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2013-03-18 18:54

PIMPED: The new Lexus LS 460 is out with some fancy trimmings, all worth it's R1.2-million price tag.

The new Lexus LS 460 is out at local showrooms, and while the costly tag might be questioned at first, it’s almost a brand new car and all the goodies are included as standard.

Every bell and whistle you would expect to find is included in the new car, and customers merely need to choose the body colour and trim options they fancy.

Launched back in 2006, the LS 460 made quite an impression, but it also had a few glitches when it had to be recalled several times for a few glitches. Either way, the car was a stunner even back then and came fully loaded too. Now, with a few more years of technology in the boot, even literally, the car sounds like it could be worth its R1-million plus price tag. (We'll have to see for ourselves when we test it at Wheels24.)

NEW PARTS GALORE

Lexus says the only things that have not been touched on the new car are the exterior door panels. Other than that, there are more than 3 000 parts and components including the dashboard, seats and engine control unit.

Lexus South Africa general manager Justin Ryan said:  “One easily forgets that dramatic change is in the spirit of Lexus and, as the pioneer of the Lexus brand, of the LS.”

“The first generation of LS set new global records for time and money invested in the development of a single model, while every Lexus since has upset the status quo with its long list of luxuries included in the price.”

THROATY POWER

Powering the car is a 4.6-litre V8 with 32 valves and dual intelligent variable valve timing (dual VVT-i) pushing out 285kW at 6400rpm and 493Nm at 4100rpm, mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It goes from zero to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds and governed top speed of 250km/h, along with a symphonic sound track thanks to the acoustically engineered sound amplifier linked to the engine.

Lexus claims a combined fuel consumption of 10.7 litres/100km in a combined cycle, down from 11.1 in the previous model.

Styling sees the ‘spindle grille' or, better known as the 'king spindle' which uses a large part of the front end while still remaining rigid. The grille is draped in chrome, which is a first under the new L-finesse design, surrounded by two levels of LED light detailing.

There’s a new sculpted bonnet, a sound-proof windscreen, rear light clusters, side mirrors with integrated LED turn indicators, puddle lights and aero-stabilising fins, privacy glass with rear automated blinds and new side skirts. There is also brand new 19” alloys.

Even the boot lid has a hidden reverse camera and rear sensors that work in combination with the vehicle’s blind spot monitoring system.

SPOILT FOR CHOICE

Inside, the  automaker spoils with the finest leather, real wood or bamboo inserts, mood lighting and easily accessible equipment controls. If you want to be different, you can opt for the real Japanese Shimamoku trim - fine wood layering that takes 67 steps in 38 days as no extra cost.

A new feature is the world-first climate concierge system which has sensors measuring the four zones in and outside the car and adjusts the temperature accordingly, including that of the seat heating and cooling and heated steering wheel. The system also ionises and purifies the interior air air to remove smells, pollutants and pollen.

BIG SCREENS

The facia includes a 14.7cm colour display monitor for the various information available to the driver and a 31.2cm electro multi vision (EMV) display above the analogue clock. The latter is cut from aluminium and illuminates when a person carrying the key approaches the car. The clock is also equipped with a GPS system to adjust time according to the relevant time zone.

The large EMV screen uses the remote touch interface (RTI) with satellite navigation and iPod cover art, and a voice control system.

The drive mode select control allows the driver to choose between eco/comfort, normal, sport and sport plus. This system is also linked to the vehicle’s adaptive air suspension to change ride and handling characteristics in each mode.

Anyone’s favourite feature would be the improved 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system with a 15 channel amplifier and connectivity for any type of input –even Blu-ray discs.

PRICE
The Lexus LS460 is available at a cool R1 236 700 with a four year/100 000km full maintenance plan and warranty with roadside assistance. Service intervals are at 15 000km.

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