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    Dollars and Sense

    At Saratoga High School's Earth Day fair, a student asked me, "How much does this [2010 Lexus HS250h] cost?"

    I replied, "It is relatively inexpensive." Of course, everything is relative. No new "Lexus" seems inexpensive when comparing its MSRP to that of a new economy car, but every Lexus is relatively inexpensive when considering the true cost of ownership. It's comforting to know, too, that Lexus cars have always been attractively priced, compared to other luxury cars.

    True cost of ownership includes:

    • Sale price
    • Taxes, licensing, and other applicable fees
    • Insurance
    • Fuel
    • Repairs and service costs
    • Depreciation

    For a moment, consider the cost factor most evident in every day life, fuel consumption:

    Via: Auto Insurance

    Info graphics, like this one, can be powerful tools to display vast amounts of information in a manageable way. Californians drive 15,000 miles per year, on average. Switching from a car that gets 20 MPG to a Lexus hybrid that gets 35 MPG would represent a savings of $75 in fuel per month. $75 could be the difference between an economy car payment and a luxury car payment. Everything is relative.


    Goodness... or Badness?

    The late, great Ted Knight once famously posed the question to the character Danny Noonan in Caddyshack, "What [do] you stand for: goodness... or badness?"  

    You could buy an ES350, "Goodness" by any measure. Or, you could spend 10 measures to buy LFA "Badness".

    How bad is the LFA?


    This chart and the LFA's engine note, alone, may earn the car a spot in the cannon of road-going supercars. The torque curve is as near to flat as that of any car, and the horspower climbs linearly at exactly 45 degrees, all the way to the 9000 RPM redline. Perhaps no other production road car's dyno graph has ever looked so immaculate. In real terms, this is numerical evidence that the power delivery in the car is unwaveringly predictable, and provides a sublime driving experience.  

    What did Motor Trend have to say?

    "Just what does $375,000 buy? About 3562 pounds of the purest, highest quality speed Japan has ever produced." -Motor Trend

    "Sure, there is no wind resistance on the dyno, but that only makes the exhaust note from the triple pipes sound that much more unholy -- like the union of a jet engine and Ducati race bike. No production V-10 has ever sounded this good." -Motor Trend


    Regarding Consumer Reports

    Consumer Reports has had a chance to review the updated GX460, and have lifted their "do not buy" recommendation.

    In their words,

    "...we again put the SUV through our full series of emergency handling tests. This time, the ESC system intervened earlier and its rear did not slide out in the lift-off oversteer test. Instead, the vehicle understeered—or plowed—when it exceeded its limits of traction, which is a more common result and makes the vehicle more predictable and less likely to roll over. Overall, we did not experience any safety concerns with the corrected GX 460 in our handling tests. "

    You can read the article in full here.

    It is important to note that the GX460 feels robust and more substantial to drive than an RX350, for example, because it is built using body-on-frame construction. The frame provides a level of stability and rigidity off-road than cannot be matched by more common unibody SUV's; unibody SUV's feel more like regular cars to drive on-road because they similarly constructed.

    We encourage you to determine which sort of SUV is best for you, and compare competitive models in an apples-to-apples fashion. Come check out the revised GX. It really is a great truck and we are proud to sell it.


    Human Power

    I'm Andy, and it is my pleasure to introduce our 10% service promotion for April 16-May 31. In combination with our effort to improve employee wellness and increase physical activity lately, we have decided to launch a wellness-oriented service promotion, following our remarkably successful Drive for School Supplies.

    Just bring proof of enrollment in an upcoming Bay Area charity-sponsored active lifestyle event, and receive a 10% discount on your service bill. Thanks for supporting wellness and our community!


    The Fastest Wet Lap!

    There are countless reasons why you should want a Lexus LFA. Here are our top 10:

    1. Nine years of research and development went into the new model's production.
    2. The engine has 10 cylinders that take up the space of eight, and it only weighs as much as a 6-cylinder block.
    3. There will be fewer LFA's in the USA than there are In N' Out Burger locations.
    4. Prospective owners must be screened and approved by Lexus.
    5. It costs 33% less to buy an LFA in the USA than in the UK, and even less after taxes.
    6. It can go 200+ MPH while transporting a set of golf clubs.
    7. The LFA posted Top Gear's all-time fastest wet test lap time by a difference of 3 seconds.
    8. It accellerates to and decelerates from its 9000 RPM redline more quickly than any analogue tachometer can measure.
    9. The LFA may be the world's first truly reliable supercar.
    10. This astonishing video: