Lexus is taking its Lexus LS luxury saloon flagship into 2021 with new technology, updated styling and “even smoother driving performance”.
The facelifted BMW 7 Series rival will “reinforce its status as the flagship of the brand”, according to Lexus, and is available to order now in a choice of three trim levels.
The standard LS is priced from £78,900, with an optional Premium upgrade package - priced at £7700 - adding heated rear seats, an upgraded stereo and four-zone climate control. Mid-range F Sport trim costs £86,600 and brings a perfomance-inspired bodykit alongside extra equipment including the brand's new BladeScan adaptive headlights, while top-rung Takumi trim is priced from £105,365, and includes a digital rear-view mirror, bespoke 20in alloy wheels and 22-way electrically adjustable front seats.
Chief among the revisions to the LS range is a revamped hybrid drive system that seeks to improve the driving experience in Normal mode, which, Lexus says, is where the average LS spends 90% of its time, and in which the driver uses only moderate accelerator inputs.
By upping the level of assistance provided by the hybrid system’s lithium ion battery, Lexus has reduced the amount of throttle needed to accelerate, resulting in a “smoother and more linear” acceleration curve. The brand claims the LS offers more comfortable city driving as a result, as well as benefits on winding routes and hill starts.
A by-product of the battery’s increased output is that the 3.5-litre V6 petrol motor can operate at lower revs, reducing noise and vibration, while sharper acceleration and improved shift timing result in less frequent downshifts.
The facelifted LS also gains a new Adaptive Variable Suspension system with reduced damping forces, as Lexus seeks to improve upon the LS’s trademark ride quality and refinement. In addition, the engine mounts have been changed, thicker seats added to further reduce vibrations in the cabin, and the stiffness of the tyres' sidewalls has been reduced.
On the inside, the main changes are improved technology, headlined by the addition of a new advanced driver assistance and safety package called Lexus Teammate. This gives the LS more autonomous driving features, allowing it to change lanes and overtake other cars automatically. The system also receives automatic over-the-air software updates and a new 12.3in touchscreen infotainment system, repositioned slightly to improve access for the driver.
New technological additions include the BladeScan adaptive high-beam headlight system, as first seen on the updated Lexus RX SUV, which uses a fast-rotating mirror to project light from LEDs to provide enhanced illumination compared with conventional systems, and the digital rear-view mirror that improves rearward visibility. Elsewhere, the 360deg camera gains a new pedestrian detection function and there are new motors that tighten the seatbelts when the pre-collision warning system is activated.