The all-new Lexus LS 500 sedan delivers premium levels of powertrain smoothness, spaciousness, handling, ride comfort, safety, craftsmanship and attention to detail. The fifth-generation LS is based on a new rear-drive platform and features a bold design with a coupe-like silhouette. The LS has an all-new 3.5-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 that delivers 310kW at 6000rpm – and it boasts a unique 10-speed transmission.
This new Lexus flagship is destined to repeat LS history. With multiple world and Lexus firsts, it breaks new ground in design, technology and performance. More than any other model, the LS embodies the image of Lexus and serves as a symbol for everything the brand represents – a luxury lifestyle offering amazing experiences. Japanese aesthetics, which draw on the skills of master craftsmen and the ‘omotenashi’ or hospitality principle, reflect the human-centred engineering and attention to detail inherent within the Lexus brand; and which gives it its soul.
Foundation for the new design and chassis was the Global Architecture – Luxury (GA-L) platform that allowed Lexus to extend the wheelbase, provide a spacious interior, and achieve an ideal front-rear weight balance as well as the lowest centre of gravity in class for greater agility and comfort. Inside is slick design, fine detailing – such as diamond quilted leather and space-age materials. And the advanced new front and rear seats offer class-leading levels of adjustment and sophisticated new massage functions. In-cabin technology includes a 12.3-inch multi-media screen, head-up display with segment-leading size, rear-seat DVD entertainment as well as the high-end Mark Levinson 23-speaker QLI Reference Surround Sound audio system, which is unique to Lexus’ most exclusive models.
The all-new 3.5-litre V6 engine has been designed specifically for the new LS, providing both high power and excellent fuel efficiency. This engine is indicative of a more dynamic approach taken by Lexus, offering V8-level power without sacrificing fuel economy whilst minimising noise and vibration. The output figures of 310kW and 600Nm of torque at 6000rpm represent sizeable gains compared to the V8 unit featured in the outgoing LS and the efficiency of the twin turbos, helps the LS post a projected 0 – 100 km/h acceleration time of 5 seconds; max speed is electronically governed to 250 km/h. Torque converter lock-up is activated in all ranges, except when starting off, to provide a direct feel, while at the same time supporting fuel efficiency. Fuel consumption is listed as 9.5 litres per 100 kilometres.
The driver is able to tailor powertrain response and feel by selecting Normal to Sport drive modes, with just enough of the exhaust note being audible to enhance the sporty feel. And the LS marks the first use of a 10-speed automatic transmission in a luxury sedan, this having made its debut in the new LC coupe. It’s a torque converter automatic, yet with shift times that rival those of dual-clutch transmissions; the wide bandwidth afforded by the ten closely-spaced ratios is ideal for all forms of driving, providing an optimal gear for all conditions. The driver can execute shifts using paddle controls but most will prefer to use the advanced electronic control system, which anticipates the driver’s input. The system chooses the ideal ratio by monitoring the acceleration, braking and lateral G-forces.
The front profile makes a bold statement with the dramatic forward thrust of the spindle grille and a low bonnet. The boundary between bonnet and fenders is deeply sculpted, accentuating the contrast between the different surfaces. At the rear, the shoulder line connects to the rear combination lamps, then folds down and back on itself to connect to the rear diffuser, echoing the lines of the spindle grille. The full LED combination lamps have a sleek look with strong vertical corners that give them an instantly recognisable shape. The LS is equipped as standard with a glass sunroof which opens externally allowing for a design that is 30mm thinner than previously, preserving cabin headroom beneath the low roofline.
The Lexus LS 500 retails for R2 141 400, with a best-in-class 7-year/105 000km Warranty and Full Maintenance Plan. The vehicle service intervals are at every 15 000km or alternatively once a year.
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