With over 730,000 models sold during its 23 year, four generation history (the majority of which are still on the road), the Lexus LS has grown and evolved with the times. Yet is has always remained true to four key genetic traits: The adoption of world first, cutting edge technologies; the highest levels of quality combined with a uniquely Japanese sense of style and detail; unrivalled cabin quietness; and the smooth, comfortable ride befitting a premium segment luxury sedan.
Constituting a significant evolution of the current LS, the new Lexus flagship scales new heights of product maturity through a bold blend of style and refinement.
Since its launch in 2006, the current generation Lexus LS has been subject to over 2500 ongoing improvements; at a stroke, the new LS adds another 3000 changes, including three world first, and no less than 15 Lexus first, features and technical innovations.
Responding in detail to customer feedback throughout every aspect of its development, the new LS has been conceived to raise the bar even higher in the pursuit of unprecedented refinement, comfort, driving performance, technical excellence and, above all, quality.
Representing further improvements to Lexus' already peerless standards, the new Lexus LS now lays claim to being amongst the quietest, most comfortable cars in the world.
The new LS features major changes to the exterior which reflect a further development of Lexus' unique, L-finesse design philosophy. This design represents a bold blend of refinement and evolution, with dynamic, modern, yet dignified styling giving the Lexus LS a unique sense of presence appropriate to the flagship of the brand.
At 5,090 mm overall, the new LS is just 30 mm longer than its predecessor. The wheelbase remains a generous 2,970 in length, and front and rear overhangs have increased by 10 and 20 mm respectively.
Key to the new design is an aggressive frontal treatment which gives the new LS a powerful, more commanding road presence. In a further evolution of a styling cue first developed on the new GS range, the inverted trapezoid upper grille and slanted lower grille have been combined and integrated into a single element, bridging the bumper mid-section to create a prominent 'spindle' shape.
Achieving a new-found maturity here, this bold, elegant and individual grille treatment is the focal point of the major design changes. A Lexus first for the brand flagship, it makes the LS instantly recognisable as a Lexus at first glance, and is being adopted throughout the brand to strengthen the Lexus family identity between model ranges.
By projecting the surrounding bodywork forward of a vertical grille face, the spindle had been given a strong three-dimensional form, its shape further accentuated by a blacked-out grille finish and a completely chrome plated frame which extends to the bumper openings.
Beneath a new, more muscular bonnet design, the grille is flanked by headlamp clusters clearly positioned on a higher plane than the grille itself. This is a unique characteristic of Lexus models, focusing the eye at the very apex of the vehicle to give the design a resolute look and strengthen the impression of power and agility.
The Lexus LS may be equipped with two types of headlamp; a two projector discharge design and a three projector unit featuring full-LEDs. Equipped with the latter, the LS offers Lexus first, all-LED exterior lighting.
Featuring 12-LED turn signal lamps for the first time in a Lexus, the headlamp housings are underscored by integral LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs). The DRLs are of a new design, featuring a single, seamless light tube which forms an L-shaped motif, further reinforcing the unique visual signature of the new LS.
The new, deep front bumper design forms a wide, trapezoid shape which anchors muscular front wings and flared wheel arches, reinforcing the new LS's wide front track, low centre of gravity and broad, purposeful stance.
The bumper integrates sharply sculpted front foglamp housings featuring LED foglamps. Harmonising with the spindle grille design and L-shaped DRLs, the vertical lamp structure incorporates the world's smallest PES lens with a diameter of just 30 mm, combining top-level illumination with a unique Lexus design signature.
In profile, the new Lexus LS shares its predecessor's long, elegant cabin proportions. The shape of the rocker panels and below-door mouldings has been changed, continuing the sharp form of the wheel arches and accentuating an image of air flowing smoothly along the flanks of the car. New door mirrors feature chrome plated ornamentation and incorporate LED puddle lights and a new LED turn signal.
To the rear, the front spindle design is reflected in flowing lines that cut across the boot surface from the C pillars and then flare out towards the lower half of the body, once again accentuating the new LS's low centre of gravity and purposeful stance.
First introduced in the LS, the unique, L-shaped motif inside the rear lamp clusters harmonises perfectly with the new trapezoidal design. The rear lamps also adopt LED technology throughout, adding depth and crystal-like clarity. The light guide LED lamps form a clearly visible L-shaped signature whether on or off.
Human-oriented interior design is one of the fundamental tenets of the L-finesse design philosophy. Marking a significant evolution in the design history of the LS, a new instrument panel reflects this with a radical change to a more horizontally-based layout offering drivers more comfortable, ergonomically ideal interaction with the vehicle's HMI (Human Machine Interface) systems.
A clean, elegant dashboard design forms a wide horizontal plane, emphasising the overall roominess of the interior, whilst the door and centre console trim support the driver and front passenger in a secure, cocooned environment.
The dashboard is divided into two distinct zones: an upper Display Zone, with the ultra-wide, 12.3 inch, LCD multi-display screen - the industry's largest - located at an ideal distance for at-a-glance viewing, and a lower Operation Zone, which allows access to system controls such as the second generation of Lexus' award winning Remote Touch Interface (RTI).
Every aspect of the driving position has been carefully considered to create the ideal placement of controls, maximise comfort and minimise driver distraction and fatigue. Switches have been combined and their number reduced, and the centre cluster has also been made more compact.
The driver's instrument binnacle incorporates high-visibility, large diameter Optitron dials and a 5.8" TFT (Thin Film Transistor) Multi-information screen - the largest amongst Lexus vehicles - with an enhanced display ability. The new LS follows the CT and GS in adopting a Drive Mode Select system, with meter illumination and multi-information display design changing from blue to red in sports driving modes, along with the switching of the hybrid system indicator to a tachometer in the Lexus LS 600h.
The centre of the instrument panel features an analogue clock, precision machined from aluminium, with a Lexus-first GPS-based time correction function. The light-emitting hands and scale have been shaped to be as narrow as possible, accentuating the sense of fine craftsmanship. The 12 0'clock marking has been specially cut to concentrate light when the minute hand converges with it, emphasising the start of the next hour.
The driver's immediate environment has been further enhanced by a new, 3-spoke steering wheel which, at 380 mm in diameter, is 10 mm smaller than the 4-spoke design it replaces, offering owners a more sporting feel and a closer engagement with the vehicle's enhanced driving dynamics. And the aluminium, asymmetric gear shift lever has been leather-clad for a comfortable grip.
Fully described in the Refinement and Comfort chapter, both the driver and front passenger seats have been redesigned to offer improved comfort and support.
Throughout the interior, genuine materials and finishes convey a contemporary, premium look and feel, with a level of craftsmanship and attention to detail for which Lexus is globally renowned. Lexus firsts, the lower section of the instrument panel and sides of the centre console are clad in a new, highly durable material with the highest quality stitching, and - taking design cues from the interior ornamentation - the new smart key is clad in real leather and alloy for an authentic feel.
This beautifully crafted interior is complimented by the world's first Advanced Illumination System (AIS). Featuring new, Champagne White interior lamps and dynamic LED instrument panel lighting, AIS is fully described in the refinement and Comfort chapter.
Wheels, Colour Schemes and Trim
The new LS may be equipped with a choice of five wheel designs, including three newly developed aluminium wheels, one 18" and two 19". Both wheel sizes are available in a new, hollow chamber, noise reduction design which features a unique, high gloss, ultra-metallic coating. The Lexus flagship is available in a range of 10 exterior colours, of which three, Sonic Silver, Fire Agate and White Nova, are new.
Lexus engineers developed a new advanced coating process for the Sonic Silver finish. Vehicles with the Sonic Silver exterior appear more radiant as an additional metallic texture gives both strong shading and defined, sharp highlights. This metallic effect makes subtle and defined bodylines more noticeable and the surface appear finely polished.
The new interior is available in a choice of six colour schemes; Mellow White, Ivory, Light Grey, Black, Black and Saddle Tan, and a newly available Topaz Brown. The variety of ornamentation available has also been expanded, with newly developed Walnut, Black and both matt and high gloss Ashburl finishes, as well as newly available Shimamoku and Bamboo.
