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It’s a long time coming, but I promised a number of members that I would summarise life after Lexus.


I don’t pretend to be a capable driver, a track god or even someone of any real automotive knowledge. There are plenty on here that put me to shame! I have however owned an IS-F, RC-F and now a C63. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in GS-Fs. I’ve also had time in both versions of the LC-500. Mercedes wise, I’ve driven a fair few miles in a C63s, an AMG GT and a current E63s. So, I think I’m in a good place to render an honest comparison between Lexus and Mercedes. What follows is my experience as a Lexus / AMG owner. Just one person’s view - just my view.

IS-F – wonderfully stealthy
I loved my IS-F. My heart still skips a beat whenever I see one on the road. Maybe this happens because they are so rare or just because I will always feel an attachment to the Lexus brand. The engineering, the build quality and the customer service are all qualities that impress and leave a lasting mark.

Of course, you know there’s a BUT coming. The BUT came in the form of the anonymity of the IS-F. The very thing that appeals to so many – the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Call me vain, call me a show off, but I started to get a little annoyed at the lack of recognition the IS-F got in the real world. Only dedicated petrol heads knew what it was, and I got a little tired of having conversations such as “Yes, I have a Lexus IS-F. It’s the equivalent to a BMW M3, Mercedes C63.”. I wanted the car to be recognised for just how good it was. An even bigger problem was the temptation to show M3 and C63 drivers just how good my IS-F was. Obviously I resisted….
The seed was sewn, and my head was turned by an RC-F.

IS-F to RC-F
I found my RC-F on Autotrader. A 15 plate Carbon edition in white. The day of trade in, the IS-F performed beautifully – flawlessly, and it really was hard handing over the keys. I felt like I was betraying a friend, but it had to be done.


I always find the process of purchasing a new car stressful - the paperwork, the money exchange and that nagging thought in the back of the head “Have I done the right thing?”. One the part-x was done, I headed South from Stoke, down the busy M6. I had a headache, the sun was very bright and I had no sunglasses.  Not a great start.

That nagging thought in the back of my head was really evident. My first couple of hours in the RC-F weren’t great. I started thinking that I’d spent £40k on a car that was arguably no better than the IS-F. More striking, definitely, but still arguably no better.


I’d stopped at the services (somewhere on the M6) in the hope I could buy some sunglasses. On my return to the car park, a guy (who turned out to be a Boxster owner) was walking around the RC-F. He was very complimentary about the car. This attention was to be repeated over and over in the 10,000 miles of RC-F ownership. People stop, stare, photograph, video and adore the look of the car.


By the time I got off the motorway and on to some fast A and B roads, I started to bond with the RC-F. Over the next year, my RC-F proved to be utterly reliable and adequately fast!

Goodbye to the Lexus F fold
Two things annoyed me about the RC-F (and IS-F)


1.    The RC-F’s sheer confidence. I found that to get enjoyment out of the car, I had to wring its neck.  If you’ve driven the Mountain Road on the IOM, you’ll know it’s derestricted. To enjoy it and any other road in the RC-F, I found I really had to obtain speeds that were way too high. 

2.    Noise. The intake noise inside the cabin sounded amazing. Outside it sounded pretty good on the boil. However, when pottering around, things were a little sterile.  The exhaust note was disappointing. A QS exhaust helped, but that came with downsides.


So, those were my two reasons for leaving the F fold.

Where next?
The next car would have to entertain at lower speeds and make a great noise.
The options – the M3, but they sound ******* (and fake). Alfa thing – reliability. F-Type – I’m too tall. LC-500, has all the issues that the RC-F does. That left me with the C63, and I ended up buying a C63 Coupe.

Day one with the C63
Don’t listen to what people tell you about Mercedes reliability and build quality. Do what I did – just go buy one and experience it in the flesh. Mine got me home from the dealer only to be recovered straight back there. What a nightmare – but I did get several weeks in an E63s loaner. A quick note to all F drivers – no matter what car you have, don’t battle it out with an E63s – they are in a different league – biblical performance!


