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Lexus Reinvents the Premium Luxury Car ... Again

12 January 2000

Lexus Reinvents the Premium Luxury Car ... Again
                        2001 LS 430 to Arrive in Fall

    DETROIT, Jan. 11 -- At the North American International
Auto Show, Lexus announced that it will again raise the automobile market's
expectations of luxury models this fall when it introduces the third
generation of its flagship sedan, the 2001 LS 430.  Designed to be as much of
a leap over current competitive luxury models as the first LS 400 was more
than a decade ago, the all-new LS 430 provides ample evidence of the brand's
unyielding pursuit of automotive perfection.
    In a field of much-improved competitors, Lexus has again presented a
world-class array of performance, safety, luxury and quality while delivering
unmatched value in the premium luxury segment.  The first generation and
current LS 400 models established new benchmarks for performance, quality,
quiet ride and content in the luxury category, yet the new LS 430 exceeds even
these lofty standards.  Compared to the current LS 400, the new LS 430

    -- a 4.3 liter engine that offers increased performance and Ultra Low
       Emission Vehicle (ULEV) certification
    -- a more spacious interior
    -- a high degree of passive and active safety
    -- more advanced luxury features, yet with controls that are simple to use
    -- new suspension for greater stability, response, and handling
    -- an even smoother, quieter ride
    -- a richer, more stylish interior
    -- a greater range of options for more individuality

    "With the LS 400, Lexus created the benchmark by which others are judged,"
said Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager Bryan Bergsteinsson.
"Now, as the competition has caught up in many ways, we need to set new,
higher standards."

    Super-Sleek Body Virtually Eliminates Wind Noise
    While retaining the "flavor" of the original and second-generation LS
400s, the new LS 430 exudes a more muscular presence.  The sleek exterior,
with the available Air Suspension, meets the wind with a 0.25 coefficient of
drag (Cd), the lowest of any current passenger sedan.  To achieve this level
of aerodynamics, Lexus engineers tested the LS 430 in the same wind tunnel
used in the development of Japan's legendary bullet trains.  Fine tuning of
airflow around bumpers, fenders, floorpan, mirrors and even the angle of the
front grille bars contributed to the LS 430's unprecedented aerodynamic
efficiency, which virtually eliminates wind noise, making the LS 430 even
quieter inside than its benchmark predecessors.  In addition, the ultra-low Cd
helps keep fuel consumption about the same -- even with the increased engine
displacement and performance.  Lexus was able to achieve the impressive wind
tunnel performance despite raising overall height by 2.4 inches.
    To increase interior room in the LS 430, Lexus lengthened the wheelbase by
three inches (to 115.2 inches) but kept overall length the same at 196.7
inches.  Compared to the externally larger Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the LS 430
offers more front leg- and headroom, slightly more cabin volume (105.3 cu. ft.
vs. 105.0 cu. ft.), and a larger trunk (16.1 cu. ft. vs. 15.4 cu. ft.).
    In building the new LS 430, Lexus used a supercomputer to digitize the
precise surface design of the body.  The unit of measure used was 1/1000 of a
millimeter, ten times more precise than the typical 1/100 of a millimeter unit
used by other car companies.  The result is more-precisely stamped sheet metal
for better fit and assembly quality.  While Lexus has won the J.D. Power and
Associates five-year Vehicle Dependability Study every year it has been
eligible, the company made what it considers 57 major improvements for even
longer-lasting durability.

