Lexus RC Tops Safety List Amongst Competitors

June 27, 2016 jhur Lexus, Lexus Santa Monica

2016 Lexus RC 350

The 2016 Lexus RC sports coupe earned a prestigious ‘Top Safety Pick+’ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, demonstrating how safety, athletic performance, and a luxurious design can co-exist in one vehicle.

In comparison, the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Dodge Challenger could not live up to the Lexus RC sports coupe’s high safety standards. The 2016 Ford Mustang and 2016 Dodge Challenger fell short of the 2016 Lexus RC’s ‘good’ rating in the small overlap front test. The 2016 Chevy Camaro earned a less-than-ideal rating on the roof strength test.

In order to earn its ‘Top Safety Pick+’ designation, the 2016 Lexus RC scored top ratings in small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints and seat categories. The IIHS also ranked the Lexus RC sports coupe’s front crash prevention ‘advanced.’

Our Lexus dealership in Santa Monica, CA has a variety of 2016 Lexus RC coupe models in our new vehicle inventory, all with the combination of safety, performance, and luxury that will give drivers peace of mind and thrills behind the wheel. Get in touch with a Lexus Santa Monica product specialist to learn more at (424) 229-9998 or through our online contact form.

How Harman and Kardon Audio Systems are Custom Designed

June 20, 2016 lacarguy Lexus Tags: , , ,

Harman is known for producing top-of-the-line audio systems for use in automobiles, which is why they go into Lexus vehicles regularly. During an interview with the head of Harman, he explained just how difficult it is to get the sound just right for a particular vehicle. Each vehicle is made up of a unique combination of materials and set in a unique configuration, and systems must be matched to the vehicle, not the other way around. That’s why Harman relies on a very extensive testing and refining process to ensure that each system is perfect for the vehicle it’s going to be used in.

harman

Tested in Real Driving Conditions

Harman doesn’t just make its systems in a lab without ever taking them out on a road. Instead the audio company takes each system out on a range of different roads to ensure they work properly. The speed of the vehicle, the surface of the road is adjusted dozens of times to really test the audio in a range of different settings to ensure that the sound is as good as possible in the largest number of conditions.

The Golden Ears Help Make Important Decisions

Harman employs a team of specialists that are trained to listen to audio and pick out the highest quality setup just by hearing it. This team of specialists is known as the “Golden Ears” and they are used when making any new automotive product. Harman utilizes technology to help create the very best audio setup, but the audio company also relies on human listeners to create the very best audio products. The team listens to specific songs chosen for their unique sounds to figure out what changes should be made. That’s why the team will listen to each audio configuration and figure out how to improve it and verify when products have been improved until they reach the end of the life cycle and are of the highest quality.

Special Audio Vocabulary

Harman even uses its own special audio vocabulary to help testers figure out how to describe the sounds coming out of their systems. Words like crisp, clear, powerful, deep, rich and nuanced are all signs of a good system. Dark, unnatural, flat, muddy, hollow and dull are all signs that the system isn’t the best quality and needs adjustment.

All Elements of the Sound are Tested

During the testing phases listeners and computer devices have to hear the audio from the systems and decide if the different sounds blend together well, if the bass is providing power without creating a boomy noise, and to make sure that the system is offering a dynamic sound that seems to move around as it plays.

There is a great deal that goes into making one of the very best automotive audio systems sold on the market today, and all of these steps help to really set the Harman systems apart from the other brands out on the market today.

How Toyota Hopes to Help Japan with Self Driving Cars

June 17, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

Ever since Google began testing out it’s self-driving vehicles the world has been clamoring about the possibility of self-driving vehicles and how they would change the world for everyone that currently drives. With each year since then technology has improved and it looks more and more likely that self-driving cars will eventually be offered. Most of the top automakers are hard at working making this technology possible, but each for different reasons. Toyota wants to offer self-driving vehicles to help its aging population get around safely and to ease the burden on the public transportation system.