My C63 got returned to me after a couple of weeks but immediately some trim fell off it. This time I got a £125,000 AMG GT loaner. Another rapid car – not as fast as the E63s, but still in a different league to F cars.


C63 v RC-F

There’s no winner. It’s a personal preference, but I’ll list the pros – cons


Lexus wins on
1.    Build quality – HANDS down – different league
2.    Reliability….. .most of the time. My IS-F did need a new steering rack - £5k)
3.    Warranty – cheap and usually comprehensive
4.    Induction noise. Epic.  The C63 engine itself (minus exhaust) is quite boring.
5.    Rareness
6.    Handling – always predictable. I’d still be more confident in an RC-F (especially in the wet).

 Haven driven TVD and Flintstone LSD versions, I wouldn’t bother with the TVD (contrary to many previous debates). Personally, I found the TVD a little counter intuitive at the limit.

 
7.    Standard kit (at least in Carbon edition). Things like radar cruise as standard
8.    Nobody will nick a Lexus

C63 wins on
1.    Overall looks. Yes, the RC-F is eye catching and from the rear 3/4 a real stunner. But I just find the nose on the RC-F (and IS-F) awkward in profile. The C63 has less awkward angles. Incidentally the GS-F has the best F nose.
2.    Noise. AMG have performed miracles with the exhaust system. It’s an epic, guttural noise. The popping and banging is also awesome. What’s more – if you don’t like it, turn it off. I've yet to encounter the perfect aftermarket F exhaust.
3.    Fun at low speed. You don’t have to go fast to have fun. This is partly down to the epic sound track and…….
4.    Torque. With 8 gears, the F cars can often leave you in no man’s land. In the AMG you have this stuff called torque – low down the rev range.
5.    Recognition. People know what AMGs are and even if they don’t they appreciate the noise

6.     Road placement. The 63 'feels' more compact than the RC-F. The RC-F has that big swooping bonnet. On the road, the RC-F actually feels bigger than its sister the GS-F!

Do I miss the RC-F
No. Will I ever own a Lexus again….. I hope so. The AMG’s current garage buddy is a Lexus GS-F. I walk past it every day. I still admire everything about it. Lexus F cars – I’ll always have a soft spot for them.


Thanks for reading.

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Good write up thanks, I'm a bit of an AMG fan myself having owned the N/A SL63 then the Cl65.

Before buying the CL65 I did test drive the later C63, it is a very nice piece of kit and AMG should be proud of getting the exhaust to sound as good if not better than the N/A 6.2 engine. The only problem I had was the image the car was starting to portray and although it shouldn't influence you, it did me.

In particular around where I live there is a young guy who drives his matt grey C63 like an idiot, he nearly wiped me out as I was about to turn right into where I live in a 30 limit, he is going to cause a big accident one day. But then there is an attractive young lady who drives her C63 in a way you should in 30 limits. So there was my dilemma the C63 seemed to me to be the chavs choice of weapon.

I'll be interested to hear your opinions about running costs on the AMG after a year or so, because as someone who doesn't let money get in the way of enjoying himself I did find some of the bills a bit high to say the least. 

I also had a less than pleasant experience with one main dealer but found Brooklands (MB World) to be pretty good on servicing.

One of the guys I used to meet up with at the regular MB World get togethers has a tuned E63 giving truly monstrous BHP figures trouble is it looks like a bloody taxi. 

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Great write up. Congratulations on the C63s AMG. Thanks for the comparison. At least you got loaned exceptional machines when the C63s was in the garage 😁.

I agree on most of your points. It is funny that the F performance line of the Lexus brand don't get recognized by the masses. In fact, I've even experienced this myself at a dealer when i asked to get brand new floor mats for my GS-F, he got me a GS floor mat (the very same ones i have on my car) even after i specifically told him i wanted to make sure the car had the proper GS-F mats. His explanation was that those were the only floor mats made for the GS 🤦‍♂️ I have since given up and decided to rather spend the money elsewhere 😂.

 

13 hours ago, Flytvr said:

2.    Noise. AMG have performed miracles with the exhaust system. It’s an epic, guttural noise. The popping and banging is also awesome. What’s more – if you don’t like it, turn it off. I've yet to encounter the perfect aftermarket F exhaust.

