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AutoTrends: Lexus ready to roll out proper three-row crossover, TX

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When Lexus dealerships before 2014 begged automaker to build a three-row crossover to slot above the RX and below the body-on-frame GX, Lexus responded immediately with the RX L.

The RX L is slightly elongated RX with a cramped third row but it was not the kind of success Lexus dealers had expected.

This has prompted Lexus to file a trademark for the name “TX.” And the TX is said to be coming as the first dedicated Lexus three-row crossover.

Automotive News says the TX as a proper Lexus three-row crossover is underway, quoting a Lexus source as saying that the TX will be based on another rumoured model, the Toyota Grand Highlander. The Grand Highlander name was trademarked by Toyota, and will reportedly slot between the Highlander and Sequoia. Both the Toyota and Lexus are slated for production at Toyota’s plant in Indiana.

The TX and Grand Highlander are expected to arrive in mid-2023, meaning they could be revealed later this year.

Toyota will hold its annual HQ Confidential event – where it reveals new Toyota and Lexus products – from the end of May through the beginning of June. The insider source says the Grand Highlander will arrive first, followed by the TX around six months later.

Toyota has typically declined to comment on either product, though the Indiana plant is currently undergoing an $803 million upgrade to build new models.

The Japanese automaker has confirmed that the two new vehicles built in Indiana will get a semi-autonomous driving system with hands-free capability. This is likely referencing Toyota/Lexus Teammate, which is currently available on the Mirai and LS 500h.

Toyota also confirmed both models would seat up to eight passengers, meaning second-row captain’s chairs will likely be optional.

The TX will be offered in petrol and hybrid forms, judging by the trademarks for the names “TX 350” and “TX 500h”.

The TX 350 should get the same 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder found in the NX 350, while the TX 500h could be the first Lexus to use the turbocharged engine in combination with electric motors, as the naturally aspirated setup in the NX 350h would not be potent enough to support the larger TX.

The Grand Highlander is projected to arrive with similar powertrain options producing slightly less power.

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Rolls-Royce Cullinan takes inspiration from new fashion, creates ultimate SUV

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In line with their vision of creating an ultimate SUV, Rolls-Royce recently brightened up the Art Basel festival, held in Miami, Florida, the United States, revealing several courageous specifications marked by a progressive styling approach inspired by the fashion industry of today.

“The House of Rolls-Royce [revealed the] ‘Cullinan – Inspired by Fashion’, comprised two prêt-à-porter collections– the bold Re-Belle and striking Fu-Shion,” the super luxury automaker said at the event.

Since its first launch back in 2018, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan has established itself as a vehicle that takes luxury and comfort to a completely new level, according to an online auto journal, Auto Revolution.

Its interior craftsmanship is second to none, being spoiled with the finest materials and incredible attention to detail, giving passengers an unforgettable experience.

Developed under the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective label, the British brand’s latest creations are inspired by the brilliant colours and textures seen in the world of high fashion, in an effort to celebrate “the eclectic tastes and lifestyle of [Rolls-Royce] luxury clientele,” and produce genuine pieces of automotive art in the meantime.

Also regarded as a firm statement of the infinite customizing possibilities that their Bespoke program can offer, the Cullinan – Inspired by Fashion collection is comprised of eight distinct personalities.

Each member of the collection comes finished in two interior color-ways in contrasting accents.

The Lime Green and Peony Pink layout schemes are available in the case of Re-Belle, while the Mandarin or Forge Yellow themes uniquely furnish the inside living space of the Fu-Shion, contrasting against the Arctic White or Cashmere Grey bespoke leather upholstery.

Each interior choice may be combined with one of two carefully selected exterior colors, albeit for a more eye-catching or subdued appearance, according to customer preferences.

Even more, in the case of the Re-Belle, the dashboard fascia gets an exquisitely crafted handwoven stainless-steel fabric inspired by metallic garments seen on this year’s catwalks.

The delicate 0.45 mm diameter thread is designed to create a captivating atmosphere on the inside as the vehicle moves, and the handwoven pattern catches and reflects light in distinctive ways.

Complimenting the interior highlights of the Re-Belle are the gorgeous Lime Green, Gunmetal, Wildberry, or Arctic White exterior colors, forming a perfect pairing for the selected interior layouts.

The Fu-Shion models act upon the Black Badge character of the Cullinan, reinterpreting high fashion from a utilitarian perspective, so deeply engraved in Cullinan’s perceived personality, as the pinnacle of luxury that can go effortlessly everywhere.

The RR’s in-house designers devised two interior themes for Fu-Shion: an eye-catching combination of Military Green, Navy Blue, and Mandarin and an Arctic White and Cashmere Grey leather blend contrasting with Forge Yellow accents.

Last but not the least, the Cullinan Fu-Shion can be commissioned in one of four exterior colours, depending on the interior palette: Military Green, Burnout Grey, Forge Yellow, or Tempest Grey.

All the models from the Cullinan – Inspired by Fashion collection come exclusively fitted with the brand-new Starlight Tailgate, a superb addition to the usual Starlight Headliner that is designed to further extend the cosmic ambiance outside the vehicle for the ultimate experience.

Also a bespoke feature, the Starlight Tailgate consists of 192 gently illuminated star-like LEDs embedded into the perforated leather, taking over 22 hours to recreate.

Even more, the vehicles benefit from the Viewing Suite, creating the ideal environment for celestial night exploration, at any given moment.

