Lexus believes that the Lexus LC 500 coupe "makes the strongest statement yet about the brand’s future direction." Part of Toyota president Akio Toyoda's intense push to broaden the Lexus brand image into a builder of desirable, high-performance machines aimed at people who love to drive, the V8-powered LC 500 arrives at Lexus dealerships this spring with an MSRP of $92,000. And the LC 500h with a new Multi Stage Hybrid powertrain at an MSRP of $96,510. The LC 500 is powered by a 471HP high-performance V8 with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Will Akio succeed? Combining high-performance attributes and alluring design with the proven quality delivered by Lexus is going to make the LC 500 a formidable machine in the market. A giant "we'll see" until further notice.
(Photo courtesy of PPG)
A beautiful custom 1933 Ford Roadster, the “Renaissance Roadster,” took home the coveted Don Ridler Memorial Award at the 65th Detroit Autorama recently held at Cobo Center in the heart of the Motor City. Owned by Buddy Jordan of San Antonio, Texas, and built by Steve Frisbie and his team at Steve’s Auto Restoration in Portland, Ore., the Renaissance Roadster garnered the first Ridler award for the Frisbie team. Established in 1963, the Ridler Award - the most prestigious and respected honor in the custom car world - is the highlight of the Detroit Autorama, presented to the most outstanding custom car or truck making its debut appearance at the show. The talented crew at Steve’s Auto Restoration used aluminum and steel shaped from flat metal stock to give the roadster its winning look. Power was provided courtesy of a modified aluminum big-block V-8 engine from Chevrolet Performance. The original design for the Renaissance Roadster came from a sketch by team member and designer Chris Ito with additional inspiration from Frisbie and another team member, designer David Brost. Painter Jay Spencer gave the Ford its dazzling candy-apple red and black appearance spraying an impressive array of PPG refinish products. The Ridler winner is selected from a field of eight finalists collectively known as the Great Eight. Just qualifying for this elite group is a significant achievement.
Sergio Marchionne. Editor-In-Chief's Note: Now The Great Sergio says that he has "zero interest" in a merger with Volkswagen even though he brought up the idea with great fanfare in the wake of the GM-PSA deal. He backtracked, danced and spewed his usual bunch of unmitigated bullshit to reporters at the Trump appearance in Michigan this afternoon (3/15). Why the flip-flop? Because the reality is that VW has zero interest in a "merger" with anyone, especially with a convicted carpetbagging mercenary like Marchionne. As I said in this week's column, I am absolutely certain of one thing in all of this and that is when it all goes down, Marchionne won’t be entering into any negotiations from a position of strength. Instead, he will enter the room as a glorified accountant formerly known as “The Great Sergio,” dressed in an ugly-ass sweater and with his pants pockets turned inside out, just there trying to get the best deal for his boss. Marchionne wants nothing to do with VW because he knows damn well there will be no negotiation and no "merger" talk whatsoever. Instead it will be VW CEO Matthias Mueller saying something like, "Here's the number. Take it or leave it." VW will buy out FCA, strip the worthwhile assets from the company and let the rest die. And Marchionne and his minions will get a much smaller payout. And an entire industry will be licking its chops, looking forward to the day when the Unctuous Prick and his minions are forced to leave the stage, for good. -PMD