Continuing to make waves throughout the creative community and celebrating distinguished diverse leaders, Culture Creators returns with its sixth annual Innovators & Leaders Awards Brunch in partnership with Netflix and Strong Black Lead. Exclusively announced by The Grio, It will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on Thursday, June 23.
In addition to presenting sponsor Netflix and Strong Black Lead, the event graciously welcomes empowered partner CÎROC, back for the second year, and partners Pivotal Ventures, Lexus, and Morgan Stanley. Hosted by R&B superstars and actors, Tank and Coco Jones, the exclusive invite-only gala remains one of the most influential events taking place during the BET Awards Week. In 2021, the event honored the achievements of culture-shifting leaders, philanthropists, executives, entertainers, artists, and more.
The 6th Annual Innovators & Leaders Awards Brunch will celebrate Black culture at the highest level. This year, we raise a glass to 2022 Icon Award recipient and “music man” L.A. Reid for his storied career in entertainment. 2022 Innovator of the Year Award recipient Robin Thede, the creator of A Black Lady Sketch Show, will be honored for her accomplishments in television as well as her influence on the next generation of Culture Creators. Additional honorees include Shari Bryant, the co-president of Roc Nation, Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings of Earn Your Leisure, Nicole Lynn, the president of football operations for Klutch Sports Group, actor and activist Kendrick Sampson, CEO and Founder of Harlem’s Fashion Row Brandice Daniel, visual artist Flo Ngala, and entrepreneur Kenny Burns. In addition, guests will be treated to a captivating performance from Amber Riley.
Previous Icon award recipients include Andre Harrell, Russell Simmons, Sylvia Rhone, Byron Allen, and Swizz Beatz. Innovator of the Year award recipients have included Jesse Collins, Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Liles, Marsai Martin, and Derrick “D-Nice” Jones. Across-industry award winners include Charles D. King, Kenya Barris, Angela Rye, Charlamagne tha God, Cari Champion, James Lopez, Ethiopia Habtemariam, Phyllis Newhouse, Shanti Das, Jason Bolden, Antoine Phillips, and Zerina Akers, just to name a few.
Culture Creators continues to honor the culture’s most impactful, influential, and inspirational voices at the forefront of entertainment, music, sports, and beyond.
Listen to Vice President of Marketing for Lexus Vinay Shahani’s full conversation with Vaughn Lowery on the 360 MAG PodcastHERE.
Lexus pioneered the luxury crossover segment with the launch of the first RX more than 20 years ago and never looked back. Lexus redefined what the RX means to guests with the global reveal of the all-new RX at the Lexus New Product Showcase. As the first luxury brand to offer a hybrid in the segment, it’s only fitting that RX returns with a variety of electrified powertrains. The 2023 Lexus RX, the fifth generation for the Lexus core model, is completely redesigned from the wheels to the roof rails, featuring a new global platform, two all-new grades, available Digital Key, Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, and Lexus Interface Multimedia System.
While pursuing a unique identity for 2023, the redesigned model maintains what makes an RX an RX: a comfortable, quiet in-cabin atmosphere, refined ride comfort, excellent grip and drive force control, and confident driving enjoyment.
“Nothing exemplifies our commitment to the transformation we’re making as a brand and Next Chapter for Lexus product more than the renewal of our best-selling vehicle – the RX,” said Andrew Gilleland, group vice president, and general manager, Lexus Division. “We’re breathing new life into the segment-leading RX with enhanced safety and technology, human-centered design, and undeniable performance from a diverse mix of powertrains.”
The 2023 RX builds on the foundation of the iconic Lexus spindle design and evolves into a new, cohesive spindle body design. This sleek, dynamic design is symbolized by a sense of solid mass. Central to the new spindle body design is the carefully sculpted seamless grille and integrated headlamps that strengthen and evolve the signature design. The refined, low center of gravity is realized through a mature, grounded stance accented by 19-inch wheels with a dark gray machined finish and color-keyed overfenders. For those who want a more powerful look, 21-inch wheels are available in luxury color variations. From the side, the three-dimensional surface strongly flares from the rear door toward the tire to evoke powerful traction produced by the rear motor. From the back, the RX inherits the signature L-shaped light bar lamp with lenses that wrap around the sides of the body to emphasize a wider, more powerful silhouette.
The 2023 RX will be offered in six grades: Standard, Premium, RX-first Premium+, Luxury, F SPORT Handling, and RX-first F SPORT Performance.
The 2023 RX will be offered in 10 exterior color options depending on grade: Ultra White, Eminent White Pearl, Nebula Gray Pearl, Iridium, Caviar, Matador Red Mica, Copper Crest, Nori Green Pearl, Nightfall Mica, and Grecian Water.
Inside, the RX follows an intentional, human-centered design with control surfaces tuned to enable a deeper and more intuitive connection to instill confidence and control in the driver – a key element in the Lexus Driving Signature philosophy. Opening the door with just a touch of the e-Latch system, the RX welcomes the driver with available multi-colored illumination accents, tasteful door trim options, and an available panorama glass roof that evokes a relaxing, open space. Driver controls like the steering wheel switches, available head-up display (HUD), available navigation, and audio have been designed in a functional, concise layout to minimize driver distraction. Lexus Interface and trials come standard on the RX and a 14-inch Multimedia Touchscreen Display is available.
The 2023 RX will be offered in six interior color options with four ornamentation styles depending on grade. Interior colors: Macadamia, Black, Birch, Palomino, Peppercorn and Rioja Red. Ornamentation styles: Black Cascade, Ash Bamboo, Black Open Pore, and Dark Graphite Aluminum.
