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Everything posted by Rabbers

  1. Having just re-visited this thread after some time, I was surprised by the direction (and tone) it had taken, with people chasing their own tails about what cars they would buy if Lexus sold them, which, in the case of an IS350 in Europe it probably never will, or whether the 200T is a crap product or not, and so forth. Little of this has much practical bearing on what Lexus actually does, which is not to offer everything it can make to everyone everywhere but to develop and selectively market such ranges of models as it believes to be suited to any given market or group of markets and do so profitably. In fact, the last post I had read was dutchie01's of 1 July, which came to much the same conclusion but with the additional comment that Lexus' U.K. sales are so small as to be irrelevant. I'm not too sure about that. Bear in mind that Lexus sells as many units in the U.K. as it does in Germany, France, Italy and Spain put together, so that if Toyota was ever to consider winding up any of its Lexus operations in Europe it would certainly not be the U.K. but, more probably, all of them at the same time because, if measured by overall market share, they do not add up to one-tenth of the slightly less than 3% achieved in the U.S., which is not, on the face of it, particularly spectacular either. However, I would believe that Lexus' individual national market shares are scrutinised less closely than the financial resources required to achieve them, and that as long as the latter are acceptable or show realistic signs of becoming so, operations will continue. There do not appear to be any drastic moves afoot in Europe at the moment unless the weeding out of a product like the 200T in the U.K. is considered to be one, although it is said that many people in the Lexus organisation, especially dealers, already considered its launch to be a mistake at a time when other subsidiaries were actively pursuing an all-hybrid strategy. In fact, Lexus is said to be Toyota's most profitable division, reflecting higher margins on premium cars and, according to some analysts, because of its avoidance of slow-moving inventories through a close synchronisation of production and delivery, Lexus having as far as possible always followed a policy of not customising individual cars to order but of selling finished packages from combined totals of landed inventories and shipments continuously underway from Japan, a high proportion of the latter pre-sold. Insofar as these offerings originate from market-by-market sales projections made by local managements whose job it is to know the likes and dislikes of their own prospective customers they contain - or should ideally contain - enough permutations of variants and optionals within predetermined ranges to preempt what would otherwise be unmanageable numbers of demands for customisations or wider choices of models and versions. As a result many customers are happy enough to buy what they are offered rather than what they might prefer were they to be given a wider set of options, Lexus' aim being to mitigate what would otherwise appear to be motivational incompatibilities between buyer and seller, an aim that would be unthinkable without the marque's reputation for quality, reliability, and good customer service in a context of exclusivity. In this scenario, any misinterpretations or miscalculations of local market requirements, when they occur, mean that customers who are unwilling to modify their preferences have to accept the long waiting times concomitant to inclusion in the next appropriate production and delivery cycles. Failing that, their sole remaining option is to buy another car, probably a German one, or maybe a Cadillac or an Acura or an Infiniti in the U.S., thus slowing Lexus' rate of market penetration. However, the number of customers thus lost, historically, has rarely been sufficient to reduce pre-existing levels of sales, which, despite fluctuations in the worldwide car market, have mainly continued to grow year-to-year, translating into increasing market shares - perhaps better described as the sum of several increasingly comfortable niche positions - along with considerably strengthened brand recognition.
  2. Flattered as I am to be quoted in a forum concerned with a piece of badass machinery like the IS-F, I feel obliged to point out that my words, as was evident from the much longer post from which they were taken, were intended to be sarcastic. Now I understand how the Donald feels when one of his tweets fuels a whole new cycle of false news. Sad. That Lexus has preferred to play the "looks" card and not offer something more muscular in the case of the RC300h is fine with me. Why should anyone sneer at Melania? .....
  3. Never spilled anything liquid or sticky so nothing but routine vacuuming was needed to keep the boot clean. The problem was areas of wispiness where the pile was raised by rubbing against something rough and hard, e.g. luggage strips with buckles or similar. Although I should have known better, the worst culprits were a small first-aid box and a utility pouch containing cloths etc. which I attached to the boot walls with strips of Velcro provided by the manufacturers. Whenever I relocated them, the ripping sound was enough to make your toe-nails curl, and of course they left tracks of the aforementioned wispiness. And yet I never found a more effective way of securing such items.
  4. As suggested by Edwardo, the boot-liner keeps wear to the carpeting out of sight and out of mind - and, of course, prevents it if you fit one when the car is new. The trouble, especially if you also have a horizontal luggage-net, is the loss of easy access to the excessively shallow but not entirely useless storage tray underneath. In fact, I've completely forgotten what I've got in it. I used to effectively reduce or remove the patches of wispiness in the boot-carpeting of the IS300h I previously had with a battery-powered lint-remover/defuzzer of the type you can buy for a few £s online or at your nearest friendly Chinese emporium. And, if you are obsessive about such things, you might even use the device for its proper purpose and restore the bits of your favourite woolly jumper that get rubbed by the seat-belt.
  5. Rabbers

