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Lexus Holds Price on Restyled, Re-Engineered 2004 LS 430

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 24 -- Lexus announced today that the thoroughly revised 2004 LS 430 would maintain its price position in the competitive premium luxury sedan field with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $55,125. The restyled LS adds several new and advanced features such as a six-speed automatic transmission, Adaptive Front lighting System, and driver and passenger knee airbags as standard equipment. New luxury amenities as well as a moonroof and power rear sunshade are also standard for 2004.

A boldly restyled front and rear fascia give the LS 430 a more aggressive, substantial appearance. Five new exterior colors include a new silver called Mercury Metallic that benefits from a special multi-step paint process. Newly exposed dual exhaust tailpipes hint at the sharpened all-around performance.

"The 2004 LS 430 advances the state of the luxury car art," said Denny Clements, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "We've managed to increase luxury, performance and safety without increasing cost or fuel consumption."

A new six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission replaces the five- speed unit for 2004, enhancing both performance and shifting smoothness. Revised gear ratios that take advantage of the additional gear contribute to improved acceleration and lower cruising noise levels, without sacrificing fuel economy.

The new transmission backs the LS 430s powerful 4.3-liter V8 engine, providing acceleration from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds, compared to 6.3 seconds for the 2003 model. The sequential-shift feature allows manual shifting for greater response and driver control. Fuel consumption is unaffected, with 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

New monotube shock absorbers contribute to fluid cornering responses and provide an even smoother ride. The standard 17-inch wheels have been redesigned, and the available sport suspension features 18-inch wheels for the first time, with 245/45R18 low-profile tires for sharper handling and better road feel. All LS 430s benefit from improvements in the steering gear and brake system.

Advanced safety technology is an important part of the long list of improvements in the 2004 LS 430. A new optional Pre-Collision System (PCS - available January 2004) can help reduce injury and damage from frontal collisions. The LS also gains knee airbags for the driver and front passenger and larger front seat-mounted side airbags -- both as standard equipment.

Also standard is an Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS), which helps illuminate a turn or curve as the driver steers into it, as well as a new Tire Pressure Monitor (TPM), which can detect if a tire is significantly under- inflated and alert the driver with an indicator light on the instrument panel (available January 2004).

A new rear backup camera is available with the extensively improved optional Lexus Navigation System that now integrates Bluetooth(R) wireless technology. When combined with a Bluetooth(R) equipped phone, this global wireless technology allows the driver to transfer personal phone books to the navigation system and make hands-free phone calls through the navigation system's touch-screen control panel.

The Lexus LS sedans have a tradition of infusing luxury with value, and for 2004 the LS 430 improves on that tradition by making the power moonroof, power rear sunshade and new rear seat vanity mirrors standard.

The available SmartAccess is a convenient new feature that allows the driver to unlock and start the car simply by touching the door handle (with key fob in pocket or purse) and then turning the ignition switch. The trunk can also be operated without touching the key fob.

XM Satellite Radio is also a new option, providing the LS 430 owner with CD-quality sound and a wide selection of music and news/talk stations coast-to-coast. The subscription service, offered at an additional cost, features 50 music stations and 50 news/talk radio stations.

The LS 430s acclaimed Mark Levinson premium audio system is also enhanced for 2004. Position Optimized Sound allows the audio balance to be tuned individually for the driver, front passenger, or rear passengers at the push of a button. The rear speakers have been repositioned to improve sound quality.

New options for 2004 further enhance the luxury and convenience of the LS 430. Rear climate control seats are available with the Ultra Luxury package, which includes front climate control seats and numerous other luxury touches. The available rear air conditioner now features an optical deodorizer in addition to the particle filter.

Capping the interior changes are a new Antique Walnut Wood trim finish choice, as well as three new leather interior colors -- Cashmere, Ash and Saddle.

The introduction of the latest Lexus flagship sedan follows the report that the LS 430 was the most problem-free vehicle by J.D. Power and Associates' 2003 Initial Quality Study for the seventh consecutive year. Just as significant, Lexus' premium luxury sedan was reported to be the most problem-free car after three years of ownership for the ninth consecutive year.