An exhaust air fuel ratio sensor (A/F sensor), which is applied to a 1997 model year LEV vehicle was developed. This sensor enables the detection of the exhaust gas air fuel ratio, both lean and rich of stoichiometric. This A/F sensor was developed from a lean mixture sensor, which has a proportional output to the exhaust gas air fuel ratio in the lean region only, by widening the detection range to rich air fuel ratios to 12:1. This sensor is comprised of a zirconia solid electrolyte and a platinum electrode with a ceramic coating used as a diffusion layer. As a result of improvements, it has a effective air fuel ratio range from 12 to 18 as required for LEV vehicles with model based air fuel control systems. It has a fast light off, -- within 20 seconds -- to minimize exhaust hydrocarbon content. Further, it has fast response times, less than 200 msec., to improve air fuel ratio controllability.