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The Lexus LS and The 2009 BMW 7

7-series | September 28th, 2008 by 41
bmw-750li_2006_1024x768_wallpaper_0e

People have been saying ever since the new F01/02 7-Series debut back on July 3rd, that it is either identical or very similar to that …

People have been saying ever since the new F01/02 7-Series debut back on July 3rd, that it is either identical or very similar to that of the Lexus LS 460. Is this true? I don’t really think that it’s a point of the new 7 looking like the new LS. We know they look alike, because Lexus copied enough off of the old 7 to always bear a BMW theme. It even has its own version of the Hofmeister Kink.

Let us take a close look at the design comparisons between the two cars. The more you look at the new 7, the more you realize that the BMW is way above the Lexus in so many ways, but styling especially.

The F01/02 7 has been a big hit in its true design theme. It has taken BMW to a whole new era of principle. The CS Concept design has been lent to the new 7.  Which is something we all wanted. But, some say the new 7-Series is ugly, and that it copies too much of the Lexus LS.

The new, 4th Generation, Lexus LS came onto the scene in 2007. People loved it. But many critics said, “Why does it look a lot like the 7-Series?” And you could hear a low sigh by many automotive journalists around the world who realized that Chris Bangle was right, and that his designs were now taking shape in more cars. Even from Toyota! With the new generation you are able to get either an LS 460 or a long wheelbase version dubbed the LS 460L. You could also get a new LS 600H, or the LS 600H L. The H standing for Hybrid, of course. What would Toyota be without a Hybrid version of every car they make? I actually saw an LS 600H L last night while driving around the downtown area… The front LED style lights look very upscale and nice, at night. And then you see the rest of the car and you aren’t really impressed. At least I’m not when I see one.

Now, let’s show you the true similarities and differences.

1) Notice the tailpipes of the new 7. They look nothing like the Lexus. Sure, they are in the same style of rectangular tips. The BMW’s, however, make for a more elegant and classy look. Whereas the LS’s pipes try too hard to show off and be flashy.

2) Take a good look at the rear bumpers of all 3 cars. The BMW 7 shows a much more flatly rounded surface, where the LS is more flared and rounded off. No real similarity there.

3) The rear decklid is a very similar shape and height from the E66 750Li to the Lexus LS 460L. The new F02 750Li only shows a more unique view and design essence of the old 7.

4) Look at the shape of the windows on the BMW’s and the Lexus. Notice anything different? Yeah, neither did I.

5) See how the new 7 builds on its lights? You can see a 7 theme within the taillights, which I thought was very unique and interesting. The real lights actually try to look similar to that of the front headlights.

What have we learned here? We have, hopefully, learned that the new 7 copies nothing from the Lexus LS. It actually takes the simple and bold design theme of the old 7 and builds on a bold theme, but with more emphasis placed on beauty, smoother lines, and much more attention to detail.

Now let’s take a look at the cars from a difference angle:

1) Notice the front lower lip/grill of the E66 7. The LS 460L is nearly identical in style and amount of lip presence.
2) Notice the lights of the LS speak to nearly identical units of the 7. Granted, there are some minor curves to make them look different. But, the more you look, and the closer, for that matter, you see identical units.
3) Notice the rear Hofmeister Kink. Lexus has hidden their exact version of the Kink with a sharp line and point to try and shy away from the exact same design. Notice the lines I have had drawn in to show how it is actually sculpted, but with the chrome piece to hide it.
4) Notice the B and C-Pillars along with the rear-window rake. They are a near perfect match…
5) Lip spoiler on the Lexus LS shows its glaring approval of Chris Bangle’s design genius. Thank you Lexus for just reassuring that Bangle’s designs are widely criticized, but almost always used.
6) Take a look at the rear bumper lines. While the 750Li shows them with chrome and more dramatic sculpting, the LS 460L tries to hide its identical shape with less drastic and less essence. This is done to possibly hide the similarities in design that were used from the E65/66 7-Series

Take notice that there is no design direction that the F01/02 7-Series take from the Lexus LS. If you take a closer look, you will see that Lexus copied so much of the design of the old 7, that it would have been impossible for them to not look similar to a new 7. If you don’t look more closely, just like most Lexus fans, you won’t see it. This is a position held by Lexus fanatics, because they can’t argue that BMW has taken anything from them. They do, however, try to hide the fact that Lexus has copied, and copied, a lot of things that BMW or Merceds-Benz have done since their inception.

  • Kodey

    ya know its really sad that stupid Toyota has to take designs from BMW to get a good looking car, i think due to the some what similar looking new 7 and LS the 7 series is going to loose sales because stupid Lexus has the design to so people are going to think BMW stole From Lexus. ughh it gets me soo. mad BMW beats Toyota any dayyyy.

  • Joe

    Trust me when I say this. But people that buy the LS do it simply because they can’t afford the 7 with the same options. I hate to say it but its true.

  • Artmic

    Why would anyone buy a Lexus thinking they got a BMW somehow…
    Just another riceROCKET….

