Chevrolet's Teen Driver Technology Helps New Drivers Develop Safer Habits
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Distracted Driving Has Been Around Longer than Smart Phones

When I was in high school, summer was a free-for-all, teenagers piling into vehicles as if we were clowns in a circus.

“I can fit 5 in my car!”

“Squeeze into the hatch! We’re not going far.”

And so it went. We squeezed in and somehow all of my friends made it to the destinations alive.  

Back then, we didn’t have cell phones. Distracted driving wasn’t a topic. But crashes still occurred. Teenagers were still killed. Many of those crashes had to do with two things: horsing around with our friends while driving, and driving without a seat belt.

I am pretty sure I always wore my seat belt, because my dad drilled that into my head. When he was 16, he was a passenger in a car and was unbelted; in a high-speed crash he was ejected from the car, severely injured his leg, and lost his right arm as a result. I took the seat belt thing seriously.

However, I can’t say that I took the rest as seriously. I ate while driving, fiddled with the radio, picked up dropped things on the floor, and cranked my Guns N’ Roses cassette as loud as my after-market stereo would allow.

Later, when I was six months pregnant with my son, I was rear-ended by a teenager in a parking lot. As I leaped from the car, fire in my eyes, I said loudly to the other driver “Didn’t you hear me beeping at you? Was your radio up too loud?” and she sheepishly and quietly said yes.

Chevrolet's Teen Driver Technology Helps You Teach Your Teens Safe Driving in Real Time

In 2016, Chevrolet offered new technology called Teen Driver in their Malibu sedan, which gives parents several options to prevent these scenarios. Today, the technology is standard (and can be disabled with a PIN if you don’t have kids) on most of its models, from the petite Cruze to the sizable Silverado.

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Teen Driver is designed with teens in mind, says Chevrolet Safety Engineer MaryAnn Bebee.  According to the Chevrolet web site, Chevrolet is the only car company to offer Teen Driver technology with an industry-first in-vehicle report on most of its models. 

The most recent study from AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety found that for every mile on the road, drivers ages 16-17 years old are nearly four times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a crash. They’re 2.6 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a fatal crash.

There’s a reason some states offer graduated driving licensing for teens; GDL is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent teen deaths on the roads. A GDL program starts new drivers with limitations that are lifted with time and experience – for instance, nighttime and passenger restrictions.

Chevrolet's Teen Driver technology takes this to the next level, offering features like muting the audio until front seat occupants are buckled to automatically turning on available advanced safety technologies like Side Blind Zone Alert, Forward Collision Alert, and Forward Automatic Braking.

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This report card can save the lives of teen drivers and their passengers

I love to drive fast... on a track. But when I was a teenager, I remember very well the times that I pushed the speed to the limit, even burying the speedometer past 85 when I was driving my mom's old sedan home from college. 

The in-vehicle report card helps parents identify problem areas and coach new drivers on improvements. Teen Driver gives parents the tools to discuss and correct some of the possible mistakes their new drivers make on the road.

To set up a report card, parents enter a PIN to access the Teen Driver menu through the display and register the key fob. When the teen is using that key fob while driving that vehicle, Teen Driver enables the features of the report card. One of those features that would have made a difference to me both as a teen driver and as a recipient of a crushed rear fender while pregnant is the Audio Limit function as well as the Seat Belt Audio Limit, which disables the audio until both passengers in the front are belted. 

"Over half of teenage fatalities are unbelted," says Bebee. "Teen Driver helps to remind them to practice safe driving." 

As parents, often we don't even realize the bad habits we are modeling for our kids. The report card is a way for parents to open discussions about the habits their teens are developing and correct them while they are still learning. 

I'm a smarter driver as an adult, but I know that I've been lucky many times. When my son is a teenager, there is no doubt in my mind that I'll sign him up for extra driving courses and will look for this kind of technology to ensure that he's treating the car - and his life - with the respect it deserves. 

 

Kristin Shaw
Five Minutes with: Toyota's General Manager of Environmental Sustainability
 The first Prius was available for sale December 1997. (Photo: Toyota)

The first Prius was available for sale December 1997. (Photo: Toyota)

Toyota created a whole new category when it introduced the Prius more than 20 years ago (can you believe it has been that long?). With Earth Day in our rear view mirror, we circled around for a one-to-one interview with Toyota's Kevin Butt, general manager, Environmental Sustainability, to better understand how Toyota is making a positive impact in North America and around the world. 

