Lexus has revealed the fourth generation of its LS flagship model, the all new LS 460 at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. Seventeen years on from the debut of the original LS, Lexus has crafted a luxury saloon that exemplifies its mission to deliver automotive perfection, at prices real-world motorists can afford.
Lexus engineers have achieved higher levels of accuracy, precision, refinement and craftsmanship than ever before, advancing further the superior qualities that have distinguished the LS in its class for the past 17 years.
The LS 460 will be powered by an all-new 4.6-litre V8 engine, matched to the world’s first eight-speed automatic transmission.
Provisional performance figures indicate an output of around 350bhp and more than 500Nm of torque, delivering nought to 60mph acceleration in less than 5.5 seconds. High performance will be matched by respectable fuel consumption, with economy in combined cycle driving expected to be in the mid-20s mpg range.
Ride and handling quality are supported by a new platform and redesigned multi-link suspension, with Electronic Power Steering and next-generation Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM).
VDIM is a Lexus-designed advanced stability system, first introduced in the new GS range in 2005. It integrates and manages the LS’s suite of steering, handling and braking systems, including the EPS, ABS, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Brake Assist System (BAS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), together with engine torque, via the electronic throttle.
By means of a series of sensors, the system will anticipate the onset of a skid or slide and apply the appropriate braking, throttle and steering controls to correct the problem with a smoothness and efficiency that makes the operation almost imperceptible to the driver. VDIM is less obtrusive and more effective than in earlier designs as it gathers data from more sources and can process the information faster.
The new LS is to be built in standard and, for the first time, long wheelbase body styles.
The LS 460L measures 5,151mm long, 122mm more than the regular LS 460. Rather than accommodating three passengers in the back, the LS 460L has two individual rear seats and a travelling environment designed to match the kind of luxury to be found in a private jet.
The new Lexus LS displays intelligent technology and elegant, distinctive design throughout its interior. Luxury and comfort details include a heated steering wheel and seats upholstered in four shades of semi-aniline leather, matched to three coordinating wood grain trims.
The rear seats are electrically reclining with power operated leg rests and massage function. Working while on the move is made easier with a fold-out table in the rear, finished in matching wood grain. And to ensure the ideal cabin temperature is maintained, the new climate control system includes body heat sensors.
The in-car entertainment package features a nine-inch rear monitor mounted in the headlining and a bespoke 19-speaker Mark Levinson audio system that provides surround-sound reproduction. Rear doors have power closing and the boot lid has an automatic open and close function.
The LS 460 follows the principles of L-finesse, a new design language that is shaping the latest generation of Lexus production models, as already witnessed in the GS and IS series.
The essential quality of L-finesse is the elegant and appealing balance between simplicity and elegance, reflected in the LS’s clean, uncluttered design. The car is distinctively a new generation Lexus, sharing selected styling cues and details with its sister GS and IS models.
The new Lexus LS 460 is due to go on sale in the UK in the autumn. Full details of specification, performance and pricing will be announced nearer the on sale date.