NO, YOU’RE NOT looking at a scaled up version of the Lexus GS. It’s the new LS that’s broken cover here, and it’s a welcome confirmation that Lexus’ push towards sportiness isn’t letting up.
If you wonder what Lexus engineers get up to on most days, the LS has a few answers. It makes use of something called ‘laser screw welding’ and ‘adhesive body bonding’ to increase rigidity (you in the back, I hear you giggling), which should help to sharpen the handling and improve ride quality.
There’s a new active damper system, which is able to suppress roll and let the big Lexus corner more flatly, but without ruining comfort. The LS also gets the Drive Mode Select knob from the GS, which lets you switch between five modes on the fly: Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport S and Sport S+.
The flagship remains the LS 600h, but the LS 460 can now be had in F Sport trim, which includes lots of tasty cosmetic bits, an LSD, suspension lowered by 10mm and paddle-shifters for the autobox.
Sound good? Yes, but not as good as the intake sound generator, which pipes induction roar from the LS’ big, lusty V8 into the cabin.
Lexus says 3,000 changes have been made to the car overall, including three world-firsts. One of these is the new Lexus Climate Concierge system, which uses an array of up to 13 sensors to finely control cooling across four cabin zones, while coordinating the front and rear seat coolers. When car air-conditioning gets this smart, you know the day humanity gets enslaved by robots is nigh.
Still, the LS seems human-friendly. It gets new collision avoidance and lane-keep systems, for the sake of us fragile meatbags.
On the other hand, the LS looks more aggressive than ever, with the spindle-shaped grille giving the front-end a sharp and sporty look. All lights – headlights, rear lamps and even fog lights – are available with LEDs, and the vertical fog lights include new L-shaped, seamless light tube daytime running lights.
Lexus hasn’t released performance figures, but the company does say that the brakes have been tweaked for better feel. And check out this line from the press release: “In a Lexus-first, new hollow chamber noise reduction wheels can be fitted, which cut the amount of noise experienced in the cabin.”
With engineering that obsessive, you know the LS will be good.