The brand is Japanese automaker Toyota’s luxury division. It began selling cars in 1989. Originally established primarily for the affluent North American market, the company now does business in over 70 countries around the world. Its cars are known for their extremely high build quality, wealth of high tech safety and convenience features, and refined, understated character.
5 Fascinating Things You May Not Know About Lexus:
- Work began on the brand’s first model all the way back in 1983.
Years before the decision was made to create a separate luxury nameplate, a group of Toyota engineers had begun work on a new flagship large sedan. Codenamed F1, it was envisioned as a no-holds-barred showcase of what the company was capable of, both technologically and design-wise. The F1 eventually became the original 1989 LS sedan.
- F marque is the company’s dedicated, in-house performance division.
Not content to just make class-leading luxury vehicles, in 2007 the brand decided to increase its focus on high performance motoring in a big way. F marque is similar to BMW’s M division and Mercedes’ AMG. Its two main projects so far have been the IS F sport sedan and the LFA supercar.
- The LFA is the most expensive Japanese road car ever sold.
Launched in 2010 with a projected production run of just 500 units, the LFA is an extremely exclusive and wildly powerful supercar. The debut model sold for a staggering $375,000. In 2012, the company unveiled an even more expensive, track-tuned version of the car that stickers for $445,000, or just a little less than half a million dollars. While there are more expensive cars out there, such as the Bugatti Veyron and the Aston Martin One-77, Japan has never before sold anything nearly as pricey.
- The company employs a unique development process based on specific standards and benchmarks.
Each vehicle is designed according to the company’s “IDEAL” model, which stands for impressive, dynamic, elegant, advanced, and lasting. From drawing board to production line, each new car, truck, or SUV must incorporate a long list of “musts” into its design. These lists of “musts” typically feature over 500 entries, and include things such as leather seat stitching, interior noise level limits, and number of cup holders.
- The company has lead the way for luxury hybrids.
Probably more than any other high-end marque, Toyota’s luxury division has taken hybrid technology seriously. The first Lexus hybrid model was introduced way back in 2005. Today, the company offers five different hybrid-powered models.
Top Current Lexus Models
The company’s longtime best-seller, the venerable ES midsize sedan is a favorite of buyers all over the world. It has been a central part of the company’s lineup since the very beginning. The current, sixth generation car is based loosely on the Toyota Avalon platform.
The compact IS is the smallest sedan the company currently offers. The line was introduced in 1998 and was an immediate sales success. Performance enthusiasts can opt for the IS F, a souped-up, 416 horsepower version of the car.
The innovative CT is a compact hybrid hatchback aimed at a buyers looking for an unique combination of luxury, efficiency, and utility. Although it may not have the panache or curb appeal of a big, traditional luxury car, it has proven to be a hit with both European and, perhaps surprisingly, North American buyers.