    Missing micro-sd card

    This is all very peculiar. If the car was formally advertised as a "Premier" or described as such without further qualification in the sales contract, then the absence of any item of equipment listed in the manufacturer's published specifications for the model would legally be considered misrepresentation (whether deliberate or in good faith) even when the seller, as in this case, is not the contracted or authorised representative of the manufacturer. If you get no satisfaction after your letter of complaint, you would be justified in wheeling out a solicitor - not that the hassle and expense would necessarily be worth it.
  6. Bernard: I posted some pix shortly after taking delivery last year. Look on the IS300h Forum for RC300h v. IS300h-Part Two started by me November 6 2016, specifically my post of November 18. I think you'll agree that the RC's looks are good enough to flatter even the least talented of photographers....
  7. As I do at least twice every year, I have just driven 1642km (=1020miles) from Italy to Denmark, all motorway except for a total of about 30km at each end. This was my first such drive in the RC300h after a previous seven or eight in an IS300h over exactly the same route with few variations of weather, traffic and roadworks to speak of (even if my impression that the latter two factors in Germany could not get any worse seems to have been proven wrong every time). I did not overly abuse national speed limits, setting the ACC at +5-10% and, where feasible in Germany, cruising at 160kmh> (=100mpg>). My total fuel consumption (brim-to-brim actuals) for the trip was 127 litres (=28 gals), equal to 12.9km/l (=36.4mpg). Therefore, based on performance over a long and not untypical cross-section of the continental European motorway network comprising I, CH, D and DK, and considering that the worst I ever did in the IS was 14.8km/l (= 42mpg) while usually managing better than 15km/l, I conclude that the RC is something like 14% less economic than the IS in motorway driving. This compares with the 7-8% difference I have been seeing in day-to-day non-motorway driving. In summary, if people ask - as they often do because the car arouses their curiosity - I think I can now objectively state consumption figures of around 13km/l (= 37mpg) for Motorway and 15km/l (=42mpg) for Non-Motorway driving. And, in view of the sheer class of the car, these are impressive figures. The RC performed beautifully throughout the long drive, effortlessly reaching and maintaining high cruising speeds (I stayed in Sport+ mode the entire time). I nudged the declared top speed of 190kmh (=118mph) with the speedo showing over 200kmh (=124mph) several times in Germany and the car did not complain in the slightest. In fact the impression of speed is very much masked by the silence and quality of the ride. This is appreciably firmer with less body-roll than the IS and, in combination with the lower driving position, this can be a bit more tiring over long distances. Which, I suppose, is the price to pay for the car's relative "sportiness". Not unexpectedly, one of the pleasures of driving the RC in Germany was the large number of glances, stares and leers received from the local motoring population, less often prompted, I surmise, by envy than the shock of discovering that any kind of aesthetic challenge might exist to their own automotive supremacy.
  8. Linas, why should Lexus want to engineer a better car than the RC300h when they can so easily con an undiscerning customer like me into buying the present bad one? Whatever the case may be, I blush to admit that I continue to find little to seriously dislike about the RC - and, in much the same way as I use inverted commas when including "sportiness" among the car's attributes, I emphasise the word "seriously" in the hope of preempting criticism from anyone with higher claims to automotive connoisseurship than my own. The RC, in everyday use, conveys me around town and country comfortably and elegantly and probably more briskly than is strictly necessary or socially desirable. Surprisingly, and perhaps somewhat mysteriously in view of the stodginess that might be expected from a declared 0-100kmh figure of 8.6', it still manages to unforcedly leave most other cars behind at lights, and its mid-range acceleration is so good as to almost constantly tempt one into quick and smooth overtaking simply for the pleasure of it. To these virtues I can now add, from experience, its ability to cruise all day at 160>kmh, such twinges of stiffness as I might get in my neck and back after an unusually long drive not being of sufficient gravity to demote the car from the top rank in terms of driver and front passenger comfort. Really, I neither require or desire more from a car, though I fully realise that I am speaking as the sort of person who, if he could afford it, would buy a Ferrari out of pure narcissism rather than any ability or particular wish to appreciate and exploit its capabilities. That I should find the RC's consumption figures impressive if somewhat disappointing in respect of the IS300h, again somewhat mysteriously since the differences do not directly mirror the kerb weights, is mainly because my pre-hybrid memory has remained stuck on the four tankfuls an IS250 required to get me from, for example, Italy to Denmark instead of the subsequent and present two. However, I am also comforted in my belief that the RC is a fuel-efficient car upon hearing the grunts of what I take to be agreement (or at least not disagreement) during idle exchanges of ball-park consumption figures with owners of other premium cars, usually diesel and almost always of teutonic origin, this being a combination of factors that tends, rightly or wrongly, to dampen any enthusiasm I might otherwise feel for them while at the same discouraging me from making detailed comparisons. Incidentally, reasonably close adherence to the Danish speed limit of 110kmh (except for a few stretches of 130kmh thrown in order to keep the population happy) has, in combination with relatively light traffic, a flat landscape and warmish weather, resulted in remarkably good consumption figures on motorway drives of 70-80km or so daily since I have been here. On one of these, the OBC showed 21km/l (=59mpg), which would be unimaginable anywhere else I know in Europe.
  9. Independently of the regrettable fact that something in there is not working in the case of Colm's IS, and while I admit to not being a connoisseur of the innards of cars, I must say that the first few minutes I watched of the video before my attention started to stray and my mind to boggle appeared to show a very solidly constructed and assembled piece of industrial design which, coincidentally, exemplifies some of the more positive comments to be found in the Rattling from passenger seat thread elsewhere on this Forum.
  10. It might, but despite best efforts to remove it, I wouldn't fancy sitting on a greasy patch of leather and maybe getting a slightly rancid odour in my nostrils...
  11. Rabbers