RX’s new GA-K platform offers a low center of gravity and optimal weight distribution. To be exact, the all-new RX is up to 198 pounds lighter than the outgoing generation, as a result of material optimization in the main framework components of the chassis and the new global platform. Furthermore, by reducing weight and increasing rigidity, the key Lexus Driving Signature touches, ride comfort and quietness, become more refined. The new RX rides on a 2.36-inch longer wheelbase with a 2.36-inch shorter rear overhang, keeping the overall length of the vehicle the same as the previous generation. The rear section of the platform features an all-new multi-link suspension design, attached to a rigid high-torsion rear body frame that facilitates more consistent suspension input/travel during acceleration, deceleration, and steering moments.
The GA-K platform also increases the front/rear couple distance, resulting in more legroom for rear passengers. RX guests will also enjoy increased cargo space and a lowered back door trim to decrease loading height.
The all-new RX will be offered in four new powertrain options to help meet the needs of varying guests, including a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) model. Supporting the larger Lexus Electrified vision, RX continues the brand’s continued progress toward supporting the evolution, education, and understanding that electrified vehicles can provide exhilarating performance. One mission RX will fulfill is its role as a global core model that helps contribute to the realization of a carbon-neutral society while staying close to the increasingly diversified needs and lifestyles of guests.
The RX 350 (FWD/AWD) offers a responsive 2.4L turbocharged inline-4 engine for torque-filled, dynamic driving performance.
The RX 350h (AWD) fourth-generation large-capacity fuel-efficient hybrid system features a front unit that integrates a high-torque 2.5L inline-4 engine.
The RX 450h+ plug-in hybrid vehicle details for the U.S. market will be shared at a later time.
Building on more than 20 years of hybrid electric technology and experience, the RX 500h F SPORT Performance introduces a new hybrid-electric system for the Lexus brand with a front unit that integrates a high-torque 2.4-liter turbo engine, six-speed automatic transmission, inverter, and an electric motor, with an eAxle rear unit that integrates a high output electric motor, inverter, and reduction gearbox. This configuration allows the electric motor to provide low-end torque that helps to provide improved performance and quick acceleration. The turbocharged engine produces high torque throughout its entire rev range, delivering powerful acceleration at higher speeds.
The Lexus RX 500h F SPORT Performance utilizes the DIRECT4 drivetrain, our advanced methodology for controlling our highest technology all-wheel-drive systems. DIRECT4 AWD supplies optimal power to the eAxles to provide maximum grip, traction, and acceleration in all situations.
A first for the RX lineup, the RX 500h F SPORT Performance grade goes beyond the current generation F SPORT design package for a sportier, more performance-driven look and feel. The RX 500h features opposed six-piston brake calipers, mesh grille, front bumper, and 21-inch aluminum wheels that exude a wide, confident stance and contribute to aerodynamic performance.
The interior includes a host of F SPORT accents like a perforated leather-trimmed steering wheel with paddle shifters, suede-trimmed interior door trim, F SPORT scuff plate, leather-trimmed interior, aluminum pedals, and more.
One of the hallmarks of RX’s success is its dependable safety features. By 2023, the all-new Lexus RX includes Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, which provides additional features offered with the available driver monitor system, including Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Intersection Support, and a new feature of Motorcycle Detection; All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with new Curve Speed Management (DRCC); Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA); and Emergency Driving Stop System (EDSS). Available Advanced Park expands support for parallel parking. In addition to conventional back-up parking, forward-facing parking is now supported, enabling forward-facing/back-up exit.
The 2023 RX is expected to go on sale at the end of 2022.
The Toyota Corolla rolls into 2023 a changed car, and customers are bound to love what they see and drive. The line expands with four new Hybrid grades, including a more powerful hybrid system and available all-wheel drive.
There’s big news on the gas side of the Corolla family, too. The LE, the most popular grade, now has the 169-horsepower 2.0-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine used in all other gas grades. Replacing a 139-hp 1.8-liter engine, it offers much more dynamic performance (0-60 two seconds quicker than with the 1.8L engine). Yet, it is also more efficient, improving on the previous engine fuel economy ratings by nearly two miles per gallon with a manufacturer-estimated 31 city/40 hwy./34 combined MPG. And that’s just for starters. All 2023 Corolla models gain next-generation Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, and next-generation Toyota Audio Multimedia and are topped off with updated front and rear styling.
The wide-ranging enhancements to the 12th-generation Corolla exemplify Toyota’s fervent approach to continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. That’s a big reason why Corolla, which has sold over 50 million globally since 1966, has become the world’s top-selling model. In all 2023 Corolla gas engine models, the Dynamic Shift continuously variable transmission gives a distinct performance feel thanks to a gear set used as a “first” gear for start-off acceleration, before seamlessly handing off to the CVT’s pulley system. Synchronization of the increasing engine revs and vehicle speed provides a linear acceleration feel. This combined with the enhanced sport mode provides a more engaging driving experience for the 2023 Corolla. Additionally, in the SE and XSE grades, the transmission features paddle shifters to engage 10 pre-set ratios to offer a sportier driving experience.
The system works seamlessly and transparently, preemptively distributing driving force to the rear wheels to help suppress front wheel slip during off-the-line starts. It also engages the rear motor in response to slippage at the front wheels and enhances cornering agility by helping to reduce understeer. The driver can view torque distribution on the Multi-information Display and audio system screen. The 2023 Corolla Hybrids also offer enhanced brake control, while the SE grades (FWD and AWD) inherit the firmer-feel Electronic Power Steering from the Corolla Apex Edition performance model.
Toyota remains the world’s hybrid leader, and the operative word for the 2023 Corolla Hybrid is “more.” There’s more power, and there’s more traction, with Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive (AWD), as used in other Toyota Hybrids. And there are more model choices, with the Corolla Hybrid LE FWD gaining four new siblings: the LE AWD grade, sporty SE and SE AWD grades, and a premium-focused XLE grade.
