20 Interesting facts about Lexus
The Lexus brand was created as a relatively affordable alternative to luxury cars of other automobile brands. While being more luxurious, than European and American competitors, the Japanese automobile marque is offering its cars at a lower price. Being a part of a world famous Toyota corporation, Lexus produces some of the most technologically advanced vehicles on the market. If there is such thing as an affordable luxury car, Lexus is definitely the leader in this category.
1. The Lexus brand was officially established in August 1983. The new marque was created, after the Toyota President Eiji Toyoda made a decision to launch a new brand of luxury cars for the American market. The President of Toyota Corporation demanded a new, catchy name for that brand.
2. In 1986, the publicity agency Saatchi & Saatchi, a long-time business partner of Toyota Corporation, established a division under the name of Team One. The new division was created to develop a new premium brand for Toyota. The Team One hired a consulting company Lippincott & Margulies to come up with suggestions for a name of the new brand.
The consulting company made a list of 219 possible names, and the name Alexis was the most preferable one. However, due to the strong association with Alexis Carrington, the character of “Dynasty”, a popular TV series of the ’80s, the brand name was changed to Lexus.
3. The official logo of Lexus was created by an Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. He rejected the first version of the logo, which featured a heraldic shield, in favor of a simple, but memorable design – stylized “L” within an oval. According to the author, the final version of the Lexus logo denotes a luxurious and technological image, which didn’t need any additional decorations.
3. In June 1985, the Japanese automaker created a prototype version of the famous Lexus LS 400, a model that was to conquer western markets. In May 1986, the new vehicle was treated to excessive test-drives in Germany. In January 1989, the car was presented to the public at auto shows in Detroit and Los Angeles. In September 1989, the Lexus LS 400 went on sale in the United States.
4. The Lexus LS 400 had a design that shared no major elements with other Japanese vehicles. From the start it was designed and built for the American market.
5. In February 1990 American press called the Lexus LS 400 the best vehicle ever imported to the United States from Japan.
6. In 1992 Lexus division reached its original goal, set by the parent company: the Japanese automaker surpassed its competitors BMW and Mercedes-Benz and became the leading importer of luxury vehicles to the United States.
7. In January 1993 a new model, the Lexus GS 300, was presented to the public. The sports sedan was designed by maestro Giorgetto Giugiaro and featured by very distinct exterior bodywork. This car was exceptionally good: while providing a comfort, expected from a luxury vehicle, it offered higher performance and handling of a sports car. The Lexus GS 300 earned many awards for its safety and reliability.
8. 1996 was marked by arrival of the first SUV in the Lexus model line-up. The Lexus – LX450 was a luxury version of Toyota Land Cruiser in an 80-series chassis. This vehicle became the market leader among luxury SUVs, after just two month in sales.
9. The original slogan of Japanese brand is: “Lexus. The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection.”
10. In February 1997, at the Chicago Motor Show, the Japanese automaker presented a new prototype: Lexus – SLV (Sport Luxury Vehicle). According to its creators, this vehicle combined a comfort of luxury sedan with an off-road capabilities of a mid-sized SUV. Later that year, in March 1997, the company announced that the model would be launched into production under name RX300.
11. In March 1998, Lexus became an official sponsor of a big American tour of a famous musician Eric Clapton. The sales were on the rise, and Lexus became the leader of luxury vehicles market in United States, leaving behind Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Cadillac and Lincoln.
In January 1999, the company debuted with a brand-new model at the Detroit Motor Show. It was the Lexus IS200. This compact sports sedan was based on Toyota Altezza, produced by the parent company for a home market. The same year, in spring 1999, the IS200 went on sale in Europe. In November 1999, the Japanese company sold its one millionth car on the American market.
12. Since the 2004 model year the Lexus RX 350 was produced at the Cambridge plant in the city of Cambridge, in Ontario, Canada, which is the first Lexus production site located outside Japan.
13. The Lexus division of Toyota is responsible for the creation of the world’s first mass-production rear-wheel drive luxury hybrid car. This model was Lexus GS 450h, a sports sedan launched in Europe in 2006.
14. Notably, Lexus was not available for sale on the Japanese market until 2005. The famous luxury brand made its appearance on the domestic market only after its tremendous success all over the world.
15. Lexus holds a record for the number of hybrid vehicles among luxury brands. For instance, 95% Lexus cars, sold in Great Britain are hybrids.
16. The Japanese company offers an optional wooden steering wheel for its flagship model the Lexus LS. The luxury steering wheel is designed, using exclusive Shimamoku technology. The complete manufacturing process consists of 67 operations and takes 31 days.
17. Lexus built a special version of its Eco friendly hybrid Lexus LS600h for a world-famous musician Paul McCartney. This vehicle was built without usage of any materials of animal origin.
18. The Japanese automaker proves that attention to details is everything, when it comes to luxury vehicles. The sound of the engine on one of the first Lexus LS models was adjusted with the support of musical instruments manufacturer Yamaha.
19. The famous Hollywood director Steven Spielberg is a big Lexus aficionado.
The prominent American director, producer and honorable owner of the Lexus LX470 requested Lexus to build a special custom car for his cyberpunk action thriller Minority Report (2002), which was set in the year 2054. It was a perfect opportunity for the Japanese automaker to showcase its technological capabilities, and Lexus took full advantage of it. The futuristic concept car Lexus 2054 looks phenomenal.
20. Due to the reliability, comfort and technological perfection of Japanese marque, it is preferred by many celebrities, including American actress Sienna Miller (RX450h), English painter David Hockney (LS 460), a former chief executive of Ford Motor Company Alan Mulally (LS 400) and Albert II, Prince of Monaco, who owns a unique LS 600hL Landaulet.