    Rattling front passenger seat

    You are perfectly right to be concerned about the acoustic consequences of putting certain things in the cubby. I have found it useful to line the bottom with thin mesh-pattern non-slip matting of the type that was once mainly used to prevent rugs from sliding from under you on polished floors. This material would, I believe, keep even a bagful loose ball-bearings under control, though I would probably not guarantee it for a set of castanets or finger-cymbals.
  12. I daresay that special-purpose proprietary products such as Gliptone are ideal but, in an emergency, as would usually be the case, an alternative would be diluted lemon juice applied in gradually increasing concentrations as deemed necessary until the administration of a final wipe with alcohol. And if alcohol is not available, vodka would be suitable. I picked up this nugget of wisdom, which I hope never to have to test, from an article on the care and maintenance of leather handbags I was forced to peruse in the absence of other reading matter in a French doctor's waiting-room, and I remember wondering, as I still do, why logic did not lead the author to recommend lemon-flavoured vodka as a more efficient two-in-one alternative from the outset.
  13. Rabbers

    Rattling front passenger seat

    When I bought my RC300h I was concerned, wrongly as it turns out, that its longer doors and frameless windows would make it more prone to vibrations, rattles and squeaks than the MY2013 IS300h I previously had, which, as confirmed by Bernard, was in its turn more prone to them than the solidly built IS250 (of which I had MYs 2008 and 2010). This is not to say that the first-generation IS300h was badly screwed together or over-plasticky in character. It did, however, sometimes feel somewhat fragile on uneven surfaces, particularly cobblestones. In fact, every Lexus I have owned (as far back as two IS200s) has had to face a 700m stretch of cobblestones almost twice daily, and, depending on my speed, all have at times felt as though they were being shaken apart. Certainly, if vibrations are the main factor in the development of eventual full-blown rattles, I would identify this stretch of road as the birthplace of the surprisingly few of the latter that I have needed to take to Lexus for sorting out, most of them having disappeared with time or, with luck, after a strategic thump with a fist. After 13000km/9 months I have experienced only a few minor vibrations and no rattles at all in the RC, making it, touch wood, as well-constructed a Lexus as I have ever owned. I suppose this to be attributable to a combination of factors including the rigid 2-door structure, the stiffer chassis and shorter wheelbase, and the truly excellent suspensions. And although the 10-speaker Pioneer audio may not perform as well as the ML, it does offer the advantage, in terms of the cabin build, of having a smaller number of speakers and vibration-prone grilles, added to which the central console, armrest and storage-compartment seem thicker-walled and more solid. Incidentally, I recently had occasion to ride (as a passenger) in the new Alfa Giulia (the 2-litre Veloce version) and was amazed by the improvements, both visual and tactile, in the quality of the interior and exterior build and materials in respect of recent generations of this particular marque. In fact, I would describe the improvements as spectacular. A quick analysis would appear to indicate that Alfa is looking, reasonably enough, to recover its related additional production costs through slightly higher pricing whereas, according to some posts in the LOC, including Andy's and Bernard's above, Lexus is falling prey to bean-counting instincts and may be compromising its historical reputation for quality. Not, I am happy to say, that I am seeing evidence of this in the RC.
  14. All of them visual equivalents of putting two fingers down your throat ... and a sad waste of obvious technical talent.
  15. Rabbers