A Lexus first, the steering wheel and lateral dashboard ornamentation are available in a new, Shimamoku finish. An example of the very finest in traditional Japanese craftsmanship, Shimamoku - translated as 'striped wood' - involves the painstaking layering and angled cutting of dark and light shaded wood veneers in a unique process which involves 67 manufacturing steps over the course of 38 days.
Fully described in the F SPORT chapter, an F SPORT package is available for the first time on the LS model range. It includes unique exterior styling, lowered Sport air suspension, and exclusive interior features include sports seats, trim details and colour schemes.
REFINEMENT, COMFORT AND PROGRESSIVE FEATURES
With the launch of the first LS in 1989, the Lexus flagship immediately established a reputation for peerless levels of quietness and refinement. Its cabin combined the most advanced, technically sophisticated equipment with a luxurious environment quiet enough to enable normal conversation whilst travelling at high speed.
Successive generations of LS have consistently improved on every aspect of this unique interior environment. Cabin quietness and occupant comfort levels have been painstakingly honed, and progressive equipment refined with numerous world firsts in advanced on-board technology, to create the unparalleled comfort, convenience, discreet hospitality and carefully considered driver interaction that lie at the heart of the Lexus Ownership experience.
Representing further improvements to Lexus' already peerless standards, the new Lexus LS now lays claim to being amongst the quietest, most comfortable cars in the world.
Improved sound insulation
Comprehensive improvements have been made to the sound insulation in every area of the new LS, ensuring that it surpasses even the exemplary standards of cabin quietness already established by the current generation Lexus flagship.
Reducing engine noise, the dashboard silencer seal structure has been strengthened and insulation added to the engine cover. Both engine and road noise has been reduced through the adoption of thicker insulation to the front wheel arch liners and a revised noise insulating structure to the tibia pad.
Road noise has been reduced through the optimisation of floor silencer coverage, the addition of insulation materials under the rear seat, a change in rear wheel arch liner insulation material, an increase in the area of boot space trim sound insulation and a reinforcing of the rear partition panel hole seal structure.
Both wind and road noise have been reduced through the addition of further insulation to the door inner weather strips and service hole covers. And wind noise has been reduced through a change of insulation material for the roof trim, a smoothing of the A pillar and door frame mouldings, and the addition of aero fins to the door mirror to reduce air turbulence.
The result of these numerous enhancements is immediately noticeable aboard the new LS. Class-leading quietness is exemplified in the front seats by the lowest levels of engine noise amongst the new flagship's rivals, and in the rear seats by a level of conversation clarity which now rates at almost 100% when the new Lexus is travelling at 100 km/h.
Noise Reduction Wheels
Furthering these efforts to achieve the ultimately quiet ride, the new LS also becomes the first Lexus to adopt noise-reduction wheels. They channel resonant noise - generated by the tyres on impact with road surface imperfections - from the main air chamber within the tyre to adjacent hollow areas within the wheels, via resonator holes.
Once inside, the sympathetic vibrations generate air friction. The friction transforms the sound into kinetic energy, reducing the amount of noise. Tests reveal that, whilst driving on an uneven road, the cockpit environment in the area of the front seats is significantly quieter.
Body Structure Rigidity Enhanced for Greater Ride Comfort
High body rigidity is not only fundamental to vehicle stability and handling agility, it also plays a significant role in minimising the transmission of noise and vibration from the engine bay and road surface into the cabin, thus enhancing ride comfort.
The new LS incorporates several measures designed to further reduce vibration and improve ride comfort: A Lexus first, a new laser screw welding technique offers panel joint adhesion across entire surfaces as opposed to individual spots, increasing overall body rigidity.
The number of engine support member joints has been increased, and the engine mount characteristics improved. Both a larger tunnel brace and larger partition panel reinforcement have been adopted, along with larger front seat brackets.
Together, these measures result in a noticeable reduction in vibration, particularly in the floor area around the driver's seat, leading to a marked improvement in ride comfort.
Improved Seating Comfort and Seat Air Conditioning Control
Already renowned for their comfort, the front seats of the new Lexus LS have been further improved with a new design to minimise pressure peaks, improve support and reduce fatigue during even the longest journeys.
The upper back contact surface of the new LS front seat has been expanded, and the cushion thickness of the seat base has been increased by 20 mm for greater comfort. The addition of cushion length adjustment allows for the transfer of greater pressure under the thighs, reducing pressure on the buttocks. Improved pelvic support helps maintain correct lower body posture, reducing fatigue on long journeys.
The front passenger seat features a new, Ottoman-style, fold-out calf support which improves lower leg comfort by reducing heel pressure by 45% and thigh pressure by 10%.
Both front seats feature an improved air-conditioning system fitted as standard, the system being further incorporated within the rear seat upgrade package. The seats feature a larger heating area around the shoulder and back of the knee, and the heater output has been more than doubled, from 100 to 210 W, halving seat warm up time.
The seat also offers a larger cooling area, with twin low pressure drop heat exchangers increasing airflow by some 30%, and larger diameter seat perforations and a larger blower increasing airflow by a further 12%.
Both front and rear seat climate control may now be automatically incorporated in the operation of the new Lexus Climate Concierge air conditioning system.
Lexus Climate Concierge
A world first, the new Lexus Climate Concierge offers every LS occupant the ultimate in on-board thermal comfort. The world's most advanced climate control system, it features all the benefits of the Multi-zone Automatic Climate Control developed for the previous generation Lexus flagship, combined with automatic integration of the seat heating and cooling systems, and the steering wheel rim heater.
Guaranteeing ultimate comfort, the 4-zone independent control system goes beyond simply managing the air temperature within the cabin. Fully customisable, it also controls the temperature of all points of contact within the cabin - seats and steering wheel - to bring each occupant to their preferred temperature as quickly as possible.
For instance, in cold weather before the air conditioning system heating has reached maximum efficiency, the steering wheel heater and individual seat heaters are automatically turned on to warm up the driver and passengers quickly. Once the rapid seat heating function achieves a comfortable temperature - accomplished in half the time of the previous system - the seat heater automatically reduces temperature before switching off.
In a similar fashion, on hot days, a rapid cooling function controls seat temperature before the air conditioning system cooling has reached maximum efficiency, to quickly achieve a comfortable environment.
The Lexus Climate Concierge uses up to 13 sensors managed by a central ECU, including - part of the rear seat upgrade package on long wheelbase models - a unique, roof-mounted infra-red matrix sensor to measure climactic conditions throughout the cabin. Measuring the surface temperature of rear seat occupants enables the system to assess their specific thermal comfort, and then instigate bespoke adjustments to the air-conditioning system's independent rear zones.
No less than 20 individual outlets distribute warm or cold air throughout the cabin of the new LS. Besides B-pillar outlets, rear seat passengers benefit from generously sized Roof Climate Diffusers. Mounted above each outer rear seat, they offer unparalleled climate control around a passenger's head and neck.
The full hybrid LS 600h L further benefits from a heat exchanger with integrated PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) heating elements. This system will warm the front cabin area as quickly as possible after vehicle start-up, before the engine itself has reached a sufficiently high running temperature to supply heating to the air-conditioning system.
The climate control system also incorporates a new NanoeÂ® technology system. This air cleaning technology operates automatically when the air conditioning is turned on. It releases 20 to 50Nm diameter nanoe particles - negatively charged ions wrapped in water molecules - into the cabin.
By attaching themselves to airborne particles and molecules, the nanoe ions have been said to have both an air purifying and odour eliminating effect. They also deodorise vehicle seats and ceiling to create a cleaner cabin environment.
In addition, because nanoe moisture content is approximately 1,000 times that of conventional ions, the emission of ions bonded to water molecules is said to have a moisturising effect on skin and hair, acting to enhance occupant well-being.
