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25 years of Lexus innovation


Lexus is 25 this year. So we have looked for 25 Lexus world firsts. Here they are:

  1. The Lexus LS 600h was the world’s first full hybrid V8 at launch in 2010.
    Lexus LS 600h powertrain
  2. A ‘Climate Concierge’ system is fitted to the current-generation LS 600h. It is a world-first climate control system which uses infra-red sensors to monitor the facial temperature of everyone on board.
    A ‘Climate Concierge’ system is fitted to the current-generation LS 600h
  3. The LS 400 was the first car in the world to have satellite navigation fitted as standard in 1998.
  4. The forthcoming Lexus RC F is the first front engine/rear-wheel drive sports car to feature a Torque-Vectoring Differential. It uses a series of multi-plate clutches to shuffle torque between the rear wheels.
  5. The Lexus NX 300h is the first car in the industry to feature Clari-Fi, a technology which analyzes and improves the audio quality of all types of compressed, digitalized music sources (as part of the Mark Levinson Premium audio system).
    NX Mark Levinson audio system
  6. Lexus engineered the world’s first mass-produced rear-wheel drive luxury hybrid vehicle, the GS 450h in 2007.
  7. The 2006 Lexus LS 460 released the world’s first eight-speed automatic transmission.
  8. The Lexus Kokura plant in Japan is the world’s first and only dedicated hybrid manufacturing facility; the assembly line has a positive air pressure system to prevent airborne particles from contaminating any of the hybrid powertrain components.
  9. In 2005, the second-generation IS became the first car in the world to be fitted with a twin-chamber front passenger airbag, enabling greater protection to the neck and shoulders in an impact.
  10. Switchable air suspension debuted on the 2000 LS 430. The system maintains vehicle ride height at a specified level regardless of the number of passengers or load level. It can be raised by 20 mm for uneven roads and is automatically lowered at high speeds to improve aerodynamics.
  11. The 2005 Lexus RX 400h was the world’s first full hybrid luxury SUV. It mated a 3.3-liter V6 petrol engine to an electric motor to produce 269 hp.
  12. Arriving onto the premium hatchback in 2011, the CT 200h was the world’s first full hybrid luxury hatchback. It mates a 1.8-liter petrol engine to an electric motor to deliver 134 hp and Co2 emissions of 87 g/km (now 82 g/km on selected models). It remains the only full hybrid luxury hatchback in the world.
    The CT 200h was the world’s first full hybrid luxury hatchback
  13. The inlet duct of the powertrain on the CT 200h uses a highly porous material with the world’s first silencer plate for a hybrid powertrain. The result is quieter performance, but with a desirable air intake note.
  14. The current-generation GS 450h and GS 300h – launched in 2012 and 2013, respectively – feature a 12.3″ wide high-resolution multimedia display, a world first in a mass-produced vehicle.
  15. The GS range (2012 – present) and CT 200h can be specified with a steering wheel manufactured out of bamboo.
  16. The RX 450h is equipped with a second-generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI) that features the world’s first slide-type joystick mechanism. The joystick functions much like a computer mouse, controlling multimedia in the cabin.
  17. The CT 200h was the first car to be awarded the Quiet Mark in the UK, recognition from the Noise Abatement Society for its contribution to an improved aural environment.
  18. The 1989 Lexus LS 400 was the first car to feature a tilt-and-telescopic (adjustable) steering wheel to house a supplementary restraint system (SRS) air bag.
    LS400 airbag
  19. The third-generation LS 430 was the first car in the industry to feature a low reflection windscreen. A special coating applied to the glass helps to reduce glare in bright sunlight, which is particularly pronounced on lighter-colored dashboards.
  20. VVT-iE was the world’s first electronically controlled, variable valve timing system on the intake camshafts, and was fitted to the fourth-generation LS 460 of 2007. It differed to the hydraulically activated system that was previously fitted by working the full spectrum of engine speed and temperature. Variable valve timing continually monitors the timing of a valve lift in a combustion engine to improve performance.
  21. Laser-screw welding is a Lexus-first technology that employs accurate laser beams to create perfect spot welds around panel joints for optimal body stiffness. It was first used on the latest Lexus LS.
    Laser-screw welding is a Lexus-first technology
  22. The 1995 Lexus LS 400 was the first car ever to offer a six-disc CD auto-changer. It was available as an option.
  23. The seats of the second-generation LS 400 debuted an under-seat suspension system, featuring coil and torsion springs and anti-roll bars to improve long distance comfort and lateral support.
    LS 400 seat
  24. A Lexus – the second-generation LS 400 – was the first production car to feature a patented collapsible steering column. It had a corrugated shaft coupling that could absorb primary and secondary impacts in the event of a collision.
  25. In 2014, Lexus became the first car brand in the automotive industry to top the annual UK WhatCar?/JD Power customer satisfaction survey 12 times.
Source: Lexus

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