Toyota Self Driving

Japan’s Population is one of the Oldest

Japan is known for its long life expectancy, and that means that the population is made up off more seniors than it is young people. As the number of elderly people increases it becomes increasingly challenging to help them get around and to meet basic transportation needs in general. Self driving vehicles could help alleviate that issue in a number of different ways, but the most obvious is allowing seniors to own vehicles that drive them around after having their license revoked or restricted due to age and difficulties driving.

Enhance Everyday Living

It’s tough to keep up with everyday needs when you can’t travel on your own. It’s tiring and burdensome to have to call family members and friends for help whenever transport is required, which is why self-driving cars could solve that problem. Even though an elderly person can’t drive a vehicle after a certain point for safety reasons, they could ride in the back of a self-driving vehicle to get where they need to go without issue. That’s something that Toyota is working toward.

Reduce the Strain on the Healthcare System

In order to treat all the elderly members of society in Japan they must be transported to one of the local hospitals. This is often accomplished through public transportation and specialty services. Unfortunately it’s becoming more and more difficult to provide the service to these citizens, as the number of elderly people grows throughout the country. Self-driving cars could really reduce the strain on the healthcare system when it comes to public transportation.

Toyota recognizes that the market for a self-driving car could be huge in Japan, and the automaker is working actively to try to make that dream possible for any elderly Japanese men and women that have a need for convenient transportation.

The New and Improved Macan GTS

June 16, 2016 lacarguy Porsche Tags: , , , , ,

The Macan GTS has been out for a little while now and plenty of reviewers have had the opportunity to give it a try. The word is out about the vehicle’s performance, and that word is highly positive from most people. The Macan GTS comes with more power and performance enhancements that you simply won’t get on the Macan S. Of course it will set you back more if you decide to make the upgrade, but many people that test drive both vehicles will decide that the GTS is worth the extra money.

2017 macan gts

Performance Power

The Macan GTS is designed for high levels of performance that are still comfortable for roadway driving. It offers a total of 360 HP and a powerful 369 lb.-ft. of torque, (increases of 20 HP and 30 lb.-ft. Of torque over the Macan S) which you’ll really feel during acceleration. The vehicle only comes with a PDK clutch, which is great for acceleration and performance, but not so great for enthusiasts that prefer a manual transmission. While driving the vehicle you can choose between Comfort, Sport and Sport+ driving modes to adjust how the vehicle handles. You can ramp up the power and stiffen the suspension for more strenuous track conditions, and soften it up for more casual driving conditions.

Off-Road Suspension

While the GTS isn’t made for off-roading, it is designed to take on most standard driving conditions well. If you want a bit more lift to help with bumps and potential issues with dragging, you can switch to Off Road and the air ride suspension will raise the ride height of the vehicle up by 10mm. While that’s not a huge amount, it’s enough to help the Macan GTS make it over some bumpier sections of road.

Excellent Handling for an SUV

I don’t want your hopes up too high that the Macan GTS is going to feel just like a Boxster when speeding down the road, but it certainly feels better than any SUV has a right to. The steering is a bit numb compared to a high performance sports car, but it is precise and easy to manipulate around the sharp corners, though it’s nose pushes in a bit more than is ideal for racing performance. The air ride suspension is one of the best features of the Macan GTS and it helps keep that smooth feel over more rough terrain, while effectively tightening things up when it comes to more performance-oriented driving.

Though the Macan GTS isn’t as insane as the Turbo version, it’s still potent and a clear step up from the Macan S. Anyone looking for more performance out of the little SUV should consider making the upgrade to the higher up model. Sure it will cost you more, but you get all those performance goodies and the added power that doesn’t come with the S model.

Here’s Why the Lexus Dealership Experience is So Good

June 15, 2016 lacarguy Lexus Tags: , , , ,

Most auto buyers know that you get more than just a higher quality product when you opt for a luxury vehicle, you also get the enhanced customer experience that comes with that higher purchasing price. This is even more true when you purchase a Lexus vehicle, because Lexus dealerships are known for their excellent customer service. This is because the dealerships put a lot of emphasis on offering a good quality customer experience for every single person that comes through the door, but it’s also because Lexus listens to its dealerships. In fact, Lexus listens to its dealerships better than any other car manufacturer in the business according to NADA.

lexus santa monica

What is NADA?