Which is why i have invested in a valved exhaust system to open up the glorious NA V8 sound at low revs and have the ability to turn it off with a remote when the situation needs me to be more "discrete".

 

13 hours ago, Flytvr said:

3.    Fun at low speed. You don’t have to go fast to have fun. This is partly down to the epic sound track and…….
4.    Torque. With 8 gears, the F cars can often leave you in no man’s land. In the AMG you have this stuff called torque – low down the rev range.

The F has plenty of torque, it's just that it's higher up the rev range. To have fun in an F in low speed you only need to drive it in manual (and you'll probably only need 1st/2nd gear or maybe occasionally 3rd) and keep it at higher RPM. Can't deny the wonders of turbo charged engines though, must be hilarious having access to torque so easily 😁

Enjoy your AMG ownership, hope the C63s has had enough of garage visits (except of course for the usual service) and even if it does then hopefully the loaners will continue to be epic cars at least 👍 😃

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17 hours ago, B1RMA said:

In particular around where I live there is a young guy who drives his matt grey C63 like an idiot, he nearly wiped me out as I was about to turn right into where I live in a 30 limit, he is going to cause a big accident one day.

Funnily enough, I think the same young guy drives a white C63 near where I live.... Has a habit of flooring it on 30 mph roads and very nearly did the same thing to me, extremely silly.

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Great write up, tell me more about the LC500 V8 vs IS F experience!! 

 

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 Haven driven TVD and Flintstone LSD versions, I wouldn’t bother with the TVD (contrary to many previous debates). Personally, I found the TVD a little counter intuitive at the limit.
 



Yabbadabba doo

Thanks for the honest write up. Hard to argue anything there, all seems very objective ( other than looks ).

I hope the gsf is being well looked after and one day rides again.




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An enjoyable read, appreciate the honesty and time taken to document the comparison. I used to appreciate the older AMG's but it would appear we all suffer from local inept drivers influencing us all on who you'd expect to find behind the wheel. I would agree on the E63, had a friend with one and it was very successful in tightening my sphincter muscles (but that could also partly be because he's a **** driver).

I don't think I'll be trading in my GSF for an extremely long time (if ever), it ticks all my necessary boxes and the silly choking noise it used to make has been rectified with a valved exhaust system that makes me go all giggly when I stomp the go faster pedal! 😄

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Great write up @Flytvrand interesting to read such an objective point of view.  All its missing is some photo's as Im sure any F owner appreciates pics of a good looking car of a similar ilk. I certainly like to smile and nod in appreciation when I hear a C63 coming, or very quickly going...................... Totally agree with you though to buy one, experience it yourself and move on all the better for it.   Come on though, lets see some photo's.

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37 minutes ago, Comedian said:
  23 hours ago, Flytvr said:


 Haven driven TVD and Flintstone LSD versions, I wouldn’t bother with the TVD (contrary to many previous debates). Personally, I found the TVD a little counter intuitive at the limit.

Yes it is counter intuitive and best left to let it do the work or so I have found. Difficult to change the habits of a lifetime though.

Being a self confessed gadget freak I jumped at the option of having AVS and TVD on a car only because it was on a Lexus. Of all my cars that I've had in the past I'd run a mile from such technically advanced/complex devices as they'd either go wrong and cost a fortune (lotus etc) or cost an absolute fortune to service and keep in tip top condition (AMG, Porsche etc)

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3 hours ago, gb1600e said:

Great write up @Flytvrand interesting to read such an objective point of view.  All its missing is some photo's as Im sure any F owner appreciates pics of a good looking car of a similar ilk. I certainly like to smile and nod in appreciation when I hear a C63 coming, or very quickly going...................... Totally agree with you though to buy one, experience it yourself and move on all the better for it.   Come on though, lets see some photo's.

I second that get some pics up, always had a soft spot for an amg just never been brave enough to buy one.

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Comedian said:


 

 


Yabbadabba doo

Thanks for the honest write up. Hard to argue anything there, all seems very objective ( other than looks ).

