ABC’s of Lexus: Part II

We all know our ABC’s, but do you know the ABC’s of Lexus?  Learn more about the innovative new features found on the Lexus model lineup by going back to the basics. This is Lexus, defined.  Part II of the ABC’s of Lexus: your updated Lexus Glossary.


Artificial Intelligence Shift Control

Standard on the 2017 Lexus ES, GX, LS, and LX – AI Shift control automatically changes the shift pattern in response to road conditions and/or the driver’s intention to enhance driving comfort.  Basically, AI Shift Control helps deliver a smooth, responsive driving experience by automatically controlling the transmission gear selection – thank you, Lexus! 

Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)

Standard in the 2017 Lexus GS, GS F, LX, and RX – Blind Spot Monitor alerts the driver if a vehicle is approaching in an adjacent lane, while the Rear Cross-Traffic assists the driver when backing out of a parking spot or driveway.  BSM with RCTA helps make lane changes safer and provides peace of mind when pulling out of a busy parking lot.

Blind Spot Monitor – discrete blinking lights in the mirrors alert the driver without causing a distraction.

Center and Rear Torsen Differential

This is the mechanical torque-sensing differential that always favors the wheel or axle with the best grip in order to arrest wheel spin before invoking power-reducing traction control. A Torsen® center differential is used on all-wheel-drive models; a Torsen® rear differential is used on rear-wheel-drive F SPORT models.

Standard on 2017 RC F and available on GS, IS, LS, RC


RCF Blue4
Standard Torsen Differential on Lexus RC F


Driver Attention Monitor

ZA Option on GX460 PCS
If you have the LDA and Pre-Collision System Buttons on your GX steering wheel you will also have the Driver Attention Monitor.  All part of the Driver Assistance Package.

Lexus explains the advanced system:

The Driver Attention Monitor, part of the Advanced Pre-Collision System (PCS), uses a camera mounted on the steering column to monitor the driver’s face and eyelids. Two near-infrared lights are built into the camera to illuminate the driver’s face and eyelids–even in the dark. The Driver Attention Monitor uses the width of the face and the position of the eyes and mouth to calculate the position of the driver’s face; it then uses the width of the upper and lower lines of the eyes to calculate the position of the driver’s eyelids. If the system detects the driver not looking directly ahead for a few seconds or more, and if an obstacle is detected ahead, the system alerts the driver. The alert consists of a warning beep, a flashing light on the instrument panel and a “BRAKE!” warning message in the multi-information display.

Driver Attention Monitor is available on 2017 Lexus GX (with Driver Assistance Package ZA) and 2017 LS

EV mode
EV mode in CT 200h

EV Mode

Standard on the Lexus Hybrid models, this mode allows the vehicle to travel short distances at moderate speeds without using the gasoline engine. It allows the vehicle to maneuver within a parking lot or garage in a quiet, emission-free mode. EV mode can only be accessed if the battery has a sufficiently high level of charge.

Forward Collision Warning (FCW)

Forward Collision Warning is one of the many components that make up the Pre-Collision System which is included in the comprehensive Lexus Safety System+ package. Forward Collision Warning adds another level of confidence and peace of mind, with technology that can detect obstructions and help the driver take action to prevent or mitigate collisions.   Standard on 2017 ES, GS, GS F, LX and RX

Forward Collision Warning is part of the Pre-Collision System

G-Force Artificial Intelligence Shift Control

Kind of a mouthful, G-Force Artificial Intelligence Shift Control is actually an enhancement to the existing AI Shift Control.  First introduced on 2014 IS models with 8-Speed Sport Direct Shift transmission (IS 350 RWD and IS 350 RWD F SPORT), G-AI Shift Control now comes on most Lexus models including:

  • IS (8-speed)
  • GS
  • GS F
  • LS
  • RC
  • RC F
  • LC
  • NX
  • RX

G-AI Shift Control automatically selects the optimum gear and downshift pattern in response to G forces generated by acceleration and deceleration. The selected gear is maintained through the corner for optimum acceleration when exiting the corner.  G-AI Shift Control helps ensures the ideal gear selection for deceleration when entering the corner, chassis balance through the corner and acceleration when exiting the corner.

G-AI Shift Control helps you corner like the pros

Heads Up Display

Heads Up Display is not a new feature, but it has been revamped and provides a sharp image appearing approximately 6.6 feet forward of the driver thanks to the liquid crystal display (LCD) built into the Heads Up Display unit.  Both the height and brightness of the display is adjustable and even comes in color for the 2017 LX and all-new 2018 LC.  The HUD is linked to the meters and navigation system and projects a variety of information, such as the current vehicle speed and route guidance to a set destination.

