When Lexus began its journey of selling cars, the market was focused more on sedans and coupes. No Sport Utility Vehicles to speak of as the term wasn’t even coined back in 1989. Today , however, is a totally different story. SUVs are everywhere and the Japanese luxury carmaker has 5 of them in its stable.
Still, Lexus has not forgotten about its core products—the executive sedans. Two of its very first offerings around 31 years ago were the LS flagship and front-wheel drive ES. While the lineup was small, it did set new benchmarks in terms of the luxury car experience.
But what has become of these two nameplates? A mere glance is all it takes to see that they have adapted more coupe-like styling, especially for the ES. It’s the right blend of sportiness and sophistication, with the LS obviously projecting a more powerful image.
Stepping inside, it’s expected that you see and feel nothing but the best materials in the business. And that’s exactly what you’ll get. Each car gets Japanese inspired wood, leather, and other trimmings, set in a relaxing and comfort-oriented environment. This is complemented with cutting-edge tech that’s easy to use and intuitive. Moreover, both cabins have been designed with the user in mind and have been crafted by skilled Takumi craftsmen.
But while their designs re a mix of traditional and modern cues, it’s a different story under the metal, as both the ES and LS are marvels of technology on wheels. The ES is still driven by the front wheels but now rides on the New Global Architecture K, which translates to a smoother ride and better handling.
For the LS, it’s a mix of executive class refinement and sporty driving dynamics, thanks to its potent bi-turbo V6 mill producing 415bhp, sitting atop the LC’s rigid yet comfortable chassis. This equates to a refined ride, which is one of the car’s (and the brand’s) hallmarks, along with sporty performance.
With today’s automotive landscape so focused on safety, Lexus steps up to the challenge with tech such as blind spot monitoring, lane keep assistance, collision avoidance, and the like. It also fits both cars with a Pop-Up hood that well, pops up, in the event of a collision to reduce injuries, especially to pedestrians.
Yes, SUVs may be running the show lately. For Lexus, however, executive sedans are still the stars of the show. The Japanese luxury carmaker still values the models that have helped make it what it is. It has even bestowed each one with the latest technology to make them competitive in their respective segments. And it has mixed these with traditional traits that set them apart in this digital world.