    In Search of True Luxury
    Before designing the LS 430, Lexus designers and engineers studied luxury
and craftsmanship outside the automotive realm.  They visited five-star hotel
rooms, including presidential/royal suites for national guests, and surveyed
first class aircraft cabins and luxury jet interiors.  They also observed
high-end jewelry/watch makers and guitar makers at work.
    The LS 430 adds new, higher grades of leather and wood.  The climate
control system features temperature and sun-sensing articulating air
registers.  If, for example, sunlight is concentrated on one side of the car,
the registers will automatically deliver more cooling air to that side.
Additional adjustments for the driver's seat include dual lumbar controls and
adjustable cushion length for greater thigh support.
    The standard combination wood/leather steering wheel features controls for
the audio system, which will include as standard an in-dash, single-feed
six-disc CD changer.  The new CD changer location allows for a larger dual
glove box, and expanded interior storage includes compartments in the center
console and under the front seats.
    The options available on the new LS 430 place it into a different category
entirely.  There are more than 15 major systems and features available,
including advanced Adaptive Variable Suspension with Air Suspension and a
DVD-ROM-based navigation system.  The GPS navigation system offers faster
performance and far greater map storage capacity than CD-ROM-based systems.
The system includes a large 7-inch screen and integrates with the optional
voice-activated digital/analog phone.
    Also optional is the first audio application by Mark Levinson, whose
components are used in custom home audio systems costing $100,000 and more.
Additional available features include:

    -- Climate control front seats (which use separate heating and cooling
       elements, not just fans)
    -- Parking clearance sonar
    -- Power moonroof
    -- Power adjustable rear seatbacks with memory
    -- Power rear sunshade and manual rear door sunshades
    -- Rear air conditioner with air purifier
    -- Rear seat heat and massage
    -- Voice-activated portable phone
    -- Power door and trunk closers
    -- Dual-level heated seats

    Lexus incorporated the new technology to make driving the LS 430 more
comfortable, convenient and pleasurable.  Even with the navigation system and
high-end audio, controls are easy for the driver or passengers to identify and

    High Performance With Ultra-Low Emissions
    The original Lexus LS 400 prescribed a V8 engine as the "price of entry"
in the premium luxury segment more than 10 years ago, when European luxury
models typically offered less powerful six-cylinder engines.  The new
290-horsepower 4.3-liter V8 in the LS 430, mated to a computer-controlled
five-speed automatic transmission, will rocket the Lexus flagship sedan from
0-60 mph in just 6.2 seconds.  Its 320 lb.-ft. of peak torque and enhanced
torque curve outclass some larger-displacement engines, thanks in large part
to Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i).  VVT-i eliminates the
traditional compromise between low-end torque and high-rpm horsepower by
optimizing valve overlap throughout the engine's speed range (not just at one
or two set speeds).  Lexus tuned the LS 430 engine to produce more torque
across a broad engine speed range, making the car feel more responsive under
all driving conditions.
    The LS 430 introduces the industry's first "torque-activated" powertrain
control, which governs the throttle based not just on pedal position, but on
vehicle speed and engine rpm, as well.  When climbing a hill, for example, the
controller will increase the throttle opening to provide more power without
the driver having to "floor it."  The car will behave more smoothly because
unwanted up-shifts and down-shifts are avoided, and the driver does not have
to keep depressing and releasing the gas pedal to maintain a set pace over
varying road conditions.
    Even with the increased performance, the Lexus LS 430 V8 meets Ultra Low
Emission Vehicle (ULEV) certification -- unusual in this segment.

    Taking Safety To The Next Level
    The LS 430 features a strong passenger cell protected by front and rear
crumple zone structures.  The Supplemental Restraint System in the 2001 LS 430
adds advanced variable-force front airbags and side curtain front and rear
airbags.  Sensors determine the force with which to deploy the front airbags,
helping to maximize occupant restraint performance.  The front seats and rear
outboard seats feature seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters.
    Lexus believes in giving the driver the technology to help avoid danger on
the road.  The LS 430 includes Brake Assist, which Lexus introduced on the
LS 400 for 2000.  Brake Assist interprets a quick, hard push of the brake
pedal as emergency braking and, if the driver has not stepped hard enough on
the brake pedal to activate the anti-lock brake system, Brake Assist
supplements the applied braking pressure.
    Vehicle Skid Control (VSC), introduced on the 1998 LS 400 and now
available on most Lexus models, helps maintain traction control under
demanding conditions by detecting and helping to correct for understeer and
oversteer.  The VSC system integrates traction control to help limit rear
wheel spin on slippery surfaces.  Both VSC and Brake Assist employ the sensors
and actuators of the standard four-channel anti-lock brake system (ABS).
B-roll footage is available by contacting Lexus Public Relations.