 Kevin Butt, Toyota North America  (Photo: Toyota)

Kevin Butt, Toyota North America  (Photo: Toyota)

THRILLS & WHEELS: What is Toyota doing to help educate the next generation about the importance of ecological responsibility?

KB: This is a passion point for me. We know that communicating the importance of sustainability is key, so back in 2015 we launched our Toyota Challenge 2050, which lays out our corporate goals in six key areas. We leverage the Challenge 2050 goals to educate our 368,000 associates worldwide and we ask each of our associates to become champions for the activities at work, in their communities, and at home in their personal lives. We also partner with organizations that share our goal of educating and engaging the next generation, and our communities.

For example, Toyota is the National Presenting Partner for the Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge For Water Conservation, which engaged leaders and residents across 4,800 cities in the water wise campaign. And I am happy to serve on the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) board, which seeks to educate citizens of all ages about the importance of the environment and how they can actively support and assure sustainability. Toyota has been the national corporate sponsor for National Public Lands Day with NEEF since 1999. It’s the nation’s largest single-day volunteer activity for public lands. In 2017, more than 1,800 Toyota team members joined over 170,000 fellow community citizens at over 2,100 sites nationwide to support projects that restore and protect public lands.

THRILLS & WHEELS: Do you think more automotive manufacturers could team up to achieve more to move the needle on environmental protections?  

KB: Toyota has been working with not only other automakers, but NGOs, government and our suppliers to make impactful change. One example is the California Fuel Cell Partnership, which is leading the way in the development and advancement of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), such as our Mirai FCEV and infrastructure development.  

We are also working in cooperation with various global organizations to connect environmental activities to the world through the use of nature and biodiversity conservation grants. Toyota aims to spearhead projects that will rapidly push society in a forward direction and extend global environmental activities by creating new value. We were the first car company to sign a five-year Global Corporate Partnership agreement with WWF (World Wildlife Fund), providing grants and support to the Living Asian Forest Project. These are just a few of the activities that we are engaged in globally.

 The new Mirai. Fun fact: The Mirai was the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to pace a NASCAR race at the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond, US. (Photo: Toyota)

The new Mirai. Fun fact: The Mirai was the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to pace a NASCAR race at the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond, US. (Photo: Toyota)

THRILLS & WHEELS: In terms of the driving experience, how does it feel to drive an electric car or hybrid compared to an all-gasoline engine? What will be next? 

KB: That’s a great question because I think there is a perception out there that battery electric, hybrids and fuel cell electric vehicles are slow and 100% focused on fuel efficiency. That is definitely a benefit, but I would encourage your readers to go out and drive some of the new products because not only are they great on fuel economy, but they’re also fun to drive. Electrified vehicles have more torque than their gasoline variant counterparts and therefore are more fun to drive. For example, we just launched our all-new RAV4 Hybrid XSE which has more horsepower, torque and acceleration than the gas version.


Want to know more about what Toyota is doing to improve its impact on the environment? Read their page here. 

 

Kristin Shaw
Meet the Top Brands Recognized by the Texas Auto Writers Association This Year
 Photo: Lexus

Photo: Lexus

In April, the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) hosted its annual Auto Roundup, this year at Eagle's Canyon Racetrack in Decatur, Texas. Members had a chance to drive and evaluate 46 vehicles over the course of a day and a half, which was a dizzying but thrilling experience, overall. We were there to drive the vehicles on the track and test out the capabilities on slalom, acceleration, and braking over a 2.5-mile course. 

For the first time at a TAWA event, journalists at the roundup were able to take a three-wheeled roadster out on the track: the Polaris Slingshot. If you're not familiar with the term autocycle, don't worry - it's pretty new on the circuit. The Slingshot is a unique three-wheeled vehicle with a manual shift and three pedals, which makes it feel like a cross between a very smooth manual transmission car and a luxury motorcycle. We'll tell you more about the Slingshot after our more comprehensive test drive; for now, we can tell you that it's a blast to drive. 

 The Slingshot drives like a car but feels like a motorcycle... thus, the new "autocycle" moniker. 

The Slingshot drives like a car but feels like a motorcycle... thus, the new "autocycle" moniker. 

After all of the survey results were tallied, the 2018 Lexus LC 500 (pictured at top) was crowned the overall Car of Texas; the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica brought home the award for Family Car of Texas. 