All 2023 Corolla Hybrid models gain a more powerful Toyota Hybrid System. As before, the system pairs a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gas engine with two motor-generators through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission. A compact high-output/low-loss drive motor has been newly developed for the transaxle/motor, which includes a redesigned magnet and electromagnetic steel plate configuration with two additional magnets for increased output. The new hybrid system also includes a newly developed lithium-ion battery that’s now located under the rear seat to lower the center of gravity and maximize trunk cargo capacity.
Notably, the 2023 Corolla Hybrid is the only compact hybrid passenger car available with all-wheel drive. For buyers, that means getting the best of both worlds: added traction for slippery road conditions and efficient fuel economy.
The Corolla Hatchback features a redesigned front grille with chrome-finished accents, along with revised LED headlights. The rear bumper is updated with a combination of body color and added chrome-finished accents. The new 18-inch Gloss Graphite-colored alloy wheels are also available for the Hatchback.
It just wouldn’t be a new Toyota model year without some compelling color changes. Corolla Sedan offers elegant new Underground and Midnight Black Metallic, which replaces Black Sand Pearl. The Hatchback shows off its wild side with new Inferno and Blue Crush Metallic choices. (Blue Crush was formerly only on the 2022 Sedan.) Other Sedan colors for 2023 include White, Classic Silver Metallic, Celestite, and Blueprint. Wind Chill Pearl and Ruby Flare Pearl are available for an extra cost. The Hatchback offers a similar palette and also allows extra-cost duo-color options pairing the body color with a Midnight Black Metallic roof.
Standard on Corolla XSE and XLE, a redesigned 7-inch multi-information display (MID). All other grades feature an updated 4.2-inch MID located between the tachometer and speedometer allowing the driver to view either analog or digital speedometers. Featuring rich graphics, the easy-to-read MIDs can be custom configured by the driver. It offers intuitive operation to access information for the audio and multimedia systems, navigation, and vehicle information including fuel efficiency estimates and tire pressure, as well as TSS 3.0 functions.
Designed and engineered by Toyota’s Texas-based Connected Technologies team, the 2023 Corolla comes equipped with a standard next-generation 8-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia system providing a wide range of enhanced connectivity and convenience features, including being Over-the-Air (OTA) updatable. Users can interact with the design of the new system through intuitive touch and voice activation controls. With the latest available Connected Service, Drive Connect*, users have access to Intelligent Assistant, Cloud Navigation, and Destination Assist. With Intelligent Assistant simple phrases like “Hey Toyota” awakens the system for voice-activated commands to search for directions, find Points of Interest (POI), adjust audio controls, change the cabin temperatures, and more. Cloud Navigation is the available onboard navigation solution that utilizes the cloud to download the latest available map, traffic, and routing information. To ensure you have the most up-to-date search capabilities, POI search is provided by Google Points-of-Interest data. Destination Assist also gives access to 24/7 live agent assistance to locate your next destination. * Active Drive Connect trial or subscription required.
For those looking for an enhanced audio experience, the Corolla SE, XSE, and XLE grades come available with a JBL® Premium Audio system with 9 speakers including an 800-watt amplifier and 10-in. subwoofer.
Corolla’s model variety is made possible by the Toyota New Global Architecture-C platform (TNGA-C). A super-rigid structure, a low center of gravity, and highly refined tuning of the MacPherson-type strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension endow the Corolla with exemplary handling agility, ride comfort, and distinctive driving personality. This high-strength platform is fortified through the use of ultra-high-tensile steel as well as the application of structural adhesive technology for enhanced body rigidity and passenger security.
Corolla’s cabin is a sanctuary where powertrain and road noise have been minimized thanks to the widespread implementation of sound-absorbing materials, including Thinsulate®, sealants, foams, and silencer pads. The TNGA structure utilizes additional seals in its body panel gaps to insulate noise penetration and enhance air-sealing performance. As one example, the floor silencer pad is one large piece, instead of many smaller segments.
The cockpit provides an engaging interior space that surrounds the driver while offering a spacious environment for all passengers. High-gloss materials are paired with matte elements – silver accents with Piano Black and available contrasting stitching – contributing to a premium look and feel.
Seating materials include standard cloth or, in higher grades, SofTex®-trim. For 2023, choices include Black/Red (black as the main color with red highlights), Moonstone (light gray as the main color with dark gray highlights), and Macadamia (a warm, inviting cream color). On front seats in the SE and XSE grades, shoulder supports, evocative of a competition bucket seat, overlap solid and thick side bolsters to help comfortably grip occupants.
Available ambient lighting illuminates the front door trim, console tray, and front cupholder. The tray can hold small items, such as a smartphone or wallet, or, when so equipped, houses the available Qi wireless device charging pad. Terraced cup holders adapt to various-sized beverage containers.
Corolla has been and will continue to be assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi (TMMMS), where there are 1,500 Toyota team members. Additionally, the latest Corolla family member, the first-ever Corolla Cross, is assembled at the new joint-venture manufacturing plant with Mazda in Huntsville, Alabama. The new manufacturing facility represents a combined investment of $1.6 billion by the two companies. There are 4,000 team members and an annual assembly capacity of 300,000 vehicles. Corolla Hybrid is assembled in the Takaoka plant in Japan.
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. Hybrid-related components that require repairs needed to correct defects in materials or workmanship are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first from the original date of first use when sold as new. The hybrid battery is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles, whichever comes first, and is transferrable across the ownership. The Corolla models also come with ToyotaCare, a no additional cost plan that covers normal factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years, unlimited mileage.