Advanced Illumination System (AIS)
This beautifully crafted interior is complimented by the world's first Advanced Illumination System (AIS). Featuring new, Champagne White interior lamps and dynamic LED instrument panel lighting, AIS is an LED interior lighting system which creates an atmosphere appropriate to the flagship of the Lexus model range.
Elements of the LED lighting illuminate to greet the occupants as they approach the car, even before it is unlocked, activating and fading thereafter in sequence with the vehicle starting procedure.
The numerous interior lamps of the AIS are divided by colour temperature into three illumination colours: a Warm White, for soft facial illumination from dome lamps and vanity mirrors; Champagne White, bringing elegance and serenity to the overall interior lighting to reinforce the progressive luxury inherent in the new Lexus LS interior design; and White Heat, for the clearest possible text illumination of the meters, instrument panel and clock.
Control of the timing, brightness and distribution of AIS illumination throughout the interior is fully coordinated, enabling both interior and exterior lighting ambience to be varied according to several vehicle operation and driving scenarios:
A 'Greeting' lighting sequence guides the driver to the vehicle and welcomes him on board. When the door is unlocked, the DRLs and door mirror puddle lamps illuminate. As the driver approaches the vehicle, soft light floods the footwells, and the dome lights, clock and new, full-width, instrument panel band lighting gently illuminate.
The 'Vehicle Start' sequence illuminates the meters, switches and clock to full brightness, the navigation screen opening sequence begins, and brighter instrument panel band illumination flows from the centre to both sides of the LS interior. The inside door handles and footwells are also lit.
The 'Driving' sequence dims the instrument panel band from the sides to the centre, simultaneously dimming footwell and door handle lighting, and reducing meter, switch and clock illumination to the driver's preferred level.
On switching off the LS, the 'Vehicle Parked' sequence flashes and then dims the instrument panel band lighting from each side towards the centre, before it finally concentrates to a point and extinguishes. Once the instrument panel light is off, the entire interior illuminates, including the door handles and footwells.
Second Generation RTI with 12.3" Multimedia Display
The second generation Lexus Remote Touch Interface (RTI) multi-function control device has been enhanced for increased user-friendliness and ease of operation.
RTI features the world's largest on-board multimedia display; a 12.3 inch, full colour, LED screen with an ultra-wide, 24:9 format. The screen's size allows for the permanent display of two types of information simultaneously, such as map/audio, Night View/map and navigation input/incoming call.
The system now incorporates the world's first slide haptic joystick mechanism - a planar slide-type controller, much like a computer mouse, that allows users to scroll quickly and easily across the display screen. The ENTER command is now accomplished by simply pushing the controller. Usability has also been improved through the addition of ambient lighting, and by minimising the difference in height between the RTI controller and the armrest.
The Lexus Navigation System
Accessed via the LS's Remote Touch control system, the Lexus Navigation System benefits from a powerful, HDD capacity, making it one of the fastest, most accurate systems on the market.
In conjunction with enhanced Remote Touch control, the multimedia system's 12.3" display now has multi-screen capability, allowing for the permanent display - and independent control - of three types of information simultaneously, from a menu including map, audio, vehicle information, navigation input, air conditioning functions and incoming call.
Incorporating automatic screen zoom at intersections, the navigation system features several new functions. They include a true 3-D view with city model and landmark graphics, the accurate replication of motorway signage, and speed limit information.
The advanced voice recognition system has been improved through an enhanced recognition capability and a reduction in operational steps. It allows users to search both phone and music databases, and facilitates one-shot navigation address input.
Via internet connection using the customer's Bluetooth mobile phone, the Lexus Navigation System provides access to an on-line Points Of Interest search facility from the Google Local Search database, and allows addresses from the Google map website to be added as destinations.
An RDS-TMC traffic information system is integrated directly within the navigation system, offering an advanced information service in nine Western European counties. This allows the most accurate information to be used in the system's route calculation, giving the driver the option of taking an alternative route to avoid traffic incidents.
In some European countries, traffic information is also transmitted on DAB+ (Digital Audio Broadcasting), using TPEG (Transport Protocol Expert Group). This constitutes a significant improvement over RDS-TMC technology for several reasons; the digital signal can carry far more information; its pin-point accuracy allows for better navigation routing; and it offers a wider service with more precise traffic flow information, and parking availability.
Premium Surround Sound System
The new Lexus LS is fitted as standard with a Premium Surround Sound System. Featuring a 9 channel amplifier and 10 speakers, and now equipped with a digital radio tuner, it offers a class-leading standard audio system specification.
The system has been upgraded in the new LS, with the adoption of a new digital amplifier. Full digital processing and newly developed power integrated circuitry brings enhanced clarity to the sound. The system's surround sound effect has been strengthened through the use of new DSP processing technology.
New, compressed audio enhancement technology has also improved the recovery of high frequency components and tones lost from compressed audio sources such as an iPodÂ®. iPod functionality and interface quality has been enhanced; via USB port connectivity, the iPod menu can now be driven from the vehicle's RTI control system and album cover art displayed on the 12.3" multimedia screen.
The system utilises no less than 10 individual speakers, including front and rear door mounted tweeters, upper rear door mid-range units, a large, 250mm subwoofer for powerful, deep bass notes and a newly adopted 87mm front centre speaker for improved definition and mid-range clarity. The carefully considered disposition of speakers within the Lexus LS interior ensures the highest possible quality of sound reproduction throughout the entire cabin.
Mark LevinsonÂ® Reference Surround System
The LS may be equipped with a state-of-the-art Mark LevinsonÂ® Reference Surround System offering quite simply the finest in-car audio experience available today. Over 2,000 hours of laboratory and on-road voicing have optimised the system for the specific acoustic characteristics of the new Lexus LS passenger cabin.
In conjunction with the 12.3" display screen, the Mark LevinsonÂ® Reference Surround System introduces LS owners to a complete, discrete 5.1 home theatre entertainment experience.
The discrete circuitry, 15 channel, ML3-16 Processor Power Amplifier covers a frequency range of 20Hz-20kHz, producing up to 450 Watt with less than 0.1% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD).
Through 7.1 channel surround speaker architecture, separate, full-range side and surround channels provide an extraordinary sense of musical envelopment and depth for all passengers. In particular, rear seat passengers do not merely experience sound from behind as with other automotive 5.1 systems.
Key to the superlative performance of the new Mark LevinsonÂ® Reference Surround System are no less than 19 loudspeakers (12 of which are unique to this system alone), each one custom engineered for the particular acoustic characteristics of its location. The system comprises seven 25 mm tweeters, seven 100 mm midrange units, two 150 mm x 230 mm woofers, two 165 mm woofers and one 250 mm subwoofer.
Mark LevinsonÂ® loudspeakers use a variety of advanced materials, construction techniques and geometry to reduce distortion and coloration while increasing the dynamic capability of the system to achieve truly superior results.
Blu-RayÂ® Rear Seat Entertainment System
The Lexus LS Rear Seat Entertainment System features a separate DVD/CD player and a 9" VGA screen for the 5.1 home theatre entertainment experience of the Mark Levinson Reference Surround System.
The system has been upgraded in the new LS, offering occupants an SD card slot and, a Lexus first; the high contrast, high definition Blu-ray player. The system remote control has also been made smaller, and the controls more intuitive.
In addition to a rear screen-dedicated Blu-rayÂ® player, the rear centre console houses a storage compartment for DVDs, CDs and headphones, a refrigerated cool-box, cup holders, a retractable table, remote controls for both the massage programme and entertainment system, and a control panel for the operation of the air-conditioning, seats and sunshades.
The system also incorporates an additional input for the connection of various portable devices such as a games console or video camera. Furthermore, two sets of headphones may be connected to the system simultaneously, allowing rear seat passengers to enjoy the full breadth of rear seat entertainment available aboard the LS without distraction to the driver or front seat passenger.