 The Chrysler Pacifica has a host of comfort and convenience highlights; it's a great road trip vehicle. 

The Chrysler Pacifica has a host of comfort and convenience highlights; it's a great road trip vehicle. 

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2018 Texas Auto Roundup Winners:

ACTIVITY VEHICLE
Winner: 2018 Infiniti QX80
Runner-Up: 2018 Jeep Wrangler

 I remember Corollas from back in the 80s and 90s, and this isn't anything like those. The new hatchback is zippy, sporty, and more fun than ever. 

I remember Corollas from back in the 80s and 90s, and this isn't anything like those. The new hatchback is zippy, sporty, and more fun than ever. 

COMPACT CAR
Winner: 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Runner-Up: 2018 Volkswagen Golf R

MID-SIZE CAR
Winner: 2018 Toyota Camry
Runner-Up: 2018 Volkswagen Passat

FULL-SIZE CAR
Winner: 2019 Toyota Avalon
Runner-Up: 2018 Honda Accord

FULL-SIZE LUXURY CAR
Winner: 2018 Lexus LS 500
Runner-Up: 2019 Infiniti QX50

GREEN VEHICLE
Winner: 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Runner-Up: 2018 Honda Clarity

 I was a little nervous to drive the Honda Civic Type R (which is available with manual transmission only), but after Honda representative Davis took us for a spin around the track, I felt emboldened to try it. It was astonishingly smooth and easy to drive, and exceedingly fun! 

I was a little nervous to drive the Honda Civic Type R (which is available with manual transmission only), but after Honda representative Davis took us for a spin around the track, I felt emboldened to try it. It was astonishingly smooth and easy to drive, and exceedingly fun! 

PERFORMANCE COMPACT
Winner: 2018 Honda Civic Type R
Runner-Up: 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata

PERFORMANCE COUPE
Winner: 2018 Lexus LC 500
Runner-Up: 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody

PERFORMANCE SEDAN
Winner: 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Runner-Up: 2018 Kia Stinger

PERFORMANCE UTILITY
Winner: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
Runner-Up: 2018 Dodge Durango SRT

 The Mercedes AMG GT supercar is a unique luxury experience, and driving it around the track was a dream. 

The Mercedes AMG GT supercar is a unique luxury experience, and driving it around the track was a dream. 

SUPERCAR
Winner: 2018 Mercedes-Benz GT R
Runner-Up: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

BEST TECHNOLOGY
Winner: World’s First Production-Ready Variable Compression Ratio Engine, 2019 Infiniti QX50

BEST NEW INTERIOR
Winner: 2019 Toyota Avalon Touring

 

Kristin Shaw
Ram Nation: We Want In
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Outside of Phoenix, Arizona, the highways are dry and dusty, the light brown landscape meeting a bright blue sky. A line of Ram 1500s lined the parking area in a variety of colors and trims, and I was excited to test out the truck's capabilities.

On the off-road course, the Ram 1500 took the hills and sand with ease, plowing through the terrain without feeling like the tracks of an old wooden roller coaster. I practically yelled out YAHOO! as I made my way around route, feeling the engagement of 4WD and the axle lock differential.

Honestly, the sport trim is fun and zippy, and that is the best choice if you’re looking for power. However, my favorite is the Longhorn Laramie, which is incredibly luxurious. Tough on the outside and soft on the inside, the Laramie is adorned with hand-stitched designs on the seats and door panels, and the leather is ubiquitously supple.

I never thought I'd be a truck woman, but this truck has won me over. I would definitely drive one as my everyday vehicle, and it has so much to offer; I find myself staring wistfully at them when I see them on the road. And what Ram and their parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) are doing to help the world around them makes them look even better. 

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Ram Nation: Truck Owners for Good

Ram truck owners are a special breed. Generally, they are kind folks, with big hearts, looking to do some good in the world. From disaster relief to blood drives or even just cutting a neighbor's grass, Ram Nation brings owners around the country together. At ramtrucks.com, the company organizes volunteer opportunities for owners to make a difference. Established in 2015 as a grassroots volunteer corps of Ram owners, the idea for Ram Nation came about after the tornado in Joplin, Missouri wiped out the city and trucks from all over arrived to help.

Volunteers with Ram Nation joined the Team in the wake of Hurricane Harvey to help the communities of Rockport and Aransas Pass, TX. In Moore, Oklahama, Ram Nation members pitched in after a tornado devastated the town. After floods in Wimberley and San Marcos, Ram owners converged to join the First Response Team of America (FTOA) for recovery and relief.