Vice President – Head of Marketing at Lexus, Toyota Motor North America
*Listen to Vinay Shahani’s full conversation with Vaughn Lowery on the 360 MAG Podcast HERE.
As a crowded child growing up in and around Detroit, Vinay Shahani was exposed to the motor industry at a very young age. He started working at the Ford Motor Company when his father (of Sindhi descent) emigrated from India to the United States in the 1960s. Vinay became a car lover under the influence of his father: “He was in the car business, and I was also in the car business because I was his son, and I loved that.” Once he moved to Michigan, Vinay earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Stanford University. Currently, Vinay lives in the Dallas area.
Vinay is Vice President of Marketing for Lexus, a Japanese high-end car brand created by Toyota Inc., a position he has held since January 2021. He is responsible for Lexus’ marketing activities, including advertising campaigns, media and digital, product marketing and lifecycle management, auto shows, incentive and experiential marketing, and motorsports. He creates a “speak up” environment to make the opinions of all members of his team visible (agency partners and internal staff). Identifying social and commercial values helps expand the brand to various groups of consumers who may not align with the preferences of the Asian population, such as Walton Isaacson (black, Hispanic, and LGBTIQ community) and the IW group.
In addition, he oversees motorsports, engagement marketing, car shows, and other consumer events throughout the United States. Vasser Sullivan is a race team, with worldwide competitors such as Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi, that Lexus empowers with some of the best drivers – “We definitely want to win, and we have a winning team.” Meanwhile, Lexus also helps improve consumers’ skills in car track by providing the opportunity to study professionally at Performance Driving School.
Since the brand is determined to treat consumers as valued guests, one of Vinay’s top initiatives iis Lexus Hospitality, as it is inspired by the Japanese spirit of hospitality and is committed to providing excellence in customer service.
Another dimension within the marketing field is monitoring and analyzing the results after experimenting with the Lexus IS 500 model and the Lexus RC F Track Edition.
Under the massive influence of the metaverse today, Vinay mentions that Lexus is creating its own Mark Netscape plus Upstream to figure out what the role of Lexus is as a brand in the metaverse. In addition, they are in talks with global partners like Lexus International to find out what is being sought out in Japan while identifying markets in the US, Canada, and Great Britain. Based on the diverse target audience of Lexus in the United States, Vinay seeks to use digital media and the National Brand Day to show brand culture and emotion, even
creating a TikTok account to get closer to younger audiences.
As a high environment-friendly brand, by 2035, Vinay plans for Lexus to be a ‘global 100% battery electric’ vehicle brand to reduce fossil fuel consumption and emissions. With these measures, it’s great to see the carbon footprint will be reduced thanks to the company’s shift.
Finally, Vinay adds that “it is important that we know who we are as a brand from a strategic perspective.” With this, they are trying to add attractive and technological accessories to their vehicles that give the driver great confidence in the handling and control of their car. “Maintaining a love for performance cars gets your heart rate up, it excites you, and that’s something we definitely want to associate with different brands.”
‘Agile, intelligent and convivial. A full-size SUV, that’s sleek with high torque performance … Finally, somebody DDT‘d the QX80!’ – 360
The all-new 2023 Toyota Sequoia lives up to its powerful and legendary namesake, thanks to a head-turning new look, luxurious comfort, impressive technology and the perfect blend of performance and efficiency. Coupled with Toyota’s long-lasting quality, durability and reliability, the three-row SUV is sure to stand tall in the large-size SUV segment when it hits dealerships at the end of the summer with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Pricing (MSRP) starting at $58,300.
“We are excited to write the next chapter in our truck family story with the all-new 2023 Sequoia,” said Joe Moses, general manager of Toyota’s Vehicle Marketing Team. “A three-row SUV must be excellent at many things to succeed in this highly competitive market, and we’ve got that with Sequoia. Our customers will have room for their whole crew, the technology they want to stay connected, and the heavy-duty power and efficiency they need for both on and off road.”
Premium and Powerful
The third-generation Sequoia is completely redesigned and worthy of the “all-new SUV” description. All 2023 Sequoia will feature the powerful twin-turbo V6 hybrid i-FORCE MAX powertrain. First unveiled on Tundra, this exceptional hybrid produces 437 horsepower and 583 lb.-ft. of torque.
The i-FORCE MAX is a cleverly engineered powertrain featuring a unique motor generator within the bell housing between the twin-turbo engine and the 10-speed automatic transmission. This design combines maximum performance with amazing efficiency, and it is built with heavy-duty performance in mind. Sequoia’s fuel economy is expected to be extremely competitive at the top of the segment – and a huge improvement over the previous generation.
Setting Sights on the Open Road
The full-size SUV segment demands a lot, which means the all-new 2023 Sequoia needs to handle – and succeed – at a multitude of tasks. Built with this in mind, the Sequoia is rooted in a modern body-on-frame chassis with a fully boxed frame that shares architecture with the all-new Tundra and all-new global Land Cruiser (which shares its platform with the Lexus LX). The core objective of this platform is to provide excellent handling, supreme comfort and impressive capability.
The engineering team behind this next-generation frame was able to increase rigidity and improve ride comfort by using new techniques, such as new laser welding technology that helps reduce mass and weight in areas it’s not needed while reinforcing the areas that need them most.
Sequoia features an independent front suspension and adopts a new rack-mounted electronic power steering system for improved steering feel. A modern multi-link rear suspension is employed out back to offer a smooth ride and create opportunity to add the available Load-Leveling Rear Height Control Air Suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) for those looking to tow regularly.
