Created in 1989, Lexus is a division of the Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation. They focus their attention on the luxury vehicle market and have become Japan’s largest-selling make of premium cars in the world. Their models are available in over 70 countries around the world. Lexus currently produces a wide range of luxury vehicles including sedans, coupes, convertibles, SUVs, and hybrid variants.

Company History

Though the company wasn’t founded until 1989, Lexus got its start as early as 1983. It was in this year that Toyota set their sites on developing a luxury sedan. This prototype sedan was code-named the F1 during its design and development.

The car was released in 1989 as the Lexus LS400. Lexus was added as a division of Toyota around this time. It is important to note that the name Lexus was only used for models in the North American market. When Toyota sold the cars in Japan, they were marketed under the Toyota marque until 2005.

The original LS400 was a near immediate hit in the United States market. It featured a 4.0-Liter V8 gasoline engine and rear-wheel drive along with a number of luxurious interior and exterior touches. A multimillion dollar advertising campaign accompanied the vehicle’s launch in the US. The LS400 was praised for its engine performance, quality of design, fuel economy, and overall value. It went on to win major awards from several of the largest car magazines in the United States.

The early success of the LS400 set the stage for Lexus to develop and expand its product line during the 1990s. In addition to releasing a number of new models, they also expanded their exports from Japan to the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada, and Australia. Other popular Lexus cars during the 1990s included the SC400 sports coupe, the ES300 sedan, the GS300 sports sedan, and the LX450, the brands’ first SUV.

Since the 2000s, Lexus has continued to expand its product line and fine-tune its current offerings. In the early 2000s, they spent a lot of money and energy developing a hybrid drive system that combined gasoline and electronic motors. The system, dubbed the Lexus Hybrid Drive system, is used in several Lexus models today.

Flagship Model

The Lexus F series is the company’s high-performance and flagship line of automobiles. In fact, the F refers to Flagship as well as Fuji Speedway, the primary site where the Lexus F series cars were tested.

Though there have been many vehicles in the F series lineup, the current flagship model is the Lexus IS F. The first generation of the car debuted at the North American International Auto Show in 2007. The car is currently in its second generation.

The IS F features a 5.0-Liter Direct-Injected V8 engine that produces 416 horsepower. The engine uses a two-stage intake system and an oil pump that is designed for high-speed cornering.

Several different editions of the Lexus IS F were produced. Two that were commercially available include the IS F Evolution and the IS F-Sport. The Evolution featured performance parts that lowered weight, increased handling, and improved braking. The F-Sport, which is still produced, featured slight performance and accessory upgrades on the standard IS F.

A special version of the Lexus IS F is provided to certain police departments for use as a law enforcement vehicle.

Current Models

Lexus currently produces a number of different models of cars. These are divided into five categories. The categories are sedan, convertible, SUV, hybrid, and F Series.

Sedan: Lexus’s current line of sedans include the IS, ES, GS, and LS.

Convertible: Lexus currently produces one convertible, the IS C.

SUV: Lexus’s current line of sports utility vehicles include the RX, GX, and LX.

Hybrid: Lexus’s current line of hybrid electric cars include the CT Hybrid, RX Hybrid, ES Hybrid, GS Hybrid, and LS Hybrid.

F-Series: Lexus’s current line of F-Series (high-performance) cars include the IS F, RC F, and CFA.

Previous Models

Lexus has developed and sold a number of previous models of cars over the years that are no longer produced today. A few of the most well-known include the CT, HS, SC, and RC.

Interesting Facts

Lexus has an extensive history in motorsports racing. In fact, taking part in racing events is one of the ways that the brand has marketed itself and its products since its very beginnings.

Team Lexus has achieved particular success in several racing disciplines and events. The team’s first victory was in the Championship tour car series during the 1999 series in the United States. Team Lexus has also won touring events in the company’s native Japan.

Another racing even that Lexus has been particularly successful in is the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona event. The company has won fifteen Rolex series racing events in Lexus performance automobiles.

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