Lexus LS 400

In August 1983, Toyota chairman Eiji Toyoda initiated the F1 project, which was a combination of "Flagship" and "No. 1 vehicle". This was also alternatively called the "Circle-F" project. This was his top-secret effort aimed at producing a world-class luxury sedan, and although, unlike past Toyota efforts, the F1 project was not bound by a specific budget or time constraints. It also did not utilize existing Toyota vehicle platforms or parts, but instead, chief engineer Ichiro Suzuki sought to create an all-new design that would surpass existing flagship luxury sedans. Precise targets included: a more aerodynamic exterior, quieter cabin, smoother ride and more fuel-efficient design versus American and European rivals. This of course sounded like a brilliant idea. The Lexus LS, one of the prized products of the project, is a full-size luxury sedan that serves as the flagship of Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota. The LS is noted as having one of the quietest automobile cabins in the world and is regarded as one of the most reliable vehicles ever built which is a great accomplishment. Since Lexus' debut in 1989, four generations of the V8-powered, rear wheel drive Lexus LS have been produced. The fourth generation LS Series, launched in 2006, now includes a long wheelbase and all-wheel drive hybrid models. The LS 400, the first flagship of the Lexus line, premiered at the North American International Auto Show in January 1989. Created to contend head-to-head with the luxury flagships of the principal auto manufacturers, the first generation LS was equipped with a 4.0L V8 engine, rear-wheel drive and a nicely leather-trimmed interior. The five-passenger cabin featured California Walnut accents, power-adjustable memory seats, soft-touch controls and an available Nakamichi customized premium sound system. The LS 400 was among the first luxury sedans to feature digital A/C readouts, power adjustable shoulder belts, front seat heaters and auto-off headlamps.