  • Eric

    The back of new F01 7 does rather resemble the more lowly Lexus ES300 – check side profile of lights and the way the rear bumper corner sweeps forward. No doubt the 7 is more attractive, but there is a resemblance.

    • Cristian

      BMW has those L shaped stoplights since the 80s…now stop the comparing …your comapring aluminim with platinum

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  • http://www.bimmerupdate.com Julio

    Great Article

    I believed despite similarities both cars have their “niche” on the market. The people who buy these cars, buy them for different reasons.

  • Lance

    It was extremely entertaining reading the article. Some bias towards BMW as well, which is good. However, when I compare the old 7 to the lexes, I think the LS looks better, smoother and more elegant. It looks a few years newer than the old 7. If you look at the side of the new 7 and LS, and compare with the old 7. You can definately see that they have tried to make the design more simple without any prominant lines like the LS. In terms of the tailpipes, it is up to personal taste. But definately inspired by Lexus. Another point I would like tomake is look at those huge wheels – think of the replacement costs. I think it must probably cost the owner about 50c per mile just to replace tyres. We all know that run flats are considerably more expensive YET they last half as long. Having said that, I would take the BMW 7 over the Lexus anyday as BMW just sounds so much better!

  • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

    @Julio: Thanks Julio. I haven’t said anything so far, but you need to start quoting the source, and not just copying the articles. That’s how it works in the internet world.

    I link to “competitor” sites also because I value their work and I want to give our readers the best information available, which sometimes can be found somewhere else.

  • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

    @Lance: Thanks. Josh did a great job and I put the images together. It took a while, but it was worth it in the end.

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  • Erin

    You make some interesting points about the aesthetics of the two cars looking similar. However, according to the review I read at http://www.oncars.com/news-blogs/story/177/2008-Lexus-LS-600h-L-Part-2-of-3-Interior-&-User-Experience it seems that the to cars are VERY distinct from one another in terms of performance and technology. I haven’t seen too many of the Lexus’ about, but I can say that they are very distinguishable from the BMW.

  • Tebogo Radikoro

    1.People are not telling the truth,look at the latest mercedes benz C Class,it copied bmw say from the side but i never had people holding politics about it.
    2.All this cars have been copiying bmw interior style (no central gear) and people never talk about this
    3.vw,maza,nissan,toyota have copied mirrior indicaters from mercedes but you never hear peolpe singing about this thing why always on bmw
    4.Look at mercedes benz GLK its a subsru forest with mercedes benz label

  • chris

    You people are aware that Consumer Reports has ranked the LS a 99 out of a 100 right? That is the highest ranking they have ever given a vehicle. The only reason it didn’t get a 100, is be because the next LS would be better. Also, for the guy that said something about people buying a Lexus over a BMW do it for pricing with available options, you’re an idiot. Lexus owners have an average higher income than any other luxury car owner. I’m no fanboy, and I don’t own a BMW or Lexus, I’m more of a Maserati guy, but thats just me.

  • nadia

    LEXUS RULES! LS460 is the best luxury car anyone could have..once u drive it u wil see how smooth it is.. when driving a bmw its like driving a truck compared to lexus… u feel ever bump!!! number one choice and always is a LEXUS!

  • chris

    Yeah, Nadia. I’m glad someone else hopped on this BMW blog. I really wanted an LS600h L, but Dallas sold out of their cut before I could get to one. Oh well.

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  • $e@lblaighter

    Both are great cars, the two of them copying from each other, they are rivals right? I am especially a Lexus fan, but I like BMW too!!! Somebody plz tell me when will come out the next Lexus LS600, in 2011, or next year? I rad something on a site about a LS650, but I think that info was a fake one.

  • Twan

    BMW German…What are you serious!!!!!!! Lexus make way better lookin cars then BMW yea BMW is know for performance but style HELLL NO…Lexus is a clear winner how would Lexus copy off BMW wen the New LS 460 took 5 years to make BMW wasnt even workin on the new 7 series yet.

  • Steve Carlson

    Some major bias towards BMW here. You fanboys are hilarious. I prefer the Lexus, to each their own.

  • Mezo6688

    Well I have the perfect answer for you, you are not good in going back to history where the LS430 was first released in 2000 with its wonderful design which take the BMW to reach to their stylish design where the 7-series went into a major redesign to compete with the new Lexus LS430 and where the 7-series was first released in 2002 with its similarities taken of the LS430…See the pictures and u will know what I mean and I think u have to admit that BMW is a fantastic copier in designs as well as the new 2009 E-class “head lights” which looks exactly like the 2005 Lexus GS …that’s not all as the Lexus took the LS430 into small difference in 2003 and made some changes in headlights and taillights….and I was surprised of that the 2006 BMW 7-series took their car and made also the same tail light as the LS430 (2003) and GS300(2005) which looks like 4 small lines ….and as we all saw in recent years they copied the LS tail light as we all expected to happen as the history got back alive again…all the Details that u circled in the 2002 or 2006 or 2009 BMW has the same body shape which Lexus come up of this first and produced them in 2000 or 2003 or 2007 LSs… Well, how’s copying the other now?? Hard luck man!! Try again and please go back to history and read little bit about Lexus and their AMAZING “LS”!!!!!!

