Ponder the steering wheel in your car for just a minute. Chances are good it was produced by a single vendor via a fully automated process in a matter of minutes. Even if it’s wrapped in leather or suede, stitched by hand, it probably took no longer than a few hours to craft.
Now ponder the Shimamoku (Japanese for “striped wood”) trim used in the all-new 2013 Lexus LS sedan. Creating the wood-veneer steering wheel alone requires three separate vendors, 67 different processes and a total of 38 days to complete. That’s not attention to detail, that’s obsession with detail.
While we’re pretty jaded when it comes to the use of exotic woods in luxury cars, even we’ll admit that the Shimamoku trim, with its alternating bands of light and dark grain, is captivating. If the idea behind the 2013 LS was to create a visually engaging interior, we’d say that Lexus succeeded.
Compared to the other, more conventional wood finishes offered by Lexus in the LS, only the Shimamoku trim stands out as truly distinctive. We have no idea what the additional cost will be, but we know this: if we were ordering a Lexus LS of our own, we’d simply check the option box by Shimamoku trim and call it done.
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