Developing a car that delivers a driving experience like no other takes years of research and development; a large team of engineers and master test drivers; as well as cutting-edge test tracks that simulate every type of road condition in the world. Rigorous testing, constant refinement, and a mission to constantly improve, are hallmarks of Lexus. Participating in prestigious international races to test new technologies also play a huge role in the evolution of Lexus as a driver-oriented luxury brand.
But what are the attributes that make a car special? What makes it fun to drive? According to Lexus’ engineers: It must respond faithfully to the driver’s intentions. For example, it must turn as soon as you turn the steering wheel. As you accelerate rapidly, the vehicle must faithfully follow your intended line. If the vehicle responds slightly better than the driver expects, this will surely turn enjoyment into delight.
On the other hand, less responsive vehicles don’t change direction right away when you turn the steering wheel. This means you need to continually pay careful attention as you drive. You can’t really enjoy driving a car like that, can you? Whether at high speed or just around town, a car that gives feedback through the steering wheel and offers direct handling is the mark of a special vehicle. This trait, combined with exceptional power delivery, is what enthusiasts look for.
When you are behind the wheel of a Lexus, driving isn’t just a task. When driving enjoyment comes naturally, holding the steering wheel, enjoying the efficient and lightning-quick automatic transmissions, and working the pedals can be elevated into an art form.
Lexus aims to not only improve on the brand’s level of refinement, but to also create vehicles that carry a unique Lexus Signature identity. This philosophy is known as the “Lexus Driving Signature” and this marks a new chapter in the evolution of the luxury brand.
What is the Lexus Driving Signature (LDS)? In its purest essence, LDS pursues linear operation that is faithful to driver’s intentions. The goal of LDS is to amplify confidence, comfort, and overall love of driving through the faithful execution of driver intentions.
The Chief Engineer for each Lexus model plays a vital role in this, of course. He will be responsible for guiding the teams that develop vehicles to a higher standard defined by Master Driver Akio Toyoda and Lexus International President and Chief Branding Officer, Koji Sato. Another key to the development of the Lexus Driving Signature is the ShimoyamaTechnical Center Test Track—where the toughest and most challenging roads in the world have been recreated. Imagine a road course that duplicates every possible kind of on-road scenario in the world. A road where vertical changes are so severe and abrupt that finding the proper suspension damping setting is critical. In a place like this, the stability and handling of a car would be put to the test.
Enveloping drivers and passengers in another layer of protection is Lexus Safety Sense (LSS) a comprehensive suite of active safety equipment which includes a Pre-Collision System (PCS); Adaptive High Beam System; Automatic High Beam System (AHB); Lane Tracing Assist (LTA); Lane Departure Alert (LDA); and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). These complement the host of comprehensive standard safety that is already found on every Lexus.
Moving forward, the evolution of driving enjoyment will not be lost in an electrified future. In fact, it might even be enhanced. Lexus has already revealed a new, core Lexus Electrified technology to support the vision exemplified by the futuristic LF-30 concept car. Lexus Advanced Posture Control technology regulates the drive-power output from high-torque electric motors on all four wheels to adjust vehicle posture in tune with human sensibilities. Completely independent control of front and rear drive wheels allows appropriate provision of front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive, depending on the driving situation—like when tackling a sharp and slippery corner, for example. Compact and lightweight drive-power units expand freedom in vehicle packaging and are used to enable ideal driving, regardless of the road surface or conditions.
At Lexus, the connection between man and machine will only continue to become deeper, meaningful, safer, and even more exciting. Vehicle dynamics and safety will continue to evolve, and so will the art and enjoyment of driving. This is how Lexus can bring out the best driver in you.