    • Cristian

      :)) Are you for real?… You couldnt tell the difference between now and the 50s and your talking about BMW :)))…BMW exists before the first world war it has herritage ,class,technology……and anyway allmost any german car is batter tahn a japanese one…you are fucking clueless about tase , design, history , everything…you must live such a cheap life man!

    • nick

      “amazing” LS- about as “amazing” as a suzuki wagonR.

  • BillSharp

    You guys all suck. Go buy a Porsche and forget about all the bland sedans out there. Although I’m still not sold on the Cayenne, the new Panamera will be nice to check out in person… Lexus, you mean overpriced toyota?

  • Cristian
  • $e@lblaighter

    I am a BMW fan too, so stop acting like that. I am a Lexus fan maybe forever, but I like BMW too!! :) And I have the opinion BMW copied Lexus with the new 7 series. Back than Lexus copied BMW(I am refering on the older 7 series)

  • Mark

    I traded my 2009 Lexus for a 2009 BMW 750il. I like my BMW much better than the lexus Ls 460L. Even my Dog likes it better.
    Everybody who gets inside my BMW is like WOW…. What a graet car.
    When i had my Lexus ,friends were more intrested in its gas milage and that its much better than a Toyota Camery.

  • nick

    if they HAD to copy, they couldve atleast made a good car out of what they copied. th lexus is the ugliest car ive seen in a long time

    • $e@lblaighter

      Lexus cars are ugly? What a joke, you don’t know what car is a good looking one if you say they are ugly. My opinion they are cool!

  • AKCFA

    There are some major biases present on this blog towards BMW. BTW, just because BMW is YOUR favorite car doesn’t mean it has to be everyone else’s. The LS has always been a very successful vehichle since its inception in 1990. I think it’s quite comendable that a car company that is only 20 years old is now at a level to compete with such prestigious automakers such as BMW and Mercedes.

    Personall opinion: The BMW most likely has better performance. BMW’s have alway held that distinction. However, when it comes to interior and exterior styling, I believe the Lexus has BMW beat. The bland empty looking dash of the BMW isn;t very engaging or interesting. On the other hand, Lexus has successfully integrated their climate, audio, and navigation controls into a very attractive and welcoming instrument panel. P.S it’s also one of the quietest cars in the world.

    • $e@lblaighter

      AKCFA

      Now I am a BMW and a Lexus fan. The new 7 series, and the X6 changed my mind! :D

  • AKCFA

    Oh, and please, calling a Lexus a pimped out Toyota is far from an insult. I’m sure the largest automaker in the world is very happy to see that you’re doing free advertising for them.

    • $e@lblaighter

      As I know right, now not Toyota is the biggest automobile company, they was in 2009. Now the Volkswagen group are the leader. As I mentioned, I like Lexus too. What is your opinion about Lexus??

      • AKCFA

        You are correct, I apologize, I was not aware of the change. My opinion concerning Lexus, is that the company consistantly delivers quality vehichles that have remained and sometimes domniated vehichle dependability surveys in the US and other countries. As for my personall opinion, they just make really beautiful cars.

  • Rectifier

    Wow, BMW fanboys so lame… I bet you didnt even know Toyota had a “Hoffmeister kink” way before BMW did?

    http://www.maltashipphotos.com/productfile.asp?ProductID1=4798&PRODUCTCAT1=Yachts

    Now, how can one even suppose there is truth in the rest of the authors claims??

  • Bluefox

    It was funny reading but this sentence beat it al: –> “If you take a closer look, you will see that Lexus copied so much of the design of the old 7, that it would have been impossible for them to not look similar to a new 7.”

    Your just trying to look BMW as the master of the universe… and its only another boring german car wher all look the same…..

    sad boy…. ;-p

  • Bobby

    Some comparisons yes I see resemblances but others I think are a little forced. To be completely honest there’s only so much you can do with a car especially cost wise and the c pillar design is something that’s hard to call it bmws. Yes they did It first but it was gonna happen eventually. Anyways I think the Lexus front looks different enough but the BMW rear really took some off the LS. Although the pipes are different shapes Lexus really was among the first to do pipes like that and previous 7s had pipes tucked under the bumper. I do give Lexus some kudos but overall everyone takes some design points from others, undetected or not.

  • Willy

    Stupid ignorant the 1st LS comes with the lip spoiler like that n that was 23 years ago

  • Freeworld

    BMW copies Audi, Audi copies Mercedes, Apple copies Android……. so everyone copies each other. Everyone makes hamburger. All cars are same, so this discussion is over.

  • sebisab93

    The 7 series doesn’t look similar to the LS, because the LS isn’t that fat and ugly. You’re all dumb little BMW fanboys, you can’t even see the difference between the 7 and the LS. You’re all trying to find mistakes or copies on the LS but you’ll never find a BMW-thing.

    @Joe I’ve never heard shit like that. People buy the LS because they want the most reliable car, not a car like the 7 series which f’cks up at 300.000 miles.

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