When Lexus hit the streets in 1990, it had a gigantic credibility gap to overcome before it would be taken seriously as the luxury equivalent to Mercedes-Benz, BMW and anybody else you'd care to mention. With its marketing machine in high gear, so to speak, ads flooded the airwaves aimed at convincing a skeptical public that Toyota could build luxury cars on equal footing with the world's best.
One commercial that remains iconic today is the wineglass stack. First appearing in 1990, it showed an LS 400 on a dynamometer with 15 wineglasses stacked on the hood. The car was then accelerated to 140 mph on the dyno and the wineglass stack stayed intact. Impressive smoothness for what everyone thought was just a big, expensive Toyota, right?
One intrepid Phoenix-based Lexus owner decided to recreate that commercial with his new LS 460. However, things didn't go quite as planned. In the first video, he puts up two rows of glasses, starts the engine, gives it a good rev, and things go pretty much as they did in the commercial. However, when he tries to make the stack higher, things go awry, and gravity wins the day.
So, they don't make 'em like they used to? Not if Lexus has anything to say about it. Shortly after the owner's video appeared, Lexus engineers posted their own video rebuttal online. The key, it turns out, is tilting the car so that the hood is level. With that minor technical glitch solved, sure enough, the modern-day LS 460 has no problem recreating the wineglass stack. Just for good measure, the Lexus engineers even rolled out an old LS 400 and did the stack on it, too.
So there you go, Lexus owners. You can still stack wineglasses on your hood, as long as you have the car tilted properly. Of course, the cool thing about this whole episode isn't that you can stack wineglasses on your hood and not have them fall. No, it's that Lexus was paying attention to its owners, and felt compelled to defend its honor. So remember, kids, the next time you decide to mock your car and post it on YouTube, the manufacturer may be watching.
Owner Video 1
Owner Video 2