The three-row SUV offers a range of configurations for seating and cargo. Depending upon the grade, second-row passengers get bench seating or captain’s chairs, either of which recline for passenger comfort or fold down/tumble forward if larger cargo space is needed. The third-row passengers benefit from a spacious reclining backseat with available power folding, but the third row also gets one of the most noteworthy new features on Sequoia: the exclusive Sliding Third Row with Adjustable Cargo Shelf System. This segment-first feature allows the third row to slide with 6 inches of adjustment range. The third row can also fold down to complement the different storage positions of the new Adjustable Cargo Shelf System, a removeable shelf that can be set in a variety of storage positions depending upon the situation. The Cargo Shelf System offers the ultimate flexibility in rear cargo and storage needs.
Since full-size SUVs need to do it all, towing – whether it be a trailer, boat or RV – is high on that list of demands. That’s why the all-new Sequoia offers up to an impressive 9,500-pound maximum towing capacity, a 26 percent increase over the previous generation model.
Towing can be an intimidating proposition for some drivers. Not to worry, thanks to impressive technology available on Sequoia. The Tow Tech Package, standard on TRD Pro and Capstone and available on all other grades, offers a suite of features that include Trailer Backup Guide to aid in backing up the SUV with a trailer, and Straight Path Assist, which helps provide steering control to keep the trailer straight on its intended path when backing up.
Drive Mode Select is an all-new feature on Sequoia offering different driving modes depending upon driver preference, and it includes standard settings Eco, Normal and Sport. With available Load-Leveling Rear Height Control Air Suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension, settings expand to include Comfort, Sport S+ and Custom. Using the SPORT or SPORT S+ settings, for example, the i-FORCE MAX powertrain makes use of the electric motor’s instantaneous responsiveness. While the electric motor does the bulk of the work at lower speeds, once above 18 mph, the gasoline engine assumes primary operation for excellent performance in the mid- and high-speed range. When in TOW/HAUL mode, the i-FORCE MAX system is constantly in tandem operation to provide impressive acceleration and torque for towing.
The view around this stunning SUV is improved as well due to Sequoia’s plethora of cameras, displaying multiple exterior angles that are viewable from the available 14-inch touchscreen or the available digital display rearview mirror. Those trailering will appreciate Panoramic View Monitor, which displays a top-down view of the SUV and its surrounding area. Options include a rear split view to show what’s nearby on each side of the trailer, and a hitch view to assist with connecting a trailer. For the first time on Sequoia, factory available power folding, extending and retracting tow mirrors can provide added peace.
Three Rows, Five Grades
Sequoia offers space for families who need it – whether that be to haul passengers, gear or both. It will be available in five unique grades that include SR5, Limited, Platinum, TRD Pro and the new Capstone grade.
Sequoia’s grade lineup starts with the well-equipped SR5 that offers a strong foundation of power, efficiency and technology. It touts impressive standard features that include the i-FORCE MAX powertrain that is mated to the standard 10-speed automatic transmission, standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, moonroof, heated seats and more. It also features a standard 12.3-inch digital instrument display and Panoramic View Monitor (PVM). When upgrading to the SR5 Premium package, Sequoia adds the 14-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia display, power third row, hands-free liftgate, SofTex-trimmed seats, and cabin and cargo 120-volt power outlets.
Also available on SR5 models is the TRD Sport package, which upgrades the standard 18-inch wheels to 20-inch matte black TRD wheels. To complement sporty handling, it adds TRD sport-tuned Bilstein® monotube shocks, TRD-tuned springs, aluminum pedals and a red TRD push-button start.
Limited builds upon the SR5 with an emphasis on added convenience. Not only does it gain a standard 14-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen, but it also adds standard heated/ventilated front seats with memory settings, standard heated steering wheel, power-folding third row and a hands-free power liftgate. Limited also receives standard second- and third-row manual sunshades to help keep the back half of the SUV sun-free.
Available for both SR5 and Limited 4×4 models is the first-for-Sequoia TRD Off-Road package. This package enhances off-road capability with the addition of a selectable locking rear differential, Multi-Terrain Select that helps controls wheel spin for improved traction, and Downhill Assist Control to aid with steep descents. Crawl Control also comes standard, functioning as an off-road cruise control for low-speed trail navigation in 4WD Low. TRD Off-Road also comes with Multi-Terrain Monitor to provide the driver a better view of hard-to-see spots on the trail. TRD-tuned Bilstein® monotube shock absorbers and TRD-tuned springs are added, and a red front axle driveshaft provides added flair. Inside, aluminum gas/brake pedals are included, and a red TRD push-button start button adds to the performance look and feel. Both SR5 and Limited are outfitted with unique 18-inch alloy wheels unique to the package.
Stepping up to the Platinum grade puts an emphasis on added comfort and premium features, thanks to heated and ventilated front and second-row, second-row captain’s chairs, standard 14-speaker JBL® Premium Audio system, standard panoramic moonroof, standard Head-Up Display and more. High-grade LED headlights and taillights are added, along with sequential turn signals. Rain-sensing wipers are added to Platinum, as is standard Qi wireless charging.
TRD Pro is a great option for adventure-minded families that plan to get off the beaten path regularly. TRD Pro is not just an off-roader though, as it is loaded with premium features such as standard second-row captain’s chairs, TRD heated steering wheel, and TRD accents on the seats and shift knob. TRD Pro comes with additional cargo hauling options thanks to the TRD roof rack. TRD-tuned FOX internal bypass shocks offer a smooth on-road ride, but most importantly they can confidently handle off-road terrain when the trail gets rough. A 1/4-inch aluminum TRD front skid plate offers added trail protection. Sequoia TRD Pro also offers additional trail capability with a standard selectable locking rear differential, Multi-Terrain Select, CRAWL Control and Downhill Assist Control. TRD Pro proudly sports a heritage-inspired “TOYOTA” grille with an embedded TRD light bar and marker lights toward the top of the grille. It’s equipped with Pro-specific black 18-inch TRD alloy wheels with an increased offset to provide a wider stance. A dual TRD Pro exhaust tip provides added growl and visual appeal.
