With over 730,000 models sold during its 23 year, four generation history (the majority of which are still on the road), the LS has grown and evolved with the times.
Yet is has always remained true to four key genetic traits: The adoption of world first, cutting edge technologies; the highest levels of quality combined with a uniquely Japanese sense of style and detail; unrivalled cabin quietness; and the smooth, comfortable ride befitting a premium segment luxury sedan.
Constituting a significant evolution of the current LS, the new Lexus flagship scales new heights of product maturity through a bold blend of style and refinement.
Since its launch in 2006, the current generation LS has been subject to over 2500 ongoing improvements; at a stroke, the new LS adds another 3000 changes, including three world first, and no less than 15 Lexus first, features and technical innovations.
Responding in detail to customer feedback throughout every aspect of its development, the new LS has been conceived to raise the bar even higher in the pursuit of unprecedented refinement, comfort, driving performance, technical excellence and, above all, quality.
Representing further improvements to Lexus' already peerless standards, the new LS now lays claim to being amongst the quietest, most comfortable cars in the world.
Reflecting the direction next-generation Lexus models will take, the bold, sophisticated dynamism of a new spindle grille frontal design awards the new LS a combination of enhanced elegance, greater road presence and stronger brand identity entirely appropriate to a flagship model.
A Lexus first, the new LS can be equipped with all-LED exterior lighting, including vertical foglamps incorporating the world's smallest PES lens with a diameter of just 30 mm, and unique, L-shaped, seamless light tube Daytime Running Lights (DRLs).
On board, a new instrument panel design is divided into two distinct zones: an upper Display Zone, with the ultra-wide, 12.3 inch, LCD multi-display screen –the industry's largest, and a lower Operation Zone, featuring system controls such as the second generation of Lexus' award winning Remote Touch Interface (RTI) and a new Drive Mode Select system.
Switches have been combined and their number reduced, and the centre cluster has been made more compact. The driver's immediate environment has been further enhanced by a new, smaller 3-spoke steering wheel with improved adjustment.
Examples of Lexus craftsmanship and attention to detail are evident throughout the interior. Lexus firsts, the analogue clock incorporates a GPS-linked time correction function, the steering wheel and lateral instrument panel ornamentation are available in a new, traditional stripped wood Shimamoku finish, and the smart key is clad in genuine leather and alloy.
REFINEMENT, COMFORT AND PROGRESSIVE FEATURES
Comprehensive improvements have been made to the engine, road and wind noise sound insulation of the new LS, ensuring that it surpasses even the exemplary standards of cabin quietness already established by the current generation Lexus flagship.
The LS features Lexus-first noise reduction wheels, which significantly lower cabin noise in the front seats, whilst the level of conversation clarity in the rear seats now rates at almost 100% when the new Lexus is travelling at 100 km/h, making the new flagship sedan the quietest car in its class.
Body structural rigidity has been enhanced, the new LS incorporating several measures designed to further reduce vibration and improve ride comfort: A Lexus first, a new laser screw welding technique effects panel joint adhesion across entire surfaces as opposed to individual spots. In conjunction with the use of adhesive body bonding, this offers a marked increase in overall body rigidity.
Already renowned for their comfort, the front seats of the new LS have been further improved and are equipped with enhanced heating and cooling systems. Both front and rear seat climate control may now be automatically incorporated in the operation of the new Lexus Climate Concierge air conditioning system.
A world first, the new Lexus Climate Concierge offers every LS occupant the ultimate in on-board thermal comfort. The world's most advanced climate control system, it features all the benefits of Multi-zone Automatic Climate Control, combined with automatic integration of seat heating and cooling systems, and a steering wheel rim heater.
The LS's beautifully crafted interior is complimented by the world's first Advanced Illumination System (AIS). Featuring new, Champagne White interior lamps and dynamic LED instrument panel lighting, the AIS LED interior lighting greets the occupants, even before the car is unlocked, activating and fading thereafter in sequence with the vehicle starting procedure.
The award-winning Remote Touch Interface (RTI) offers comprehensive infotainment system control via a 12.3" LCD multi display screen –the industry's largest. And the Lexus Navigation System benefits from a powerful, HDD capacity and internet connectivity, making it one of the fastest, most accurate systems on the market.
The new Lexus LS is fitted as standard with a Premium Surround Sound System featuring a 9 channel amplifier, 10 speakers and a digital radio tuner. With over 2000 hours spent tuning the sound to the specific acoustics of the new interior, a 19-speaker Mark Levinson® Reference Surround System with 7.1 channel surround speaker architecture offers the finest in-car audio experience available today.
The Lexus LS Rear Seat Entertainment System features a separate DVD player and a 9" VGA screen for the 5.1 home theatre entertainment experience of the Mark Levinson® Reference Surround System. The system has been upgraded with another Lexus first; a high contrast, high definition Blu-ray® player.
ENGINE & PERFORMANCE
The new LS is available with two powertrain options: the LS 460 equipped with a 4.6 litre V8 petrol engine and the LS 600h with Lexus Hybrid Drive.
Resulting from a series of improvements such as the adoption of low viscosity oil, a low resistance differential gear and revisions to the control systems, both powerplants now generate less CO2, achieving a level of 249g/km for the LS 460 and 199g/km for the LS 600h. The LS 460 engine output has even increased by 5kW (2kW in the AWD version) and now develops 387 DIN hp/ 285 kW at 6400 rpm and a maximum torque of 493Nm at 4100 rpm. Its world's first 8-speed automatic transmission accelerates from 0-100km/h in only 5.7 seconds.
