The pinnacle of dynamic luxury
The Lexus family has a new head as the luxury Japanese company introduces its flagship LS460 to South Africa. The new model epitomises dynamic luxury and is the pinnacle of technology in the luxury segment. The new model also brings Lexus’ new styling philosophy full circle, capturing L-finesse in all its elegance and giving the recently introduced IS250 and GS300 a father figure to complete one of the most up-to-date model ranges available on the SA market.
The Lexus LS460 made its debut at the Detroit Motor Show earlier this year and is now reaching retail markets, including South Africa. The flagship Lexus model, is making its debut at Auto Africa with sales commencing during November at extremely enticing pricing considering its wealth of features and technology.
The Lexus nameplate also remains the world’s most dependable brand with further accolades praised on it from the renowned JD Power and Associates studies in the United States. Lexus models came tops in the Vehicle Dependability Study, the Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, and the Initial Quality Study, in which Lexus models rank highest in every segment in which they compete.
The LS460 feautres a completely new V8 engine developed for exceptional refinement as well as performance. A world first is the adoption of electric motor driven VVT (VVT-iE or Variable Valve Timing-intelligent by Electric motor) for the intake VVT. By switching the VVT drive from a hydraulic system to an electric motor, the VVT operating angle has been expanded. This enables optimum valve timing control over a broad engine operation range.
The 4,6-litre V8 features develops 280kW at 6 400 rpm and 493Nm of torque at 4 100 rpm.
Another world first is the eight-speed automatic transmission. The decision for eight ratios was to achieve a wider spread of gear ratios that would allow brisk acceleration in lower gears, improved mid-range flexibility for overtaking in third through fifth and very long top gears for relaxed cruising and lower fuel consumption.
The Lexus LS460 has every imaginable feature included as standard in one model derivative. Unlike competitors, Lexus feels that an LS customer needs to be treated to the very best of what Lexus can offer and therefore brings to market one fully-specced car.
The LS460 environment is one of sheer decadence. The finest leather and wood is an obvious and standard environment. All four seats are electrically adjustable and have seat heaters and coolers. Four zone climate control allows individual temperature settings for each passenger.
The multi-function leather steering is electrically adjustable for reach and height and includes controls for the Bluetooth telephone, cruise control, fundamental audio controls and a “Hold” function that alleviates the necessity to keep your foot on the brake while standing still in traffic and allows easier pull-offs on steep gradients.
Other standard features include electrochromatic mirrors, automatic lights, an easy-close boot lid, one-touch electric windows and a six-CD Lexus Premium Sound System with 19-speaker digital surround sound.
The LS460 features a 8,0-inch colour monitor with enhanced colour for the EMV including navigation. Park Distance Control (PDC) with sonar and a rear camera with guiding functions is also standard equipment. There are also electric rear blinds for the rear windscreen and rear side windows that can be operated from the front or rear of the LS460.
The new LS has been built with the express aim of achieving class-leading safety in terms of full-frontal, offset and side-on collisions.
Of course, the LS460 offers some of the highest technology safety equipment in the industry. VDIM (Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management) is a new concept of vehicle kinematic control that integrates brake control, drive power control, steering control, and coordinates control with the automatic transmission. Rather than using the independent functions of the conventional ABS (Anti-lock Brake System), TRC (TRaction Control System), and VSC (Vehicle Stability Control System), the VDIM integrates and coordinates these systems to implement steering control and enhance the vehicle’s “driving, turning, and stopping” performance.
The LS460 has ABS with EBD and Brake Assist. The Lexus LS also benefits from 10 airbags; two-stage Dual Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) front airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, front and rear side airbags, as well as side curtain airbags. Intelligent Adaptive Front Lighting System (I-AFS) helps to illuminate a bend as the driver steers into it. The Tyre Pressure Warning System (TPWS) can detect a loss of pressure in one or more tyres and notify the driver.
If that wasn’t enough, Lexus also has a Pre-Crash safety system that is unfortunately unavailable to the SA market because of road network infrastructure. The system is so advanced it is currently only available in Japan. Pre Crash not only prepares the car and occupants for inevitable collisions, but also attempts to proactively avoid them. For instance, there is a camera that monitors the driver’s head position and will set off warning signals of an oncoming obstacle should the driver not be looking in that direction.