The 2021 Lexus LS 500h is now on sale to UK customers, benefiting from design and technology advances that deliver ever greater refinement, comfort and safety. The changes reinforce its status as the flagship saloon in Lexus’s range of self-charging hybrids.
The LS has always been associated with smooth, refined and effortless power and these qualities have been further strengthened by amplifying the contribution to performance made by the lithium-ion high-voltage battery.
To improve the car’s drivability, the level of assistance the battery provides to the electric motor and its operating range have been increased, particularly in “normal” driving – when the driver’s applying moderate pressure on the accelerator pedal and only low G-forces are generated. This means acceleration is smoother and more linear and less effort is needed to move faster. That makes for more comfortable driving around town, on winding roads and uphill gradients.
Because the battery is providing greater support, the petrol engine can run at lower rpm, which makes for even quieter operation.
Comfort levels have been raised, too, with a series of technical and design adjustments. These include changes to to the Adaptive Variable Suspension on the entry-level LS grade, more rigid anti-roll bars and a reduction in vertical stiffness of the run-flat tyre.
In the cabin, new padding has been added to the seat cushions and the upholstery has deeper seams to improve body-holding performance and absorb vibrations.
Fully automated Advanced Park System
Lexus takes all the effort out of parking with its first fully automated Advanced Park System, provided as a standard feature on the LS Takumi. It is also the first Lexus system and the first in the luxury car segment to have a memory function that will recognise and store details of spaces the driver uses regularly, such as home or office, making the parking process even easier.
It goes further than any previous Lexus parking assistance technology by controlling steering, throttle, brakes and transmission to execute safe and accurate manoeuvres. As well as being smooth and precise, it also operates promptly – quicker than systems on competitor models.
After drawing up alongside a parking space, the driver engages the system which then uses clearance sonars and the Panoramic View Monitor camera to gain a 360-degree view of the area and any obstacles. It calculates the most efficient and safe parking manoeuvre, suppressing the vehicle’s speed if clearance is tight. The live image and clear graphics on the central display keep the driver informed of the vehicle’s path and any obstacles.
It will also operate regardless of whether the space is marked out with lines, or if there are no adjacent vehicles.
Safety and driver assistance
The new LS adopts the BladeScan Adaptive High-beam System first seen on the Lexus RX luxury SUV. Fitted as standard to the F Sport and Takumi models, and included in the LS Premium Pack option, it provides a wider and more consistent field of illumination than standard LED headlight systems.
The LS Takumi is equipped with a new digital rear-view mirror, which uses the rear parking camera to provide a clear rearward view, unobstructed by headrests or passengers. It also gives a clearer image in night-time driving or poor weather, and it can be adjusted for brightness and up/down, left/right scaling.
The 360-degree Panoramic View Monitor, standard on all versions, has gained a pedestrian detection function. The motor assistance to tighten the seatbelts during the Pre-Collision System’s operation (in addition to the pretensioners) has been increased.
The 2021 LS is equipped with the Lexus’s latest generation multimedia system, with increased functionality and HMI changes for more intuitive operation.
A new 12.3-inch touchscreen is located on top of the instrument panel and positioned closer to the driver so that it is within easier reach. The functions now include smartphone integration using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, so the driver can access their favourite apps for navigation, entertainment/information and messaging through the car’s multimedia system.
The touchscreen functions include a new call-up switch to give instant access to frequently used controls, such as adjustment of the seat and steering wheel heaters.
Exterior and interior styling
Exterior styling changes to the 2021 Lexus LS project added strength, with a reshaped front bumper and a dark metallic finish for the inner surfaces of the spindle grille mesh. The headlamps are housed in slimmer, triple-projector units that accommodate the new BladeScan system (details above) and the daytime running lights are arranged in a new “L” motif. New contrast black and bright machined finish 20-inch alloy wheels are featured on the Takumi grade model.
Lexus has developed advanced paint technology to produce a new shade, Lunar Silver, that provides a flawless finish with a near mirror-like shine. This can be combined with a new Nishijin and Haku interior trim option (Takumi grade) that uses traditional Japanese metalwork and weaving techniques for ornamentation applied to the inner door panels and handle surrounds. More details about the craftsmanship skills used to create these finishes is available here.
The on-the-road prices for the 2021 Lexus LS are provided below.
|LS||£78,900 (INR 78 lakh)|
|LS Premium Pack||£86,600|
|LS Premium Pack AWD||£89,725|
|Takumi with Nishijin and Haku option||£112,965 (INR 1.12 crore)|