Of course, a Rolls-Royce Cullinan – Inspired by Fashion collection would not be complete without a matching set of luggage offerings, made to complement each of the four interior theme layouts.

It includes the 24-hour Weekender, the 48-hour Weekender, the Holdall, Tote Bag, and Organiser Pouch, consisting of a total of five pieces that can be purchased either as a complete set or separately.

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US used car firm begins Nigeria’s operations, unveils Yuletide promo

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A global automobile company that specialises in premium used vehicle sale and service, Carloha, has announced the commencement of operations in Nigeria with a target at the top of the market.

The firm with head office in the USA has also unveiled a Yuletide promo with a huge slash in prices of its vehicles and free insurance, registration and warranty.

The firm, according to a statement obtained via email, owns and manages several stores and maintenance centres, with over 200 dedicated employees providing comprehensive car purchase, finance and insurance services.

Carloha Nigeria is said to parade a host of premium used vehicles in its arsenal of stocks and well positioned to be the leading automobile company in used vehicle trading business in Nigeria.

Marketing Manager of the auto firm, Mr Mathew Enuoma Aje, said, “We are in business to set the pace in sales and services of used vehicle segment in Nigeria, by making vehicle ownership a seamless process for all customers.”

Commenting on the Yuletide promo, said, “In the spirit of the Yuletide, Carloha Nigeria is offering huge price slash on every vehicle purchased from October 31, 2022 to January 31, 2022. Customers can also take advantage of free registration, free insurance, free first three services, finance option, trade-in-option, and three month warranty or 5,000km whichever comes first.

The End of Year Promo tagged “Drive Your Dream” is exclusive and all-embracive because they all come with freebies that are germane to vehicle ownership and driving comfort.

The essence of “Drive Your Dream” promo is to bring happiness, joy and peace of mind to all customers in this Yuletide, and also our token of appreciation for all year-round patronage in 2022.”

Aje said Carloha Nigeria prides itself with the best of used vehicles of choice brands that are durable, rugged well refined to suit the taste of all customers.

“The class and state of vehicles we stock are rare and cannot be sourced elsewhere,” the firm said in the statement.

The company said it “works with well known used car provider in the USA, using big data technology to select the best quality used car in Nigeria. The replication of the automated system is to position Carloha Nigeria as a viable company that will drive the world with latest technological advancement in automobile engineering that offers bespoke premium services that cannot be seen anywhere in sub-Sahara African.”

Carloha Nigeria listed the notable brands of vehicle offerings as Mercedes-Benz, Toyota (Lexus), Ford, and Range Rover it considered “neatly selected and well finished to specifications with the states-of-the-Arts technology.”

Even as the firm noted that pricing of used vehicle had been a huge algorithmic challenge to the overall business, it stated that automated pricing system is used Carloha Nigeria to fix the right price of all used vehicles.

This, it said, was done to accurately fix each price of vehicle in relation to economic fluctuation and imbalance in the local market.

On after-sale, it said, “The installations of state-of-art technological automated equipment is a proof of Carloha’s readiness to set the pace as a major player in the sales and maintenance of used vehicle.

“To ensure quality standard of vehicles, Carloha Nigeria utilizes scientific method with fully automated management system known as 149 vehicle inspection point on chasis, engine, transmission, exterior, interior, electronic system, road test, and maintenance equipment to meet the demand of the market,” it said.

 

 

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Excitement as NAJA introduces new categories in auto industry awards, announces date

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The Nigerian auto industry has come alive again following the announcement by the Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) to hold the 2022 edition of its annual awards on Wednesday January 25, 2023 at the prestigious Eko Hotels and Towers, Victoria Island.

Auto industry players are particularly excited about the introduction of new categories including the most popular brand whose products are most visible cutting across different models.

Speaking on the new date, Chairman of the Planning Committee, Mr Rasheed Bisiriyu, stated that it had always been the tradition of the organizers to schedule the award ceremonies to coincide with the end-of-the-year festive period, but it had to be rescheduled for the New Year due to some unforeseen circumstances.
According to him, the NAJA awards which annually reward excellence in the Nigerian automotive industry, has over the years become a great platform to bring together critical stakeholders in the industry.
“One thing has remained true to this remarkable contest; it celebrates and rewards automotive excellence. Our jurors are experts in the automotive field and clearly understand vehicles and the mobility sector.”
He also said nominated vehicles would be judged based on value for money, pricing, cost of maintenance, depreciation rate, fuel consumption, warranty & dealer access and insurance.
“It will also be judged on design and functionality which will take into account factors such as safety, environment, seating comfort, space, practicality and ergonomics.
“Nominated vehicles will also be selected based on performance such as handling, braking, smoothness and quietness,” he added.
He said once the expert panel concluded scoring, the automated scoring factors that cover sales performance, segment share and value for money are applied, the nominees in all the categories would be announced.
“Every year, we adapt the scoring system slightly to consider new global and local market trends to ensure the credibility and objectivity of the awards, ” Bisiriyu said.
In his own remarks, Chairman of NAJA, Mike Ochonma, explained that the change in the traditional date would not in any way affect the glamour and credibility of the awards.
He said new categories such as Most Popular Auto Brand had been added to the 2022 edition.
He assured stakeholders of utmost objectivity, credibility and integrity.
“NAJA awards present a platform for the automotive industry to demonstrate and celebrate the advances made in the key areas of manufacturing, assembling, technology, stewardship, franchising and innovation,” he added.

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