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Lexus flagship reimagined: All you need to know about the new LS sedan

2017-01-14 06:01

NEXT LEXUS LS: Lexus' new LS oozes luxury. Image: QuickPic

Cape Town - The world debut of the fifth-generation Lexus LS took place at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Lexus says its next LS has been completely redesigned as global car, destined to be available in 90 countries. The automaker says its goal was not to improve on what has been done before, but to exceed the expectations of luxury customers worldwide.

The re-imagined LS will make its South African debut in Q1 of 2018 with local specification details published closer to local release date. 

Twin-turbo V6 and 10-speed transmission

An all-new 3.5-litre V6 engine has been designed specifically for the new LS, churning out 310kW/600Nm. Coupled with the all-wheel drive, the LS boasts with a claimed 0-100km/h acceleration time of 4.5 seconds.

The driver will be able to tailor powertrain response and feel by selecting Normal to Sport and Sport+ drive modes, all of which has an influence on the exhaust note, says Lexus.

READ: Lexus' stunning LC 500 headed for SA

The LS marks the first use of a 10-speed automatic transmission in a luxury saloon, the system having made its debut in the new LC coupe. 

The driver can execute gearshifts using paddle controls, or allow Lexus’ advanced electronic control system to change gears. Lexus says this system anticipates the driver’s input and changes gears accordingly. The system chooses the ideal ratio by monitoring the acceleration, braking and lateral G-forces.

Image: QuickPic

Re-imagining luxury

The new LS is longer and lower than the model it replaces and debuts a new exterior design, with a coupe-like silhouette.

Lexus’s new GA-L platform made its debut in the LC coupe and now, with a longer wheelbase, underpins the new LS. The new LS has a wide and low design and is only offered in long wheelbase form.

The GA-L platform is the stiffest in Lexus’s history and at 3125mm the wheelbase is 35mm longer than the current LS long wheelbase model.

READ: Paris auto show - Lexus to reveal new, innovative... car seat?

Lexus says its latest generation of vehicle dynamics integrated management (VDIM) will better ride and handling balance. This system implements co-operative control of all vehicle sub-systems - braking, steering, powertrain and suspension - to control the car’s basic longitudinal, lateral and vertical motion, as well as yaw, roll and pitch. 

The LS also features active anti-roll bars, as well as Lexus’ dynamic handling (LDH) with independent front and rear steering further enhance the LS’s handling. 

Lexus engineers used lightweight materials, including ultra-high-tensile steel and aluminium, to carve more than 90kg from the weight of the current LS’s platform and body.

Image: QuickPic

Classical or hip hop?

Lexus says new sound suppression methods further hush the environment compared to previous LS models. Active noise control quiets the cabin by detecting the sound of the engine coming into the vehicle and cancelling certain frequencies, using anti-phase sound from the audio speakers.

The cabin, according to Lexus, provides an ideal stage for the standard premium audio system, and that the 3D surround-sound Mark Levinson system features in-ceiling speakers. The next generation remote touch control is also reportedly designed to mimic smartphone operation and can also support handwritten input.

REVIEW: Lexus' performance-tuned GS in SA

In addition to a 12.3” navigation display, the LS can incorporate an optional 24” colour head-up display - the largest in the world - that projects a variety of information toward the driver’s forward line of vision.

Image: QuickPic

New safety features

The LS will be equipped with Lexus’ Safety System+ and benefit from the world’s first intuitive pedestrian detection function with active steering, says the automaker. With this system, if a pedestrian is detected on the road ahead and a collision is imminent, the LS will automatically brake and steer around the person, keeping to its traffic lane. The driver will be alerted by a warning on the colour head-up display.

Lexus Co-Drive, a high-level driving support system, is also being introduced on the new LS. This provides steering control in accordance with the driver’s intention and continuous driving support on motorways.

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