The state-of-the-art Lexus Hybrid Drive system equips the LS 600h with an unparalleled balance of performance and environmental efficiency. It combines the 394 DIN hp/290 kW power of the 5.0 litre V8 engine with an electric motor output of 225 DIN hp/165 kW to generate a peak combined output of over 445 DIN hp/327 kW, making the LS 600h the world's most powerful full hybrid V8.
The LS 600h accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds and on to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h. Its fuel consumption of 8.6l/100km is on par with that of a 3.5 litre powered vehicle.
The driving dynamics of the new LS have been rigorously upgraded to combine the refinement, ride comfort and high speed stability appropriate to the flagship of the Lexus model range with greater handling agility and a more sporting and engaging driving experience.
Body rigidity has been improved and aerodynamics enhanced to offer an even flatter, road-hugging ride with excellent damping characteristics for maximum comfort. The electric power steering and the Multilink suspension system have been revised to improve steering feel and response, vehicle agility and high speed stability.
The LS air suspension system works in co-operation with an Adaptive Variable Suspension system (AVS). A further evolution of AVS adds a 4-wheel interlock control and improved control algorithms. Previously adjusting the performance of the suspension at each wheel independently, AVS now simultaneously suppresses the three-direction vibration of roll, pitch and heave at all four wheels, minimising any unpleasant vibration in the direction of roll.
Brake pedal feel and operation has been improved to offer superior brake response and effectiveness. And a new Drive Mode Select system features up to five switchable driving modes –ECO, COMFORT, NORMAL, SPORT S and SPORT S+, to optimise the driver's preferred combination of economy, comfort, performance and handling characteristics.
The new LS 460 is available as rear- or all-wheel drive. The full hybrid LS 600h is, as standard an all-wheel drive and -on F SPORT versions- fitted with an active stabiliser system. Both models are available as long wheelbase versions and, for the first time in the LS model range, a more dynamic, F SPORT derivative.
For the first time in its history a new, F SPORT package is now available on the LS model.
Targeting the more spirited driving style offered by a lower centre of gravity, F SPORT models are equipped with Sport air suspension which lowers the body height by 10 mm. F SPORT exterior design features include exclusive front grille, front bumper and rear lower bumper treatment, 19" alloys, exclusive wheel paint and grade-specific badging.
F SPORT model interior design features a choice of two exclusive colour schemes, 16-way electrically adjustable, F SPORT emblem-embossed authentic sports seats, a dimple perforated leather steering wheel with paddle shifters, a matching leather gear lever, and sporting aluminium pedals and scuff plates.
The driving experience of LS F SPORT models combines the class-leading quietness and comfort of the standard model range with a more sporting, dynamic chassis set-up to enhance traction, grip, handling agility and driver involvement.
The rear-wheel drive LS 460 F SPORT is equipped with a torque-sensing, Torsen® limited slip differential, which optimally distributes torque between the rear wheels, an Active Stabiliser system for enhanced body control and steering response precision, and Brembo 6-pot front brake callipers which offer smooth, highly stable braking performance.
All LS F SPORT models offer drivers steering wheel mounted, paddle shift manual override transmission control. Unique to rear-wheel drive LS 460 models, paddle shift incorporates automatic throttle blipping on downshifts for a smooth, highly engaging driving experience.
The LS 460 F SPORT also features an engine intake sound creator, which uses a damper to amplify the vibration of the intake pulse and introduce it as a pleasing note into the cabin.
The LS range has consistently offered the highest content of sophisticated, integrated preventive, active and passive safety technology in the world.
In the further development of safety technology for the new Lexus flagship, a focus was placed on the two most common sources of fatal accidents in developed countries: those that involve pedestrians, and those caused by vehicles deviating from their own lanes.
As a result, the new LS offers significantly improved pedestrian safety through an uprated Advanced Pre-crash Safety system (A-PCS) with collision avoidance assist. It is the most advanced pre-collision active safety system in the industry.
Depending on driving conditions, A-PCS is designed to assist the driver in avoiding or mitigating collisions with vehicles and pedestrians under a wide range of city and highway speeds, day or night.
When the system detects a vehicle, pedestrian, or obstacle ahead, an alarm alerts the driver to take appropriate steps to avoid a collision. In addition, if the relative speed between the driver's vehicle and the obstacle ahead exceeds 40km/h, the system automatically applies brakes and brake assist to slow the vehicle and help to reduce the severity of a collision.
In the event that the relative speed between the driver's vehicle and the obstacle detected ahead does not exceed 40km/h, if the driver does not take corrective action after receiving the alarm alert, the system automatically brakes. At these relative speeds, the system is designed to bring the vehicle to a stop to avoid a collision.
This system is intended to assist drivers, but it is the driver's responsibility to be aware of the vehicle's surroundings. The system cannot prevent all collisions and performance is dependent upon road, weather, and vehicle conditions.
A new, Adaptive High-beam System (AHS) automatically switches between low, high and shielded beam modes and can increase the time spent driving under high beam illumination by up to 50%.
The Lane-Keep Assist system (LKA) has been enhanced to automatically correct deviations caused by road camber changes and crosswinds. A Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) system and Lexus Night View are also available.