Photo Credit: Kelly E. Carter
With all eyes in the automobile world on Monterey this week, this is the time not just for car collectors to show off their wheels but for manufacturers to unveil their latest offerings. Lexus got the ball, or should we say the tires, rolling on Thursday at an exclusive and intimate dinner held at a private Pebble Beach villa whose spectacular views were apropos for the official introduction of the 2016 Lexus LX 570, a flagship premier luxury sport-utility, and the new 2016 Lexus GS 200t. Although images had been leaked prior to the Lexus LX and GS Reveal, the dramatic setting with the shimmering blue waters in the background on a warm, sun-drenched day made for an exciting event as the late afternoon turned to evening. Haute Living was on the scene to check out these two haute new Lexus rides—and enjoy the talents of chef Dean Fearing, who jetted in from Dallas to prepare the superb meal, which was paired with delicious Napa Valley wines.
The evening began with a cocktail reception, where guests soaked up the views while nibbling on hors d’oeuvres such as lobster tacos and bacon-wrapped barbecued quail and enjoyed the songs performed by singer Andra Day. At the sit-down dinner, Fearing surprised car enthusiasts when he asked one from each table to help prepare the tortilla soup with south of the border flavors. In between the four-course feast, the vehicles were at last officially unveiled.
2016 Lexus LX 570
Photo Credit: Courtesy Lexus
Whether you’re going off-roading or just trying to maneuver construction in San Francisco, we think you’ll enjoy doing so in the 2016 Lexus LX 570 where style is emphasized throughout and the reimagined interiors make this a sure-to-be crowd pleaser. With a powerful V8, sophisticated 4WD and chassis systems and seating for eight, the Lexus LX 570 remains one of the few luxury utility vehicles that combine sumptuous luxury with true off-road capability.
Lexus left barely any surface of the LX 570 untouched in a sweeping upgrade for 2016, with only door panels carried over from 2015. The restyled front end wears an even bolder rendition of the Lexus signature spindle grille, framed by elegant satin chrome trim and complemented by distinctive new standard LED headlights, turn signals and fog lights. The LX 570 design makeover gives it new 20-inch split 10-spoke wheels, and new available 21-inch 10-spoke wheels. The taillights and rear bumper also get a new look.
Rest assured that the upgrades for 2016 go beyond skin-deep. An eight-speed automatic transmission replaces the former six-speed for enhanced performance and efficiency. New Drive Mode Select, as used in other Lexus vehicles, allows the LX 570 driver to tailor powertrain and suspension responses by using a dial on the console. The system also controls responses of the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), which continually adjusts shock absorber damping rates while driving, helping to ensure optimal comfort even as the road surface changes.
Modes include ECO, which adjusts powertrain responses and air conditioning to prioritize fuel-efficient driving; COMFORT mode optimizes AVS damping to help deliver the smoothest ride possible; SPORT S mode dials up powertrain response and dials down power steering assist to yield a sportier driving feel, and, to that, SPORT S+ mode adds firmer damping control from AVS to prioritize handling agility.
The formidable 5.7-liter V8 engine produces 383 horsepower and delivers 90-percent of its 403 lb.-ft. peak torque at just 3,600 rpm. Coupled with a 7,000-pound towing capacity, that output makes the Lexus LX 570 an outstanding vehicle for trailering a classic automobile bought at a Pebble Beach auction.
A new standard feature for 2016, the panoramic view camera is an invaluable aid when hitching and maneuvering a trailer, viewing the surround terrain when off-roading, and helping view the area around the vehicle (sides, front and rear) when maneuvering tight spaces. We fell in love with the new, larger 12.3-inch navigation screen, which can show several view combinations to help aid you drive this haute ride.
Your crew won’t get bored either. The LX also adds standard several safety features, new multimedia with Remote Touch Interface and substantial dual screens for the available Rear Seat Entertainment System to help captivate passengers.