HUD is available in the 2017 Lexus GS, GS F, LX and RX and one of those standard added options for 2018 Lexus LC

Heads Up Display in the Lexus GS

Intelligence Clearance Sonar (ICS)

First available on the 2017 Lexus RX, Intelligence Clearance Sonar adds an automatic braking function to Blind Spot Monitor with RCTA and Intuitive Parking Assist.

Intelligent Clearance Sonar can reduce drive force and automatically apply braking to avoid or mitigate contact with the approaching vehicle or obstacle.
Rear Cross-Traffic Braking radar sensors in the rear quarters of the vehicle are designed to detect oncoming vehicles when the vehicle is in reverse, while Intuitive Parking Assist with Auto Braking sonar sensors in the front and rear bumpers are designed to detect obstacles in the vehicle’s path during low-speed maneuvering.
When Rear Cross-Traffic Braking detects an oncoming vehicle or Intuitive Parking Assist with Auto Braking detects a nearby obstacle in the vehicle’s path, visual and audible warnings alert the driver.
If the driver does not take action when prompted by the audible and visual alerts, Intelligent Clearance Sonar will reduce drive force and then apply the brakes to help avoid or mitigate contact with the approaching vehicle or obstacle.
ICS from video
Intelligent Clearance Sonar in 2017 Lexus RX
ICS on or off 2
Turning on Parking Assist and ICS in Lexus RX
Intuitive Parking Assist with Auto Braking
ICS helps to safeguard RX bumpers and their owners’ garages worldwide

Justice League

Did you know the 2018 Lexus LC is in the new Justice League movie, Black Panther?  Check it out…

LC movie
2018 LC in new Justice League Comic Book Movie, Black Panther – coming soon

Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS)

Standard on 2017 Lexus GX, the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System or KDSS helps to limit and control body sway when on the road.  Loads of benefits, KDSS is one system we wouldn’t want to go without.

Benefits of KDSS:

  • Front and rear stabilizer bars automatically firm or relax in effect, optimizing suspension performance
  • During normal on-road driving, firm stabilizer bars promote consistent handling
  • During off-road driving, relaxed stabilizer bars enhance capability because of the increase in suspension travel. The wheels are freer to roll over rough terrain without rocking the vehicle or losing traction
2017 Lexus GX 460 SPORT with standard KDSS

Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) System with Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS)

Available now on GS and RC, the Lexus Dynamic Handling System with Dynamic Rear Steering is seen (in-part) on the 2018 LC with Performance Package.

Lexus lays out the function of LDH with DRS for you here:

Available on certain F SPORT RWD models only*, the Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system with Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS) and Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) provides target vehicle characteristics in accordance with vehicle speed, allowing the turning angles of the front and rear wheels to be changed arbitrarily in response to the steered angle of the steering wheel. LDH consists of the Variable Gear-Ratio Steering (VGRS) system, which controls the turning angle of the front wheels, and the Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS) system, which controls the turning angle of the rear wheels. LDH integrates and controls the VGRS, DRS and Electric Power Steering (EPS) systems in order to achieve superior vehicle stability and reaction performance in response to the driver’s intention. The system controls the turning angles of the front and rear wheels in accordance with the steered angle of the steering wheel and the vehicle speed to achieve target vehicle characteristics. The LDH system drives the steering actuator assembly in the VGRS system and the rear steering link assembly in the DRS system in accordance with the steered angle of the steering wheel and the vehicle speed; thus controlling vehicle slip angle and yaw rate to achieve target vehicle characteristics. Control of the rear wheels’ turning angle by the DRS system is calculated by the front steering control ECU and actuated by the driving of a DC motor in the rear steering link assembly (via the rear steering control ECU). In the low-speed range, yaw rate characteristics are set high to achieve reduction of the driver’s steering efforts and to shorten the turning radius; vehicle slip characteristics in the low-speed range have been optimized. In the medium speed range, yaw rate characteristics are set high to ensure superior turning performance and a steering feels appropriate to the driver’s intention. In the high-speed range, the vehicle slip angle characteristics of the target vehicle characteristics are set to “0”; in addition, vehicle slip angle changing characteristics are set high in order to achieve a level of stability and vehicle motion performance that suits driver intentions.

