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Aerodynamics of passion

Aerodynamics of passion

Tessa R. Salazar

Lexus IS like golf: Art and science in one circular motion

If you’ve been swinging in circles and have driven yourself far while at it, then the game befits you to a tee.
Golf is as much about solid inner strength as it is about overcoming external forces, primarily the wind. It’s not enough that the ball must be perfectly spherical. Those dimples at the surface enhance aerodynamics. Scientific American describes these dimples—about 300 to 500 on a single ball—as designed to achieve “aerodynamic optimization”. By comparison, an undimpled, smooth golf ball would travel only half as far as a dimpled one given the same swing force exerted upon them by a professional golfer.

You think driving in a luxury sedan would be that much different? Consider a car’s exterior lines and curves similar to those of a golf ball’s dimples. Then your core and your arms, down to the golf club that you’re holding, is like the car’s powertrain. You get the picture.

Professional Golfers’ Association’s Rick Bradshaw aptly made the connection when he said, in an article at the Heritage Isles Golf Club website, “The secret to a smooth and blending together of (a golfer’s) movements can be compared to a smooth shifting of gears in a car’s automatic transmission.”

So there you have it: Playing golf is like driving automobiles. A world of physics is always at play, whether you’re on the ball or behind the wheel. putt, er, put it this way: “Golfers often put much effort into perfecting their golf game. This can yield additional benefits if combined with an understanding of the physics involved.” The same goes for your motoring lifestyle. You put much effort in your skills behind the wheel, but the car itself may yield immeasurable benefits if you choose the one that has applied a lot of science as much as art in its design and engineering.

One such professional golfer who has applied his game to his motoring lifestyle is Miguel Tabuena, who had become notable for being among the elite company of golfers who teed up for glory at the 2016 Summer Olympic in Rio, and thus becoming the first Filipino Olympian to compete in the world’s most prestigious sporting event.

Tabuena’s passion for the game, love for country, admirable sportsman’s bearing and attitude, and his deep understanding of the science involved in the sport, have also led him to be keenly discerning of his choice of automobile. Not surprising then, that he chose Lexus as his personal car. This choice was reciprocated by the prestigious carmaker when Lexus chose him to become Lexus Philippines’ brand ambassador.

Needless to say, the car and the driver (both on and off the greens) have proven to be an ideal match.

As the golf greens may have accorded Tabuena his ticket to fame and fortune, for Lexus, the color green may also signify its longstanding passion and fascination for producing alternative-powered, environment-friendly cars, most recently the Lexus IS 300h (hybrid).

In fact, Tabuena’s world in a green canvas and Lexus’ green vehicle melded remarkably in a brief video that’s now playing over social media channels. In it, Tabuena’s measured swing interplays with scenes showing the Lexus IS details. In just one minute, the viewer learns how Tabuena—the man and the game—is precisely similar to the Lexus hybrid. A climactic clip then shows Tabuena packing up his gear and placing them in the IS’ trunk and then starting the engine. Man and machine become one.

In Tabuena, Lexus Philippines has found the ideal personification of the game the brand has been truly passionate about, the game that combines science and art. With Tabuena, Lexus in the Philippines can showcase not just prestige and luxury, but passion, determination, and the foresight to design, engineer, and manufacture cars well into the distant future—as far as the human body can swing a dimpled ball forward.


The latest variant in the Lexus IS lineup, the Lexus IS300h compact sedan, is now within arm’s reach at a price just below P3 million.

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The IS 300h is among the most attractive compact luxury sedans available in the market. Considering that it’s equipped with sophisticated hybrid technology and is built with the Takumi-level craftsmanship, its SRP of P2.978 million undercuts its closest German rival—a model not offered with a hybrid drivetrain locally.

The Japanese marque promises that if you get into an IS 300h, all of your senses will be stimulated. It boasts of the IS 300h’s “beautifully designed exterior; the exceptional ride comfort; and the sharp and responsive handling worthy of an all-around sports sedan.”

The luxury automotive brand says that its “Lexus DNA dictates that all of its models offer drivers a unique Lexus driving signature, and the new IS is a very significant model for the luxury brand because it was the catalyst for this exciting and new direction.”

Lexus entices would-be buyers: “Your first step into hybrid motoring can take the form of an iconic sport sedan. The new IS was engineered to be a driver’s car without any compromises, after all. The hybrid IS 300h variant delivers on that promise. Through rigorous development and testing, the new IS was born and bred at the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama Test Track—where the toughest and most challenging roads in the world have been recreated. The outcome was an IS lineup that is agile and provocative.”

First to be introduced locally in the IS series were the pulse-pounding IS 350 F Sport (P3.808 million) and the IS 300h Premier (P3.328 million). Now, Lexus introduces the IS 300h. Both IS 300h variants—while boasting hybrid technology—thoroughly espouse Lexus’s DNA.

Here is another promise from Lexus that you can always verify when test driving the IS 300h: A powerful yet efficient hybrid drivetrain under its svelte and sculpted lines. The Lexus IS 300h is powered by a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine mated to a Lexus E-CVT intelligent transmission for optimum efficiency in every driving condition. The 16-valve DOHC dual VVTi petrol engine is paired with an equally powerful electric motor. When in tandem, power delivered to the rear wheels is a combined 220hp. Zero to 100kph happens in a swift 8.7 seconds. Maximum torque is an impressive 221Nm. Even more noteworthy is the kind of fuel efficiency the IS 300h delivers: 5.2 liters/100km. The EV Drive Mode lets you use the electric motor at slow speeds. This in turn reduces emissions and saves on fuel.