NADA is the National Automobile Dealers Association, and it specializes in helping dealers get together and discuss the matters that mean most to them. The organization works with dealers from all around the United States and helps to improve conditions and make sure that every dealer knows what is going on in the industry if they wish to. In short the organization is a big deal and a major authority when it comes to automotive dealerships in the United States.

Why This Matters

It’s a big deal that Lexus listens to its dealerships because dealerships deal with customers, manufacturers do not. The only way that Lexus can effectively serve its customers is by following the dealerships advice and lead to help produce the very best product possible.

What the Survey Tests For

The NADA survey that ranked Lexus at the very top measures things like Dealer’s satisfaction, competitiveness of products, franchise value, satisfaction with management and dealer confidence in the future of the franchise. After seeing all these things it’s clear that Lexus is listening to its dealerships closely, and making decisions that will help the brand be successful in the future as well. That’s important for buyers with an interest in long-lasting customer support and increasingly improved products in the future.

Who Lexus Beat Out?

Lexus was able to come ahead of the likes of Porsche, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Kia, Jeep, Audi and all the other major automakers in the country. That means that the Lexus dealerships are more in-control than the rest are, and that the manufacturing facilities are actively considering concerns that matter to the actual car buyers purchasing their products. No wonder Lexus owners are one of the happiest groups of automotive owners, and no wonder the dealership experience is such a positive one each and every time.

New Volkswagen Vehicles will Navigate Traffic Faster

June 14, 2016 lacarguy Volkswagen Tags: , , ,

Imagine having a highly knowledgeable taxi driver by your side every minute of the day that you’re out in your vehicle. He can give you suggestions about which roads to take to avoid traffic, and help you figure out how to make the most of your daily routine. That’s exactly what Volkswagen is going to start offering to drivers with a new modification to its GPS system. The new system will help you get through traffic faster, and you won’t even notice what its doing.

volkswagen nav system

What the System Does
As you drive back and forth to regular locations such as work, your parent’s house and to the gym your GPS system will learn which routes you like to take regularly and where you want to get to when you travel. Once the system knows where it is that you want to travel it will start helping you get there faster than you are currently capable of doing. That’s because the system can look at current traffic data and find out which roads are congested and which ones are less problematic.

How it Works

As you drive to one of your planned destinations your system will take a look at the current traffic patterns and pick out the very best way for you to get there. You’ll receive on-the-fly suggestions about which way that you should go, and then you can listen to that advice to help you get where you need to go faster and with less headaches. Imagine getting through the morning commute in half the time, because you were able to skip over a couple traffic jams that were slowing everyone else down. That’s the type of benefits that you’ll enjoy with this enhanced navigation system.

Benefits to Traffic

Not only will systems like this make it easy for you to travel back and forth to work and for you to get the places that you want to go, but they will also help prevent congestion and relieve it. As more and more GPS units learn traffic patterns and begin making suggestions to drivers, less jams will occur. That’s because more people will make optimal use of the roadways and avoid the slower paths. As drivers spread out over the roads more evenly everyone can get where they want to go in less time overall.

The feature is set to to be added to new Volkswagen vehicles as they are released, but there isn’t yet information about whether it will be added to the older vehicles or not. Either way, new VW owners will be able to enjoy faster navigation through high traffic areas and the feature should be added to new GPS systems in the future free of charge. It should become more common on cars by other manufacturers as well in the future, and eventually traffic should benefit from the changes that the systems offer.

Victory For Mike Sullivan At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

June 13, 2016 lacarguy LAcarGUY News & Events, Pacific Porsche, Porsche Tags: , ,

Mike Sulivan Victory

 

Mike Sullivan took the Silver Masters class victory in dramatic style at the historic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, as an off-and-on excursion while exiting Turn 5 nearly ended his day. Mike maintained control, taking his No. 83 Pacific Porsche/LAcarGuy Porsche to the lead when championship leader and Competition Motorsports teammate Steve Goldman suffered a mechanical issue that ended his day.