Long wheelbase LS - The Ultimate Rear Seat Comfort Experience
Also available in five-seat format, long wheelbase versions of the new Lexus LS can be equipped with two, individual, full leather rear seats divided by a bespoke centre console. Independently adjustable and fully integrated with the new Climate Concierge air conditioning system, they offer the ultimate in rear seat comfort experience.
The seats feature power adjustment, operable both via the centre console control panel and a remote control unit. Both seats can be reclined and also include a centre seatback flexing function.
The rear seat diagonally opposite that of the driver can be reclined to a maximum of 45 degrees and further features a fully retractable 'ottoman' thigh and footrest for the ultimate in limousine seating comfort. To enhance legroom when fully reclined, the travel limit of the front seat has been extended by 40mm.
One touch of a memory button reclines the rear seat and extends the ottoman thigh and footrest, whilst simultaneously folding down the front seat headrest and moving the entire seat forward. When the rear passenger door is opened, the ottoman seat automatically retracts, whilst opening the front passenger door automatically returns the front seat to its foremost standard position and raises the headrest.
Rear Seat Relaxation System
Coupled with a conventional vibration massage system, the rear seat diagonally opposite that of the driver is equipped with a new, air-assisted massage system. The system is based on the technology and operational qualities of the best massage chairs on the market today.
Incorporating a remote air pump located in the luggage compartment to ensure silent operation, it features a total of eight pneumatic chambers covering the area of the occupant's shoulders, back and hips. The system reproduces professional massage techniques with a range of different programmes - the intensity of which may be adjusted by the user - including Shiatsu, shoulder and lower back acupressure.
SRS Rear Seat Cushion Airbag
The 'ottoman' rear seat also incorporates a seat cushion airbag - unique to this segment - which activates during frontal impact, inflating the front area of the seat base to reduce the forward and downward motion of the occupant's pelvis and, hence, minimise abdominal injury.
Rear Power Sunshade
The LS features power sunshades to both rear and side door windows, including the rear quarterlight, both increasing comfort and providing total privacy for rear seat passengers. When the gear lever is moved to the 'R' position, the rear power sunshade is automatically retracted to maximise visibility when reversing.
In addition to the new leather and alloy clad smart key the LS is also available with a card key. Just 3.3 mm thick and smaller than a credit card, the card key may be kept in a wallet or pocket throughout any drive. It allows doors and boot to be opened at the touch of a handle and the engine to be switched on via a push-start button.
The driving dynamics of the new LS have been rigorously upgraded to combine the refinement, ride comfort and high speed stability appropriate to the flagship of the Lexus model range with greater handling agility and a more sporting and engaging driving experience.
Body rigidity has been improved and aerodynamics enhanced to offer an even flatter, road-hugging ride with excellent damping characteristics for maximum comfort. The electric power steering and the air suspension system incorporating enhanced Adaptive Variable Suspension have been revised to improve steering feel and response, vehicle agility and high speed stability.
Brake pedal feel and operation has been improved to offer superior brake response and effectiveness. And a new Drive Mode Select system features up to five switchable driving modes to optimise the driver's preferred combination of economy, comfort, performance and handling characteristics.
The new LS 460 is available as a rear- or all-wheel drive. The full hybrid LS 600h is, as standard, all-wheel drive and - on F SPORT versions - fitted an active stabiliser system. Both models are available as long wheelbase versions and, for the first time in the LS model range, a more dynamic, F SPORT derivative.
Improved Body Rigidity
The body rigidity of the new Lexus LS has been significantly enhanced, improving both handling stability and ride comfort.
New, cutting-edge production technologies have been introduced to enhance the body's vibration-damping characteristics: A Lexus first, laser screw welding to the upper door apertures joins a larger panel area than traditional welding to better suppress deformation. And the use of body adhesives to join the lower back and roof headers connects the entire area where the panels meet, maximising the rigidity of the joints.
Further rigidity-enhancing improvements throughout the bodyshell combine to enhance stability, steering feel, and handling agility. They include front and rear suspension member brace reinforcement, a larger floor tunnel brace which increases rigidity by 60%, the addition of cabin, partition panel and lower back reinforcement, and an increase in both cowl and dash spot welds and instrument panel reinforcement joints.
As well as the adoption of laser screw welding techniques, an increase in the engine support member joints, improved engine mount characteristics and larger front seat brackets all combine to further minimise vibrations, improving ride quality.
Steering feel and response has also been improved through a 20% increase in steering support rigidity. Both the outer mounting plate thickness and the number of joints to the body have been increased. The pipe thickness of the support itself has also been increased, and additional welding added adjacent to the steering column itself.
From the original LS 400 which, 23 years ago, evidenced a drag coefficient of just 0.28, each successive generation of LS has established a reputation for class-leading aerodynamics. With a drag coefficient of just 0.26 in all configurations, the new Lexus LS maintains this tradition, and is the most aerodynamically efficient car in its segment.
Taking aerodynamic performance another step forward, aero-stabilising fins mounted at the base of the door mirrors and at the sides of the rear combination lamps reduce air turbulence, causing air to flow smoothly down the sides and cleanly away from the rear of the vehicle. This not only improves straight line stability, but also suppresses swaying under steering inputs.
The new LS further enhances comprehensive aerodynamic underbody measures with the addition of airflow-smoothing fins to the engine undercover, boot undercover and, with a change in spat shape, behind the front wheel arches. These fins optimise downforce to both enhance steering feel at high speeds and generate excellent traction.
As a result, the new Lexus LS boasts front and rear coefficient of lift figures of just 0.02 and 0.01 respectively. The new Lexus flagship's rear coefficient of lift - fundamental to high speed cornering stability - is 0.06 lower than that of its closest competitor.
Revised Multilink Suspension with New, 4-wheel Interlock AVS
The Lexus LS was the first vehicle in the premium automotive segment to adopt a multi-link configuration to both front and rear air suspension systems.
The air suspension system for the new LS has been further refined and evolved: A 6% increase in the lateral rigidity of the bushings has enhanced yaw responsiveness. The rebound spring design has been changed to a non-linear, progressive type which minimises roll angle whilst maintaining optimum ride comfort. And the variable damping range has been expanded, helping to reduce excess roll at the moment of initial steering input.
In combination, these suspension refinements offer a more comfortable ride whilst, conversely, reducing roll angles and noticeably improving initial response to steering inputs.
The LS air suspension system works in co-operation with an Adaptive Variable Suspension system (AVS). In response to driving operation, vehicle body motion and road surface conditions, AVS automatically activates the adjustable damping force shock absorbers to fulfil a wide range of control functions.
The system gradually increases the damping force as speeds rise, combining low speed comfort with high speed driveability and stability; it increases front end damping force under braking to reduce front end dive; it increases rear end damping force to minimise squat during acceleration; and it continuously optimises vehicle posture and stability by adjusting the damping force to both inner and outer shock absorbers through a bend.
In addition, AVS automatically maintains optimum vehicle ground clearance irrespective of load weight and passenger distribution, and automatically lowers the LS during high speed driving to optimise the Lexus flagship's aerodynamic efficiency and stability.
In conjunction with the air suspension refinements in the new LS, a further evolution of AVS adds a 4-wheel interlock control and improved control software. Previously adjusting the performance of the suspension at each wheel independently, AVS now simultaneously suppresses the three-direction vibration of roll, pitch and heave at all four wheels, minimising any unpleasant vibration in the direction of roll.
As a result, the exemplary vertical vibration suppression performance of the current generation Lexus LS has been retained, whilst damping response has been made smoother and more highly controlled for an even flatter, more comfortable ride
Previously offering drivers a switch-operated choice of Comfort, Normal or Sport damper settings, AVS has now been fully integrated within a new, five mode Drive Select System, full described below.
Active Stabiliser System
Exclusive to the LS 600h F SPORT, an Active Stabiliser system features variable twist-torque anti-roll bars to effect enhanced body control and steering response precision during high-performance driving, without compromise to the Lexus flagship's legendary straight line ride comfort. In keeping with the Lexus Hybrid Drive central tenet of minimising energy consumption, the Active Stabiliser system remains inactive during straight line driving.
