From Academic Kids

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Lexus is a brand name used by the Toyota Motor Corporation in North America, The Middle East, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand for luxury automobiles. Some believe the name comes from the combination of "luxury" and "elegance"; others that it is derived from 'luxury exports to the US'. It directly competes with such traditional luxury brands as Audi, BMW, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz. Toyota will market the brand name in Japan in 2005. Lexus is the luxury division of Toyota.

Lexus was inspired by the success of the luxury Toyota Supra and the Toyota Cressida models. Both the Supra and Cressida were rear wheel drive cars with a powerful (7M-GE/7M-GTE) type engine.

The first Lexus-branded models, the V-8 powered LS 400 and the smaller ES 250, appeared in 1989. The similarity of the name Lexus as well as the fact they shared a common market (wealthy lawyers) promptly provoked an unsuccessful lawsuit from the owners of the LexisNexis database service.

The flagship LS 400, known as the Toyota Celsior in the Japanese domestic market, had a unique design, sharing no major elements with previous Toyota vehicles, with a new 4.0 L V8 engine. It was widely praised for its quietness, well-appointed interior, fine engine performance, outstanding build quality, and value. (In some markets, it was priced against Mercedes-Benz's and BMW's mid-sized models, while offering size, performance, and quality comparable to their full-size cars). It was generally regarded as a major shock to the European marques, but it has never managed to gain the affection of the public in the way of the older luxury manufacturers (a fact not helped by anonymous styling and suspension regarded by reviewers outside the U.S. as a compromise of handling for ride comfort). It won several major motoring awards when released.

These virtues have been maintained in subsequent iterations of the LS, including the LS 430, and the range has been expanded with other models (the Toyota Windom-based ES 330, the small, sporty, rear-drive IS 200 and IS 300 (based on the Japanese Domestic Market Toyota Altezza), the Toyota Land Cruiser-based LX 470 SUV, and the GS models). The world's second mass-production hybrid SUV was a Lexus (After the Ford Escape SUV in summer 2004). The SC 300/400 was Lexus' first coupe that made its way to the United States. Subsequently the second generation Sc-430 became the first convertible ever to be offered by the company. Lexus has been the number one selling luxury nameplate in the United States for the past 5 years.

Lexus Cars

External link

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