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Detroit Auto Show 2018
Everything from LS to LC with Lexus General Manager Jeff BrackenLexus is pushing forward with amazing designs in both the LC and LS. Join us for a Detroit discussion on how those cars came to be.
[MUSIC] We'll start with the LC because that car made it's debut last year. Or even earlier than that. We got to drive it last year. Beautiful, long, low, sporty coupe Talk about the placement in the market for that card. That's a bit of a unique concept, a luxurious sporty coop. Right, so the LC for us fills a gap that we had not previously occupied. When you think about where Lexus was, maybe when we began, we were probably recognized for quality and dependability and certainly premiere customer care, but Maybe not so much for beautiful styling and high performance. So with the LC, maybe preceded by the RCF and GSF, we now have an absolutely beautiful performance coupe with a 5-liter V8, 471 horse power. So we are so excited to get this into the hands of our dealers this May. And when we first saw that car, it was presented as a concept car and we thought, this looks like a concept car. But it really didn't change much at all going from that to production. It's rare that we see something stay that true. It's almost as if you were at our national dealer meeting. Because when we did show that, actually here in Detroit, I think, 2012, as a concept And then we shared it with our dealers over the last several months. We played up the fact that it looks almost identical to what the concept was to what the actual production vehicle is. So we just couldn't be more pleased with what the designers and engineers were able to pull off. And that's very, very rare. I mean, we do see concept cars moved into production and they look similar, but usually there are at least very subtle tweaks that just kind of take the edge off and this look absolutely fantastic. There's probably, one of the most gorgeous cars on the road for sure and we were lucky enough to drive it toward the end of last year and yeah it's phenomenal driving as well. Now interestingly there is the big V8 as you mentioned, but there's also a hybrid version of that we won't delve into the details. But that's got a very high tech, very trick power train in there Could you tell me a little bit about the buyer of that car and who would go for the V8 versus who would go for the hybrid version? So, I think, internally, we're still trying to get a read on what that product mix should be between the normally aspirated and the hybrid vehicle. I think We're estimating 10-15% of the mix will be hybrid. Okay, so fairly small. Fairly small, although interestingly at our Langley press review over in Spain, a lot of the journalists and folks of the media suggested that depending on the pricing, you may have something that even takes the place of Of the normally aspirated engines. So I think going in, when we launched this vehicle, we'll probably begin with that 10% to 15% range. And now that we have final pricing, which is about a $3500 premium, that feels about right to us. But we'll see how the market accepts it. And that's not really that much because we're talking about a $90000 car, right? What's the starting price on the [CROSSTALK]. Right, so the. The hybrid is $96,510 and the five liter V8 is 92,000. So that's a 3% increase of their value. So that's not that much for what is, again, a very, very interesting power train and very Progressive in terms of technology as well. But I was asking around some folks from the staff and what they want to know about the car. And so the big question was when might we see and F version of that, or might we see an F version of that? You know, a really, really hard edged, high performance version of that car? See, that's a really, really good question. But if I were to answer that definitively I would be in real trouble with the folks above me. But I will tell you that In terms of the kind of questions that we get from our dealers, who are most close to the marketplace. They would also love to see an f version, because they know what they've seen in the GSF and the RCF. And that engine that's in the LC is that same GSF and RCF engine, so Their expectations is for an LCF, but nothing that we could announce today. Fair enough. And you mention dealers a lot, when might we see this car actually in dealerships? In May. May, so it's not far off at this point. Yeah, just a few more months. So get your orders in I guess would be the And if you'd like to we can help you out in that way.>> Well, maybe we'll talk after this, maybe I need a bit of a loan that's not going to happen so, This car is a big launch. So it's the car really about to launch, tell me about some big innovations of this car, breaks forward. I guess it really starts off with the design, it's an aggressive design for the car.>> So, again if you think about the design of our products going back to the very beginning wich, as you said, Tim had begun with the LS It was probably traditional. [LAUGH] Which understated. Understated. But as the luxury buyers have become, maybe more Millennials are into the luxury space and fewer folks like myself who are Baby Boomers, It's just a fact of the data right. So we don't ever wanna distance ourselves from baby boomers. We still need to make sure we take good care of them. But we felt we needed to get very aggressive with our styling even in a prestige luxury sedan like the LS. So it's on the same architecture as the LC. It will have some of the similar driving characteristics and handling Characteristics says the LC, so all of that we hope will really set it up well for a much lower average age. It not only progresses styling but also a lot of interesting technology. Things like a 24 inch heads up display. I think that's the largest heads up display we've seen in a production car. And that's pretty exciting as well, to have almost a full field of view at that point. Is the buyer of that car just really looking for the cutting edge, the latest and greatest technology, that kind of thing? Well again, I think it gets back toward providing features and benefits that may not typically be expected in a prestige luxury sedan. You're right, it is the largest heads up color display in the industry. But I would tell you that our anticipated mix is probably 10-15% going in. If the market embraces it beyond that, we can certainly take it up from there. But yeah, that was exciting for us to reveal that yesterday. Absolutely. And you know, I think you know, if I can get a bit [UNKNOWN] here, the Lexus Fire in general is looking for a little bit more technology and a little bit more cutting edge and little bit more, I think, the Japanese feel, which is definitely a little bit more focused on the high technology side of things. As a Long time Toyota fan and a fan of Lexus cars as well. I think I can appreciate that too. So what other innovations is this bringing? How does this differentiate itself from the Mercedes Benz, from the BMW and from the other cars that are in that segment? So as I look at that LS, our fifth generation LS, I don't know that there's one bolt on that vehicle that's carried over from the prior generation LS. So completely new vehicle from the ground up. You know, as you go inside from a technology standpoint, it now has the world's first active steering, pedestrian detection system. So, for example, if a pedestrian starts to walk in front of the vehicle The car will begin to brake and actually steer away from the pedestrian and still stay in the lane. So we're very excited to announce that worlds first. And then probably in addition to that, the fact that the engine is a V6 twin turbo, is for us newsworthy. Specifically from the perspective that the 0 to 60 is 4.5 seconds, so certainly withing the same league Same league as all of its VA competitors. I was actually surprised that we didn't see the hybrid version from BLC, I mentioned as part of the allies. Is that something maybe we can expect down the road? See there's another really good future question. I like that. I know, you're really good. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] You're really good at asking those questions. I hate not responding definitively to a question that I know your listeners and the viewers are probably looking for. But I just can't go there today. But thanks for asking. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] And how does that car continue to have a strong place in the market as we see more and more buyers moving to larger cars, taller cars, There are some interesting features about this car that will make it maybe a little bit more amenable to somebody who's thinking about an SUV. But how do you target that buyer who is maybe thinking about it and keep them in the sedan side of things? So, I mean everyone understands how the general market and the luxury industry has migrated from sedans to SUVs. and that certainly has been the case with Lexus. I will tell you though, in the luxury space that we compete in, many luxury homes have not just a utility vehicle, but also a sedan and so, we're very confident Not only is this our prestige, halo luxury sedan, but it should certainly fill into that garage space in a luxury home we think really well. And with the more aggressive styling and the powertrain and so forth, we do believe it's gonna bring new buyers into the brand that might not otherwise have considered a Lexus prestige LS. All right, well both great looking cars, LC and LS. I'm looking forward to seeing more of them on the road this year