“It was an exciting afternoon!” said Mike. “When someone gets a wheel off, you’ve got to be really careful. That dirt really blocks off everything so you have to slow down. I caused quite a dust storm when I went off! I went off, checked my mirrors to make sure it was okay, and got going again. I’m not sure what happened, I have to look at the video.

Sat-Silver-Podium

The Silver class for the 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 ClubSport cars race saw Pacific Porsche’s Carl Toffelmire bring home a very hard fought 2nd place after a race long battle with Pole sitter Pole sitter Kevin Woods, and Carl’s team mate John Horejsi.

The next round of the series heads up to wine country in Napa Valley, July 1-3 at Sonoma Raceway, (Sears Point for those of from “back in the day”)

 

The Toyota Prius is the Most Affordable According to YourMechanic

June 13, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , ,

Owning a vehicle is expensive, there’s no doubt about that. But one of the biggest expenses that you likely face, is probably one that you don’t even think about before making a vehicle purchase. Maintenance. That’s right, the money that you spend on maintaining that vehicle over the years is staggering, and it makes a lot of sense looking for vehicles that are more affordable to maintain when you try to pick out the one that you are going to drive around. According to information from YourMechanic, a vehicle website focused on car maintenance, the Toyota Prius is the least expensive vehicle to maintain overall. That’s exciting news when you consider that you’ll already be saving money on fuel every day that you drive around.

Toyota Prius

How Little Does it Cost?

According to data collected by YourMechanic, the Toyota Prius costs justs $4,300. That’s a bargain when you consider vehicles like the Chrysler Sebring that will set you back $17,100 over a 10 year period for regular maintenance and repair. When you look at the difference between maintenance costs of these vehicles it’s obvious that that is a consideration you should be making when buying your vehicle.

Save Money Over the Long Term

While the Toyota Prius is a bit more expensive than some of the other vehicles out on the road, it’s easy to see how you’ll save money over the long term by picking up the mid-sized hybrid. Not only will you cut your fuel expenses throughout the year, but you’ll cut maintenance and repair costs as well. It’s the ultimate low-cost vehicle when you consider all the different ways that it will save you money, which is exactly why you should be considering it over the other options being offered to the masses.

I’m not saying that you should run out and buy the Prius, there are other vehicles such as the Kia Soul, the Camry and the Honda Fit that are also affordable to maintain, but I am saying that you need to pay attention to maintenance costs before running out and buying a new vehicle. They make a big difference over time, and you could end up spending as much as $13,000 additional money over 10 years because you picked a more expensive vehicle to maintain when you were out car shopping.

Collectors are Already Clamoring for the 2017 911R

June 10, 2016 lacarguy Porsche Tags: , , ,

If you haven’t heard of the 911R yet, you’re about to hear from it everywhere. That’s because this enhanced version of the typical 911 is in such great demand that the rich are already digging deep down into their pockets to pick up a used version of this highly limited vehicle when it’s finally released. I’ll start by saying that the car is performance-focused and is fitted with the very capable GT3 RS engine. Not only that but it adds a enthusiast element into the mix with a manual gearshift that you won’t find on the GT3. Those two changes, along with a score of other enhancements makes this 911 very desirable. So desirable that it’s already sold out.

porsche 911r

Sold Out Before the End of Production

A total of 991 of the 911R models are being produced overall and each one is being sold with a starting price of £136,901. Even with a starting price of approximately $200,000 this car is already sold out entirely. One enterprising buyer even tried to relist the vehicle that hasn’t been produced yet for a whopping $1.25m. Though the listing was later taken down, the fact that so many people looked at it and even considered the car shows that it has a massive following and huge demand.

A True Enthusiast’s Vehicle

The 911R doesn’t focus on achieving the very fastest acceleration possible, instead it focuses on providing the very best driving experience while still offering a highly capable vehicle. The 4.0 liter engine from the GT3 RS is naturally aspirated, produces 493bhp and can travel from 0 to 60mph in just 3.7 seconds. The thing that makes this car so special is the removal of the PDK clutch in favor of a six-speed manual transmission. Sure it shaves time off acceleration slightly, but the car is so much more appealing for the change. The rear spoiler is also removed in this version of the vehicle, raising the top speed up to 201mph, from 193, a slight change, but buyers will enjoy saying that their vehicle can travel at over 200 mph.

