In 1989, Lexus came out with a large luxury sedan that singlehandedly redefined not just luxury cars, but also the whole luxury car ownership experience.
This groundbreaking sedan took on no less than the flagship sedans from Mercedes-Benz and BMW. This game-changer was the seminal Lexus LS 400. It won critical acclaim from the global automotive press for its incredible smoothness and refinement. Owners praised it for its otherworldly quietness and reliability. These are also the very qualities that Lexus has set out to perfect ever since its inception.
The full-size LS was soon joined by the midsize Lexus ES executive sedan. These two cutting-edge models were the spearhead of the brand’s heritage story, and their evolution — and breathtakingly relentless improvement — continues. These two Lexus luxury sedans embody the brand’s uncompromising spirit and showcase its unparalleled craftsmanship.
Lexus LS 500
This is the car that took the Germans to school. Not only did the original LS 400 make its mark by setting new benchmarks for comfort, smoothness, quietness, build quality, attention to detail, and dependability, it also set a new benchmark for luxury that consumers expected from a premium vehicle.
The LS 500 is now Lexus’s flagship full-size sedan. Built on the same platform as the high-performance LC coupe, the LS boasts a powerful 415hp twin-turbo V6 paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission and an interior assembled by the finest Takumi master craftsmen.
Innovation is also part and parcel of the LS badge. The LS hybrid adopts a Multi-Stage Hybrid System, which was first introduced in the LC 500h. This system provides perceived acceleration that matches the actual acceleration as soon as the gas pedal is pressed. It also provides rhythmic shifting, enabling the driver to enjoy a new kind of driving performance which is unlike what is expected from traditional hybrid drivetrains.
Advanced safety features abound in the LS 500. Key among these are the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM); Vehicle Stability Control (VSC); Blind Spot Monitor (BSM); a rigid body structure with front and rear crumple zones; Lexus Parking Assist System with 10 sensors and a rearview camera; Electric Power Steering (EPS); and SRS airbags for front and rear passengers (which include knee and side airbags for the front passengers, side airbags and cushion airbags for the rear passengers, and curtain airbags for front and rear occupants). Of course, pedestrian safety is paramount as well, as evidenced by the four-point pop-up hood.
Lexus ES 350
What was once Lexus’s most conservatively designed sedan is now a stunningly styled sedan with a sexy couple-like silhouette—while retaining the ES sedan’s signature spaciousness and refinement. The new ES sports fluid lines and a human-centered cabin, where every detail is carefully considered for optimal comfort. It is also equipped with a new 8-speed direct-shift automatic transmission which offers smarter, more responsive gear-shifting.
The ES 350 pushes technological innovation as well, not just by using new tech, but using a combination of existing technologies in imaginative ways. For example, the new chassis and suspension system of the ES provides precise handling and dynamic responsiveness through Active Cornering Assist (ACA) — a Lexus first — which works in tandem with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), to provide a safe and comfortable drive.
As with every Lexus, safety and security are paramount in the ES. Underneath its svelte silhouette is Lexus’s all-new Global Architecture (GA-K) platform which improves the strength of the cabin to help reduce deformation in the event of a crash; and a Pop-Up Hood System (similar to what is found in the LS flagship), which, in the event of a pedestrian interaction, the deploy the deformable front hood to pop-up to reduce the impact of the pedestrian’s head to the windshield.
Just like in the LS, the ES is also equipped with a Blind Spot Monitor that uses wave radar to detect vehicles present in the adjacent lane blind spots; driver and front passenger front dual-stage airbags and knee airbags. Also included are front and rear side airbags that cover all four seating positions in the vehicle. And to top it off, there are side curtain airbags that cover the front and rear seats on both sides.
Japanese hospitality and care
At the core of Lexus are the LS 500 and ES 350, and with these models, the brand has placed its customers at the heart of their work, seeking to provide them only with the best. This is omotenashi, the concept of Japanese hospitality or visionary anticipation. It means taking care of the driver and passengers, anticipating their needs, attending to their comfort, and protecting them from hazards.
And this is the uncanny feeling you have when you ride or drive a Lexus. In this new normal, there is an enhanced need for safety and security. Lexus is unrelenting in its goal to deliver on that promise and more.