NEW LEXUS LS – 2012 PARIS MOTOR SHOW
NEW LEXUS LS
- Flagship limousine adopts latest Lexus styling inside and out
- Even more refinement and comfort, with innovative and useful advanced technologies
- Improved driving dynamics
- Introduction of the first F Sport version of LS with sportier styling and sharper handling
The Lexus LS has evolved with the times in the 23 years since the original model was launched, and amassed more than 730,000 sales worldwide.
At the same time it has remained true to four fundamental qualities: using world-first, cutting edge technologies; delivering the highest quality with an essentially Japanese sense of style and detail; unrivalled cabin quietness; and the kind of smooth and comfortable ride that befits a flagship luxury saloon.
The new LS is a significant development of the current generation model, which since its introduction in 2006 has benefited from 2,500 improvements. At a stroke, the new LS adds a further 3,000 changes, including three world-first features and 15 features and technical innovations that are firsts for Lexus.
It has not been a case of change for change’s sake either: Lexus has responded to customer feedback throughout every aspect of the car’s development. The aim has been to raise the bar even higher in terms of refinement, comfort, driving performance, technical excellence and, above all, quality.
The LS’s exterior has undergone a comprehensive redesign. Reflecting the direction next-generation Lexus models will take, it adopts the distinctive spindle front grille arrangement that has become a feature of all new models since the introduction of the CT 200h last year. This underpins a stronger Lexus brand identity, coupled with greater road presence.
In a first for Lexus, all lights – headlights, rear lamps and fog lights – are available with LED technology. The new vertical fog lights use the world’s smallest PES lens (Poly Ellipsoid System, 30mm diameter), and there are also new L-shaped, seamless light tube daytime running lights.
In the cabin the new instrument panel design is divided into two zones: an upper Display Zone, with the ultra-wide 12.3-inch LCD multi-display screen – the largest on the market – and a lower Operation Zone, featuring system controls such as the second generation of Lexus’s Remote Touch Interface and a new Drive Mode Select.
The number switches has been reduced by combining functions and the centre cluster has been made more compact. There is also a new, smaller, three-spoke steering wheel with a greater range of adjustment.
Lexus craftsmanship and attention to detail can be witnessed throughout the interior. In another Lexus first, the analogue clock uses GPS technology to keep correct time, and there is a new Shimamoku stripped wood option for the steering wheel and instrument panel trim. In another neat touch, the smart key is finished in combination of leather and metal alloy.
Refinement, comfort and progressive features
Comprehensive improvements have been made to engine, road and wind noise sound insulation, and, in a Lexus-first, new hollow chamber noise reduction wheels can be fitted, which cut the amount of noise experienced in the cabin. Lexus tests have found that for those in the rear seats, conversational clarity is rated at 100 per cent when the LS is travelling at 62mph (100km/h), confirming the new LS as the quietest car in its class.
The new model benefits from greater structural rigidity and a series of measures designed to further reduce vibration and improve ride comfort. A Lexus-first laser screw welding technique means panel joint adhesion can be achieved across entire surfaces, rather than being limited to individual spots; together with adhesive body bonding, this delivers a marked increase in overall body rigidity.
The front seats and their heating and cooling functions have been improved and, in a world first, the front and rear seat climate control can be automatically co-ordinated and incorporated in the new Lexus Climate Concierge system. The most advanced system of its kind in the world, it provides all the benefits of multi-zone climate control together with automatic integration of seat heaters/ventilation and even the steering wheel rim heater.
The interior is lit by the world’s first Advanced Illumination System with new soft white interior lamps and LED instrument panel lighting that moves and changes in intensity in line with vehicle start-up and switch-off.
As well as focusing on greater refinement, the interior also presents further advances in Lexus’s human-machine interface technologies. The award-winning Remote Touch Interface gives easy and intuitive control of the car’s infotainment systems, via a 12.3-inch multimedia display.
The Lexus Navigation system benefits from powerful HDD capacity and internet connectivity, making it one of the fastest and most accurate systems on the market. AllUKversions will be fitted with a 19-speaker Mark Levinson Reference Surround System, and the rear seat entertainment system has been upgraded to include a high definition Blu-Ray DVD player with 5.1 home theatre entertainment quality.
The new LS is available with two powertrains: the LS 460 uses a 4.6-litre V8 petrol unit and the LS 600h is fitted with the full hybrid Lexus Hybrid Drive system.
A series of improvements, including the use of low viscosity oil, a low resistance differential gear and revisions to the control systems, have reduced CO2 emissions in both powertrains. The new LS 460 emits 249g/km and the LS 600h 199g/km.