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Caden's Car Show, in Memory of a Tough and Brave Little Boy

The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Foundation, the charitable arm of FCA US, invests in U.S. charitable organizations and initiatives that help empower people, build strong, resilient communities and generate meaningful and measurable societal impacts.

Since 2009, the FCA Foundation has made more than $24 million in grants to a wide range of local and national nonprofits, focusing on four foundational pillars: youth development, education, support for veterans and their families, and community service.

The FCA Foundation conducts annual research on charitable initiatives that align with its objectives and foundational pillars. One of the events the foundation supports is Caden’s Car Show, which benefits C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.

Caden Bowles was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which means the left side of his heart failed to develop. He received a heart transplant in his tiny body at six weeks old. When he was seven, he developed post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease, a type of cancer that can form as a result of taking immunosuppressant drugs to keep the body from rejecting a transplanted organ.

Caden beat the cancer, but his transplanted heart began to fail, and he received an artificial heart while he waited for a new one. Unfortunately, Caden passed away in September of 2013. In his memory, Team Caden was formed to honor his memory and his passion for cars. Not only was Caden a car fanatic, he even created his own newsletter while in the hospital, a publication called “Full Throttle”.

This summer on August 18, Caden’s Car Show will take place for the 5th year in a row. It’s a private car show exclusively for children at Mott Children’s Hospital. If you want to know how to help, click here.

FACTS: We’ve got ‘em

  • The All-New 2019 Ram 1500 has been fully redesigned with a high-strength steel frame (it's 98% high-strength steel) and more than 100 standard and available safety and security features.
  • Available 360° Surround View Camera

  • Six trims: Rebel, Limited, Laramie, Laramie LongHorn, Tradesman, and LoneStar. Base model starts at $31,695. 

  • Four inches have been added to the cab this year

  • This is the 15th generation light duty pickup from Ram, which makes it a legacy!

  • 9 paint colors available, 4 of them brand new

  • Blind spot monitoring quietly integrated into the taillights

  • "We set out to create the best interior in the marketplace," says designer Ryan Nagode. "We wanted it to feel familiar but still fresh and new."

  • New dual-pane sunroof available

  • Rambox available for $995 is great for tailgating, fishing, grocery shopping, and more

  • 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. Stainless steel speakers in the Limited Edition.

Disclosure: Ram paid for our airfare, room, and meals; there were no conditions set regarding what we would write about our experience. Many thanks to Ram for providing a few of the photos in this post. 

Kristin Shaw
Meet Natasha Masterson of Lamborghini Austin
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by Kristin Shaw

Lamborghini invited me to drive the new Aventador S last fall at the track at Texas Motorsports Ranch, and the experience was one I will never forget. Since I write about cars, the question "What's your favorite?" often turns up, and the Aventador S is at the top of my list for fast cars. It really is kind of like taking a tiger out on a leash, and I'm pretty sure I didn't stop smiling for days. 

In Austin, Lamborghini recently made a splash with the opening of their brand-new dealership on North Lamar Boulevard, north of the city. I met Natasha on site, and the day after the VIP reception, she introduced me to the Urus, Lamborghini's new SUV, and we happily talked cars for 30 minutes. The first thing you may notice about Natasha is that she is poised and beautiful, and when she starts talking, she will impress you with her knowledge and passion for the automotive industry, specifically the luxury market. 

Get to know Natasha and her rise to Director of Marketing for Lamborghini Austin. 

1)  What was your first car?

1997 White Chevrolet Suburban. Great for escaping the line out of the high school parking lot through the neighboring cornfield. 

2)  How did you come to love cars? 

I spent most of my childhood in the countryside of either northern Texas or southern Kansas trying to keep up with my only brother who is just 16 months older than me. When my father wasn't working, he would be servicing our family vehicles or teaching my brother and me something like the difference between a small block and big block engine. Cars have been a family pastime since day one. 

3)  What is your level of knowledge in terms of car maintenance - for instance, tire change, oil change, and beyond?

I'm more of a stats fanatic, but my father made sure to teach me how to change my own oil, rotate my tires, and has even gone as far as teaching the smells of all the different fluids in the car. I'm usually the first one my friends call when they need a jump. 

4) Tell me about an experience with cars that is a great memory.

