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Lexus Cars

In 1989, the Toyota Motor Corporation introduced the Lexus brand with the launch of the Lexus LS sedan. Toyota began developing Lexus in the early 1980s as a request by the chairman to produce a luxury vehicle to compete with the world's best. The fact that Honda launched the Acura brand in the mid-1980s, and that Nissan introduced plans for the Infiniti line further, spurred Toyota in its decision to create and launch an upmarket Lexus.

While theories about the name allude to a flawless combination of luxury and elegance or as blended nickname of "luxury exports" and "U.S.," the original development team states that it has no secret meaning. The company's choice of the word denoted an image of luxury combined with advanced technology. Initially, it was thought that the up-market sedan could be added to the top end of the Toyota line, but after carrying out much research, it was decided that it would be better to create a new line for this initial sedan with the goal of adding more models in the future.

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Lexus in America

During the 1980s, export regulations between Japan and America were relaxed due to negotiations between the countries' governments. This led Japanese car manufacturers to look at how it could expand into the American market. Not only was Toyota planning expansion of its models under this brand, it was developing a new network of Lexus dealerships across America. From the start, Lexus was offered separately from Toyota vehicles, although many dealerships shared buildings and land with each other.

The Lexus LS 400 sedan was a unique vehicle that did not share any components with Toyota vehicles. The extensive design and development of this vehicle ensured that Toyota had created something new. It debuted in the midsize luxury sedan market and was positioned against Mercedes-Benz and BMW models, which were both significantly more expensive than the new offering from Toyota. As well as launching the LS 400, the Lexus ES 250 was also launched to offer a front-wheel drive sedan as well as the rear-wheel drive LS 400.

With the successful launch in the U.S. in 1989, exports of Lexus were expanded to the U.K., Canada, Australia, and Switzerland. In 1991, the first sport coupe was called the SC 400 and launched with further growth and development planned for the brand. As the 1990s progressed, updated and new models were launched, including the LX 450 in 1996, the first sport utility vehicle (SUV) created by Lexus. This was followed in 1998 with the RX 300 that provided a luxury crossover SUV for those drivers who wanted an SUV, but didn't want or need the offroad capabilities.

Throughout the 2000s, Lexus continued to expand its markets, and in July 2005, became the first Japanese premium vehicle sold domestically in Japan. A year later, the first hybrid Lexus vehicle, the GS 450h sedan was introduced. Subsequent models have been developed as hybrid vehicles, including sedans and SUVs. In 2010, the first hatchback was launched in Europe with plans for the U.S. to do the same in upcoming years.

Lexus Models

The current Lexus lineup consists of 11 models. The five sedans are presented as the compact IS and HS, midsize ES and GS, and the full-size LS that's a flagship vehicle. Three SUVs are produced, which are the crossover RX series, the midsize GX, and the full-size LX. The only hatchback is the CT, and the high-performance F marquee division.

All Lexus vehicles are named using two letters. The first designates its relative ranking and status in the range and the second letter refers to the car body style. The two letters are followed by three numbers, which give the engine displacement in liters of the vehicle multiplied by 100. For example, the RX 350 designates the vehicle as the smallest SUV, the letter X designates the SUV line for Lexus, and it has an engine displacement of 3.5 L, which gives the number 350. Hybrids have a lower case "h" after the numbers.

Lexus Products and Technologies

From the beginning, Lexus was designed using around 500 specific criteria. These product standards are referred to as "Lexus Musts" and set the bar for the high level of performance, comfort, and aesthetics for the vehicle. Current models have a keyless entry feature using a smart key entry and starting system. Also, the multimedia features are constantly updated. With the latest RX models, a touchscreen display and a mouse-like controller were added to streamline navigation systems. Since inception, Lexus has partnered with premium audio providers to ensure that all vehicles are equipped with the best sounding audio equipment found. Acoustic glass was added to later models to reduce road noise.

Select a Lexus Model

Lexus CT 200h

2015-2011 | Hatchback, Hybrid, Luxury

The Lexus CT 200h offers up a sporty take on the traditionally utilitarian compact hybrid segment.

Lexus ES300

2003-1995 | Luxury, Sedan

During its 12-year run, the Lexus ES300 earned a reputation as a comfortable entry-level luxury sedan.

Lexus ES300h

2015-2013 | Hybrid, Luxury, Sedan

Lexus ES330

2006-2004 | Luxury, Sedan

Like other vehicles in the Lexus ES family of midsize sedans, the five-passenger four-door Lexus ES330 is defined by a combination of premium features and entry-level pricing.

Lexus ES350

2015-2007 | Luxury, Sedan

Like previous models in Lexus’s long-lived ES line, the Lexus ES350 is a refined and roomy entry-level luxury sedan.

Lexus GS300

2006-1995 | Luxury, Sedan

Introduced as a higher-end sibling to the Lexus brand’s entry-level ES300, the rear drive Lexus GS300 was initially marketed as a rival to European luxury sport sedans.

Lexus GS350

2015-2013, 2011-2007 | Luxury, Sedan

With the introduction of the Lexus GS350 midsize sedan for 2007, Lexus managed to hit the sweet spot between an entry-level luxury sedan and a premium sports car.