Maximum output in the LS 460 has increased by 7bhp (5kW) to 382bhp (285kW) at 6,400rpm, with maximum torque of 493Nm at 4,100rpm. It uses the world’s first eight-speed automatic transmission and can accelerate from rest to 62mph in 5.7 seconds.
TheLexus Hybrid Drivein the LS 600h delivers an unparalleled balance of performance and environmental efficiency. The 5.0-litre V8 engine produces 389bhp (290kW) and the electric motor 221bhp (165kW), giving peak combined power of more than 439bhp (327kW). This makes the new LS the world’s most powerful full hybrid V8. Acceleration from nought to 62mph can be accomplished in 6.1 seconds, and top speed is electronically limited to 155mph (250km/h). Combined cycle fuel consumption is on a par with a 3.5-litre engine at 32.9mpg.
The new LS’s driving dynamics have been rigorously upgraded in the pursuit of greater refinement, ride comfort and high speed stability, and to give the car a more sporting and engaging driving quality.
Body rigidity has been improved (see above) and the car’s aerodynamics have been improved and the dampers tuned to give a smoother and more highly controlled response to achieve a flatter, road-hugging ride with maximum comfort. The electric power steering and the multilink suspension have been revised to improve steering feel and response, vehicle agility and stability.
Lexus has also developed the LS’s Adaptive Variable Suspension with a new four-wheel interlock control, which suppresses roll, pitch and heave vibration at all four wheels simultaneously.
The braking system has been adjusted to give more immediate power and better pedal feel. Even the length of stroke, angle and contact surface of the brake pedal have been tweaked to make braking more responsive and comfortable.
The new LS gains another Lexus first in the form of its Drive Mode Select, offering five switchable driving modes: Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport S and Sport S+. These provide easy adjustment of vehicle systems to help deliver the driver’s preferred balance of economy, comfort, performance and handling characteristics.
A number of vehicle systems that were previously operated independently have now been consolidated within the Drive Mode Select for ease of use. Changing modes is quick and easy, using a dial selector on the front console.
The new F Sport grade – introduced in the LS range for the first time – combines more sporting exterior and interior design elements with genuine dynamic enhancements. The car’s centre of gravity is lower, with the Sport air suspension reducing the body height by 10mm.
Exterior design features that set the F Sport apart include dedicated front grille, and front and lower rear bumper treatments and specific 19-inch wheels and badging. In the cabin there are exclusive colour schemes, 16-way adjustable sports front seats embossed with the F Sport emblem, a dimpled leather steering wheel trim and matching gear lever finish, paddle shift controls and aluminium sports pedals and scuff plates.
The rear-wheel drive LS 460 F Sport model further benefits from the addition of a torque-sensing Torsen limited slip differential, an active stabiliser system for improved body control and steering response, a dynamic chassis set-up and Brembo six-pot front brake callipers.
All F Sport models are fitted with paddle shift controls, with automatic throttle blipping on downshifts on the LS 460 F Sport.
The LS 460 F Sport sounds the part, too, thanks to an intake sound generator on the engine that amplifies the vibration of the intake pulse and introduces it into the cabin.
The new LS is fitted with the Lexus’s Advanced Pre-Crash Safety system with collision avoidance assist. The most advanced system of its kind in the auto industry, it is designed to help the driver avoid an accident, or if the worst happens, mitigate the consequences of a collision, with vehicles or pedestrians. It can operate across a wide range speeds, and in daylight or darkness.
When the system detects a vehicle, pedestrian, or obstacle ahead, an alarm alerts the driver to take appropriate steps to avoid a collision. If the relative speed between the LS and the obstacle ahead exceeds 25mph (40km/h), the system automatically applies brakes and brake assist to slow the vehicle and help to reduce the severity of a collision.
If the relative speed is less than 25mph, and the driver does not take corrective action after receiving the alarm alert, the system automatically applies the brakes. At these speeds, the system is designed to bring the vehicle to a stop to avoid a collision.
The technology 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.
The new LS is available with a new, Adaptive High-beam System (AHS) which automatically switches between low, high and shielded headlight beam modes. It can increase the time spent driving on high beam illumination by up to 50 per cent.
The Lane-Keep Assist system has been upgraded so that it can respond to external factors such as changes in road camber changes and crosswinds. A Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) system is also available.
Lexus applies an Advanced Craftsmanship process for the manufacture of the new LS at its Tahara factory, helping ensure the quality that has earned the marque numerous global awards for reliability and customer satisfaction.
Advanced Craftsmanship fuses state-of-the-art automated manufacturing and digital measurement technology with the expertise of Takumi master craftsmen – highly skilled technicians – at every stage of vehicle development, production and quality control. It uses several techniques that are unique in the motor industry, achieving significant improvements not only in overall, machine-measurable quality, but also in the perceived quality of every component, as in the tactile quality of surfaces, the visual quality of component fit and even the aural quality of the engine note.
