Lexus LS 430

For 2001, the LS 430 was introduced as part of a long list of LS generations. While previous LS redesigns were evolutionary, the 2001 update was a more thorough revision of the model's exterior and interior. The Lexus LS 430 had a completely redesigned suspension and a brand new 4.3 L engine generating 290 hp. Lexus claimed that the LS 430 could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds, which was quite impressive for this type and price. The engine electronics featured new torque-activated controls, which made throttle adjustments based on vehicle speed, engine rpm and pedal position. A three-inch wheelbase stretch resulted in more interior volume than the competing Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which made it a preferred model. It also allowed the engine to be positioned farther rearward for better balance. Features included Dynamic Laser Cruise Control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a DVD-based navigation system, power door and trunk closers and heated and cooled seats. These and other features, such as sonar-enabled Lexus Park Assist, deluxe leather, power reclining rear seats with massage and a rear cooler were offered in the Ultra Luxury package, which made for a superb ride in luxury. In the interior, the most recognizable design changes included added wood grain trim on the dashboard and doors as well as the addition of an LCD touch screen on the center console. New features included enlarged twin glove boxes, automatic oscillating air conditioning vents, additional storage drawers and the optional Mark Levinson customized premium sound system, which was very popular. The driver's seat added dual lumbar controls for comfortable driving and an adjustable cushion length feature for added thigh support. In the center console, a storage drawer was added to keep things organized. Further, laminated side glass was offered, and full front and rear side curtain airbags provided additional cabin protection.