What is it?
The LS was the car that launched Lexus back in 1989. But as the firm's range has filled out this high-end limo has become a minority-interest model, finding only 100 buyers last year.
The financial crisis hasn’t helped, and neither has the LS's age, which is why this facelift has penetrated more deeply than most makeovers to feature 3000 changes, ranging from an exterior restyling to a new dashboard, structural strengthening, a revised climate control system and, intriguingly, the reintroduction of the petrol V8 without hybrid hardware.
That may seem odd in these CO2-obsessed times, but Lexus is confident that around 80 per cent of the 300 to 400 LS’s it expects to sell next year will be V8s, the rest accounted for by the long-wheelbase LS600h L hybrid.
Lexus is confident because it’s still in touch with a pool of several thousand LS V8 owners who’d like to renew without the complexity of a hybrid.
The other major change is the introduction of a sporting LS F Sport, its arrival mirroring the offer of more dynamic F versions across the rest of the Lexus range. It will take 40 per cent of sales. The LS460 Luxury sampled here will account for another 40 per cent.
Among the myriad detail improvements are aerodynamic tweaks to improve high speed stability, an ambient cabin lighting system, upgraded LED exterior lamps and an impressively scaled multimedia screen of somewhat dated graphics.