Lexus has confirmed that it will bring a four-wheel drive version of its LS460 saloon to the UK.

Already used in the range-topping hybrid Lexus LS600h, the permanent all-wheel drive system is based around a Torsen differential that normally sends 60 per cent of available torque to the rear and 40 per cent to the front, but which can automatically vary the ratio according to available traction.

Otherwise the four-wheel drive LS460 sticks with the eight-speed automatic from the current rear-wheel drive car, and power from the 4.6-litre V8 engine also remains unchanged at 375bhp. The car will get its international debut at the Moscow International Motor Show next week, confirmation that Russia has become the most important European market for large luxury saloons.

Pricing and spec details have yet to be confirmed for UK models, but a Lexus spokesman told us that only very limited numbers will be imported before the end of the year.

Victoria Parrott