The LS430 is a large, rear-drive sedan, powered by a 4.3-litre, dual overhead cam V8 pumping out 207kW of power and 417Nm of torque. Chief designer of the Lexus LS430, Makoto Ooshima, told American industry journal automotive News the car’s design was inspired by the Japanese bullet train as the car was tested in the same wind tunnel. The maker claims the LS430 is the most aerodynamic sedan in the world, with a drag coefficient of 0.25. (An average family sedan is 0.32.)
The 2005 Toyota Lexus LS 430 has powered door-closing system, which pulls the doors tight against the seals. The headlight beams swivel by 15 degrees left or right to follow the road according to speed and steering input and there’s a reversing camera that transmits images to a 7in screen that also displays sat-nav information. Voice recognition technology responds to about 300 commands for the navigation, audio and air-conditioning, while Bluetooth technology permits cable-free use of mobile phones and the like. A tyre pressure monitoring system is low-tech in comparison.
The latest version of the 32-valve V8 engine uses less fuel and produces less noxious emissions. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Shift Logic Control that responds to road grade and acceleration/deceleration activity. A Sequential Shift feature also allows the driver to control gearshifts manually, if desired.
“This car’s role is to elevate Lexus to a truly world-class level,” said Jim Press, the head of Toyota Motor Sales USA and it means air-cooled seats, automatic rain-sensitive windscreen wipers and parking sensors, Mark Levinson audio/navigation system with handy rear camera, voice command and Bluetooth wireless connections; air suspension; rear door sunshades; rear seat adjuster with power/slide and memory and massage; and parking assist
One of the high technology items built in to every LS430 is a Pre-Collision System (PCS) which can reduce collision severity and damage by use of millimeter-wave radar that detects obstacles in front of the car. If the system determines that a collision is imminent, it retracts the driver and front passenger seatbelts. PCS also prepares the Brake Assist system, which, after the driver applies the brakes, automatically applies increased braking force to help reduce collision speed.
Notable is a Supplemental Restraint Systems (SRS) that features variable-force front airbags. The front seat-mounted side airbags have been redesigned to provide a greater coverage area, and the body structure has been strengthened to meet the latest side impact standards, which take into account higher-riding vehicles such as SUVs. Front and rear side curtain airbags provide protection in certain types of severe side impacts. The LS430 also features knee airbags for the driver and front passenger, four-channel, four-sensor anti-lock brake system (ABS) and the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) that helps control side skids.
Toyota’s premium Lexus brand was the top-rated nameplate for the fifth year in a row, with new owners reporting the fewest defects and complaints in a survey by J.D. Power and Associates.
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