I hope the gsf is being well looked after and one day rides again.




Sent from my BV5800 using Tapatalk
 

 

:) Thanks Sean

They are tucked up asleep

855ACA60-681C-44C5-82BD-786FE40AF49C.jpeg

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11 hours ago, B1RMA said:

Yes it is counter intuitive and best left to let it do the work or so I have found. Difficult to change the habits of a lifetime though.

So glad I'm not the only one that has encountered this!

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14 hours ago, G10RRE said:

Great write up, tell me more about the LC500 V8 vs IS F experience!! 

 

LC500 V8.......probably difficult to compare against an IS-F, easier to compare with the RC-F.

LC-500 is a lovely car. Feels very special. I'll underline those points. However, for the money, the performance is no better and the drive is very similar. So, I'd argue it's not worth the money. Having said that, some would say that the RC-F (or GS-F) isn't worth the money over the IS-F.

LC-500 does however sound better than any (stock) F car. 

Very much looking forward to the LC-F (if it exists). Would love to see it having more low down torque.

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16 hours ago, JonP said:

Funnily enough, I think the same young guy drives a white C63 near where I live.... Has a habit of flooring it on 30 mph roads and very nearly did the same thing to me, extremely silly.

C63 drivers........ the worst 😂  And, who'd ever buy a white car? 😉

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On 8/13/2019 at 10:52 PM, B1RMA said:

Before buying the CL65 I did test drive the later C63, it is a very nice piece of kit and AMG should be proud of getting the exhaust to sound as good if not better than the N/A 6.2 engine. The only problem I had was the image the car was starting to portray and although it shouldn't influence you, it did me.

Yeh - I get that. Fortunately, around my part of the world there seem to be more John Deer, Massey Fergusons and BMW M4s 😁

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11 hours ago, gb1600e said:

Great write up @Flytvrand interesting to read such an objective point of view.  All its missing is some photo's as Im sure any F owner appreciates pics of a good looking car of a similar ilk. I certainly like to smile and nod in appreciation when I hear a C63 coming, or very quickly going...................... Totally agree with you though to buy one, experience it yourself and move on all the better for it.   Come on though, lets see some photo's.

Thanks.

I took me a while to photograph the F. I should take some pics of the Merc! I'll update the thread once I have.

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8 hours ago, Flytvr said:

LC500 V8.......probably difficult to compare against an IS-F, easier to compare with the RC-F.

LC-500 is a lovely car. Feels very special. I'll underline those points. However, for the money, the performance is no better and the drive is very similar. So, I'd argue it's not worth the money. Having said that, some would say that the RC-F (or GS-F) isn't worth the money over the IS-F.

LC-500 does however sound better than any (stock) F car. 

Very much looking forward to the LC-F (if it exists). Would love to see it having more low down torque.

I’m glad you said the drive and performance is very similar. I worry it won’t handle as nice as the IS F in that’s it’s got any horrible wallowing feel, or if it’s  just as sharp.

 

i’m avoiding a test drive haha just in case I really fall in love with it!

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Yes it is counter intuitive and best left to let it do the work or so I have found. Difficult to change the habits of a lifetime though.
Being a self confessed gadget freak I jumped at the option of having AVS and TVD on a car only because it was on a Lexus. Of all my cars that I've had in the past I'd run a mile from such technically advanced/complex devices as they'd either go wrong and cost a fortune (lotus etc) or cost an absolute fortune to service and keep in tip top condition (AMG, Porsche etc)
I never said that. Mis-quote. How did that happen?

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1 hour ago, Comedian said:

I never said that. Mis-quote. How did that happen?

Sent from my BV5800 using Tapatalk
 

Sorry my fault entirely, I'm absolutely rubbish at cut and paste or in my case cut and f**k up

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On ‎8‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 8:38 AM, Flytvr said:

Thanks.

I took me a while to photograph the F. I should take some pics of the Merc! I'll update the thread once I have.

