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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so besides 4 cyl or 6, what are the differences between these two? How much in US $ is a new, loaded Altezza? I know the Nissan Skyline is a higher priced car, is the Toyota Altezza the same way (the high end of the "everybody" brand? Just wondering about the diff's between the Nissan/Infinti, Toyota/Lexus thing and if we're just driving a rebadged Toyota (I know Lexus is Toyota, but for example, there's some way obvious diff's between the ES and the Camry). Not complaining, mind you, I dig my car, just wondering.

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2001 Lexus IS300
Solar Yellow Exterior
LSD, Black L/E
Moonroof, wheel locks, trunk mat
 

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According to Japanese guy at work (who races Alfas), the Altezza has a turbo AND a normally aspirated version, but that's been contradicted on this forum.
 

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A stock turbo on an Altezza? Where did that come from? OK, here are the differences between IS300 and Altezza. If you want to discredit the information I present, just look where I live.

Altezza comes in 2 engines:

2L 4 inline (3S-GE) Dual VVT-i 210HP
2L 6 inline (1G-FE) VVT-i 165HP

and in three type of transmissions:

6MT or 5AT with E-shift for 3S-GE
6MT or 4AT w/o E-shift for 1G-FE

Altezza comes in 3 grades, normal, Z edition and L edition. For a limited time (it seems) there is currently an i edition.

The L edition and i edition is basically the same as the Lexus IS200. Ecsaine interior and everything. Its priced at around US$26K. So you can say that its almost identical with IS300 (except the engine size and which side the steering wheel is located at).

The rest (normal and Z edition) comes in fabric seats and a little cheaper interior. The lowest of the low grade (1G-FE with 6MT and no options) come at around US$20K, but I doubt if anyone has ever bought this grade.

Netz (a Toyota dealership that sells Altezza) with modifications from TOM's sold an Altezza turbo (Altezza 280T) but only a limited number of them were made. Maybe this is why your friend thought Altezza comes in turbo. On the official line up of Toyota, the Altezza only comes in NA. However, many tuning shops are modifying the Altezza with bolt on turbos.

If you're wondering if Altezza is a rebadged Toyota, well the answer is "Its up to what you think a Toyota is".

Toyota in the JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) has a line up starting from a 1.0L Vitz (Yaris in Europe) to Century (V12 chaueffer driven). It means both "affordability" and "luxury" in their home market. The image of Toyota being a "cheap, durable car" is a conception that is held between people in only some parts of the world (mainly US and Europe). Lexus was created to get rid of that negative (cheap) brand image "Toyota" had abroad.

So, the Altezza is sold as a Toyota in Japan. Well, of course it is, there's only the "Toyota" brand name in Japan. Nobody thinks Toyota as being cheap. On the contrary, Toyota has the highest MSRP in most of the car segments. It is the price leader and No.1 market share holder in Japan. If you're concerned about whether IS meets the Luxury standards, you must decide it based on your own judgement. For your information, the LS is Toyota Celsior, GS is Toyota Aristo, RX is Toyota Harrier, SC is Toyota Soarer, LX is Toyota Landcruiser Cygnus, ES is Windom and IS is Toyota Altezza. So, there are no differences between a Toyota/Lexus, Nissan/Infinity and Acura/Honda. (Well, Lexus, Nissan and Acura "used to be" all made in the Japanese factories.) Its whether if that particular Toyota/Nissan/Honda model meet up to the standards people expect in Lexus/Infinity/Acura. If you're not satisfied unless you drive a Lexus, well it means you're caught in the Marketing scheme of Lexus/Inifinity/Acura.

Still not satisfied to drive a Toyota?

[This message has been edited by Altezza (edited July 16, 2000).]
 

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Altezza, I remember reading about the i4 Altezza with 210 hp, so I probably assumed it was a turbo, as for my Japanese coworker, maybe he was thinking of that limited edition, but anyway thanks for the clarification. Damn New England weath made me miss the Ferrari Challenge yesterday and my soccer practice today. So I'm reading IS300.net at 7:30 in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hmm, it seems that our American archetypes of luxo and econo certainly get in the way. Is an L on the hood and some more horses really worth 10 grand more? (Or should we place that L on our forehead?)
It's funny how image and brand concerned we are. Lexus, IMO, seems to be the only luxury brand of the Lexus/Infiniti/Acura triage that has really become a competitor to the old school brands like BMW, MB, etc. Why is that?
I guess it all goes inline with how everything these days has to spell out "luxury" to be marketable to our pea brains. I passed a remodeled apartment complex we used to live in, it's now a "luxury" community because (I'm guessing) the pool is clean and their are some pretty flowers and a gate on what is otherwise the same place we lived (for $600/mo less) 7 years ago. My wife called just to inquire, and they have a waiting list! The power of "luxury" on the brochure and raising the price I guess. We're a ridiculous creature sometimes.
 

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>> (Or should we place that L on our forehead?)

AllStar by Smashmouth:
# Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me,
# I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed.
# She was lookin kinda dumb with her finger and her thumb,
# In the shape of an "L" on her forehead.
 
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