Photo Credit: Courtesy Lexus
Here’s what’s new for the 2016 Lexus LX 570
- Eight-speed automatic transmission replaces six-speed
- Restyled front end with one-piece spindle grille
- Drive Mode Select
- LED headlights, turn signals and fog lights
- Revised taillights and rear bumper
- New 20- and 21-inch wheel designs
- Standard Lexus Safety System +
- Upgraded multimedia with 12.3-inch screen and Remote Touch Interface
- Larger 4.2-inch multi-information display
- Standard Panoramic View Camera
- Available Heads-Up Display
- Three-spoke wood-trimmed steering wheel
- Luxury Package now includes ventilated/heated rear seats
- LED ambient lighting in cabin and cargo area
- Touch-sensor overhead lighting
- Manual second-row sunshades
- Available wireless charging tray for Qi-compatible phones
- Larger 11.6-inch screens for available Rear Seat Entertainment System
- Tire-specific tire pressure monitoring system
- Standard Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Available Lexus Enform Remote
- Available Lexus Enform Service Connect
The price hasn’t been set yet but expect to pay around $80,000 for the pleasure of owning a Lexus 2016 LX 570.
2016 Lexus GS 200t
Photo Credit: Courtesy Lexus
If you’re in the market for a mid-luxury sedan, you’ll definitely want to give a serious look at the boldly-designed Lexus 2016 GS 200t and the other Lexus GS models. This rear-wheel drive GS 200t boasts new luxurious finishes that match the refinement of San Francisco. When you’re ready for a weekend getaway down the coast, you’ll be glad to know that the Lexus GS continues to feature impressive agility and sporty handling for turns along California Highway 1, as well as comfortable ride quality for extended highway driving. This is no modest mid-size luxury sedan. Its engaging performance and amenities the make the GS an excellent choice for delighting enthusiasts drivers as well as luxury connoisseurs whether you’re piloting the new GS 200t, the GS 350 or GS 450h.
The latest addition, the GS 200t, joins the line with an exceptionally smooth 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The turbo engine delivers 241 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque, giving the GS 200t outstanding all-around performance and efficiency. The GS 200t has a Lexus fuel economy estimate of 33 mpg highway. In the GS 350, a more muscular 3.5-liter V6 produces 311 hp and 280 lb.-ft. of torque (vs. 306 hp and 277 lb.-ft. in the 2015 model) and is also paired with the eight-speed automatic. The V6’s combination of direct fuel injection and additional port fuel injectors ensure ample power and crisp responsiveness.
Leading the GS lineup is a car you’d expect from the luxury hybrid leader, the GS 450h – a high-performing hybrid. Its Lexus Hybrid Drive system combines output from an Atkinson cycle 3.5-liter V6 engine and a water-cooled permanent-magnet electric motor for 338 total system horsepower, channeled through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission. Few might expect 5.6-second zero-to-60 mph acceleration performance from a car that also has EPA estimated 29 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined fuel economy ratings.
Photo Credit: Courtesy Lexus
Here’s what’s new for the 2016 Lexus GS models
- New GS 200t model 241-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and with eight-speed automatic transmission
- More power for GS 350 – now 311 hp and 280 lb.-ft. torque from 3.5-liter V6
- Restyled front end with bolder Lexus spindle grille and Bi-LED headlights, and revised tail lamps and rear bumper treatments
- New available Lexus Safety System + combines Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam (IHB) and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Standard Navigation for GS 350 and GS 450h models
- Larger 4.2-inch multi-information display puts vital vehicle data at a quick glance in driver’s line of sight
- Upgraded multimedia technology: side “enter” buttons on Remote Touch Interface (RTI) and full screen map capability for available navigation with 12.3-inch central display screen
- New available Lexus Enform Service Connect provides maintenance and service information accessed from smartphone app or website
- New exterior and interior colors, wheel designs and interior wood and aluminum trim selections
- Analog clock adds GPS time zone functionality
Like the 2016 Lexus LX 570, the price for the Lexus GS 200t will be set later in the year. Expect to pay in the low $40s for this bold set of wheels.
Photos by Kelly E. Carter