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Lexus LS

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Following on from the success of Honda’s Acura, Toyota decided to establish its own luxury marque in the US. Lexus sold warmed-over Toyota Camrys and Soarers, but its technological tour de force was the LS, a clean-sheet design aimed as a rival to the Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse, called Toyota Celsior in the home market. The styling might have been very conservative—comparisons to Mercedes-Benz were regularly made, though it had a very Japanese feel about it—and the car débuted around the same time as the Honda NS-X, showing the world that Japan could take on the world’s best and beat it resoundingly. LS found huge favour in the US—even Bill Gates had one—but Europe proved harder to crack. However, the name was not used in the home market till the fourth-generation model in 2006. The fifth-generation model was more a departure, with a low, long, six-light body.

Marque: Lexus | Predecessor: Toyota Celsior

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