The Tahara assembly process involves stringent built-in quality checks unique to Lexus. This painstaking checking process is further bolstered by several tests that are exclusive to LS manufacture: all assembled parts are measured during the inspection process, every engine undergoes a rigorous balance test, and every vehicle is test driven before delivery to the customer.
LS 460 and LS 600h
The new Lexus LS 460 and LS 600h will go on sale in theUK later this year, with further details of performance, specification and pricing to be announced.
Preliminary technical specifications
|HYBRID SYSTEM||LS 460||LS 600h|
|Type||-||Series/parallel, full hybrid|
|Combined power (bhp/kW)||-||439/327|
|Type||V8, longitudinally mounted||V8, longitudinally mounted|
|Valve mechanism||4 valves per cylinder DOHC, chain drive, dual VVT-i, VVT-iE for intake||4 valves per cylinder DOHC, chain drive, dual VVT-i, VVT-iE for intake|
|Bore x stroke (mm)||94.0 x 83.0||94.0 x 89.5|
|Fuel system||EFI, D-4S||EFI, D-4S|
|Fuel type||95 octane petrol, or higher||95 octane petrol, or higher|
|Max. power (bhp/kW @ rpm)||382/285 @ 6,400||389/290 @ 6,400|
|Max. torque (Nm @ rpm)||493 @ 4,100||520 @ 4,000|
|ELECTRIC MOTOR||LS 460||LS 600h|
|Type||-||AC synchronous, permanent magnet|
|Max. power (bhp/kW)||-||221/165|
|Max. torque (Nm)||-||300|
|HIGH VOLTAGE BATTERY||LS 460||LS 600h|
|Type||-||Nickel metal-hydride (Ni-MH)|
|Number of cells||-||240 (6 x 40 modules)|
|TRANSMISSION||LS 460||LS 600h|
|2-speed motor reduction gear ratios||-||Low||3.900|
|Differential gear ratio front/rear||-/2.937||3.916/3.916|
|PERFORMANCE||LS 460||LS 600h||LS 600h L|
|Maximum speed (mph)||155||155||155|
|FUELECONOMY||LS 460||LS 600h||LS 600h L|
|Extra urban (mpg)||36.2||37.7||37.7|
|EMISSIONS||LS 460||LS 600h||LS 600h L|
|CO2 emissions (g/km)||249||199||199|
|DIMENSIONS & CAPACITIES||LS 460||LS 600h||LS 600h L|
|Overall length (mm)||5,090||5,090||5,210|
|Overall width (mm)||1,875||1,875||1,875|
|Overall height (mm)||1,465|
1,455 (F Sport)1,480
(F Sport)1,480Wheelbase (mm)2,9702,9703,090Track – front (mm)1,615 (18in wheel)
1,610 (19in wheel)1,6101,610Track – rear (mm)1,620 (18in wheel)
1,615 (19in wheel)1,6101,610Overhang – front (mm)925925925Overhang – rear (mm)1,1951,1951,195Coefficient of drag (Cd)0.260.270.27Luggage compartment capacity (l)560
510 (with spare wheel)420
370 (with spare wheel)420
370 (with spare wheel)Fuel tank capacity (l)848484WEIGHTSLS 460LS 600hLS 600h LKerb weight (kg)1,840 – 2,080
1,980 – 2,020 (F Sport)2,230 – 2,390
2,270 – 2,340 (F Sport)2,320 – 2,410
2,380 – 2,450 (4 seats)
2,370 – 2,440 (4 seats)Gross vehicle weight (kg)2,4552,7652,750 (4 seats)
2,785 (5 seats)SUSPENSIONLS 460LS 600hFrontMultilinkMultilinkRearMultilinkMultilinkAdditional featuresAir suspension with Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS)Air suspension with Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS)BRAKESLS 460LS 600hTypeVentilated discsVentilated discsFront (diameter x thickness, mm)357 x 34
380 x 36 (F Sport)380 x 36Rear (diameter x thickness, mm)335 x 22335 x 22STEERINGLS 460LS 600hSteering gear typeRack and pinion Electric Power Steering with Variable Gear Ratio SteeringRack and pinion Electric Power Steering with Variable Gear Ratio SteeringTurns lock-to-lock2.44 – 3.65 (18in wheel)
2.40 – 3.59 (19in wheel)
2.28 – 3.51 (F Sport)2.30 – 3.68
2.24 – 3.36 (F Sport)Minimum turning radius – tyre (m)5.4 (18in wheel)
5.5 (19in wheel)5.7
5.8 (F Sport)
5.9 (600h L)