Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Sir William Lyons Award 2012: Highly Commended

Sir William Lyons Award, Highly Commended: Sophie Williamson-Stothert 

Photo Credit: Jeff Bloxham 

Exclusive Magazines: Lexus Road Test to Reims

On the Road

Page 1:

Page 2:

By Sophie Williamson-Stothert 

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Lexus LS Launch - The Future of Luxury

The next generation LS has arrived

Lexus introduce the word's first luxury hybrid - The LS 600h

Of course, when it comes to classy motoring, Lexus are well known for the refinement, comfort and pure innovation of their cars. Now, the pioneering luxury brand are set to launch the fifth generation of their flagship LS series – with a goal to set a new driving standard for Lexus. 

Lexus LS 600h - Exterior 
Mixing its new sleek design with recently innovative technology, the LS models not only promise a unique driving experience, but a package of great expectation. With both the petrol and hybrid powertrain options available, the LS 460 also comes with the optional F Sport Package. Both models are powered by a 382bhp 4.5-litre V8 petrol engine. Equipped with the very latest automotive technologies for drivers with a desire for gadgets as well as an interest in reducing their carbon-footprint, the LS series combines startling performance and ‘sporty’ handling with refined luxury - Just a quick glance at the car, or even at the spec-sheet, suggests this is no ordinary Lexus. 

Available only in long-wheelbase and all-wheel-drive, the LS hybrid is no ordinary car. With an equal amount of focus on both performance and fuel economy, the LS 600h is something special, and like no other car on the road. Although it's the most expensive, the LS 600h is also the most powerful hybrid-engined car yet. Under the bonnet you will find a 5.0-litre V8 petrol-electric engine, which produces an outstanding 439bhp. As an estimation, the LS 600h is capable of hitting 0-62mph in around 6.3 seconds. Whilst this beast has a clear surge for power, its carbon tyre-print is lower than that of a Mercedes S320 CDI, producing only 219g/kg CO2 emissions. 

Centre Console - Sport S+
The hybrid models include ‘Drive Mode Select’, allowing the driver to modify on-demand the vehicle setup to suit economy or more dynamic performance. Meanwhile, the F Sport models come equipped with sporty tweaks such as 19-inch alloys, Brembo brakes and a limited slip differential, as standard. The F Sport also has adjustable suspension for responsive handling, as and when required by the driver. Long distance driving will never be the same again. With the driver's comfort and always in mind, the LS series has the ability to adapt to all driving styles and conditions. 

Safety system and interior gadget features to optimise driver comfort include, improved driving dynamics and better sound insulation – thanks to the newly developed noise-cancelling alloys, road noise is expected to be practically non-existent. Lexus say these sophisticated preventive safety systems are amongst more than 3,000 changes that will make this LS, the best yet.

And here’s a world first, the LS 600h gets Lexus' new Climate Concierge system automatically coordinates multi-zone air conditioning to create the most comfortable cabin environment – it even controls the temperature of the steering wheel rim (very handy for the winter mornings). And it doesn't end there. Yes, another world first – the Advanced Illumination System moves and changes in intensity on vehicle start up and switch off, adding to the signature Lexus atmosphere. The Premier hybrid models come standard with ‘Ottoman’ style rear seating and provided shiatsu and standard vibration massage settings.  

When it comes to the exterior, you can easily spot its shared similarities with the latest GS 250 and 450 models, including those sharp headlights and the prominent chrome grill. The F Sport features an upgraded trim adding an aggressive body-kit and bold vents in the front bumper. 

Lexus LS - Interior 
And it gets better inside - looking at entertainment; all UK versions of the LS will be fitted with a 19-speaker Mark Levinson Reference Surround System, complete with a Blu-Ray player for rear passengers. But don’t worry if you plan to travel in the front – you will benefit from an impressive 12.3-inch multimedia display unit – the largest multimedia display available on a road car today - complete with Remote Touch Interface for easy-to-use operation.

So, what about the price? Well, the LS range starts from £71,995. While the LS 460 F Sport prices start from £74,495, the Premier hybrid costs a whopping £99,495! Yes, it is rather pricey. But in comparison to its Mercedes S-Class rival, with the S 350 BlueTEC available for £61,410 and the S 65 AMG priced at £165,060, the LS 600h falls in the middle. And with over 3,000 updates, surely it's worth it? 

Labelled as the world's first luxury hybrid - the car that could ultimately change the definition of luxury motoring forever - the LS 600h is definitely a car of the future. Look out for the new Lexus LS 460 models and LS 600h in the UK later this year – I’m sure you won’t miss it...

By Sophie Williamson-Stothert 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Road Trip/Test to Reims - LexusGS 250 (Images)

My road trip to Champagne Region in Reims, driving the Lexus GS 250 

Including a visit to the House of Ruinart, the Oldest Champagne House in the World 

Monday, 22 October 2012

Motoring Columns in Exclusive Magazines (Part 3)

Motoring Columns Published in Exclusive Magazines (Part 3): 

Need For Speed

Based on My Mazda MX-5 GT4 Britcar Experience

By Sophie Williamson-Stothert 

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

GT4 Experience - Images

Mazda MX-5 Production Race Car:

Suited & Booted:

Ready to Go: 

On Track in the GT4 Britcar:

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Mazda MX-5 GT4 Experience - Donington Park

Preview clips: My track experience in the Mazda MX-5 GT4 Race Car 
(In-car footage and words to follow)

Pitlane Experience: 

Flat out along Wheatcroft Straight and down into Redgate: 

Monday, 20 August 2012

Exclusive Magazines - Motoring Columnist (Part 2)

Motoring Articles Published in Exclusive Magazines (Part 2):  

The Future of Luxury: Three Modes. One Car. 

Based on my Goodwood Festival of Speed Hillclimb 

Motoring Pride: Happy 40th Anniversary Beaulieu National Motor Museum: 

By Sophie Williamson-Stothert