The system features an actuator centrally located on both front and rear anti-roll bars, capable of applying torque to both left and right hand sections of the bar. The twist force, applied independently to both front and rear stabiliser bars by the highly responsive system, controls vehicle roll motion, reducing body roll angle to promote improved vehicle stability, superior cornering performance and improved agility through enhanced steering response.
Enhanced Electric Power Steering with VGRS
In conjunction with the adoption of a new, smaller steering wheel with increased driving position adaptability, the power steering gear friction characteristics of the Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS)-equipped Electric Power Steering (EPS) have been revised to improve steering feel and feedback, maximising the benefits of the numerous, agility-enhancing suspension revisions.
Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) can vary the steering gear ratio by more than 30%. The gear ratio can vary between 2.3 rotations lock-to-lock at very low speeds and 3.7 rotations at high speed.
The VGRS system promotes excellent driver feedback, with refined steering wheel operation at very low speeds, reduced understeer feel and enhanced steering adjustment response when cornering, and minimal steering angle adjustment required when changing lanes.
The VGRS system actuator is linked to the Lexus flagship's sophisticated Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management control system (VDIM) which helps maintain vehicle stability with minimum driver input. VGRS also cooperates with the Pre-Crash Safety system's Emergency Steering Assist system in providing a quicker steering response once an obstacle is detected in front of the car.
Improved Brake Feel and Power
The new LS remains the only car in the segment to feature an electro-hydraulic braking system. Its adoption not only elicits a reduction in overall brake system weight, but also allows for a more precise brake force distribution, which favours the optimum operation of VDIM.
The Electronically Controlled Braking system (ECB) has been revised to offer drivers superior braking response and effectiveness, and enhanced feel to brake pedal operation.
The brake pedal stroke has been shortened to promote a faster response, and the pedal pressure required has been reduced to maximise the effectiveness of applied pedal operation force.
The contact surface angle of the brake pedal has been changed to reduce the ankle articulation required at the top of the pedal stroke, allowing for a smoother foot transition from throttle to brake pedal, with less ankle bending. The contact surface radius of the pedal has also been changed, moving the foot contact point to the centre of the pedal for more natural brake operation.
ECB features powerful, 357 mm discs to the front and 337 mm discs to the rear, both with a spiral fin ventilation, and fitted with high grip coefficient brake pads to increase judder-free high speed braking efficiency. The system's high heat radiation architecture features a change to the shape of the front brake duct, the resultant improvements in cooling efficiency suppressing the heat-elicited build-up of brake fade.
Newly Adopted Drive Mode Select
The new LS adopts a further Lexus first, Drive Mode Select, which features up to five switchable driving modes - ECO, COMFORT, NORMAL, SPORT S and SPORT S+, optimising the driver's preferred combination of economy, comfort, performance and handling characteristics.
LS models not equipped with AVS feature a three-mode Drive Mode Select system, offering drivers a choice of ECO, NORMAL and SPORT settings.
A number of previously introduced, independent systems such as AVS are now consolidated within the system to enhance ease of use; changing modes being simply and quickly implemented via a console-mounted, turning dial selector switch.
By controlling related systems to minimise energy use, ECO mode provides a fuel-efficient, environmentally-conscientious driving experience. ECO mode modifies throttle response and engine power output in response to accelerator pedal inputs, reducing both to maximise fuel efficiency. It also automatically limits the voltage of the LS full hybrid's Power Control Unit (PCU), whilst simultaneously providing comprehensive control over the air conditioning system and seat heaters.
The newly added COMFORT mode changes the suspension characteristics to provide a smoother, more comfortable straight line ride, in the same manner as operating the AVS system switch on the current model.
SPORT and SPORT S modes tap into the full potential of the powertrain, maximising throttle response and engine power output to accelerator pedal inputs, to combine a more sporting drive with no loss of ride comfort.
SPORT S+ combines this enhanced performance with adjustment to both the chassis and steering control systems. AVS automatically increases the difference between inner and outer shock absorber damping through corners by approximately 20% to further reduce vehicle roll. Simultaneously, the Active Stabiliser system engages the front and rear anti-roll bars, and the Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) system automatically reduces the steering gear ratio by approximately 10% whilst the Electric Power Steering (EPS) increases steering assist torque by some 4%. These measures combine to minimise body roll, sharpen vehicle handling and optimise steering feel for the ultimate in sports sedan driving.
Revised Acceleration Characteristics and Engine Sound Tuning
In conjunction with the introduction of Drive Mode Select, the drive characteristics of the LS 460's 8-speed automatic transmission have also been modified to enhance impressions of both luxury and dynamism under acceleration.
In NORMAL mode, the transmission now offers smoother, more seamless acceleration from a standstill, with a more gentle increase in G force.
In SPORT mode, not only does the transmission provide greater power more rapidly under full throttle acceleration from a standstill, but it has also been tuned to offer more dynamic acceleration control for a more sporting, highly engaging driving experience. The transmission will now automatically downshift during hard braking for a corner, hold a lower gear through the corner for greater control, and then offer drivers a greater power response to full acceleration when exiting the corner.
The engine note of the new Lexus LS has also been tuned to create a pleasing, more sporting sound under full throttle acceleration. The sound has been painstakingly balanced, with a significant reduction in high and middle-high frequencies, as well as a smaller reduction in low frequency sound to reduce engine booming noise.
Enhanced V8 and Full Hybrid Powertrain Efficiency
The 4.6 litre V8 and the full hybrid powertrain of the new LS have been enhanced to improve their efficiency, boost power and lower CO2 emissions.
Both units adopt low viscosity engine oil, a low resistance differential gear and completely revised control systems, including the air conditioning system, and benefit from low Rolling Resistance Coefficient (RRC) tyres. In addition, the full hybrid powertrain features more efficient energy regeneration during deceleration. LS 460 models further benefit from a reduction in agitation loss in the oil pan and, on AWD models, reduced exhaust resistance.
As a result, LS 460 engine output has increased by 5 kW (AWD - 2 kW), and both powerplants generate less CO2 emissions in the European combined cycle, the V8 achieving a level of 249 g/km and the full hybrid just 199 g/km.
The most technologically advanced internal combustion engine ever to have been developed by Lexus engineers, the LS 460's 4,608cc V8 engine is a showcase of precision mechanical engineering. Featuring a Dual-pipe Intake System, an Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS), D-4S stoichiometric direct injection and third-generation Dual VVT-i.
It generates the highest specific output amongst normally aspirated V8 units in the premium automotive segment, now developing 285 kW/387 DIN hp at 6,400 rpm (AWD - 272 kW/370 DIN hp), and maximum torque of 493 Nm at 4,100 rpm. Mated to the world's first 8-speed automatic transmission, it will accelerate the LS 460 from 0-100 km/h in only 5.7 seconds and from 80-120 km/h in just 4.9 seconds. The Lexus LS 460 will travel from a standstill to 400 m in 13.8 seconds, and on to a top speed of 250 km/h.
The LS 600h was the world's first vehicle to feature a full hybrid V8 powertrain, combining a technologically peerless 5.0 litre petrol engine with a powerful, high-output electric motor, a large-capacity battery pack, a dual-stage, electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (E-CVT) and permanent All-Wheel Drive.
This state-of-the-art Lexus Hybrid Drive system equips the LS 600h with an unparalleled balance of performance and environmental efficiency. It combines the 394 DIN hp/290 kW power of the 5.0 litre V8 with an electric motor output of 225 DIN hp/165 kW to generate a peak combined output rating of over 445 DIN hp/327 kW, making the LS 600h the world's most powerful full hybrid V8.
The LS 600h will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds and on to an electronically governed 250 km/h. Equally impressive is the potent mid-range torque afforded by the system's powerful electric motor. Operating in tandem with the V8 petrol engine, it is capable of delivering maximum torque of 300Nm instantaneously, and seamlessly, from a standstill. This characteristic is most beneficial in mid-range performance during overtaking manoeuvres, and the Lexus LS 600h will accelerate from 80 to 120 km/h in just 4.2 seconds.
