What is it?
Few vehicles have had a more dramatic impact on the luxury car market than the Lexus LS – which proved the Japanese could build a truly credible challenger to Germany.
That said, while quiet, competent and high-quality, prior LS generations have had a big gap in the passion category. That’s something Toyota President Akio Toyoda has promised to fix.
What's it like?
Parked alongside the outgoing saloon, the 2013 model is a striking departure. The spindle grille anchors what is, nose-to-tail, a more aggressive and exciting look that is more refined and planted yet manages to deliver a sense of power in the broadened haunches flaring out from the rounded C-pillar.
The interior of the LS has always delivered a flagship feel. But the new LS steps things up several notches. There’s a more seamless flow from doors to instrument panel and the new model adopts several new finishes, including the optional shimamoku wood that undergoes a 67-step process – taking 38 days – to prepare for use in the new LS.
In the States, at least, the 2013 LS will now be offered with seven different versions, including the “base” car, front- and rear-wheel-drive model variants, the previously mentioned 600h hybrid, short and long-wheelbase variants – and the all-new LS 460 F Sport. The LS600h is the only model slated for a UK launch.