Enhancing the Vehicle Even More

The 911R comes with a lot of nice features already such as forged aluminum 20-inch wheels, carbon ceramic brakes and the four-wheel steering system standard in the GT3, but there are a few extras you can add on to bump that price tag up and up. For the small price of £2,024 (approx. $3,000) you can add on a single mass flywheel that helps improve acceleration a bit more.

A Purists Vehicle Within

On the inside of the 911R it’s obvious that Porsche wasn’t trying to appeal to tech enthusiasts or the guy that has to have every gadget. In fact, within you’ll find far fewer features than you would in even a budget Toyota Corolla today. That isn’t because Porsche is ripping you off and saving money on all those gadgets, its because the automaker understands the value of a streamlined and clean interior. There’s no steering wheel buttons, no stereo system at all (though you can have that added back for free), and fabric loops being used as handles. The only buttons you’ll really see within the Spartan interior is one to control the two-stage dampers, another to activate the sports exhaust and one to select Sports mode. That’s it. The rest of the interior is a clean slate that you’ll enjoy looking at compared to all the cluttered vehicles on the market today.

Road Tuned Performance

Unlike the GT3 the 911R isn’t obsessed with the track. In fact, this vehicle is tuned specifically for roadway driving, giving it softer handling characteristics and the ability to really rip up the roadways comfortably. Sure precision steering is maintained and an excellent drive feel that is only available through a Porsche car, but you’ll feel right at home while travelling around all those open roadways, and won’t feel the need to make your way to a track to have fun, like you do with the GT3.

The 911R is very very exciting to the right kind of auto buyer, unfortunately if you’re among that group you’ll have to work a bit harder to get your hands on one of these vehicles. Sure they’ll be available once production is completed and the buyers all take delivery, but nobody is going to be interested in selling for less than the $200,000 price tag, and many are going to be asking prices far higher than that.

The New and Improved Toyota Tundra

June 9, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

The Toyota Tundra isn’t the most popular full-sized pickup truck in the country, but it does have a strong following of buyers that migrate from one model to the next as needed. There is a lot that the Tundra has to offer buyers, even though the last time it was completely overhauled was back in 2007. The truck is slated to receive some massive enhancements in the coming year, and should become even more popular thanks to these enhancements.

2016 toyota tundra

Enhancements

The 2016 Toyota Tundra is slated to receive a bunch of advancements that will make it even more desirable to purchase. Many models of the Tundra are going to receive a fuel tank upgrade to carry a total of 38 gallons of fuel at a time. The truck is also set to receive an enhanced infotainment system and a built-in trailer brake to help with major towing tasks. All of these improvements should help the truck to appeal to an even larger audience of buyers.

Known for Reliability

Tundra truck owners are more concerned about reliability than most other truck owners are. They believe strongly that reliability is the most important aspect of a vehicle, which is why they depend on the reliability of the Toyota brand, and for how solid Tundras are known to be. This is one of the main reasons that Tundras show up in the work force regularly, and that they are known for having fewer features than some of their competitors.

Powerful Towing Capacity

Tundras are known for their power and towing capacity. While they can’t offer the highest towing in the industry, they are known for towing just what they say they will and not relying on inflated numbers at all. Owners appreciate the reliable figures and the dependable towing power that the Tundra has to offer. It looks like the 2016 model is going to keep the same 10,500 lb. towing capacity, more than enough power to handle most towing tasks presented to it.

Produced in America

While many truck owners that avoid the Tundra do so because it’s not made by an American automaker, they aren’t thinking clearly. The Tundra is produced in Texas and relies on nearly 50 percent American Made parts. That ratio is higher than many of the supposedly “American Made” brands, and some of those brands build their trucks in other countries such as Mexico. The Toyota Tundra is a good option for buyers looking to get an American-Made vehicle, and there are few truck options that rely more on domestic parts and labor during production.

The 2016 Toyota Tundra is a nice step up from the 2015 model, but it still sticks to the same high levels of durability and rugged performance that Tundras are known for.