Lexus’s range-topping saloon gains sportier styling, new technology and a harder-edged F Sport variant; it goes on sale in the UK later this year
29 August 2012

Lexus has given its flagship Lexus LS saloon a complete overhaul, including sharper styling, new tech and the addition of a more focused F Sport version. It has made its show premiere at this week's Moscow motor show.

Two engine variants make up the new LS line-up: the petrol LS460 and hybrid LS600h. UK sales begin later this year.

External tweaks include the introduction of Lexus’s spindle front grille design — first seen on the firm’s CT200h last year — plus the option of LED lights front and rear.

Under the LS’s skin, Lexus has revised the Adaptive Variable Suspension in an effort to “suppress roll, pitch and heave vibration”. Steering and braking systems have also been refined for better response and comfort. 

Additional insulation from engine, road and wind noise aims to boost the luxury saloon’s refinement.

To inject more sporting flair into the marque’s flagship saloon, a new F Sport model features a 10mm reduction in ride height compared with the standard limousine, plus beefier, more aggressive exterior styling, six-piston brake calipers up front and a Torsen limited-slip differential.

The F Sport’s paddle-shift gearbox incorporates automatic throttle blipping when changing to a lower gear.

A first for Lexus is the inclusion of selectable driving modes, which include Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport S and Sport S+.

The temperature of the heated/ventilated front and rear seats and heated steering wheel can be controlled automatically, in what Lexus claims is a world first.

The revised LS’s satellite navigation system — which is displayed on an extra-large, 12.3-inch screen — features internet connectivity, and all UK-spec LS models come equipped with a 19-speaker sound system plus upgrades to the rear seat entertainment package, which includes a Blu-Ray disc player.

Our Verdict

Lexus LS

The Lexus LS is a huge, high-quality limo. Great refinement, but high running costs and no Mercedes-Benz S-Class

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Standard safety equipment comprises Lexus’s Advanced Pre-Crash Safety system with Collision Avoidance Assist and an upgraded Lane Keep Assist system.

Lexus is currently remaining tight-lipped about performance figures and pricing details.

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31 July 2012

The selectable driving modes you mention as "a first for Lexus", already exists in the GS 250 F-sport.

31 July 2012

The original version of this 4th LS looked somewhat bland, considering it shared the L-Finesse design theme of the IS and previous GS, both of which I think looked good. This facelift sharpens things up a little, although i'm not sure if the next 5th LS will look any better if the current GS is anything to go by.

I've always had a soft spot for the current car however. Not quite sure why really as the only area in which the LS probably outdoes its rivals is through is outstanding build quality.

31 July 2012

Like other Toyota seem to be losing imagination. The new mouth looks like awful. 

31 July 2012

Very nice indeed! I like this car.

31 July 2012

That's not a particularly handsome face. Anyway, I thought Lexus' were supposed to be luxurious, not sporty. This is yet another Lexus that seems a bit out of character - as though it's trying to be too many things. And by doing that, it's compromised all of its attributes which makes it not very competitive in the UK.

31 July 2012

Just doesn't look anything like as "premium" as an S-Class, A8 or XJ, and how many V8 versions of those are sold anyway?  Simply doesn't offer what the UK market requires.

31 July 2012

My heart would say XJ, but my head would say LS. Especially as I don't want to get to know the dealer that well! Smile

LSs are always a bargain used buy, although they are usually thirsty petrols (V8s on the original). Always up high in JD Power, warranty and used car surveys!

Was driven around in one once, the mk1 facelift. Just wafted about like a big Merc / Citroen. Fantastic big car, underrated as everyone goes for the default germanic choices.

31 July 2012

It will no doubt be beautifully built, but there's just no need to try and out-Audi Audi with a front grille that size!

31 July 2012

I quite like the conservative look of the current LS460 in silver/ mica. My sense is that the new LS460 doesn't have the gravitas to match the appearance of the Mercedes S class, in view of the very unattractive front end of the new LS460.

31 July 2012

I like the look. Its going to better built than any other limo too.

I am not sure if there is a need for an F-Sport (if i were buying a limo for myself the word 'sport' in its name would be very off-putting) but its not as if they are forcing anyone.

Its a welcome left field choice for those who dont automatically buy German.

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