DETROIT — Lexus unveiled the LC 500 with a debut as memorable and emotional as the sleek, sexy coupe.
It opened with a video of Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda, the luxury brand’s self-appointed “master driver,” zipping up his racing suit and climbing behind the wheel for some tire-smoking track time. Then Toyoda stepped onstage in a rare personal appearance to turn on the charm and the one-liners, in English.
“I’m told I have a slight accent. You know, kind of like Sofia Vergara.”
“When I was a little boy, I wanted to grow up to be a taxi driver. Instead, I’m doing this.”
“Toyoda may be my last name. But believe me, Lexus is my middle name.”
It was up-close and personal for the president. He revealed his playful personality for the first time to an American public that largely doesn’t know him or, worse, remembers only his solemn testimony before Congress during Toyota’s 2010 recall crisis.
The event lived up to Lexus’ new mantra: Don’t be boring.