The term L-finesse has been used to describe Lexus's unique and dynamic design language since 2003, when the phrase was first coined.

Defining the core character and philosophy of all Lexus products, the expression is derived from the letter L, for "leading edge," and the word finesse, and was developed partly to establish an emotional connection with the brand's customers. The term addresses the essential elements of the Lexus philosophy, including the unique Japanese ability to respond to and anticipate people's needs or desires, and to provide a premium and elegant driving experience despite the wealth of complex technology in the brand's cars.

Simon Humphries, Global Head of Design, explains the emotional impact of Lexus' design language as, "L finesse is everything that can't be measured by numbers and specifications. It is what's intangible about Lexus. The core of the Lexus design philosophy is to be technologically advanced yet humanised, to create striking design but still be artistic yet unpretentious."