The Capstone grade sits atop the Sequoia lineup, building upon the great features of Platinum while adding additional top-shelf features to make it the most luxurious Sequoia to date. Capstone features unique chrome accents to provide an upscale appearance, with the most eye-catching feature being the standard 22-inch chrome wheels – a first for Sequoia and exclusive to Capstone. The premium cabin experience begins at the first step with standard power running boards that provide access to the standard semi-aniline leather-trimmed seats. Not only are the seats luxury-grade, but they also tout stylish perforation and a Capstone-exclusive black-and-white color combination. The center console and passenger-side dash are accented with authentic American Walnut with an open-pore finish that highlights the wood grain. On the dash, the Walnut pieces surround a Capstone logo that is accentuated with LED mood lighting when the doors are opened. For an even quieter cabin, Capstone is the only Sequoia grade to feature acoustic glass in the front doors for more exterior sound deadening.
A wide variety of colors are available on the all-new Sequoia, including White, Wind Chill Pearl, Celestial Silver, Lunar Rock, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Blueprint, Army Green, Midnight Black Metallic, Smoked Mesquite, Supersonic Red and the TRD-exclusive Solar Octane. Premium paint colors* Wind Chill Pearl and Supersonic Red are available, and the premium color Solar Octane is exclusive to TRD Pro models.
*Premium paint colors will be available for an additional cost.
New Toyota Audio Multimedia
Sequoia will be fitted with the new multimedia system first launched in Tundra. It is headlined by large 8-inch or available 14-inch touchscreen that controls the all-new Toyota Audio Multimedia system designed and engineered by Toyota’s Texas-based Connected Technologies team. The Toyota Audio Multimedia system offers an improved user experience thanks to new sight, touch, and voice activation. With Intelligent Assistant available through Drive Connect*, simple phrases like “Hey Toyota” awakens the system for voice-activated commands to search for directions, find POIs, adjust audio controls, change the cabin temperatures and more. The cloud-based native navigation system offered through Drive Connect allows for real-time Over the Air updates for mapping and Points of Interest (POI), and Google POI data is integrated to ensure up-to-date search capability. It also supports standard wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto compatibility.
Toyota Audio Multimedia allows for simultaneous dual Bluetooth phone connectivity. A Wi-Fi Connect subscription offers 4G connectivity for up to 5 devices by turning Sequoia into an AT&T Hotspot*, and it also offers the ability to link your separate Apple Music® and Amazon Music subscriptions to your vehicle with Integrated Streaming.
Active Safety System: Toyota Safety Sense
All Sequoia grades come standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5. This active safety system includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection that features multiple enhancements over the previous generation, including not only detecting the vehicle ahead but also a pedestrian in low light, bicyclist in daytime, an oncoming vehicle and a pedestrian at intersections when making a turn. At intersections, the system is designed to detect an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian when performing a left-hand turn and provide audio/visual alerts and automatic braking in certain conditions. Emergency steering assist is an additional function designed to detect pedestrians and stabilize the driver’s emergency evasive steering maneuvers and help prevent lane departure.
Sequoia will be equipped with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist is designed to notify the driver via audible and visual alerts and slight steering force if it senses the vehicle is leaving the lane without engaging a turn signal. When DRCC is set and engaged, Lane Tracing Assist uses visible lane markers or a preceding vehicle to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane.
Automatic High Beams are designed to detect preceding or oncoming vehicles and automatically switch between high beam and low beam headlights. Road Sign Assist is designed to recognize certain road sign information using a forward-facing camera and display them on the multi-information display (MID).
Toyota’s Rear Seat Reminder comes standard on all 2023 Sequoias. The feature can note whether a rear door was opened within 10 minutes of the vehicle being turned on, or at any time after the vehicle has been turned on, with a reminder message in the instrument cluster after the engine is turned off, accompanied by multitone chimes.
In addition to the TSS 2.5 system, other standard safety features include Blind Spot Monitor which is designed to help detect and warn you of vehicles approaching or positioned in the adjacent lanes. Rear Cross Traffic Alert can offer added peace of mind by helping to detect vehicles approaching from either side while backing out and alerting you with a visual and audible warning. The Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking is designed to implement brake control when there’s a possibility of a collision with a stationary object, approaching vehicle, or while parking.
Limited Warranty and ToyotaCare
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. Hybrid-related components, including the battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. The hybrid battery is covered for 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first. Toyota dealers have complete details on the limited warranty. Sequoia also comes with ToyotaCare, a plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.
‘With flying colors, the most aesthetically gifted electric vehicle of its category.’ – 360
The latest in Lexus’ electrified vehicle lineup was on display at the 2022 Electrify Expo this past June 3-5. The event, which features the newest electric vehicles, bikes, motorcycles and more, was the first time consumers can see the all-new battery electric 2023 Lexus RZ 450e in person alongside the all-new 2022 Lexus NX 450h+.
Taking Luxury All-Electric
As Lexus’ first global battery electric vehicle (BEV) model, the all-new 2023 Lexus RZ 450e embodies the unique Lexus vehicle design and driving experience made available through advanced, electrified technology. The utilization of a BEV-specific platform (e-TNGA), as well as a lightweight and highly rigid body, has enhanced the fundamental performance of the vehicle by achieving optimal weight distribution through ideal placement of the battery and motor. In addition, the DIRECT4 all-wheel drive system and the adoption of a new steering control and available Steer by Wire system (at a future date) enable vehicle control that is more true to the driver’s intention. The Lexus RZ’s exterior design expresses the seamless acceleration and dynamic torque-filled performance specific to BEVs, ushering in a new Lexus aesthetic and establishing a new design direction for BEV offerings. The RZ uses the latest Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, including standard Pre-Collision System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert and Emergency Driving Stop System. The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e is expected to go on sale towards the end of 2022.
