Lexus Brings New Project Cars and Energy to the 2008 SEMA Show

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Photos: Lexus and Concept Cars

TORRANCE, Calif., October 16, 2008: Lexus is taking its performance message to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show for its second official appearance this fall with a bevy of new project cars and multiple ways to sample its IS F high-performance sedan and F-Sport products. Headlining the project cars will be a fresh take on the Lexus GS 460 by Five Axis.

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"The introduction of the IS F last year was our first opportunity to stimulate major interest from the performance community," said Brian Bolain, Lexus national engagement marketing manager. "We followed up with the F-Sport line of performance accessories for the IS 250/350 and judging by the market's overall response, there was clearly some pent-up demand."

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A good barometer of that response lives in the array of project cars that will be on display in the Lexus space which, like last year, is situated next to the Motor Trend proving ground between the Central and South halls.

Projects On Display

Riding a wave of momentum from its Project IS F car introduced at SEMA last year, Five Axis has turned its attention to the Lexus GS 460. Project GS will debut inside the Lexus SEMA booth on Tuesday, November 4 and designer Troy Sumitomo will be on hand to talk about his latest creation.

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Project IS F also returns to SEMA with a newly (and heavily) modified V8 engine filling its engine bay. Now bored and stroked to 5.75 liters, the car was a major hit at SEMA last year and has been bulking up on horsepower and torque ever since.

Four unique IS F project cars created by these independent builders will be on display at the Lexus space:

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Fox Marketing/Artisan Performance

Import Tuner Magazine/TEIN Suspension

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Each team is taking their own performance and design approach, with some focused on increased track performance and others making sure their rides are even more fun on the street, as well as the track.

Lexus will also display a special LX 570 created by ICON 4x4 Design. This concept brings a stealthy and functional look to the LX ("anti-bling" says ICON's Jonathan Ward) augmented by several performance upgrades.

More Inside

Step into the air-conditioned Lexus booth next to the proving ground and you will find several displays including:

IS 350 equipped with F-Sport accessories and concept body kit

F-Sport accessories on display with information

2009 IS F with the latest factory updates including a new interior
color and other detail changes

In the Driver's Seat

A small test track (Motor Trend Proving Ground) adjacent to the Lexus booth gives attendees the chance to drive the potent IS F as well as an F-Sport-equipped IS 350. The track will be open to Lexus cars during normal show hours beginning Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 9:00 a.m. until the track closes Thursday at 5:00 p.m.

Next to the booth, Lexus will strap an IS F to a chassis dyno for full throttle runs through a simulated 1/4 mile. Power shifting the 8-speed Sport Direct Shift transmission is encouraged. The dyno will run from noon Tuesday until 3:00 p.m. Friday.

Also not to be missed are the IS F video racing simulators where drivers can pit themselves against one another on Laguna Seca's iconic Corkscrew for prizes and bragging rights. Helmets are optional.

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