. Most automakers agree that simple adapters should allow electric car owners to use a range of charging points without issue.
Long-range electric cars are quickly coming to the market, and Porsche is working hard to try and get the charging infrastructure ready to meet that increased demand.
For decades automakers have been restyling the same old seat technology, without coming up with something better. That’s about to change if Lexus has anything to say about it. The automaker is designing a new set of seats that are more dynamic and supposedly much more comfortable as well.
The seats look like a mesh of a solid frame and a spider web. They are designed to conform to the body, to allow movement while sitting and to create a comfortable long-term environment. Drivers that sit for extended periods of time will really appreciate the level of effort that went into producing these high quality seats.
A More Natural Seat
The Lexus Kinetic seat is designed to mimic the natural movement of the human spine. It’s lightweight in construction and designed to create a stabile head position, to support the arms and minimize fatigue while driving, and most importantly to do away with soreness that comes from sitting for extended periods.
The Green Seat
This new seat developed by Lexus is a greener alternative to the seats used today. That’s because the strands of fiber that make up the seat bottom and back rest are composed of a synthetic spider silk material known as QMONOS. It’s a Japanese product that’s designed to replace petroleum-based materials. It’s based on proteins and spun into a highly durable product that creates a comfortable seating environment.
Already Dynamically Tested
It’s true that the seat isn’t past the testing phase yet, and there is a lot of development that still has to go into making the final product, it has been tested under pretty strenuous conditions already. Lexus brought it to Nurburgring speedway and used the seat under high-speed tests to verify that it’s strong and ready for use out on the road.
While there is still a great deal of development to be done on the seats, they could be showing up in Lexus vehicles in the next few years. Such an addition would make the vehicles even more attractive, and create an exciting feature for buyers looking for enhanced comfort. Lexus vehicles are known for their superb comfort, and this latest seat enhancement could increase that brand image even more.