I went to the Formula E race in Argentina during the 2015-2016 season and had the chance to take a tiny plane from Buenos Aires to Balcarce, where five-time F1 Champion Juan Manuel Fangio spent most of his days. There's a wonderful museum there as well as a track he designed himself. This was a PR event where two Formula E drivers got to drive some of Fangio's most historic cars. What became one of my happiest memories was me in the passenger seat of one car, my dear friend in the passenger seat of the other car, both convertibles, both of us being driven by the Formula E drivers and the only cars on track racing back and forth pushing these cars harder than they had been pushed in many, many years. We all laughed and were in awe of how brilliant the circuit was and how lucky we were to have that moment with us forever.

5)  Tell me about your experience in Monaco - what was the job, how did you feel when you were offered the job, and what did you learn? 

When I was working with Toni Calderon at Speed Group, we had a handful of clients either living in Europe or racing in global championships. I had the opportunity to be our "European branch" and move to Monaco which helped with traveling costs and covering clients in different time zones. It was one of the most important decisions of my life! I sold as many of my things as I could, gave my car to my brother, and packed four huge suitcases. I learned a lot about myself during this time. Traveling can be extremely fun and exciting, but takes all your focus and energy! I cannot take back the lessons I learned and the experiences I had and they really helped discipline me and show me what is most important to me. 

6)  What is your experience in dealing with a mostly-male industry? Do you feel you have to prove yourself more?

Being in a mostly-male industry was something I paid more attention to when I was younger. Back then I was doing more TV and radio which really throws you into several different dynamics where you have to prove your worth. I learned a lot during this time and paid attention to every detail I could. I've found the best recipe for success is to learn as much as you can about anything and everything and to only speak when necessary. This is advice I give to any gender that applies to several areas of life, but I've personally seen too many women in the motorsport and automotive industry try too hard to prove themselves or show that they know what they are talking about and came across in a less professional manner. Know what you're doing, and let your work do the talking.

7)  Who have been your mentors in the automotive industry? 

My father takes the cake since he is always there to answer those questions I need to win an argument. After him, Toni Calderon, founder of Speed Group has been fundamental for teaching me how to walk the tightrope that is motorsport. I started working with Toni when I was still in college and even though I knew my fair share about cars I didn't know much about motorsports or how it would change my life. When Toni started Speed Group with former Champ Car and IndyCar driver, David Martinez and current IndyCar driver, James Hinchcliffe, he trusted me to help them grow their company. Just like how Toni, David, and James help drivers learn from their careers in racing, Toni helped me learn from his personal journey on the business side of the sport which has taken me all over the world. 

8)  How are you involved in the community?

Working for Lamborghini has put me in a really unique position to see how Austin is growing and evolving as a community. There are several events that I've had the pleasure to attend that benefit education, sports, and refugees. Most of our clients are either on the board of particular committees or host benefits that I get to help with or support through Lamborghini. As a former athlete at The University of Texas, I still support my university and help with younger athletes in a mentor role as they make decisions about their collegiate aspirations. 

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9)  What is Lamborghini Austin doing to help the local community? How does Lamborghini help the world at large? 

Since Lamborghini Austin just opened, we have mostly been involved with organizations linked to our staff and clients. With the Grand Opening behind us, we are excited to move forward with some great partnerships and support some really fun projects here in Austin. 

As far as Lamborghini on a global scale, the first thing that jumps to mind for me is inspiration. The amount of positive feedback we have gotten about moving into the Austin marketplace has made me extremely proud to be associated with the brand. Lamborghini takes great pride in the emotion and experiences these supercars bring to people and I get to see that right here on my showroom floor when a 14-year-old beams at me when I start the engine of an Aventador S. Coming on board with Lamborghini during the launch of the world's first Super Sport Utility Vehicle, the Urus, is bringing that same sense of awe to all demographics of people all over the world right now. Something that is more tangible that Lamborghini has to offer is their approach to technology. Their partnership with establishments like MIT and Callaway play off of that inspiration piece where they can interact with different industries and demographics to advance technology. Lamborghini has a weight that comes with its name that can inspire people to create some pretty cool things.

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Check out Lamborghini Austin's site here!

 

 

Kristin Shaw
The New Lexus Headquarters Is So Nice We Kind of Want to Live There
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Toyota and Lexus Are Settling In at Their New HQ

Back in the early 2000s, internet companies were all the rage. Venture capital firms didn’t even require much of a business plan to throw money at a company with a flashy idea. Offices were jam-packed with twenty-somethings noshing on free food all day long and enjoying a myriad of benefits like dog-friendly offices, foosball tables, and nap rooms. It was a stark departure from the buttoned-up IBM-type environments of the corporate world.

