VIDEO: Lexus LS 500 ad recreates brand’s first ever “champagne tower” commercial, stars Akio Toyoda

We don’t usually cover regional TV commercials from other countries, but this one caught our eye. You may remember Lexus’ first ever advertisement in the United States, Balance, which featured a Lexus LS 400 driving at a simulated 145 mph (233 km/h) with a tower of champagne glasses stacked on top of the bonnet – without breaking a single one of them.

Thirty years on, a dealer in New Jersey, Lexus of Route 10, recreated that landmark ad with the help of an unlikely but rather fitting assistant. That assistant was none other than Toyota president Akio Toyoda, who balanced the glasses on the bonnet of a brand new LS 500, though – being slightly, ahem, vertically challenged himself – not without a blunder along the way.

With the car sitting on a rolling road on a slight incline (to compensate for the slope of the bonnet), Toyoda then fired up the car and drove it to the same speed as in the original commercial, before climbing out and celebrating with a sip of the bubbly. It should be noted that not once was the car shown at speed with the champagne tower, but you know what they say – never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Of course, it’s very difficult to keep the car anchored and still while it accelerates on a rolling road, especially on an incline, which perhaps was the reason why we never see the full shot. Lexus, however, did once recreate the original ad by revving the engine of both the then-new 2011 LS 460L and a 1990 LS 400, and both times the champagne tower stayed intact.

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.



  • Avenger on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    Nice CGI commercial. Almost as believable as Spiderman selling Audi cars.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 10
  • Kerajaan Pintu Belakang on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    This car is so cheap overseas. So affordable. But in Malaysia it is like close to RM1.5 million. Crazy.

    It is just a Toyota la…..people must be blind!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 24
    • Aura89 on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:45 pm

      Oh yeah, you’re the same guy that told us your Myvi is far better than a Lexus, so why Lexus customers wouldn’t want to buy Myvis instead eh? You need professional help.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2
    • Then you are extremely lucky that you cannot afford this car since it’s just a Toyota

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
    • heybadigol (Member) on Mar 10, 2020 at 4:35 pm

      The cheapest LS500 is priced at RM800k in Malaysia. And that is a made in Japan CBU.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • You missed out the part that all test cars have traveled over 100k in its mileage as they claim.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • Darren on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    The amazing things that superglue can do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5
  • Mr Visionary on Mar 10, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    Luckily they didn’t try it on the upcoming proton x50, because the 3 cylinder engine vibrates too much that even the glass will break due to the vibration before even dropping to the ground. Lol

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7
    • X70 Buyer on Mar 10, 2020 at 5:38 pm

      A car is meant to transport people inside, not to place glass on the bonnet. Do you plan to sit on your lexus bonnet while on the go?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4
      • He calls himself ‘Mr Visionary’ but he really is just Mr Ignorant.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Stanley on Mar 10, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    This is not the right way to test it. Have you heard about wind factor and the road surfaced? Im pretty sure if you drive your car on and in that place, it wont get you to other places.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4
  • Semi-Value (Member) on Mar 11, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    LOL at the people who do not get this ad….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • EDITOR on Mar 12, 2020 at 9:15 am

      An ad supposed to speak to the people, if it fails to do just that its not a good ad.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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