what do these abbreviated names mean?

IS, RX, GS: what do all these letters mean in the names of Lexus models?

Lexus has released a long list of the meanings behind each model’s name, past and present. Car nomenclatures are often confusing. While BMW or Mercedes use ascending numbers or letters to show superior appearance, Lexus does not follow the same logic.


Let’s start with Lexus IS, a requirement in the manufacturer’s range. The midsize sedan designed to take on the BMW 3 Series is aimed at younger, tech-savvy customers. IS stands for Intelligent Sport.

The Lexus GS, now defunct, was once a staple of the Lexus lineup. A good executive saloon discontinued due to poor sales. GS stands for Grand Sedanan apt name for a car that rivals the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

The Lexus ES It might not be the most exciting hatchback out there, but it’s the perfect car for those who just need a comfortable ride, that’s where it excels. ES stands for Executive Sedanwhich corresponds to this car being located between the IS and LS.

The Lexus LS, certainly, is a massive luxury sedan that exudes quality, attention to detail and refinement. When he arrived, he upset the order established by German manufacturers, especially. LS stands for Luxury Sedan.

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Coupes and convertibles

The Lexus RC is named because Lexus wants to challenge the idea of ​​what a hybrid vehicle should look like. valid, RC stands for Radical Coupe and went to show that hybrids don’t have to be boring.

Admired by wealthy retirees, the Lexus SC failed to attract more people. Although SC stands for Sports Coupe, the model has never been. Not really sporty either, or totally cut for that matter. And in direct competition with another luxury coupe-cabriolet, the Mercedes SL, Lexus didn’t stand a chance.

Then it was replaced by Lexus LC. This one has absolutely no one indifferent during its presentation. The model looks like nothing more than a concept car that escaped the road. And if you take it with the V8, you get an ultra-desirable coupe that’s the surname LC stands for Luxury Coupe.

Finally, a word about the shooting star of the brand, the model that became legendary at the moment it was presented, the LFA. Supercar with a rare V10 lives up to its name LFA Lexus F-Sport Apex. F as the letter of the manufacturer’s sports versions, takes its name from the famous Fuji Speedway in Japan. As for Apex, it can be seen as meaning “at the top” here.


The Lexus UX is the manufacturer’s smallest crossover. According to the latter, the name comes from the development process, where engineers aimed to design a car that “contains a free style” that would appeal to contemporary city dwellers. but UX stands for Urban Crossover. X should be read as “Cross” (cross, in French), which is often used in cars for crossovers.

The Lexus NX is a mid-size crossover, more athletic than the RX but nicer than the UX. Like any crossover, it’s a compromise. It doesn’t offer the handling of a mid-size luxury sedan, nor is it capable of true off-roading. However, the Japanese manufacturer has seen it as an agile vehicle ever since NX stands for Nimble Crossover (Nimble = nimble in French)

The Lexus RX is the manufacturer’s large luxury SUV. It was also the first Japanese model to receive a hybrid powertrain in 2005. It is the manufacturer’s flagship model, the one that makes it shine, hence its name since RX stands for Radiant Crossover.

On the side of Lexus GX, not sold to us, it’s an all-terrain that’s really capable of venturing down honest-to-goodness trails. In fact, it is the refined version of the great Toyota Land Cruiser. GX stands for Grand Crossover.

Finally, the Lexus LX is also a true off-roader barely recognizable as a Lexus. It is based on the big Land Cruiser 300 and gets some chrome embellishments to give it a twist. This Lexus version is clearly more upscale with more features, better materials, etc., hence the choice of its surname since LX stands for Luxury Crossover.

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