2017 GS with Lexus Dynamic Handling System and Dynamic Rear Steering

Multi-Display (MID)

Commonly referred to as “MID”, the multi-display is optimally placed for driver convenience and provides a centralized source for operation navigation, audio, air conditioning, hybrid system information and more.  Lexus explains:

This high-resolution, Thin Film Transistor (TFT) color multi-information display (MID) located in the Optitron instrument cluster displays information in four segmented areas and is accessed via the steering-wheel-pad “DISP“ button. The top area displays features like Cruise Information, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (set vehicle speed and control conditions of the system) and Warnings (immediately interrupts display), Multi-Terrain Select, Turn-by-Turn navigation and diagnostic trouble codes. The second area shows features like Multi-Terrain Select selection conditions, operating conditions of CRAWL Control and outside temperature. The third area displays feature like vehicle shift position and currently selected vehicle height. The bottom area provides the odometer/trip-meter display.

Multi-Display is standard on 2017 CT, ES, GS, GS F, IS, LS, LX, NX, RC, RC F and RX

MID on 2018 LC

NuLuxe Interior

Some Lexus owners still think of “NuLuxe” has something undesirable, however, this synthetic leather-type seat material is truly comfortable and best of all, environmentally responsible.  Smooth, and soft to the touch, NuLuxe is available in Parchment, Light Gray, Black and now Sepia – on 2017 GX only.  It is manufactured in a process that generates no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and in a process that generates 65% less C02 emissions than similar material. It also weighs only half as much as leather, contributing to the overall reduction in vehicle weight.

NuLuxe is standard on 2017 CT, ES, GS, GX, IS, NX, RC RC F, and RX, however, most Lexus owners will really only see the “standard” NuLuxe interior on the CT, IS, NX, ES, and RC.  Although standard on all of the models listed above, this standard interior is only on the most basic equipment levels for the RX, GX and RC F which makes up a small proportion of RX’s that are available for sale, an even smaller portion of GX’s built for sale and almost non-existent on the RC F.

2017 Lexus GX with Sepia NuLuxe interior
Black NuLuxe interior in 2017 Lexus RX.  Can you tell the difference?

One-Touch Power Trunk

An indulgent feature that once experienced makes it almost impossible for you to imagine owning a car without it.  The One-Touch Power Trunk is standard on the 2017 Lexus GS F and LS but also widely available on 2017 ES and GS.

Power Trunk Closer White Exterior
One-Touch Power Trunk button

Pedestrian Detection

Pedestrian Detection is another component of the Pre-Collision System and included in the Lexus Safety System+ Package that is now standard on 2017 Lexus ES, GS, GS F, IS, LX and RX plus the new 2018 LC.

Pedestrian Detection system uses a camera system to detect pedestrians and alert the driver of the possibility of a frontal collision.
LS models equipped with the Advanced Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection use a stereo camera system, while models equipped with Lexus Safety System+ use a monocular camera system.
At speeds between approximately 7 and 50 mph, the system can detect a pedestrian based on size, profile, and motion. If the system determines a potential frontal collision with a pedestrian, it prompts the driver with audio and visual alerts to take evasive action and brake, followed by Brake Assist activation to prepare the brakes for emergency braking.
If the driver does not brake in a set time and the system determines that the risk of collision with a pedestrian is extremely high, the system may automatically apply the brakes, reducing speed by up to 19 mph, to help the driver reduce the impact and in certain cases avoid the collision.
Lexus ES with Pedestrian Detection

Qi-Compatible Charger

As great as the concept is and as much as we wished this worked, Lexus seems to have thrown in the towel, at this time at least and scrapped the Qi-Compatible Charging Tray that came on a handful of 2017 LX and NX.


Qi-ya later.  Qi-Compatible Charging Tray seen in the Lexus NX

Rear-Cross Traffic Braking

This one is so new it’s only been seen on one model, so far – the 2017 RX.  Part of ICS, the new Rear-Cross Traffic Braking will also be on the soon-to-be-released 2018 LS (we talked about this feature in an earlier blog post).

With Rear Cross-Traffic Braking (RCTA), radar sensors in the rear quarters of the vehicle are designed to detect oncoming vehicles when backing from a parking spot or when backing from a driveway into a cross street. Visual and audible warnings occur if cross-traffic is detected. If the driver does not take action when prompted by the visual and audible alerts, Rear Cross-Traffic Braking will reduce drive force and then apply the brakes to help avoid or mitigate contact with the approaching vehicle. The system is activated at each ignition cycle unless RCTA has been set to OFF in the MID settings menu.


Steering Vibration

Steering wheel vibration is just one of the alerts that notify the driver when Lane Departure Alert is activated.  This can be turned off – which we are frequently asked about.

