By Patrick Avenell

Lexus has been today announced as the first luxury car in Australia to roll off the line with DAB+ digital radio installed as standard.

The new GS range of Lexus cars will include a Pioneer 12-speaker, 299-watt Lexus premium audio system, capable of playing music of a variety of sources, including MP3 players, as well as digital radio using DAB+ technology.

"The adoption of digital radio in the new GS will give Lexus owners, and their occupants, access to a greater variety of radio stations and an unparalleled listening experience," said Lexus Australia chief executive Tony Cramb. "This is just part of the new GS package, which has been designed and engineered to engage all the senses."

The introduction of DAB+ radio will be in addition to, rather than in place of, the traditional AM and FM bands, as digital radio services are still not available in all centres.

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Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) CEO Joan Warner was naturally delighted with this news.

"The announcement by Lexus to include Digital Radio DAB+ as standard in the GS is an exciting start to 2012 for digital radio.

"It is the first luxury vehicle to offer digital radio as standard and I know Lexus drivers will enjoy the digital sound quality and additional stations available."

Since launching in Australia, DAB+ has attracted 1 million listeners, according to CRA, though take-up has been affected by the lack of a turn-off date for the analogue spectrum, the lack of Australia-wide coverage, poor marketing campaigns and the inability to use DAB+ at sporting events due to a significant delay in the broadcast.