Conversely, the Lexus LS 600h also proves substantially more frugal than comparable luxury saloons, returning a class-leading combined fuel consumption figure of 8.6 l/100 km (fuel consumption on a par with that of a 3.5 litre engined vehicle), CO2 emissions of 199 g/km, and exceptionally clean exhaust gases.
Fitted as standard to the LS 600h and available on LS 460 models, the all-wheel drive system features a central, permanently engaged, TorsenÂ® Limited Slip Differential (LSD) which distributes drive power between the front and rear axles.
Because both Type A and Type B TorsenÂ® differentials provide equal, 50:50 torque distribution between front and rear axles, Lexus engineers developed a highly compact, Type C TorsenÂ® Limited Slip Differential for use in the LS, its 40:60 rear axle bias in torque distribution successfully suppressing understeer whilst still delivering the rear wheel drive characteristics of ride comfort and acceleration stability essential to a dynamic, premium segment saloon.
Moreover, the Type C differential's highly responsive torque distribution qualities are continuously controlled and, optimised according to driving conditions, can be varied from between a 48:52 to a 32:68 split between axles. This further enhances the Lexus hybrid flagship's grip, traction and cornering stability under acceleration to class-leading levels.
Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM)
The new LS is equipped with the latest generation of Lexus' state-of-the-art Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system. Discussed fully in the 'SAFETY' chapter, VDIM integrates the LS's Electronically Controlled Braking (ECB), Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Traction Control (TRC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) active safety systems with the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), Electric Power Steering (EPS) and Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) systems.
Unique to the LS 600h, the full hybrid drive-train's Driving Response and Acceleration Management System (DRAMS) also affords VDIM unprecedented interaction with both engine and transmission, employing engine and electric motor output control to effect a faster, smoother and more precise response to situations involving the possibility of a loss of traction, such as mid-corner gear changes.
Whereas conventional active safety systems are only activated immediately after a limit of the vehicle's performance envelope has been reached, VDIM progressively engages before that limit is realised. As a result the system offers smoother vehicle behaviour at this threshold through less obtrusive intervention and, hence, a more pleasurable drive.
ALL-NEW F SPORT
For the first time in its history a new, F SPORT package is now available on the Lexus LS model.
Embodying the ultimate driving performance of the LFA, the LS F SPORT package has been specifically designed to exploit and enhance the core driving benefits of the revised LS platform.
Designed for owners who wish to drive themselves, F SPORT extends both the equipment specification and performance potential of both V8 petrol and full hybrid models. It combines unique exterior and interior design features with F SPORT-specific chassis tuning to offer LS owners unprecedented handling agility and driver involvement.
Exclusive Exterior Design Features
Targeting the more spirited driving style offered by a lower centre of gravity, F SPORT models are equipped with Sport air suspension which lowers the body height by 10 mm. F SPORT exterior design features include exclusive front grille and front and rear bumper treatment, 19" alloys, exclusive wheel paint and grade-specific badging.
The F SPORT front bumper design features a mesh pattern spindle grille with an enhanced three-dimensional feel and larger cooling openings. The chrome grille surround has been replaced with a sporting, black finish to convey a more powerful, sporting performance, and simple round fog lamps replace the slanted LED lamps of the standard models.
From the side, F SPORT models may be identified by an aggressive, 19" wheel design with an exclusive paint finish, the Lexus marque on the 6-piston Brembo front brake callipers and bespoke F SPORT badging. To the rear, a unique lower bumper design incorporates a chrome-plated bar running along the bottom edge to accentuate the lowered centre of gravity.
F SPORT models are available in a choice of seven exterior colours of which one, White Nova, has been developed exclusively to reflect the pure, sporting nature of the marquee.
Exclusive Interior Design Features
F SPORT model interior design features a choice of two exclusive colour schemes; Back and White Grey, and Black and Mellow White, both complemented by an Alcantara roof head lining. Unique to the grade, solid aluminium ornamentation is also available.
16-way electrically adjustable, F SPORT emblem-embossed authentic sports seats offer excellent holding performance, enhanced by 25% over the standard seat. Their dynamic design incorporates perforated leather upholstery with grade-specific white and grey stitching.
The F SPORT-exclusive interior is completed with a bespoke, dimple perforated leather steering wheel with paddle shifters, a matching leather gear lever, and sporting aluminium pedals and scuff plates.
The driving experience of LS F SPORT models combines the class-leading quietness and comfort of the standard model range with a more sporting, dynamic chassis set-up to enhance traction, grip, handling agility and driver involvement.
The multilink sports air suspension system has been lowered by 10 mm and rear suspension member brace reinforcement added to further enhance body rigidity, giving a flatter, more stable ride and improving chassis response to steering inputs.
The rear-wheel drive LS 460 F SPORT is equipped with a torque-sensing, TorsenÂ® limited slip differential, which optimally distributes torque between the rear wheels, enhancing traction for faster acceleration out of corners. Exclusive to full hybrid F SPORT models (and fully described in the Driving Dynamics chapter), an Active Stabiliser system combines a flat ride posture and superior ride comfort with enhanced body control and steering response precision during high-performance driving. BremboÂ® 6-pot front brake callipers offer the smooth, highly stable braking performance appropriate to the F SPORT range.
All Lexus LS F SPORT models offer drivers steering wheel mounted, paddle shift manual override transmission control. Unique to rear-wheel drive LS 460 models, paddle shift incorporates automatic throttle blipping on downshifts for a smooth, highly engaging driving experience.
Recognising that an engaging engine sound is essential to a sporting driving experience, the LS 460 F SPORT package adds an intake sound creator to the engine. The sound creator uses a damper that amplifies the vibration of the intake pulse and introduces it as a pleasing note into the cabin, whilst all unnecessary noise remains eliminated.
Safety is of fundamental importance to the Lexus brand. As exemplified by numerous revolutionary developments designed to help avoid or mitigate accidents through intelligent anticipation, the LS range has consistently offered an outstanding array of sophisticated, integrated, active and passive safety technology.
2003 marked the introduction of Lexus' ground-breaking, millimetre wave radar-based Pre-Crash Safety system (PCS), and the sophistication and operating parameters of the system have been continually enhanced with each new generation of the LS.
The new Lexus LS enhances pedestrian safety through a newly developed Adaptive High-beam System (AHS), and an upgraded Advanced Pre-crash Safety system (A-PCS) with collision avoidance assist, which has the ability to help the driver detect moving pedestrians under a wide range of city and highway speeds, by day or night
An enhanced Lane-Keep Assist system (LKA) introduces yaw rate feedback control to help correct deviations caused by road camber changes and crosswinds. And the enhanced Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Lexus Night View are also available to help improve the driver's visibility.
Advanced Pre-Crash Safety (A-PCS) System
The new LS upgraded Advanced Pre-Crash Safety (A-PCS) System with collision avoidance assist is amongst the most advanced automotive pre-collision active safety systems in the industry. It is designed to assist the driver in avoiding or mitigating collisions with vehicles and pedestrians under a wide range of city and highway speeds, by day or night.
The Advanced Obstacle Detection system combines information identified by millimetre wave radar, near infrared projectors and a stereo camera to help detect a wide range of obstacles with precision by day or night. Because many pedestrian collisions occur after dark, the A-PCS night detection capabilities are key enhancements to the effectiveness of this system.
The LS Advanced Obstacle Detection provides upgraded recognition controls for analysing images from stereo cameras, which now allows the enhanced A-PCS system to function at a wide range of vehicle speeds - down to just 5 km/h - and, for the first time, to help detect moving, as well as stationary pedestrians, by day or night.
Having identified an obstacle in front of the vehicle, A-PCS is designed to assess the likelihood of a collision based on the position, speed and trajectory of the object. If the system anticipates a high probability of collision, it activates a warning buzzer and a red screen 'BRAKE' alert on the instrument binnacle Multi-Function Display.
