What is it?
That, in turn, raises the question of what defines luxury. After all, one man’s sprawling mansion is another’s minimalist, modernist flat. Again, Lexus believes it can provide the answers, and they are wide-ranging in their intent, taking in everything from exterior styling and interior materials through to the dynamic set-up, technical gadgetry galore and a veritable host of driver aids.
Underpinning all this is the new Lexus GA-L platform, which also sits beneath the well-received Lexus LC. It allows the LS to be lighter, lower yet larger than before, with the critical potential benefits of a lower centre of gravity and the positioning of most of the mass, including the engine and occupants, more centrally. The structure has also allowed Lexus’s engineers to develop a more rigid multi-link suspension system, with air suspension available as an option.
As is common in this class, the list of interior luxuries is long and varied. Too long and varied for them all to be listed here, but for a taster of the level of detail Lexus has gone to, consider a driver’s seat that is adjustable in 28 ways. The list of safety features is no shorter and includes for the first time a pedestrian detection system that can automatically brake the car and potentially steer around the obstacle while staying in the lane.
In the UK, the LS will be only be sold as a hybrid. That means a 295bhp 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine that links to two electric motors to deliver a peak of 354bhp, driven through a clever four-speed CVT transmission that mimics ten cogs. It is, Lexus says, quicker to change than a dual-clutch gearbox, yet more compact and lighter. The LS can run in full electric mode at speeds of up to 87mph and the 0-62mph sprint covered in 5.4sec. No fuel economy or emissions figures have been released yet.