Lexus’ Popular Crossover Adds Plug-In Option
As the first PHEV in the Lexus lineup, the 2022 Lexus NX 450h+ sets the stage for the next chapter of the Lexus brand. The NX 450h+ has an EPA-estimated 36-mile range on electric power only, made possible by the newly developed, high-capacity lithium-ion battery. The system achieves the EV output equivalent to a 2.0-liter engine for an EPA-estimated combined 84 MPGe. The all-new NX is longer, and taller for more passenger and cargo space and features the model’s all-new Lexus Interface multimedia system, with available 14-inch touchscreen.
In addition to the two vehicles, the Lexus display will include two vehicle charging units, with Lexus product specialists providing demonstrations and answering questions from attendees; graphic walls with information about the Lexus RZ, roadmap of the future, and Lexus’ approach to electrification; and a fun, branded photo backdrop.
The 2022 Electrify Expo will make additional stops in Seattle, Austin, Miami and New York throughout the year – bringing the Lexus RZ and Lexus NX PHEV to a city near you. For more information, click HERE.
Lexus’ passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its customers. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 244 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers eight F SPORT models, one F performance model and one F model. Lexus is committed to being a visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.
THE 2ND ANNUAL BIGGIE DINNER GALA PRESENTED BY LEXUS AND PEPSI, LIL KIM
Honoring The Notorious B.I.G’s 50th Birthday Celebration at Guastavino’s in New York City
Presented by Lexus and Pepsi, Lil Kim honored the iconic rapper in New York City fashion with a star studded event paid homage to B.I.G. The biggest names in hip hop gathered last night, Friday May 20th, 2022 to celebrate what would be Biggie’s 50th birthday. The 2nd Annual Biggie Dinner Gala at Guastavino’s (409 E 59th St, New York, NY 10022) honored Biggie’s legacy with a star studded black tie gala and concert with performances of Biggie’s most insatiable hits.
Industry titans and family members including Lil’ Kim, Lil’ Cease, Junior M.A.F.I.A., CJ Wallace, T’yanna Wallace, Fat Joe, Havoc, Sway, Smif-N-Wessun, Tek and Steele, Prayah, Ceaser Emanuel of Black Ink Crew, and more gathered to celebrate B.I.G.
Featuring performances of Biggie’s most prolific hits, the night recognized him as the greatest rapper of all time. His contribution reverberates through hip hop–inspiring countless generations. His prolific legacy is emblazed in pop culture history. Long live B.I.G!
Fans can get a behind the scenes look at the explosive event tonight (May 21, 2022) at 7PM on Biggie Smalls and Lil’ Kim’s official Instagram pages and Lil Kim’s YouTube. The event was powered by Culture Creative, the Black-owned Emmy Award Winning agency established to connect brands with emerging cultural marketing places through new and innovative ways of authentic storytelling.
An auto repair customer’s journey is a short one that typically starts on a search engine, and that’s why SEO and local advertising are such effective marketing methods. With some planning and an intuitive website, auto shop owners can continue to bring in new customers. Here are a few promotional tips for auto repair shop owners.
Many shop owners use PPC (pay per click) advertising to generate qualified leads and site traffic. Ad copy should promote a business’ unique qualities, such as special offers, fast completion times, insurance claims assistance, and satisfaction guarantees. When promoting an auto repair shop, work with a digital marketing team to set up ad campaigns, bid on the best keywords, and optimize audience targeting for the best results.
Local Reviews and Listings
Local reviews and listings are a great way to get an auto repair shop’s name in front of consumers who need help. The most important step is to build a presence on Facebook, Yelp, Google My Business, and other sites drivers use, as well as local sites. Encourage existing customers to review your services and provide timely responses to feedback. By optimizing listings and building a business profile, owners can boost their shops’ search engine rankings and build a stronger customer base.
SEO or search engine optimization is the process of ensuring that a shop’s site has desirable traits and can be indexed by the search engines. SEO is a highly technical, evolving process, so working with an agency is the best way to keep pace with algorithm changes and stay ahead of competitors. Search engine optimization ensures that, when drivers look online for local repair shops, yours will show up first.
A Well-Designed Website
A site that’s informative and optimized does much to support a shop owner’s overall SEO strategy. Don’t forget to include and update opening hours, location, and service offerings, as well as other important information. We recommend including high-quality photos, along with valuable, relevant content that keeps customers coming back for advice.
A chat button makes it simple for customers to ask questions and voice their concerns. With live chat, shop owners can engage with site visitors and start the service experience off on the right foot. Chat services, whether they’re powered by live agents or artificial intelligence, collect information about customers and their desired services, which makes follow-up calls easier.
Lead Management Tools
Drivers, especially those who need emergency service, typically go with the first shop to take their calls. According to a recent study, it’s much easier to qualify leads within five minutes of initial contact than within a half-hour. With lead management and tracking software that captures call recordings, lead details, and more, it’s easier to nurture these leads and gain a wider view of the shop’s customer acquisition strategies.
Don’t Wait—Start Planning Your Shop’s Success Strategy Today
We hope these tips will help auto repair shop owners promote their offerings and build stronger relationships with customers. Don’t be afraid to help you’re business succeed and market smarter, not harder.
It was a fast and epic weekend for race fans as the NTT IndyCar Series returns. This prestigious race took place in the streets of Long Beach, specifically held at the Long Beach Convention Center.
