Every Lexus model is identified by a two-letter acronym, but these letters are not random. Each Lexus model name carries a meaning that is descriptive of the model upon which it appears, as we reveal below.
Lexus model name: LS
LS stands for Luxury Sedan. The original LS 400 – the car that launched Lexus back in 1989 – was the work of 60 designers, 1,400 engineers, 2,300 technicians and over 200 support workers. It was billed as the finest luxury car in the world by parent company Toyota as well as the motoring press. The Sedan part of the name refers to the model’s traditional four-door, two-box shape.
Learn more: History of the Lexus LS 400
Lexus model name: GS
The mid-size GS followed in the footsteps of LS by adopting Sedan as a suffix. The prefix stood for Grand, which symbolised the model’s middle position within the Lexus saloon model line-up during its production.
Learn more: History of the Lexus GS
Lexus model name: ES
Originally launched alongside LS back in 1989, the mid-size Lexus Executive Sedan is recognised as the brand’s most popular saloon – a fact that has contributed to the seven-generation model’s availability in Europe from 2019 onwards.
Learn more: Lexus ES
Lexus model name: IS
Since the arrival of the IS 200 in 1999, the Lexus IS range has always combined traditional Lexus qualities in a smaller, more mechanically dynamic package aimed at younger customers. Fittingly, IS stands for Intelligent Sports.
Learn more: History of the Lexus IS
Lexus model name: CT
CT stands for Creative Touring. The car is Creative in the sense that it dared to debut a full hybrid powertrain in a segment dominated by diesels, while Touring can be interpreted as dispelling the myth that the batteries used to power the electric motor compromise passenger and luggage space.
Lexus model name: RC
The Lexus RC was designed to challenge perceptions about what a self-charging, petrol-electric hybrid should look like. As the first Lexus hybrid packaged in a premium two-door coupe shell, this Radical Coupe not only delivers impressive design, Lexus luxury and craftsmanship, but a refined and engaging driving experience, too.
Learn more: What is the Lexus RC F GT3?
Lexus model name: LC
Imagine a vehicle that combines the luxuries of a flagship saloon with the seductive, sporting aesthetic of a grand touring coupe. That vehicle is the Lexus LC, or Luxury Coupe, a flagship two-plus-two that is engineered in every dimension to deliver a very special and rewarding driving experience.
Learn more: Lexus LC – a Takumi masterclass
Lexus model name: RX
The RX model name stands for Radiant Crossover, although this term is seldom mentioned in literature related to RX. The word Radiant can be interpreted as representing the bright new future that Lexus envisioned at the car’s launch at the start of the Millennium. The model was our first sports utility vehicle, marking a Crossover point between a luxury saloon and an off-roader.
Learn more: History of the Lexus RX
Lexus model name: NX
Like its bigger brother, the Nimble Crossover NX marks the point at which a luxury mid-size saloon meets a capable off-road vehicle. Its smaller, more wieldy size endows it with a nimble nature that makes it a perfect tool for urban and country routes alike.
Learn more: Striking angles of the Lexus NX and architecture
Lexus model name: UX
The arrival of the UX marks the first time Lexus has produced a truly compact luxury crossover. During development, Lexus aimed to embody a free-spirited style that would appeal to modern urban explorers – people who seek fresh, dynamic takes on luxury lifestyle. Hence the name UX stands for Urban Crossover.
Learn more: Introducing the new Lexus UX