I always keep an eye on the full-size luxury car segment. You know, the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-series and so on. Why wouldn’t I? It provides me a glimpse of what’s to come in the (more affordable) lower model cars years down the road! From navigation systems to true keyless vehicle operation, a lot of these firsts came out of the full-size luxury car segment. Now, as with most COTWs that I write, this week’s car sticks out for a couple of firsts that it debuted. So without further ado, this week’s Car of the Week is:
2007 Lexus LS460
The Lexus LS line has made a statement since it was introduced in 1990. Every time a new generation was introduced we saw new firsts, showing that neither Lexus nor Japan was not going to be just a one hit wonder in the full-size luxury car segment. In fact, the LS is currently the only Japanese large luxury car still being produced (sorry Q45), and continues to push the envelope with a hybrid version that was introduced in 2008.
What draws me to this 2007 model is a couple of features. First, it is the first car to house an 8-speed automatic transmission. Boy did they make a big deal about this with that commercial where it looks like the car is on a runway for take off. But in reality it is a big deal. Only a few cars have matched the technological prowess of Lexus in this department, and it took at least a couple of years for the other car makers to catch up.
Secondly, I’m drawn in by the way Lexus finished those tailpipes, perfectly integrating them into the bumper for what was the most sleek look I had ever seen. To this day other car makers have tried to match the fit and finish of the Lexus LS460 tailpipes (think Mazda 6 or Suzuki Kizashi), but sadly they only come close at best. The new Honda Accord Coupe is supposed to feature something similar based on the concept car they showed during the car show season. We’ll see how close they get to what I still call best overall in the LS460.
About the Car
The U.S. market first saw the LS in 1990 as the LS400, which was the first true Asian alternative to large European rear-wheel-drive luxury sedans. Though it has lived through several iterations since, the LS has always managed to keep its identity, both visually and technologically.
In 2007 the Lexus LS460 was available in two versions, normal or extended wheelbase. Both are powered by a 4.6L V8 making 380 HP and 367 lb-ft of torque (huge improvement over the outgoing ’06 LS430). Both versions offered the 8-speed automatic transmission in a rear wheel drive configuration. An Executive Seating configuration is available, which turns the car into a massive 4-seater with a refrigerated center console.
Chuck can be followed on Twitter @ChuckWhatTheF where he tweets about cars and other things “dudebros” are talking about.
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