Yes, I remember the moody photo's of your RCF, professional quality I seem to recall. I also remember a touch of garage envy as well :thumbup:  

Just thinking how our old TVR's stack up in "wins on list"  

For my Chimaera

1.    Build quality – ummm next question
2.    Reliability….. .not bad on reflection, only came home on a tow truck once.
3.    Warranty – Errr Nope.
4.    Induction noise. Well it burbled nicely, very nicely in fact.
5.    Rareness- Somewhere between an ISF and an RCF depending on the colour (of either) But very recognisable.
6.    Handling – treat with care. Only lost it coming off a roundabout once.  Nobody about, nobody noticed, got away with it as if it didn't happen. 

7.    Standard kit - From a Ford parts bin or made by a man in a shed but a secret door open button under the door mirror. Years ahead of its time surely.
8.    Made in Britain. Ah, refer back to item 1

Loved it then as much as I love my ISF now though.

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Sorry my fault entirely, I'm absolutely rubbish at cut and paste or in my case cut and f**k up
No worries was tongue in cheek complaint. :)



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On 8/13/2019 at 9:25 PM, Flytvr said:

It’s a long time coming, but I promised a number of members that I would summarise life after Lexus.


I don’t pretend to be a capable driver, a track god or even someone of any real automotive knowledge. There are plenty on here that put me to shame! I have however owned an IS-F, RC-F and now a C63. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in GS-Fs. I’ve also had time in both versions of the LC-500. Mercedes wise, I’ve driven a fair few miles in a C63s, an AMG GT and a current E63s. So, I think I’m in a good place to render an honest comparison between Lexus and Mercedes. What follows is my experience as a Lexus / AMG owner. Just one person’s view - just my view.

IS-F – wonderfully stealthy
I loved my IS-F. My heart still skips a beat whenever I see one on the road. Maybe this happens because they are so rare or just because I will always feel an attachment to the Lexus brand. The engineering, the build quality and the customer service are all qualities that impress and leave a lasting mark.

Of course, you know there’s a BUT coming. The BUT came in the form of the anonymity of the IS-F. The very thing that appeals to so many – the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Call me vain, call me a show off, but I started to get a little annoyed at the lack of recognition the IS-F got in the real world. Only dedicated petrol heads knew what it was, and I got a little tired of having conversations such as “Yes, I have a Lexus IS-F. It’s the equivalent to a BMW M3, Mercedes C63.”. I wanted the car to be recognised for just how good it was. An even bigger problem was the temptation to show M3 and C63 drivers just how good my IS-F was. Obviously I resisted….
The seed was sewn, and my head was turned by an RC-F.

IS-F to RC-F
I found my RC-F on Autotrader. A 15 plate Carbon edition in white. The day of trade in, the IS-F performed beautifully – flawlessly, and it really was hard handing over the keys. I felt like I was betraying a friend, but it had to be done.


I always find the process of purchasing a new car stressful - the paperwork, the money exchange and that nagging thought in the back of the head “Have I done the right thing?”. One the part-x was done, I headed South from Stoke, down the busy M6. I had a headache, the sun was very bright and I had no sunglasses.  Not a great start.

That nagging thought in the back of my head was really evident. My first couple of hours in the RC-F weren’t great. I started thinking that I’d spent £40k on a car that was arguably no better than the IS-F. More striking, definitely, but still arguably no better.


I’d stopped at the services (somewhere on the M6) in the hope I could buy some sunglasses. On my return to the car park, a guy (who turned out to be a Boxster owner) was walking around the RC-F. He was very complimentary about the car. This attention was to be repeated over and over in the 10,000 miles of RC-F ownership. People stop, stare, photograph, video and adore the look of the car.


By the time I got off the motorway and on to some fast A and B roads, I started to bond with the RC-F. Over the next year, my RC-F proved to be utterly reliable and adequately fast!

Goodbye to the Lexus F fold
Two things annoyed me about the RC-F (and IS-F)


1.    The RC-F’s sheer confidence. I found that to get enjoyment out of the car, I had to wring its neck.  If you’ve driven the Mountain Road on the IOM, you’ll know it’s derestricted. To enjoy it and any other road in the RC-F, I found I really had to obtain speeds that were way too high. 