Lexus GS400

2000-1998 | Luxury, Sedan

The eight-cylinder Lexus GS400 debuted in 1998 as a more powerful alternative to the V-6-equipped Lexus GS300.

Lexus GS430

2007-2001 | Luxury, Sedan

Introduced in 2001 as a third generation update of Lexus’s high-performance midsize GS line, the Lexus GS430 was powered by a 4.3-liter V-8 with 300 horsepower.

Lexus GS450H

2015-2013, 2011-2007 | Hybrid, Luxury, Sedan

Part high-end sport sedan and part fuel-efficient hybrid, the midsize Lexus GS450h offers the best of both worlds for eco-conscious auto enthusiasts.

Lexus GS460

2011-2008 | Luxury, Sedan

With a 4.6-liter 342-horsepower V-8 under its hood, the midsize Lexus GS460 is one of Lexus’s most powerful premium vehicles.

Lexus GX460

2015-2010 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Lexus GX460 is a luxury crossover sport utility vehicle introduced in 2010 as a replacement for Lexus’s capable but gas-guzzling truck-based SUV, the GX470.

Lexus GX470

2009-2003 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Lexus GX470 was a well-equipped midsize luxury SUV based on the mechanics of the popular Toyota 4Runner.

Lexus HS250h

2012-2010 | Hybrid, Luxury, Sedan

The Lexus HS250h compact sedan manages to marry upscale amenities with the fuel economy of a typical hybrid subcompact.

Lexus IS250

2015-2006 | Convertible, Luxury, Sedan, Sports

An entry-level luxury sedan with definite sports car inclinations, the Lexus IS250 was first introduced back in 2001.

Lexus IS300

2005-2001 | Luxury, Sedan, Wagon

The Lexus IS300 is the member of a family of entry-level luxury cars manufactured by Lexus, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Company in Japan.

Lexus IS350

2015-2006 | Convertible, Luxury, Sedan, Sports

The Lexus IS350 is an entry-level luxury sedan.

Lexus IS-F

2014-2008 | Luxury, Sedan

The Lexus IS-F is a compact luxury sport sedan that made its market debut in 2008.

Lexus LFA

2012 | Coupe, Sports

The Lexus LFA, a two-seater sport coupe, is manufactured by Lexus as a racing prototype, a concept car, and a production model.

Lexus LS 600h

2015 | Hybrid, Luxury, Sedan

Lexus LS400

2000-1995 | Luxury, Sedan

The Lexus LS400 helped the Lexus brand make a name for itself in 1989.

Lexus LS430

2006-2001 | Luxury, Sedan

Introduced in 2001, the Lexus LS430 is a luxury sedan that was regarded as the Japanese luxury automaker’s flagship model during its rather brief run of production.

Lexus LS460

2015-2007 | Luxury, Sedan

The Lexus LS460 is the fourth-generation full-size luxury sedan belonging to the popular lineup of flagship model LS cars manufactured by Lexus, the luxury vehicle division of Toyota Japan.

Lexus LS600H

2014-2008 | Hybrid, Luxury, Sedan

Introduced in 2008 and serving as the flagship top-of-the-line Lexus at the time, the Lexus LS600h is a rare bird indeed.

Lexus LX450

1997-1996 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Lexus LX450 is a luxury SUV model the brand produced for just two years between 1996 and 1997.

Lexus LX470

2007-1998 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Lexus LX470 is a full-size luxury Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) manufactured by Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota Japan.

Lexus LX570

2015-2013, 2011-2008 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The third generation of this line’s SUVs is known as the Lexus LX570.

Lexus NX200t

2015 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

Lexus NX300h

2015 | Hybrid, SUV, Utility/Offroad

Lexus RC 350

2015 | Coupe, Sports

Lexus RC F

2015 | Coupe, Sports

Lexus RX300

2003-1999 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

First introduced in 1999, the Lexus RX300 is a midsize crossover SUV that the brand produced until 2003.

Lexus RX330

2006-2004 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Lexus RX330 is a midsize luxury crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) manufactured by Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota Japan.

Lexus RX350

2015-2007 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

While the Lexus RX350 looks similar to the 330, a notable upgrade in the quality of the materials improves its appearance from earlier models.

Lexus RX400h

2008-2006 | Hybrid, SUV, Utility/Offroad

First introduced in 2006, the Lexus RX400h is a midsize crossover luxury hybrid SUV.

Lexus RX450h

2015-2010 | Hybrid, SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Lexus RX450H is a five-passenger midsize hybrid luxury crossover SUV manufactured by Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota.

Lexus SC300

2000-1995 | Coupe, Luxury

The Lexus SC300 is a coupe designed with fun and performance in mind.

Lexus SC400

2000-1995 | Coupe, Luxury

Introduced in June of 1991 as a 1992 model, the Lexus SC400 is a two-door coupe that features a sleek body design and an athletic V-8 engine.

Lexus SC430

2010-2002 | Convertible, Luxury

The Lexus SC was a series of personal ultra-luxury coupes that debuted in 1991 as the SC400.

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