Lexus outsold BMW, Mercedes-Benz in the US in August 2013

Article by Anita Panait, on September 5, 2013

Luxury carmaker Lexus logged a 23-percent jump in sales in August to 29,792 units, parent Toyota said in a statement. This will be the first time since August 2012 that Lexus managed to beat Mercedes-Benz and BMW in monthly sales figures. The luxury brand particularly logged strong August sales numbers for its IS sedan and RX sports utility vehicle, which surged 87 percent and 32 percent respectively.

Lexus, however, remains behind BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the race to become the best-selling luxury carmaker in 2013. It was the top-selling luxury brand in the US for 11 years until 2010. Lexus, however, lost the throne after natural disasters in Asia led to severe inventory problems in 2011.

Steve Hearne, sales vice president for Lexus, said that August has ‘traditionally been a big sales month” for them, noting that their dealers “made it happen again, reaching a new high for the year."

August sales for the BMW brand surged 46 percent to 24,523 units, thanks to strong demand for its 3 series and 5 series sedans. Mercedes, on the other hand, grew 20 percent to 24,761.

August luxury sales results saw Mercedes increase its lead over BMW 1,362 vehicles (190,359 to 188,997). Mercedes parent Daimler indicated in July that it is expecting that it won’t be able to capture the US luxury sales crown for 2013. Lexus sold 171,238 vehicles in the first eight months of 2013.

The new 2014 IS sport sedan from Lexus reveals a bold design which is emphasized by the signature dynamic spindle grille. This third-generation of the brand’s sport sedan also shows for the first time the grille being divided by the Daytime Running Lights that uses LED. It has that “aggressive” elegance combined with a road presence that is truly more powerful.

Further by having a stronger brand identity, it results in the new IS models becoming more attractive than ever. Lexus revealed that for 2014, two versions for the IS will be made available. The first of these will be the IS 250 where underneath the hood is the 2.5-liter V6 engine capable of 204 hp at 6,400 rpm with peak torque available at 4,800 rpm and measuring 185 lb.-ft.

Paired to this engine is the six-speed Electronically Controlled Transmission, which under SPORT mode, offers manual-shifting sequential mode having rev matched downshifts. Second model is the IS 350 which is fitted with the 3.5-liter V6 engine and reveals a port fuel and D4-S direct injection. This engine can deliver output of 306 hp available at 6,400 rpm with top torque of 277 lb.-ft., accessible starting at 4,800 rpm.

Mated to the exciting engine is the automatic eight-speed Sport Direct Shift transmission, the same one with the high-performance IS F model. While this transmission does have the paddle shifters, what is more interesting is that it comes with the G-force Artificial Intelligence system, or G-AI. What the AI does is to immediately choose the optimum gear, as well as the downshift pattern, depending on the amount of the G force.

Both IS models will also be equipped with the all-weather drive system that is electronically controlled. The system has been designed to improve grip and traction no matter the driving situation. It does this by changing immediately the front-to-rear torque balance from the default 50:50 to something as much as 30:70. Because the overall body rigidity of the 2014 Lexus IS was increased in a considerable manner, customers are able to get a driving experience that is truly more dynamic.

It also improves the body control and stability while guaranteeing better ride comfort. The increase in rigidity was done by implementing new adhesive body-bonding methods and laser-screw welding techniques with an added sport welding. The revised steering and suspension in the front plus multi-link suspension in the rear are inspired by the highly successful GS sedan but are executed in the smaller IS package.

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