    Rattling front passenger seat

    Glad to have helped. Fingers crossed and hope it won't come back.
  16. Rabbers

    Rattling front passenger seat

    It could be that some solid object not large enough to impede the seat's movement has become lodged inside one of the guide-rails, so that with a bit of luck a probe with a stiff wire or thin stick might give a result. This happened to me in my IS300h with a token coin for use with supermarket trolleys. Although I saw it fall inside the front end of the inner guide-rail I failed to remove it immediately, and by the time I got home with the intention of hooking it out with some kind of tool it had moved to an inaccessible central position directly under the seat. I subsequently blamed it for an intermittent soft rattling sound that came from there, fortunately infrequently and usually only with significant changes in temperature. I never gave up trying to locate it when cleaning the car but was always unsuccessful. The car was under warranty almost throughout my entire ownership of it, and I don't doubt that my dealer would have gone as far as removing the seat to find the rattle if asked. However, I also doubt if the job would have remained free-of-charge upon discovery of a token with a local supermarket logo on it.
  17. Rabbers

    Finally it's here!!

    Beautiful car. Many Congratulations. I trust you ticked the dealer off for parking it next to a Disabled space and, even more alarmingly, facing the wheelchair access ramp....!!!
  18. No question about it.
  19. Indeed they were. "Average Speed" cameras, locally known as "Tutor" systems, have been operational here in Italy since 2005 and now cover more than one third of the total motorway network of approx.7000km. Usually they cover individual stretches of 10km but can extend up to 25km. Their number is increasing all the time, and along with that of fixed-speed cameras, the list of locations is updated every Monday and made available on dedicated phone apps. Advance warnings of their presence are by means of overhead signs across all lanes and, as such, they are not easily missed. Unlike many or most cameras installed by local municipalities on normal roads that masquerade as safety measures but are really designed to ambush motorists for their cash, the "Tutors" have been very effective in reducing the number of speed-related accidents wherever they have been installed. Fatality rates, in particular, have been more than halved. Not that the income they generate is negligible, it being said that some of the original installations paid for themselves in less than two years. Historically, the decision of owners of foreign-registered cars to pay speeding fines emanating from Italy and notified to them by local debt collection agencies was largely a question of personal conscience or a willingness to put up with the irritation of increasingly aggressive but legally dubious demands for payment. As far as I am aware this may still be the case in most countries including the U.K., but I have heard that the appointment of private debt collection agencies by the Italian Polizia Stradale (the national Road Police), which administers the "Tutor" network, is nowadays to be regarded as only a first step pending possible further more formal legal action regardless of country. The only certainty is that whereas owners of Italian-registered vehicles must be notified of infractions within 90 days for the related penalties not to be invalidated, this period is extended to 360 days for foreign ones. So, if you think you may have been caught speeding on camera in Italy but have heard nothing one year later, you probably never will, and in the event that you should, feel free to tear the letter up.
  20. Rabbers

    Leaving the fold....

    Lovely car ... and it makes a nice sound too!!!
  21. Although I regularly drive through an area where they are reported to be a menace, I consider myself lucky to have seen a boar close-up only once. On a stretch of road surrounded by open fields I suddenly and unexpectedly came upon a long line of oncoming cars that were starting to pick up speed again having apparently come to a stop. I then spotted what I initially though was a dog trotting along ahead of me in my own lane, and it was only when I got closer that I recognised the creature as a boar, and a hefty one at that, reddish-brown and ugly with it. Relating its bulk to that of a person, I guessed it probably weighed over 100kg, all of it muscle. I stayed 20-30m behind the brute for more than two km, leading a convoy of vehicles that gradually extended back as far as I could see, until the thing finally swerved away into a ditch and through a hedge. I could have overtaken it several times before then (having contemplated a judicious flick into S-mode, of course) but, being worried by the malevolent over-the-shoulder glances I occasionally got from it, I decided to take no risks. On reflection, I was glad that it did not decide, as I'm told might have happened, to lay down for a rest in the middle of the road, in which case I, and probably none of the drivers behind me, would have known what to do except wait for it to get up again.
  22. I was in Lyon last month and was told by the hotel receptionist that only French-registered vehicles need the Crit'air vignette for the Lyon/Villeurbanne area. And, in fact, I did not see the vignette on any of the many foreign cars parked in one of the main city squares. However, there was some confusion about the rules for Paris, which were supposed to be changing, but since I was not going there I did not investigate further. Since the vignette is cheap and will be valid for all cities joining the list in future, I think it's probably a good idea for anyone who may be driving to France, even if they have no immediate plans to do so, to go online and buy it once and for all in order to avoid possible hassle.
  23. Has anyone else just five minutes ago received a pop-up ad from Amazon UK offering a somewhat crass satin-paper print of the LC500h at prices varying from £48 to £107 depending on size? If not, don't hold your breath...