Lexus has unveiled a new, updated version of the LS luxury sedan at its European premiere. The new technologies, equipment and design features used in it strengthen its position as the flagship car of the brand. Sales of the new LS in Europe will start at the end of 2020.
New Lexus LS.
“With the new LS model, we aimed to achieve even higher levels of quietness and comfort. These two features have distinguished the LS from the very beginning, i.e. since its first generation, with which the Lexus brand debuted on the market,” said Koji Sato, president of Lexus International.
EQUAL SMOOTH RIDE
The exceptional ride, refinement and easily accessible full power of the Lexus LS 500h has been enhanced by technical changes that enhance the role of the lithium-ion high-voltage traction battery.
In making the changes, Lexus focused on achieving even better driving performance by increasing the proportion and range of the electric motor supported by the traction battery. The focus is on driving comfort, with the driver only moderately pressing the accelerator pedal for 90% trips.
As a result of these changes: acceleration is smoother and more linear, while maintaining vehicle stability and suppressing g-forces. This provides a more comfortable ride in the city, but also benefits when driving on winding roads or going down steep roads. A light touch on the accelerator pedal is enough to smoothly achieve a significant increase in power.
Because the lithium-ion traction battery plays a big role, the gasoline engine can run at a lower rpm, making it even quieter, for example, after restarting the engine after driving in electric (EV) mode.
Achieving the best possible ride comfort has always been a hallmark of LS quality, and Lexus has also focused on tire performance, adjustable adaptive suspension (AVS), stabilizers and even seat design as part of the latest enhancements. Additionally, each equipment version is available with air suspension.
As for the tires, the vertical stiffness has been reduced to provide a more comfortable ride.
AVS uses modified dampers to increase the system's operating range and improve comfort on uneven surfaces. In addition to a more comfortable ride, this results in faster steering response and greater vehicle stability. The change in the stiffness of the stabilizers provides better weight distribution when driving and more comfortable body behavior when cornering, as well as stability and steering precision.
Seat quality is critical to rider and passenger comfort, so Lexus has made changes that include new polyurethane foam and an extra softer layer on top of the cushion, as well as deeper seams between the cushion, backrest and head restraints. The result is more comfort, less vibration and better body support.
FULLY AUTOMATED ADVANCED PARK
The driver of the Lexus LS does not have to deal with the inconvenience of parking thanks to the fully automated Advanced Park system, which debuted on the new LS 500h. It is also the first Lexus system and the first system in the luxury car segment to feature a memory function that recognizes and remembers information about the places the driver uses regularly, making parking even easier.
The system controls the steering, throttle, brakes and transmission to perform safe and precise manoeuvres. In addition to being accurate and smooth, it works quickly - the time it takes to complete a parking maneuver is less than competing systems.
After driving past a parking space, the driver activates a system using distance sensors and a panoramic view monitor. Advanced Park automatically calculates the most efficient and safe parking maneuver, limiting the vehicle's speed over short distances. A lively image and clear graphics on the center display keep the driver informed of the vehicle's path and any obstacles.
The system works regardless of whether the site is marked with lines or limited by adjacent vehicles.
NEW TECHNOLOGIES FOR SAFETY AND DRIVER SUPPORT
The new LS uses new technologies to provide the highest level of safety and driver support. Following on from the Lexus RX, it introduces the BladeScan™ AHS adaptive headlight control system, in which a rapidly rotating mirror reflects the light from the LEDs to provide smooth, precise illumination with greater range than current standard LED systems. BladeScan technology indicators are standard on all trim levels.
It also introduces a new digital rear view mirror that displays real-time images from the rear parking camera. This means that the head restraints and passengers do not restrict the view, and visibility is better when driving at night and in the rain. The driver can switch the image from the optical glass to the digital display and adjust image brightness and up/down and left/right orientation via tactile icons along the bottom edge of the mirror.
Further enhancements include a Panoramic View Monitor with Pedestrian Detection and an optional electric power belt pretensioner in addition to the pretensioners. The Pre-Collision system provides emergency braking in the event of an imminent collision.
NEW MULTIMEDIA SYSTEM AND IMPROVED HMI
The new LS model uses the latest generation Lexus infotainment system, which is more advanced and has an improved HMI for simple and intuitive operation.
The system is controlled by a new 12.3-inch touchscreen at the top of the instrument panel, which is closer to the driver and tilted towards the driver. The screen is within reach of people of different heights and builds, and its location does not interfere with the view along the lower edge of the windshield.
The multimedia system features now include easy smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™, providing access to popular navigation, entertainment and messaging apps through the car's multimedia touchscreen.
With Android Auto™, you can use Google Assistant and Google Maps, and you can get profiled information based on the user's calendar, previous activities, and set preferences.
Apple CarPlay™ gives users access to a familiar interface from their iPhone® through the car's media display. You can connect to your iPhone to get directions, make calls, send and receive messages via Siri®, and access apps like Spotify, Audible, and Apple Podcasts.
A new touch-sensitive call switch provides immediate access to frequently used controls such as seat adjustment and heated steering wheel.
The steering wheel buttons now have a solid black finish and have been redesigned for more intuitive use. The air conditioning panel also features a new Piano Black finish, giving the interior a more harmonious look.
Changes to the exterior of the LS model are focused on details that emphasize the expressive power of this design. The front bumper has been reshaped and the distinctive hourglass grille has been given a new dark metal finish on the interior surfaces. The headlights have been replaced with narrow triple projectors with the new BladeScan™ AHS system, with daytime running lights arranged in an "L" shape. New high-contrast black high-sheen 20-inch alloy wheels are available on higher trims on the Lexus LS.
The additional air intakes at the bottom of the bumper have been moved outwards and are now more square in shape, emphasizing the car's width and silhouette. This feature is used in the F SPORT version, where the trims now wrap around the corner of the bumper. Also on the F SPORT, the inside of the grille has a new matte black finish. The wheels are finished in black with black center caps and the rear combination lights are framed in Piano Black.
NEW MOON SILVER lacquer
Lexus explored new paint options and technologies to create Lunar Silver, a paint finish that enhances body lines with bright contrasting areas and deep hues. The new paint job is paired with new black and silver handcrafted Nishijin and Haku interiors.
Sonic technology is used to thicken the varnish to a thickness of just one micron. This means that the aluminum particles contained in it are distributed more densely and evenly, providing a perfect, flawless surface with a mirror finish. To achieve this effect, the surface of the base coat, primer and gloss coat (so-called "transparent") must also be as smooth as possible.
HAND FINISHED INTERIOR
Lexus design features many contemporary interpretations of traditional Japanese arts and crafts and aesthetics. The new LS combines two valuable skills to create eye-catching interior details.
Nishijin and Haku's interior door panel trim combines black and silver in an organic pattern inspired by the waves that sparkle in the moonlight. Weaving and metal working techniques were applied in accordance with the Japanese art of using various materials to express the beauty and character of the natural world.
Nishijin has its origins in materials created for the Japanese aristocracy. The metal foil is stretched over washi paper and cut into thin strips to make flat yarn. It is then weaved in an organic pattern in which silver threads create sparkling accents reminiscent of sea waves. The fabric used in the door panels of the new LS model matches perfectly with the Haku handle edging. Haku is a more than 400-year-old traditional craft in which metal foil is flattened to a thickness of one to two microns. Hand-applied by Takumi to the new LS, it has a soft sheen reminiscent of moonlight.
The new Laser Cut Special Ash Open Pore finish uses black dyed natural wood to create a distinct grain pattern. It provides a strong contrast to the layer of silvery metal underneath, exposed by a complex laser cutting process.