Lexus flagship sedan is redesigned for 2001, getting more aerodynamic styling, a larger V-8 engine and several new features. Engine size increases from 4.0 to 4.3 liters, and the name changes accordingly from LS 400 to LS 430.
This is the third generation of the LS, which debuted with the Lexus brand in 1990 and was redesigned for 1995. Lexus is Toyotas luxury division, and the LS 430 competes with cars such as the BMW 5 Series and 7 Series, Infiniti Q45, Jaguar XJ8 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-Class.
The base price on the LS 430 is $54,550, including the $545 destination charge, but optional equipment can push the price much higher. Chrome wheels, for example, are $1,700 to $1,800, depending on the type, and a navigation system, heated seats and a power moonroof in a package adds up to $4,000.
With the longer wheelbase and a higher roof, Lexus says there is more inside the LS 430 than the LS 400 in all major dimensions. Leather upholstery and wood trim are standard in the five-passenger LS 430, which has a 14-way power drivers seat and a 10-way adjustable power front-passenger seat. An in-dash six-CD changer also is standard.
Under the Hood
Horsepower for the 4.3-liter V-8 is rated at 290, the same as last year, but Lexus says variable-valve timing, improvements to the five-speed automatic transmission and other changes give the rear-drive LS 430 quicker acceleration and lower emissions than the LS 400.
A dual-stage front airbag on the passenger side, side-impact airbags for both front seats, and curtain-type airbags for both the front and rear seats are standard, along with antilock brakes, traction control and lateral-skid control features.