Simultaneously, the new A-PCS will automatically activate several integrated safety systems: the Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) Emergency Steering Assist - to help improve the vehicle's response to the driver's steering input, the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) - to stiffen the dampers, both to assist in controlling front end "nose dive" when Pre-Crash braking is engaged to help increase the responsiveness of the vehicle to evasion steering inputs, the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system - to increase vehicle stability during an evasive manoeuvre, and the Pre-Crash Brake Assist system (PBA) - to increase emergency braking force when the driver presses the brake pedal.
If the system subsequently determines that a collision is unavoidable, A-PCS then activates the Pre-Crash Seatbelt (PSB) - pre-tensioning the seatbelts through the motorised uptake of loose seat belt webbing to improve the initial restraint performance. If the relative speed between the driver's vehicle and the obstacle ahead exceeds 40 km/h, the system automatically applies the brakes and brake assist to slow the vehicle and help to reduce the severity of a collision.
In the event that the relative speed between the driver's vehicle and the obstacle detected ahead does not exceed 40 km/h, if the driver does not take corrective action after receiving the alarm alert, the system automatically brakes brakes to help avoid a collision. At these relative speeds, the system is designed to bring the vehicle to a stop to avoid a collision.
Because A-PCS has increased the maximum braking power of the existing system to approximately 1 G and reduced the time to achieve maximum deceleration to within a second, it significantly improves the chances of a driver avoiding a collision at relative speeds of under 40 km/h.
This system is intended to assist drivers, but it is the driver's responsibility to be aware of the vehicle's surroundings. The system cannot prevent all collisions and performance is dependent upon road, weather, and vehicle conditions.
PCS Driver Monitoring System
The PCS Driver Monitoring System constantly monitors the movement of the driver's head when looking from side to side. If the driver turns his or her head away from the road ahead for a few seconds while the vehicle is in motion and the system detects that a collision is probable, the system will automatically bring forward the Pre-crash warning alarm. If the situation persists, it will briefly apply the brakes. If the driver does not then respond immediately, all PCS functions will engage.
An additional new PCS function monitors the driver's eyes, using two built-in, near infrared LEDs, the CCD camera of the Driver Monitoring System, and will automatically bring forward the Pre-Crash warning time if closed eyes are detected.
Rear Pre-crash Safety System
The Rear Pre-Crash Safety system operates whether the LS is stationary or in motion, and employs a millimetre-wave radar installed within the rear bumper to continually scan the area around the back of the vehicle. If the system determines a high probability of collision, it activates the rear hazard warning lights1 to alert the driver of the vehicle behind. If a collision is deemed unavoidable, the system automatically activates the Pre-Crash Safety Whiplash Injury Lessening (PCS-WIL) front headrests, which move forward and upward to reduce the risk of whiplash injury. (1 feature not available in all markets)
Upgraded Lane-keeping Assist (LKA)
An upgraded Lane-Keeping Assist system (LKA) offers enhanced lane-keeping assistance in response to external disturbances such as lateral road camber and crosswinds.
Subject to weather conditions, the LKA system monitors white line road markings via the Advanced Obstacle Detection System stereo imaging camera to determine whether the vehicle is drifting out of a given lane or off the road surface, and can provide an audible warning as well as steering power support to help the driver regain the correct road position.
The new, upgraded LKA system further incorporates a new yaw rate feedback control. Discrepancies between ideal and actual vehicle posture caused by uneven road camber or crosswinds are quickly detected, and steering torque is automatically adjusted in accordance with vehicle speed, enhancing the driver's ability to stay in a chosen lane.
LKA offers a choice of two functions, dependent on whether or not the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is simultaneously in operation. If ACC is inactive, the system offers a Lane Departure Warning (LDW) function only. Operational from 50 km/h, should the system detect the possibility of a lane departure, LDW encourages the driver to steer back into the lane using an audiovisual warning and a function to provide brief corrective steering.
If LKA is activated while ACC is in operation, LKA further offers a Lane Keep (LK) function, operational at speeds of 75-180* km/h (*upper speed range differs by market). Once again, should the system detect the possibility of a lane departure, LK will activate a warning sound and apply corrective steering torque to assist the driver.
New Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)
An all-new feature for the LS model, the Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) plays a significant role in lane changing safety. BSM uses the Lexus LS PCS rear millimetre-wave radar to help monitor the vehicle rear side blind spots. The precision of the radar enables it to distinguish walls and other stationary objects from approaching vehicles.
This has made it possible to significantly lower the vehicle speed at which the system begins operating to just 16 km/h. This now makes the system usable when driving at low speeds, such as in traffic jams.
New Adaptive High-beam System (AHS)
The LS headlamps feature another Lexus first; a newly developed Adaptive High-beam System (AHS).
During night driving, AHS automatically switches between low, high and shielded beam modes. Using a windshield head-mounted camera to detect vehicles ahead, the system activates shutters within the headlamp to partially shield illumination in the area occupied by the vehicle. When the shielded beam is activated, the lamp unit automatically swivels to adapt the range of the shielded illumination for both single and multiple lane traffic as well as through corners.
By shielding, rather than switching off the high beam, AHS can increase the average time spent driving under high beam illumination, thus improving road visibility
Automatic High Beam
LS models not equipped with AHS feature an Automatic High Beam system. A camera located in the inner mirror detects light sources in front of the vehicle - including the headlamps of oncoming vehicles, the tail lamps of a vehicle ahead and street lighting - and the system will automatically switch the high beams on and off accordingly, reducing the need for manual operation of the dimmer switch.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Complementary to the PCS system, the LS also features an Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system. The system offers two modes: (a) constant speed control and (b) vehicle-to-vehicle distance control, and is capable of operating at any vehicle speed between 0 and 200 km/h.
Thanks to the millimetre-wave radar's low speed, close proximity distance measuring ability, it enables ACC to operate in slow or congested traffic, and can bring the Lexus vehicle to a complete standstill, and accelerate away once the road ahead is clear.
The constant speed control functions in the manner of a conventional cruise control system. Capable of differentiating between vehicles directly ahead of the Lexus and those in an adjacent lane, the vehicle-to-vehicle distance control system will automatically slow the LS, match the speed of the vehicle in front and, once the road is clear ahead, accelerate to the cruising speed previously selected by the driver.
The ACC system is intended to assist drivers, but it is the driver's responsibility to be aware of the vehicle's surroundings and drive the vehicle in a safe manner. The system performance is dependent upon road, weather, and vehicle conditions.
Lexus Night View System
The Lexus Night View system combines a windscreen head-mounted near infra-red camera and near infra-red projectors mounted within the headlamp clusters with a Night View ECU to display an image of the road ahead on the LS's 12.3" centre console display screen.
Moving the image from the driver's instrument binnacle to the centre console screen offers drivers a larger display and an easier viewing angle.
With the camera constantly in operation and the near infra-red projectors activating at speeds over 15 km/h to enhance system efficiency, Lexus Night View will display an area up to 20 metres in front of the vehicle.
Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM)
The new LS model is equipped with the latest generation of the Lexus state-of-the-art Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system, to enhance performance, traction control and vehicle stability.
With comprehensive status data provided by sensors throughout the vehicle, VDIM integrates the Lexus LS's braking and active safety systemsâ€”such as the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), Electronic Power Steering (EPS) and Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) systems.
By the application of simultaneous, integrated control of all the elements related to vehicle movement, including the drive train, brakes and steering, VDIM not only improves the activation of braking, stability and traction control systems, but is also able to further improve the overall kinetic performance of the vehicle.
Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) and VDIM Co-operation
VGRS co-operates fully with the LS's VDIM system in order to ensure a rapid and appropriate steering response under a variety of vehicle stability threshold conditions.
For example, on a road surface with differing degrees of grip on either side of the vehicle, sudden braking will cause the vehicle to pull towards the side with the higher friction coefficient. As well as improving the efficiency of the Electronically Controlled Brake (ECB) systems, VDIM simultaneously activates the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) and VGRS systems to automatically regulate the steering angle and counteract the disparate, left and right-side braking forces, minimising the driver steering input necessary to maintain straight line braking.
