Once again, the World of Lexus has been brimming with plenty of quirky, offbeat, and unheard stories from across the globe. From a stripped-out track buggy to a multi-million-dollar convertible, we have selected the five best stories which you might have missed in August. If you haven’t caught up on last month’s‘ World of Lexus’ then click the link here to read more.
Lexus EXO IS 350
This is the Lexus EXO IS 350, possibly the most bonkers vehicle ever to wear a Lexus badge.
Believe it or not, it started out as a typical ‘06 IS 350, before being sent on an extreme diet by Alabama company Krowrx. Stripped of every ounce of unnecessary weight, the EXO is designed to be as light as possible while still being road legal. The original engine remains but has seen a dramatic overhaul (plus the addition of a supercharger) with power up from 350bhp to a whopping 542bhp. The engine drives the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox and can do some tyre-melting burnouts.
In total, around 400kgs was shaved from the IS 350, with the total weight of the EXO coming in at 1,224kgs. For context, the kerb weight of the standard car was 1,620kg. The total cost of this build might surprise you too, with the whole project coming in at between $4,000 and $6,000.
Images by Fleeting Memories Media
$2million Lexus LC Convertible
Everyone wants to be the first to have the newest thing. The latest smartphone, pair of trainers, or even the latest car. But how much would you be willing to pay to be #1? Well, a Lexus dealer in America has paid $2million (roughly £1.5million) for the privilege of owning the first Lexus LC Convertible.
This particular LC Convertible (with VIN number 001) was delivered to Kent Stevinson this month after he bid the staggering amount for the car back in January at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. The money from the sale was split and sent to two charities: Boys & Girls Club of America, and the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
Not only did Stevinson receive the very first LC convertible, but his winning bid also gave him a few extras too, such as a framed sketch from the car’s designer, Tadao Mori, a certificate of authenticity plus autographs on the engine cover from Lexus boss Koji Sato and engineer Yasushi Moto.
Bagged Lexus IS 250
You may remember in last month’s ‘World of Lexus’ we showed you a ‘bagged’ Lexus LC 500, taking low riding to new lows. Well, this month sees another ‘bagged’ Lexus model, the humble IS 350.
If you aren’t familiar with the term ‘bagged’ then let us explain. A “bagged car” would have airbags in place of your typical suspension, an on-board air compressor, and switches. The switches are used to inflate or deflate bags on specific corners of the vehicle, or sometimes for whole halves.
This ‘bagged’ IS 350 didn’t start out with the intention of being a low-rider, instead, the owner got a little carried away with adding extra modifications and it snowballed from there. The first modifications began with an HKS axle-back exhaust and BC coilovers. But over time the modifications became larger and much more noticeable. Currently, the IS 350 has a full GS F Sport conversion, a set of MB Battle wheels measuring in at 18.9.5 with a +33 offset, a new rear bumper, Wald diffuser, side skirts, and a front splitter, not forgetting the Air Lift Performance 3P air ride set-up.
Lexus IS F vs BMW M3 time attack
The Lexus IS F stunned everyone when it launched back in 2007 with its 417bhp 5.0-litre V8 and agile handling. In fact, the first F model is still able to surprise and stun people 13 years after its launch. Case in point is this rather entertaining duel between the aforementioned IS F and an E90-era BMW M3.
Competing in a time-attack style event, Driving Line host Mike Sabounchi brought two drivers out to Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in Southern California to decide: Willem Drees in the ISF and Scott Dukeshire in the M3.
Admittedly this is no stock IS F, it features a bigger radiator, new coil-overs, and some additional aero. However, the M3 has also received some modest upgrades too including a bigger intake and a racing muffler, plus lowering springs and racer brake pads. So they are both still on the same playing field.
We don’t want to give away who wins, but it certainly was tight between the two cars when the chequered flag dropped. Make sure you click on the video and see which car was victorious.
Lexus LFA up for auction
As great as the Lexus LFA is, there is one huge problem with it. Only 500 were ever built meaning seeing one, let alone owning one, is almost an impossibility. Being such an exclusive supercar means that owners are reluctant to part with their LFA and when one does come up for sale, they always demand big bucks.
However, you could get the chance to own your own LFA as one is up for sale in the upcoming Barrett-Jackson’s auction in Scottsdale, Arizona (22/24 October). This LFA, in Obsidian Pearl, is almost factory fresh. With just one previous owner and just 1,100 miles on the clock, this 2012 example is one of the last LFAs to be built. Only 178 LFAs made it to America which makes this a truly unique auction piece and guarantees its rarity status. Plus, with no-reserve on the car, you can expect a manic bidding session from wannabe owners and collectors.