As prepared for:
2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) – Lexus LS 500 Reveal
Cobo Hall, Detroit,
Jan. 9, 2017
Jeff Bracken, Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager
Good morning everyone and welcome to Lexus.
This time last year … Akio Toyoda … our President and Chief Branding Officer… was here to debut the LC 500 — our all-new flagship performance coupe that’s due to hit dealer showrooms this May.
We recently held our first LC media driving event in Spain with reviews that any OEM would hope for.
Overall … many journalists asked … “what’s going on with Lexus?”
We really like that question…and we also like Autocar’s answer … “it’s a not so quiet revolution.”
The LC marks a revolution of exquisite design … balanced handling … with an evenly spaced 10-speed transmission …and an interior so beautiful and comfortable …it’s easy to feel energized in a way not previously delivered by any Lexus …except maybe the LFA.
Many of our "would-be" customers feel the same way and are sold on the LC …but they have one burning question … “How much is it?”
So … to begin with our first reveal this morning … we’re announcing to you …and our customers …that we have official pricing for the LC 500 and its hybrid sibling … the LC 500h.
Both will be available for under $100,000 …with the 5-liter …471 horsepower V8 …starting at $92,000 … and the multi-stage hybrid coming in at $96,510.
Our annual sales plan is 4,000 …but the significance of LC goes far beyond pure volume.
LC gets to the heart of our DNA.
It’s our halo coupe and marks a new era for Lexus with models that deliver a brave design… imaginative technology …and exhilarating performance.
And now… our second reveal. The World Premiere of our flagship sedan … LS.
When the Lexus brand …and the LS launched here in Detroit in 1989 … it was available only in the U.S.
Now … the LS is sold on six continents in about 90 markets globally.
So … 28 years and 8 million Lexus vehicles later … the LS is a true global citizen.
The enormity of this project was very clear to Chief Engineer Asahi and his team.
They started with a clean sheet of paper …or rather … many small ones.
Then …Chief Designer Suga sketched hundreds of designs on slips of paper … followed by miniature models about the size of my hand.
As the final form emerged … Suga-san depicted the wheels as flames …and moved them to the far outside edges of the car.
From there … the LS was molded into the design you’re about to see.
When the LS first arrived on the scene all those years ago … it set a new benchmark for what luxury could be in the automotive industry.
And now … we believe the vehicle you’re about to see … sets the next high watermark for experiential luxury today.
Ladies and Gentlemen … Lexus' new 5th generation Flagship Sedan … the 2018 LS 500.
This sedan delivers the physical presence and interior space of a prestige 3-box sedan …yet its silhouette is the shape of a four-door coupe.
The new design balances space and athleticism … highlighted by Lexus’ distinctive design language.
For example … the elaborate grille features 5,000 individual surfaces …that were all adjusted by hand by digital designers to bring it to life.
And the bold design reflects the completely reimagined driving dynamics …that take LS to a new, higher level.
Precise handling and steering response are achieved with the use of all-new architecture.
This is an extended version of the same global platform used in the LC coupe …and you can expect a similar exhilarating driving experience.
In developing the new LS …engineers leveraged lightweight materials …including ultra-high tensile steel and aluminum to reduce weight by more than 200 pounds compared to the current LS.
Then they used these savings to incorporate the new powertrain and enhance body rigidity.
The engineers also made substantial suspension improvements.
An all-new front high mount multi-link suspension increases rigidity …while the upgraded rear low mount multi-link suspension …reduces friction by 62 percent.
The new platform … combined with the redesigned suspension … creates a highly rigid, balanced luxury sedan that seamlessly merges:
- driving comfort,
- and personalized performance.
Compared to our current LS… it's …lower, longer, and wider … creating a stable base for an engaging drive under any condition.
Those wheels of flame that our Chief Designer envisioned …have come to life in five different varieties to enhance the vehicle’s assertive stance.
To further establish ideal balance … the powertrain has been moved lower and toward the center of the car.
Powering the new LS is an all-new V6 with twin turbos.
It was developed through our F1 technology and signifies the future direction of Lexus.
This new engine provides V8-level power and performance …while minimizing … noise, vibration, and fuel consumption.
The long stroke and optimized stroke-to-bore ratio contribute to high-speed combustion and high efficiency.
This V6 puts the LS 500 in the same league as our competitors' V8s with a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds.
The new engine generates 415 horsepower and 442 pound feet of torque.
It’s paired with the segment’s first 10-speed automatic transmission.
The gear ratios are spaced ideally for quick response and smooth acceleration.
To optimize the new platform, suspension, turbocharged engine, and 10-speed transmission… the new LS uses the most advanced dynamic control system ever in a Lexus.
Our customers will feel the benefit of …
- precise handling,
- direct steering,
- and smooth power of the new LS.
The LS also makes a strong safety statement … with standard Lexus Safety System Plus.
And … an available advanced safety system bundles cutting edge active safety technologies …and includes the world’s first intuitive braking and pedestrian detection with active steering.
So … if a pedestrian is detected in the lane ahead an alert will appear in the world's largest heads-up display.
And if a collision is imminent … the LS will automatically brake and steer around the person …while staying in the lane.
Beyond its outstanding driving dynamics and innovative technology … the new LS embraces two fundamental elements of its Japanese roots.
The first is “omotenashi”… or Japanese hospitality…and the second is Takumi master craftsmanship that lives at the heart of our production quality.
For example … this is reflected in subtle touches … such as beautiful interior ambient lighting …inspired by Japanese lanterns …and armrests that appear to float next to the door panel.
More in the spirit of omotenashi is the available air suspension system activated by the smart key …to raise the car and open the seat bolsters… welcoming drivers as they get behind the wheel.
Once inside … a 28-way adjustable driver’s seat with Shiatsu massage and heating is available.
Rear passengers have available reclining power seats with …
- seat heaters,
- and individual climate control.
With the executive package… additional relaxation is available with a heated power rear seat…also featuring Shiatsu massage … and a raised ottoman for passengers to rest their feet.
Other options include a panoramic roof … 3D surround Mark Levinson audio with ceiling speakers… and the 24-inch color heads-up display.
Also … to help drivers stay connected … the 18 model year multimedia system includes…10 years of Enform safety and service connect … Dynamic Navigation that updates map information in real time … and App Suite 2.0 …which allows drivers to customize their screens to include favorite apps … such as Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Yelp.
The all-new 2018 LS 500 demonstrates a world-class offering from Lexus and will go on sale near the end of this year.
With its dynamic, engaging drive … craftsmanship that’s surprising in any vehicle …and innovative safety technology that helps make people better drivers… the LS 500 will lead the way as we invite our customers around the globe to “Experience Amazing.”
And to help launch the next chapter in Lexus’ history … you’ll see the all-new LS and LC in a Super Bowl spot.
The ad will feature a few surprises and include the new voice of Lexus … Minnie Driver.
We’ll have more information to share soon.
Now …I’d like to thank you for joining us this morning.
We will be here on stage for a little while …then feel free to visit us at the Lexus display.
Our display is all-new this year and is an example of the exciting global direction our Lexus International President … Fukuichi-san is taking our brand.
Just as we’re inviting our customers to Experience Amazing …we’d like to extend that to the media … as well.
Please feel welcome to join us for some great food in our luxury lounge …in our new display.
Chief Engineer Asahi …Chief Designer Suga …and President Fukuichi …I’d like to invite you to join me on stage.