Admittedly, the game-changing Lexus LS 400 did not arrive in showrooms until 1989 but two years previously the car’s final design was approved.
Four hundred and fifty LS 400 prototypes had been built in the years leading up to 1987, which had allowed Lexus engineers the opportunity to perfect the car’s dimensional tolerances and hone the aerodynamics. As well as performance testing on German autobahns, the final shape was refined more than 50 times in the wind tunnel and its drag co-efficiency of Cd 0.29 was better than contemporary sports cars such as the Nissan 300ZX.
In addition to this, 1987 saw Lexus introduce an anti-ageing programme to ensure the longevity of components and finishes that would be used during production. That programme extended to the bodyshell itself, where the LS was recognised as the stiffest of its kind within the luxury car market.