Similarly, when differing degrees of road surface grip cause the vehicle to pull towards the side of the lower friction coefficient under acceleration, VDIM automatically regulates the steering angle to help maintain vehicle stability with minimum driver input.
In the case of oversteer, the VDIM system automatically activates a counter-steer function within the EPS and VGRS systems which, operating in tandem with throttle and ECB system control, helps the driver to control a skid. Under such conditions, the combined use of brake and steering control reduces the deceleration inherent in traditional braking systems.
In moderate understeer conditions, VDIM combines engine output and braking control to automatically help stabilise the vehicle. In the case of excessive understeer, however, an increase in the steering gear ratio by the VGRS allied to steering torque assistance by the EPS automatically helps curb excessive turning of the front wheels and, in conjunction with the VDIM system's engine output and brake controls, in order to increase vehicle stability.
In all the above cases, VDIM activated VGRS can provide up to 3 degrees of additional steering input, effectively coaching the driver in the application of steering wheel input appropriate to the situation and, thereby helping maintain vehicle stability. Moreover, simultaneous VDIM control of the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system automatically regulates the suspension's shock absorber rates to both increase body control under extreme conditions and reduce vehicle nose diving under emergency braking conditions.
Additional Safety Features
Comprehensive airbag protection includes two-stage Dual Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) front airbags including a twin-chamber passenger airbag, driver and front passenger knee airbags, front and rear side airbags, as well as full length side curtain airbags.
The Lexus LS advanced safety technology is intended to assist drivers, but it is the driver's responsibility to be aware of the vehicle's surroundings and drive the vehicle in a safe manner. The system cannot prevent all collisions and performance is dependent upon road, weather, and vehicle conditions.
Conceived under the tenet 'Everything we can do in one car', and driven by a fundamental philosophy at the heart of the new Lexus brand - "The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection" - it took 1,400 engineers and 2,300 technicians, 450 prototypes and six years to complete the Lexus LS 400. Two years after the vehicle's introduction in 1989, Lexus had become the best selling luxury import brand in America.
The LS 400 redefined the concept of quality as it applied to even the smallest component, and established the global benchmark for a new generation of luxury vehicles. Painstaking attention to the reduction of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) awarded the luxury sedan an exceptionally quiet, comfortable cabin. Advanced aerodynamics - a class-leading aspect of every Lexus LS evolution - afforded the LS 400 a drag coefficient of just 0.29, further enhancing the car's remarkable quietness at high speed.
The outstanding durability and reliability that have become a hallmark of the Lexus marque were developed through comprehensive testing on an unprecedented scale. More significantly, Lexus engineers recognised that the continuous re-analysis of the basic aspects of automotive engineering is fundamental to ensuring that technology serves a clear purpose. These principles have been a common ground in the development of every LS model to date.
Launched in 1994, the second generation LS further advanced the unrivalled levels of quietness and ride comfort established by its predecessor. The wheelbase was lengthened, improving both cabin and luggage space, and a number of new, advanced features - such as multi-zone air conditioning and a multi-function touch-screen display with voice recognition - further enhanced comfort and convenience on board.
Significant changes to the third generation Lexus LS launched in 2000 included a more sophisticated exterior design, an interior exuding even higher standards of quality and functionality, and the introduction of a 4.3 litre V8 that delivered true flagship performance.
Always a key LS feature, safety performance was enhanced with the adoption of several advanced systems including ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and an evolved airbag system. 2003 marked the introduction of Lexus' ground-breaking, millimetre wave radar-based Pre-Crash Safety system (PCS).
The fourth generation LS of 2006 took both the exterior and interior of the flagship to new heights of elegance, functionality and hospitality through the honing of Lexus' L-finesse design philosophy. A 4.6 litre V8 equipped with both D-4S direct injection and Dual VVT-i was mated to the world's first 8-speed automatic transmission. And both driving dynamics and safety were enhanced through the adoption of Lexus' unique Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system (VDIM), Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) and a further evolution of both front and rear Pre-crash Safety systems (PCS).
In 2007, the LS 600h introduced Lexus' revolutionary, high performance hybrid technology to the flagship of the brand for the first time. Still the world's most powerful hybrid model, its innovative Lexus Hybrid Drive system encapsulates precisely the type of driving characteristics that are the hallmark of Lexus drivetrain engineering, utilising the ultimate in high technology to award its customers a unique, sophisticated, intelligent driving experience which is exceptionally powerful, refined and efficient.
Throughout its 23 year history, the Lexus LS has grown and evolved with the times. Yet is has always remained true to its roots, faithfully inheriting the spirit of the original generation through adherence to four key genetic traits: The adoption of world first, cutting edge technologies; the highest levels of quality combined with a uniquely Japanese sense of style and detail; unrivalled cabin quietness; and the smooth, comfortable ride befitting a premium segment luxury sedan.
Over 730,000 LS models have been sold since the launch of the first LS 400 in 1989. The majority are still on the road today.
Reinforcing Lexus' commitment to the highest levels of build quality, the LS has won the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM, earning the distinction of the highest-performing model in its segment with just 50 PP100. This is the 5th consecutive year in which the Lexus LS has won this prestigious accolade, and the 12th time in 15 years that it has been placed first in its segment.
Development concept - The Quietest, Most Refined Car in its Class
Constituting a major change to the current LS, the new Lexus flagship scales new heights of product maturity through a bold blend of refinement and evolution.
Since its launch in 2006, the current generation LS has been subject to over 2,500 ongoing improvements; at a stroke, the new LS adds another 3,000 changes, including three world first, and no less than 15 Lexus first, features and technical innovations.
Responding in detail to customer feedback throughout every aspect of its development, the new Lexus LS has been conceived to raise the bar even higher in the pursuit of unprecedented refinement, comfort, driving performance, technical excellence and, above all, quality.
Reflecting the direction next-generation Lexus models will take, the bold, sophisticated dynamism of the new spindle grille frontal design awards the new LS a combination of enhanced elegance, greater road presence and stronger brand identity entirely appropriate to a flagship model.
The heightened perceptions of aggression and dynamism represented by the new spindle grille design herald a significant improvement in driving dynamics, responsiveness and handling agility.
Increased body rigidity not only enhances stability, but also allows for a more comfortable ride with no detriment to handling agility. Pitch and bounce control has been enhanced to give an even flatter, road-hugging ride. Revised steering offers immediately noticeable improvements in accuracy and turn-in response. And the braking system has been revised for more immediate power and greater pedal feel.
More than merely a packaging exercise, an all-new F SPORT package combines more sporting, aggressive exterior and interior design with genuine dynamic enhancements, from the lowering of ride height by 10 mm to the addition of a TorsenÂ® limited slip differential and Brembo 6-pot calliper front brakes.
Striving for the ultimate in refinement and luxury, the new LS justifiably now lays claim to being one of the quietest cars in the world. The revised interior design not only focuses on even greater levels of refinement and occupant comfort, but also responds to the demands of a further maturation of Lexus' renowned Human Machine Interface (HMI) technologies.
Safety enhancements focus on pedestrian collisions and lane keeping assistance. The new Advanced Pre-Crash Safety system (A-PCS) with collision avoidance assist is the most advanced pre-collision active safety system in the industry. It is designed to assist the driver in avoiding or mitigating collisions with vehicles and pedestrians under a wide range of city and highway speeds, by day or night
An Adaptive High-beam System (AHS) greatly extends the time spent without dipped headlights. And the Lane-Keep Assist system (LKA) has been enhanced to automatically correct deviations caused by road camber changes and crosswinds
Finally, the new flagship has been designed to reinforce the outstanding quality that has earned Lexus numerous global awards with each successive generation of LS. With customer feedback fundamental to the development of the new Lexus, every stage of both the design and manufacturing process has been re-analysed to ensure that the unparalleled levels of quality and craftsmanship for which the brand has become renowned are reflected in every aspect of Lexus LS ownership.