Lexus Puts Stilettos to the Metal
Lexus teamed up with Christine Overstreet of Heels & Wheels to bring 22 women journalists to experience the performance side of the brand in Palm Springs, California. We were welcomed to the luxurious Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage. The Ritz-Carlton has a beautiful view overlooking the panoramic sights of Palm Springs along with fire pits with comfy chairs to relax on chilly desert winter evenings. We dined our first evening at The Edge Steakhouse, a cliff-side dining experience 650 feet above the desert floor with a breathtaking view with entertainment provided by @jonigray automotive journalist and soul singing diva.
The Lexus Difference
Peggy Turner, VP Customer Service and Leigh Anne Sessions of Lexus Communications introduced us over flutes of champagne about "The Lexus Difference". This newly launched effort in 2015 is intended to attract the three demographics whose spending power is accelerating: women and millennials. "We treat our customers as guests in our home," said Lexus Vice President of Customer Service Peggy Turner. Along these lines, Lexus is teaming up with a Japanese perfumery At-Aroma to develop a signature scent so every showroom a customer walks into always has the same, comforting smell. We had an opportunity to smell-test and vote on our favorites, the human sense of smell affects 75% of daily emotions and plays an important role in memory. They're also looking to be more fashion-forward, currently in negotiations with a major designer to create a sophisticated uniform for their female sales team. This is a two-fold effort to not only have their employees looking sharp to guests, but to also attract more females to a sales career with Lexus.
Lexus understands how critical it is to speak to a female audience without talking down to them and this is essential factor in making a sale. "The Lexus Difference" program is available to any of Lexus’s U.S. dealership to opt-into and participate in. It will be interesting to follow if they do gain market-share with women luxury buyers as the program continues to roll-out in 2016.
Who says women don't have a need for luxury and speed? Test driving the Lexus IS and GS 2015 sedans with my driving partner, the ever #Periscope 'ing Scotty of @SheBuyscars, to and from the track. The ride was so smooth and quiet, I had to keep an eye on the speedometer to stay at 70 MPH. These vehicles have all the luxury, revamped infotainment display, safety, bells and whistles you look for with the added bonus of a more athletic race-driven sportiness in both the driving experience as well as the look and feel of the interior. The 14-way driver seat literally hugs you like race car seat would! Lexus IS and GS sedans can be further bolstered by the F Sport package for those with a greater need for more growl-like performance. Check out the Lexus performance line-up for 2016 here: htttp://www.lexus.com/models/categories/f-performance
Lexus F-Series Track Experience
To compete with Mercedes’ AMG and BMW’s M divisions, Lexus introduced its F performance sub-brand in 2007. There are now F and F Sport versions of the RC coupe and IS and GS sedans. Also on display was a Lexus LFA a 552-horsepower supercar that ended a two-year production run in 2012 after 500 units, (no they would not let me drive it!). The Lexus Performance F-Model series is for drivers looking for more Vroom in your driving experience. Lexus F-Models are developed by the Lexus Vehicle Performance Development Division, which has also been involved with the brand's racing activities.
We all had an opportunity to test our mettle behind the wheel of Lexus F-Models at Chuckwalla Raceway. We donned helmets to learn from the driving instructors first hand; then were cut loose to do some track driving driving on our own on the 2.68 mile road course with 17 turns located off I-10 in Desert Center, CA. So fun to spend time with the effervescence of Rene Syler of @goodenufmother, (pictured), and my track partner for a few laps... she started out a little nervous on the track..HOWEVER in no time flat she was tearing it up on the track, pedal to the metal!
What a blast putting our "Stilettos to the Metal", thank you Lexus for a wonderful experience and OHhhh those deserts, yummy !!!
Author -- Jody DeVere, CEO AskPatty.com