Toyota's upscale brand Lexus has been responsible for setting many benchmarks in the industry. By many measures, Lexus vehicles are supremely reliable and defect-free compared to their competition.
The most exciting all-new product from Lexus for 2008 is the IS-F high-performance sedan. Based on the standard IS sedan, the IS-F is intended to do battle with the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG; The 5.0L V8 produces 416-bhp and drives the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic. IS-F models wear aggressive bodywork and ride on aggressive 19-inch wheels and tires.
The flagship LS adds a new performance hybrid model: the LS600h L. The hybrid LS employs a 5.0L V8 in a full hybrid setup to boost both power and fuel economy. For now, the hybrid LS is the ultimate Lexus, with a starting price over $100,000.
Like its counterpart the Toyota Land Cruiser, the premium LX570 SUV is all-new for 2008. Although the wheelbase is the same, the new LX570 is longer and taller than the model it replaces. The big upgrade is under the hood, where a 5.7L V8 has replaced last year's 4.7L V8, boosting horsepower by over 100-bhp to 383-bhp. The price tag has also jumped, with a base price that exceeds $74,000.
The RX SUV and GS sedan receive some minor styling enhancements for 2008. The GS sedan also benefits from a new 4.6L V8, and 8-speed automatic courtesy of the new flagship LS.
Next up for Lexus will be a new flagship performance car, and a new RX.