2.    Noise. The intake noise inside the cabin sounded amazing. Outside it sounded pretty good on the boil. However, when pottering around, things were a little sterile.  The exhaust note was disappointing. A QS exhaust helped, but that came with downsides.


So, those were my two reasons for leaving the F fold.

Where next?
The next car would have to entertain at lower speeds and make a great noise.
The options – the M3, but they sound ******* (and fake). Alfa thing – reliability. F-Type – I’m too tall. LC-500, has all the issues that the RC-F does. That left me with the C63, and I ended up buying a C63 Coupe.

Day one with the C63
Don’t listen to what people tell you about Mercedes reliability and build quality. Do what I did – just go buy one and experience it in the flesh. Mine got me home from the dealer only to be recovered straight back there. What a nightmare – but I did get several weeks in an E63s loaner. A quick note to all F drivers – no matter what car you have, don’t battle it out with an E63s – they are in a different league – biblical performance!


My C63 got returned to me after a couple of weeks but immediately some trim fell off it. This time I got a £125,000 AMG GT loaner. Another rapid car – not as fast as the E63s, but still in a different league to F cars.


C63 v RC-F

There’s no winner. It’s a personal preference, but I’ll list the pros – cons


Lexus wins on
1.    Build quality – HANDS down – different league
2.    Reliability….. .most of the time. My IS-F did need a new steering rack - £5k)
3.    Warranty – cheap and usually comprehensive
4.    Induction noise. Epic.  The C63 engine itself (minus exhaust) is quite boring.
5.    Rareness
6.    Handling – always predictable. I’d still be more confident in an RC-F (especially in the wet).

 Haven driven TVD and Flintstone LSD versions, I wouldn’t bother with the TVD (contrary to many previous debates). Personally, I found the TVD a little counter intuitive at the limit.

 
7.    Standard kit (at least in Carbon edition). Things like radar cruise as standard
8.    Nobody will nick a Lexus

C63 wins on
1.    Overall looks. Yes, the RC-F is eye catching and from the rear 3/4 a real stunner. But I just find the nose on the RC-F (and IS-F) awkward in profile. The C63 has less awkward angles. Incidentally the GS-F has the best F nose.
2.    Noise. AMG have performed miracles with the exhaust system. It’s an epic, guttural noise. The popping and banging is also awesome. What’s more – if you don’t like it, turn it off. I've yet to encounter the perfect aftermarket F exhaust.
3.    Fun at low speed. You don’t have to go fast to have fun. This is partly down to the epic sound track and…….
4.    Torque. With 8 gears, the F cars can often leave you in no man’s land. In the AMG you have this stuff called torque – low down the rev range.
5.    Recognition. People know what AMGs are and even if they don’t they appreciate the noise

6.     Road placement. The 63 'feels' more compact than the RC-F. The RC-F has that big swooping bonnet. On the road, the RC-F actually feels bigger than its sister the GS-F!

Do I miss the RC-F
No. Will I ever own a Lexus again….. I hope so. The AMG’s current garage buddy is a Lexus GS-F. I walk past it every day. I still admire everything about it. Lexus F cars – I’ll always have a soft spot for them.


Thanks for reading.

Flytvr  . Dav you bought the wrong car 😂😂😂😂

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Great write up Dav @Flytvr and good to read.  Just out of curiosity, what was the down side to the QS exhaust you mention?  I have had somebody roll up next to me at a roundabout telling me to "get my f***ing exhaust fixed" 🙄

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3 hours ago, Jon_B said:

Great write up Dav @Flytvr and good to read.  Just out of curiosity, what was the down side to the QS exhaust you mention?  I have had somebody roll up next to me at a roundabout telling me to "get my f***ing exhaust fixed" 🙄

Sounds like a bit of exhaust envy to me.

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  • Club Hybrid Poll

  • 207 Hybrid Reliability

    1. 1. If you were to consider buying a Hybrid model over 5 years old, would you be worried about the reliability of the Hybrid system?


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      • Not if it had a Manufacturers Warranty on the Hybrid system
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