The New Lexus LS Finally Comes Home To Japan

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
the new lexus ls finally comes home to japan

Continuing our coverage of Japanese cars newly introduced to Japan after they had been shown everywhere else, we present you today the new Lexus LS, live from Tokyo.

Quite fittingly, the event was held at the swank Tokyo American Club, the outpost of American culture (initiation fee $33,000, monthly dues $280), located in Tokyo’s embassy district. After all, the spiritual home of Lexus is America. The allegedly voluntary export restraints of the 80s prompted the Japanese to go upscale in their exports. The yen, which was ultra cheap in the early eighties, soon started to rise, which helped to fund transplants, along with the purchase of Hawaiian golf courses and the Rockefeller Center.

Months after Alex Dykes test-drove the Lexus LS 460 and the Lexus 600hL, the Japanese media also could have a look at it. Today’s launch event was above the usual stingy standards (there was finger food and free Lexus-branded bottled water), but it was nothing compared to the lavish Lexus LS launch party in San Francisco. Alex Dykes conveniently forgot to tell you about that party, but us poor schmucks of the Japanese media were shown a video.

What else should I tell you? Through Alex, you already know more about the LS than the Japanese Press learned today. There are some minor differences between the Japanese LS and the American version, one being the side of the steering wheel, and the other the price.

TypeGradeDrivelineYenConvertedLS 460LRear Wheel10,300,000$131,950LS 460LAll Wheel10,800,000$138,356LS 460CRear Wheel8,700,000$111,453LS 460CAll Wheel9,200,000$117,858LS600hLAll Wheel12,500,000$160,134LS600hLExecutiveAll Wheel15,500,000$198,566

No wonder Lexus aims to sell only 300 a month in Japan. However, should anyone ever mention the artificially low, currency-manipulated yen again, then I suggest that you cover your ears. Because I will scream.

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  • Wmba Wmba on Oct 11, 2012

    I don't like the front end on these new Lexuses. Mercedes, BMW, and Audi get recognizable faces that last for decades in one iteration or another. The lack of long term identity for Lexus just means they're still floundering around trying to find something, anything! they can call their own. So they made a choice, a visual nightmare that will wipe out pedestrian's legs at just below mid-calf, negating the soft landing on the hood. Utter fail in the looks and safety departments. Might as well buy a Genesis if wobbling around in silence is your idea of automotive nirvana. Save some money, and act the hip rebel. But wait, I forgot the Lexus Service Experience, where flunkies pretend to hang on your every word as if you were truly important. It's as phoney as the car's looks.

  • Lightspeed Lightspeed on Oct 11, 2012

    I saw the web-cast of the LS's American launch and it was the most pathetic amateurish thing since the "Volt Dance." It damaged the brand for me, and I drive one! (Fortunately a spin in the new GS made up for it).

  • FifaCup Loving both Interior and exterior designs.
  • FifaCup This is not good for the auto industry
  • Jeff S This would be a good commuter vehicle especially for those working in a large metropolitan area. The only thing is that by the time you put airbags, backup cameras, and a few of the other required safety features this car would no longer be simple and the price would be not much cheaper than a subcompact. I like the idea but I doubt a car like this would get marketed in anyplace besides Europe and the 3rd World.
  • ScarecrowRepair That's what I came to say!
  • Inside Looking Out " the plastic reinforced with cotton waste used on select garbage vehicles assembled by the Soviet Union. "Wrong. The car you are talking about was the product German engineering, East German. It's name was Trabant.