On some models, the Lane Departure Alert audible alert can be replaced by a steering wheel vibration, in addition to the indicator on the multi-information display when the vehicle moves too close to lane markers. The driver can choose between the audible alert and steering vibration in the settings menu in the multi-information display.


Lexus LX is just one of new Lexus models with Steering Wheel Vibration with Lane Departure Alert (when activated).

Torque Vectoring Differential

The Lexus RC F offered a Lexus-first Torque Vectoring Differential that put added control into the hands of the driver.  With three driver-selectable modes- Standard, Slalom, and Track – the TVD responds in one-thousandth of a second to vary torque distribution according to cornering conditions.  By sending more power to the outside rear tire, it helps rotate the RC F around the turn for enhanced agility, while also helping you hold your line with unrelenting precision.

TVD is standard on 2017 Lexus GS F and available on the Lexus RC F.


Molten Pearl Lexus RC F with available Torque Vectoring Differential

Ultra-Luxury Package

The Ultra Luxury Package available on the Lexus ES transforms the already comfortable ES sedan into moving luxury retreat.  Exclusive Ultra Luxury Package features include:

  • Panoramic Moon Roof
  • Semi-Aniline Leather with Embossed Stitch Seats
  • Driver’s Seat Cushion Extender
  • Rear Door Sunshades
  • One Touch Power Trunk
  • 18-inch Wheel Upgrade
  • Mark Levinson Sound
  • Ambient Interior Lighting
  • Lexus Memory System for front passenger’s seat


Panoramic Roof with Ultra Luxury Package on 2017 Lexus ES 350

Variable Gear Ratio Steering


LC active rear spoiler PERFORMANCE
Performance Package LC with Variable Gear Ratio Steering

Variable Gear-Ratio Steering is standard on the 2017 LX and available on 2017 GS, LS and RC, however, it is on the 2018 LC Performance Package where VGRS really shines.  Variable Gear-Ratio Steering automatically adjusts the front-wheel steering angle and response.  At low speeds, VGRS reduces the number of turns, lock to lock, for easier maneuvering.  At high speeds, the steering gear ratio is optimized for increased high-speed responsiveness and control.  When combined with Active Rear Steering, VGRS enhances response, rear grip and overall agility when cornering.


2018 LC Performance Package with Variable Gear-Ratio Steering

Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) Front Seats

Another mouth-full, but something we are thankful to have as standard equipment on the 2017 CT, ES, GS, GS F, LS, NX, and RX.

Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) seats feature forward placement of front headrests, an optimized seatback shape and reinforced seat side frames. In the event of a rear-end collision, the front seats have been designed to push backward, allowing the occupants to sink into their seats. This can help limit excessive head movement by reducing the space between the head and the headrest, helping decrease the severity of whiplash injury in certain types of rear-end collisions.


Whiplash Lessening Front seats RX.png
Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) Front Seats in Lexus RX (notice the forwardly tilted head rest)


For any Scrabble fans, Xylograph is defined as an engraving on wood.  Since we are need of a suitable “X”- word for this updated Lexus Glossary, we decided to go with Xylograph as it helps describe the Takumi Craftsmanship seen in the Art Wood on the 2018 Lexus LS.

The 2018 LS benefits from using sophisticated sliced wood and laser cutting technologies to produce new interior finish options.  The grain pattern of Art Wood is achieved by combining different color woods and is an original Lexus design, created using Takumi craftsmanship skills.


The new Art Wood in the 2018 LS is an evolved form of Xylograph (hey, it works for us!)


Yet is the philosophical soul of Lexus innovation.  It is also the theme for the 2017 Lexus Design Award.

Yet” inspires us to find synergy effects by fusing seemingly incompatible goals – spacious yet aerodynamic design– for example. By harmonizing contradictory elements, “Yet” opens up visionary frontiers of progressive design and technology to deliver amazing, new experiences to the world.


“Yet” Philosophy Inspires 2017 Lexus Design Award, Finalists Recently Announced


Zonetime is defined as the standard time throughout a time zone that is the actual time at the meridian on which the time zone is based.  Therefore we chose zonetime since a few new Lexus now have a GPS-enabled clock that will change the time based on the time zone (zonetime) that you are traveling in.  I know, super clever.


GPS Analog Clock Lexus LS.png
GPS-enabled analog clock in Lexus LS

Congratulations!  You’ve completed the 2nd installment of The ABC’s of Lexus.  We hope this has been an informative read, and at the very least, can be put to good use when playing Words with Friends.

Lexus ABC Part II














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