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2012-07-31 12:17

LEXUS SPRUCES UP ITS FLAGSHIP: In an effort to reinvent itself, Lexus spices up its luxury LS with a new design and sporty personality

With 3000 improvements and changes, Lexus has unveiled its most significant mid-cycle modifications to its flagship model – the new LS range.

The new LS is due for local introduction either late 2012 or early 2013, with details on its model line-up and pricing revealed closer to launch.

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President of Lexus Kiyotaka Ise said: "With over 730 000 sold during its 23-year, four-generation history, the LS has grown and evolved with the times.

"Our new flagship has much greater visual presence; the bold new design reflects how Lexus is evolving. This new LS brings sharper driving dynamics, the highest levels of refinement and luxury and once again is supported by industry-leading technology," said Ise.

EXTERIOR DESIGN

The exterior of the new LS has been comprehensively redesigned and sports the new “face of Lexus” including the automaker's spindle grille.

All LS hybrid models boasts LED headlights with i-AFS (Intelligent Adaptive Front lighting System) while the LS 460 models gain Bi-Xenon headlights with AFS in lieu of the LED units.

Rear combination lamps feature LEDs and are designed to portray the Lexus "L" when lit.

New wheel rim designs will feature across all models, with exclusive 19-inch alloy wheels for F Sport and new 14-spoke, hollow rim 19-inch alloys for Sports Luxury models.

The new hollow rims significantly lower cabin noise by reducing resonance of the rim while driving and Lexus claims its new flagship sedan is “the quietest car in its class”.

INTERIOR CHANGES

One of the largest areas of change for new LS is the interior.

The dash, centre console and surrounds have been redesigned to increase functionality, while bringing LS in line with Lexus' all-new interior design themes as debuted on GS.

On the centre console, switches have been combined and their number reduced, and the centre cluster is more compact.

Commanding the centre of the LS's new dash is an all-new advanced analogue clock which is integrated with the vehicle’s GPS system allowing automatic updates as the vehicle traverses time zones.

On selected models, a front passenger seat ottoman is available.

All new Lexus LS models are fitted as standard with a 450-Watt, 19-speaker Mark Levinson audio system with 7.1 channel surround sound. The system has been upgraded with a Blu-ray player and features either a roof-mounted screen for short wheelbase models (LS 600hL four-seater included) or a centre console-mounted screen for five-seat LS 600hL variants.

Using laser screw welding, adhesive body bonding techniques and structural bracing, the overall body rigidity has been increased by 60%.

The engineering improvements result in a more rigid platform, increasing overall vehicle safety and comfort, and reducing vibration.

Leveraging the improved platform is a new four-wheel interlock control evolution of the Adaptive Variable air Suspension (AVS) system.

The new system improves pitch and bounce control to deliver a flatter, road-hugging ride.

The Drive Mode Select, shown in the GS sedan, offers five driving modes Comfort, Eco, Normal, Sport S and Sport S+.

ALL-NEW F SPORT

An F Sport model is available on LS offering more spirited driving experience through sport air suspension which lowers the body by 10mm.

The rear-wheel drive LS 460 F Sport is equipped with a limited-slip rear differential and Brembo six-piston front brake callipers.

The F Sport hybrid models offer an Active Stabiliser system for enhanced body control and steering response precision, while LS 460 F Sport models gain paddle shifts.

Exterior design changes on F Sport includes a new grille, front and rear bumper, 19-inch alloys and paint options.

The interior is decked out it one of two colour schemes, sport seats, leather steering wheel with paddle shifts, leather gear lever and aluminium pedals.

LATEST LEXUS TECH

Joining the raft of visual, dynamic and design changes, all LS models receive comprehensive new technology and safety features.

Dubbed Lexus Climate Concierge system, it combines automatic operation of front and rear seat climate control (heating and cooling) and the steering wheel rim heater via a network of 13 sensors managed by a central ECU to attain ideal occupant comfort.

LS Climate Control systems now adopt innovative Nanoe air purifying technology which the Japanese automaker says releases 20 to 50mm-diameter Nanoe particles which have both an air purifying and odour eliminating effect.

The Pre-Collision Safety System's monitors the movement of the driver's head when looking from side to side, via two infra-red LEDs and a CCD camera.

If a driver turns their 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 issue the pre-crash warning alarm.

If the situation persists, it will apply the brakes.

Other tech added to the new LS includes Lexus’ blind spot monitor and auto high beams.

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