Regardless if you’re a racing fanatic, this event was one to remember. Entering the convention center guests were directed towards a large room filled with concept cars that anyone would dream of driving. Automobiles from Acura, Lexus, Ferrari, etc. were flooded throughout the entire venue. Proceeding towards the back of the locale where numerous vendors were selling snacks ranging from homemade beef jerky to sugar cane candy. It was the perfect place to hang out if you wanted to change up the scenery, or if you wanted to enjoy a quick bite to eat.
Lexus, the car company recognized for their luxurious drive and classic look, would be competing in this legendary competition. The brand that was known as something your grandmother would drive is now breaking barriers by entering the racing scene. Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat piloted the Seal Master liveried No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 to a second place finish at this 11-turn circuit.
360 Magazine. sat down with the two British drivers to conduct a short interview. The two motorists coincidentally grew up in the same part of England, with only an hour drive from between them. Only three years apart, they had never raced together until now. The two of them have been enjoying their time together as allies and plan to build upon that chemistry for future races. To hear the full interview click here.
The Grand Prix of Long Beach was the third race of the 2022 season and first sprint race. One of the Lexus drivers, Jack Hawksworth had a few words to say “Mega day for us. It was a surprise podium today. We had a bit of a struggle yesterday. We just ran a clean race, and we didn’t make any mistakes. We got a nice overcut there in the beginning to jump ahead of the GTD leader and then after an incident on pit lane among competitors got to second. Ben (Barnicoat) did a great job on the restarts and the Vasser Sullivan team did a great job on pit lane. We just did all of the basics right and got on the podium. It was a really good day.”
Safe to say Hawksworth was happy with his performance for that day. Barnicoat followed up with “It was a great day. Amazing to finally get the first podium of the season after being so close in both Daytona and Sebring. We finally got there. I feel like the Vasser Sullivan team did a great job today — everyone involved from the ground up. We definitely didn’t have the pace, but we maximized what we had so to come out of here with a second place is beyond what we thought we were quite capable of on paper. A huge thank you to everyone at Vasser Sullivan and Lexus Racing for their effort today. Hopefully it’s the first of many this season.”
360 Magazine also had the honor of experiencing an exclusive offering called Hot Labz. It was an opportunity of a lifetime where a professional driver took a lap around the track in the brand new IS-500. The Japanese chariot has a horse power of 472 MPH, with a five-liter V8 engine. It’s apparent that Lexus will continue to move mountains and make a name for itself in the motor-sporting space.
Lexus is hitting the road for health and wellness. For those striving for a better self and looking to incorporate more balance and mindfulness into their lives, the luxury automaker is launching Lexus’ “Wellness Destinations.” This new program features collaborations with four luxury hospitality and wellness resorts–Cal-a-Vie Health Spa and all three Miraval Resorts and Spas–and offers Lexus-curated wellness packages paired with complimentary transportation for each guest.
“After the last couple of years we have all experienced, it’s no surprise to see the focus on self-care paired with the desire to get away resulting in demand for wellness travel,” says Vinay Shahani, Lexus vice president of marketing. “As a luxury lifestyle brand, Lexus is meeting this need by offering curated, integrative experiences that focus on wellbeing at award-winning destinations.”
At Cal-Vie Health Spa in Southern California, travelers can book the “Lexus Living in Luxury” package, which includes:
A four-night stay in a Mediterranean-style French Provencal villa with a terrace or balcony
All meals and nutrition breaks, featuring gourmet spa cuisine
A cryotherapy session designed to flush toxins and help reduce chronic pain and inflammation, a metabolic test to better understand the guest’s metabolism, or a BodPod session to gain knowledge of body fat and lean muscle mass, as recommended by the fitness director
One specialty spa treatment, such as a hand and foot renewal, hydrating wrap, or similar treatment
One rejuvenating facial and two 50-minute Cal-a-Vie massages
One private fitness session with a 50-minute take-home program
Full spa amenities, including two pools, an outdoor jacuzzi, a sauna, and a steam bath
A meditation ceremony at the end of the stay to regard the guests’ intentions and put meaningful closure to their time at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa
Lexus owners also receive a VIP welcome gift and 10 percent off the $7,300 cost per person (valid through March 2023).
“We want to provide a luxury experience from the moment our guests arrive to the day they depart. We care about creating life-changing wellness experiences for our guests and that’s exactly what we do here at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa,” says Terri Havens, owner of Cal-a-Vie Health Spa.
Miraval resorts are offering guests a “Lexus Drive Your Way to Wellness” custom experience for $495 per person (valid through March 2023). This one-day experience–ranging from six to eight hours–is available at the three Miraval resorts, located in Arizona, Austin and the Berkshires which includes a complimentary Lexus vehicle to use throughout the experience. Highlights include:
An intention-setting ceremony with a Miraval Guide
Scenic drives to various destinations where a private guide leads hiking, biking and swimming expeditions
A chef-prepared picnic lunch and a locally-oriented activity, such as kayaking, paddle boarding or birdwatching
Each wellness package highlights the unique offerings available at the three Miraval resorts and is available to schedule directly through the selected property.
“We are excited to team up with Lexus to offer our guests exclusive drive experiences at each of our destination resorts and spas,” said Susan Santiago, head of Miraval operations at Hyatt. “These new and unique offerings allow us to immerse our guests in scenic, natural settings off-property that encourage external exploration and space for internal reflection. We look forward to continuing our mission of providing authentic experiences focused on our guests’ physical, spiritual, and mental wellbeing.”
Lexus deeply values the health and wellbeing of its guests, and comprehensive sanitization procedures are in place for each Lexus vehicle. Please also refer to each resort website for additional information on health and safety protocols. For more information or to book a Lexus Wellness Destination, click HERE or HERE.
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