Lexus LS 400 Second generation
|Also called||Toyota Celsior (Japan)|
|Production||October 1994–July 2000|
|Designer||Makoto Oshima (1992)|
|Engine||4.0 L 1UZ-FE V8|
|Transmission||4-speed A340E automatic 5-speed A650E automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,850 mm (112.2 in)|
|Length||4,996 mm (196.7 in)|
|Width||1,829 mm (72.0 in)|
|Height||1,420–1,435 mm (55.9–56.5 in)|
|Curb weight||1,659–1,764 kg (3,657–3,889 lb)|
The second-generation Lexus LS 400 (UCF20) debuted in November 1994 (for the 1995 model year) with a longer wheelbase and similar specifications as the original model. The public unveiling of the vehicle occurred in a gala ceremony held at the San Francisco Opera House in California. The sedan was equipped with an updated 4.0-liter 1UZ-FE V8 engine, producing 194 kilowatts (260 hp) and 366 newton metres (270 ft·lbf) of torque. Internally, over 90% of the redesigned LS 400's composition was new or redesigned, with increased sound insulation, a strengthened body structure, suspension updates, and improved brakes. The redesigned model was 95 kg (209 lb) lighter than its predecessor and achieved slightly better fuel economy. The 0–100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) time improved to 7.5 seconds.
Development of the second-generation LS 400 began in early 1991. Given the first-generation model's successful reception and high level of customer satisfaction with its design, replicating the original LS 400's attributes with its successor was one of chief engineer Kazuo Okamoto's primary goals (he stated that "a tradition cannot be founded if you reject the first generation"). Externally, the most significant change was an increase in wheelbase length of 36 mm (1.4 in), resulting in more interior space and an additional 66 mm (2.6 in) of rear seat legroom.However, as the overall length remained the same, trunk capacity was slightly reduced. The more aerodynamic body (Cd 0.28) retained the general profile and contours of the original LS 400 and was the work of the Calty Design Research center in the U.S. Designers had evaluated 20 competing concepts, including several with a radically changed body, before selecting a winning entry in 1992 that included forms and contours similar to the original LS 400. An evolutionary redesign was the ultimate result, with new design features consisting of sharper angles, curved body lines, and a beveled grille. More prominent side lines provided a reference point for parking maneuvers, and forward visibility was improved. Development lasted from 1991 until conclusion in the second quarter of 1994.
The redesigned LS 400 interior received upgraded features, varying from dual-zone climate controls to rear cupholders. A newly patented seat cushion design, similar to the car's suspension, utilized lightweight internal coil springs and stabilizer bars to improve comfort. One of the first in-dash CD changers was offered as an option. Safety enhancements included enlarged crumple zones, three-point seat belts at all positions, and a new collapsible steering column. In Japan, the Toyota Celsior equivalents were offered in the same "A", "B", and top-spec "C" configurations as before, along with an additional selection of exterior colors. Several optional features, such as a compact disc-based Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation system and reclining rear seats, were available only in Japan.
At its U.S. debut, the redesigned LS 400 retained a pricing advantage over European competitors in its largest market, launching with a base price of US$51,000. However, cost differences had narrowed following more aggressive pricing and added feature content from rival manufacturers. To promote their new flagship, Lexus launched a US$50 million advertising campaign, the most expensive marketing effort since the launch of the division. In mid-1995, sales slowed as the U.S. government threatened tariffs on Japanese luxury cars over the widening U.S.-Japan trade deficit, potentially raising the price of a fully optioned LS 400 to over US$100,000. Subsequent negotiations averted the sanctions by the second quarter of that year, and sales recovered in the following months. Ultimately, second-generation LS 400 sales were not as voluminous as the original model;production totaled approximately 114,000 units.
Production of the UCF20 ran from October 1994 to June 1997. For 1997, a limited "Coach Edition" LS 400 was produced in partnership with American leather manufacturer Coach Inc. The edition featured Coach leather seats; embroidered emblems on the exterior, floormats, and armrest; special colors and added trim; and a Coach cabin bag. Production was limited to a yearly run of 2,500 units.
Designed in 1996, in September 1997 a revised LS 400 was introduced for the 1998 model year. Changes were a five-speed automatic transmission, increased engine output (to 216 kilowatts (290 hp), with variable valve timing (VVT-i), and an added 41 newton metres (30 ft·lbf) of torque. Acceleration times and fuel economy were improved as a result. The suspension and steering also received minor tweaks to improve feel and handling. Stylistically, the vehicle sported a new front fascia, side mirrors, and updated wheels; a rear windshield diversity antenna replaced the conventional power mast.The cabin received upgrades, including a trip computer, HomeLink, retractable rear headrests, reading lamps, and ultraviolet-tinted glass, while the climate control gained a micron filtration feature with a smog sensor. A hard disk drive-based GPS navigation system became an option in the U.S. Added safety features included front side airbags, vehicle stability control, and in 2000, brake assist. The headlights were also equipped with a programmable delay feature for proximity illumination. In February 2000, the limited "Platinum Series" LS 400 was introduced at the Chicago Auto Show in partnership with American Express. The edition featured most luxury options standard, along with separate exterior colors, wheels, badging, and two years' no-fee use of an American Express Platinum Card.
|Drivetrain specifications by generation|
|Engine||4.0 L V8||4.0 L V8||4.0 L V8||4.3 L V8||4.6 L V8||5.0 L V8 hybrid|
|Power||190 kW (250 hp)||194 kW (260 hp)||216 kW (290 hp)||216 kW (290 hp)||255 kW (342 hp) 283 kW (380 hp)||327 kW (439 hp)|
|Torque||353 N·m (260 ft·lbf) @4400 rpm||366 N·m (270 ft·lbf) @4500 rpm||407 N·m (300 ft·lbf) @4000 rpm||434 N·m (320 ft·lbf) @3400 rpm||455 N·m (336 ft·lbf) @4100 rpm 498 N·m (367 ft·lbf) @4100 rpm||520 N·m (380 ft·lbf) @4000 rpm|