Then the dot-com bubble burst, and the deluxe offices rode the wave into the sunset. And then they evolved.

Just last July, Toyota consolidated its headquarters from locations in northern Kentucky, Michigan, and California and built a complex in Plano, Texas, just off highway 121. My new friend Audrey from Lexus invited me to come by and visit, so I took her up on her offer and arranged a tour when I was in town for the DFW Auto Show.

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Toyota and Lexus headquarters are side by side, shiny new buildings sprouting from a growing community. During my visit, everything was festooned in red, white, and blue to celebrate the Olympics. Fun photo ops areas were set up in the lobby and the Games were playing on TVs in every corner. We took the opportunity to take our picture as we pretended to ski down a snowy chalk slope and posed on a podium with substitute medals.

What was really impressive, to me, was the all-Japanese commissary inside the Toyota complex, where staff can buy anything they like. There is a Wal-Mart satellite inside the headquarters, as well as a giant rock-climbing wall and gym, complete with personal trainers. The cafeteria is well stocked. And there is a coffee or smoothie shop on several corners. All we would have needed to do was to pull up a couch and sleep there; everything else was available. 

The sense of collaboration and contentment was apparent in the environment at Toyota/ Lexus HQ. There are spaces to work for everyone, in small, quiet corners, or wide-open areas with lots of natural light. If I could create the perfect office, this would be it. 

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Toyota has come a long way, baby

Toyota was founded in 1937 in Japan, and established a US presence 20 years later. And Lexus was born in 1983, when Toyota chairman Eiji Toyoda issued a challenge to build the world's best car. From that challenge, a corporate project was born and code-named F1 (“Flagship One”); this project culminated in the premium Lexus LS 400, released in 1989.

The original Lexus slogan, developed after Team One representatives visited Lexus designers in Japan and noted their attention to detail, became "The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection." In 1986, Toyota’s advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi formed Team One to handle marketing for the new yet-unnamed brand, and image consulting firm Lippincott & Margulies was hired to develop a list of prospective names. There are two recurring theories on why the name Lexus was chosen. Some say it is a blend of “Luxury” and “U.S.” Another says that the name Alexis was the front-runner, but was quickly determined to be too close to the Dynasty TV show character with the same name, thus Lexus with a “u” was created.

In any case, Lexus was born around the same time that other Japan-based car manufacturers were spinning out their own luxury lines, and a new line of cars rose to the surface. There was a big opportunity for the push. 

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Putting Their Money Where Their Mouth Is

Lexus isn't just about their new home, though. They're serious about raising money to help contribute to the world, too. 

Since 1989 (only a few years after Lexus was founded), Lexus has given over $334 million to organizations throughout the world; they work with over 400 nonprofit companies and charities. The Lexus Pursuit of Potential is Lexus' pledge to better children's lives—allowing them to pursue their dreams. Partnering with their dealers, they have contributed $2.5 million to children's charities. In addition, the Lexus Eco Challenge for secondary students grants $500,000 in scholarships per year and generates $3.25 million annually for STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and math). 


It’s not just our contributions to the automotive world that define us; it’s what we can give back. We’re passionate about empowering everyone to make the world a better place. And we work with like-minded partners on numerous fronts to build stronger communities everywhere.
— Lexus.com
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We had an F-Sport for two weeks and enjoyed it thoroughly. The ride is smooth, the controls well laid out, and the body sleek. When driving the RX350 F-Sport, one has the sense that the pedal and one’s foot have become one unit. The pickup is zippy, and the seats are so comfortable, you might be tempted to pull over and take a nap. If you're looking for a crossover SUV with a more-than-capable engine to get you anywhere you want to go, the RX350 is a great choice. 

Just the Facts, Ma'am:

Model: 2018 Lexus RX

MSRP: From $50,320

MPG: Up to 20 city / 27 highway

Dimensions: 193″ L x 75″ W x 68″ H

Horsepower: 295 hp

Curb weight: 4,222 to 4,387 lbs

 PHOTO COURTESY OF LEXUS   

PHOTO COURTESY OF LEXUS

 

ARTICLE: Kristin

Disclosure: Lexus provided us with an RX-350 for two weeks; all opinions are our own. 

Kristin Shaw