Tuesday, 31 July 2012 12:00 PM
The new Lexus LS, the flagship model for Toyota's premium badge, will go on sale later this year and the great news is that it looks better than ever and, for the first time, there is an F Sport version for performance car fans.
This new LS line-up includes to LS 460 and the LS 600h hybrid as well as the F Sport model. Styling changes are pretty clear - there's the new Lexus spindle front grille and the sharpened angles and meaner wheels give it a touch of the Merc C 63 AMG about it - which is no bad thing at all.
There's a car that can fit a family of four, drive like the proverbial bat out of hell and turn heads in the street. The new LS also features vertical fog lights, light tube daytime running lights and a more aerodynamic front end.
Driver modes have been improved too. In a Lexus first, Drive Mode Select is on offer via a dial in the centre console. This offers five switchable driving modes: Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport S and Sport S+.
Driving dynamics have been improved by better body rigidity, including laser screw welding and adhesive body bonding techniques. The Adaptive Variable Suspension has been upgraded with new four-wheel interlock control to suppress roll, pitch and heave vibration at all the wheels.
Damping response is smoother and more controlled so it's smooth and road-hugging. The steering system has been improved to feel more accurate and responsive and the brakes have been tweaked for more immediate power and better pedal feel, right down to sorting out the stroke, angle and contact surface of the pedal to make it comfortable for the driver.
Safety upgrades include a new Advanced Pre-Crash Safety system with collision avoidance assist and Lane-Keep Assist system, upgraded so that it can respond to external factors such as changes in road camber and crosswinds. A Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) system is available as an option.
But what about the F Sport? This is the one everyone will be clamouring to test-drive with its sportier exterior and pepped-up performance. The LS 460 F Sport features a lowered ride height, Brembo 6-piston calliper front brakes, paddle shift controls and a Torsen limited slip differential.
The paddle controls incorporate automatic throttle blipping on downshifts. And naturally, it has been developed to make a lovely noise with an intake sound generator on the engine that amplifies vibration and introduces it into the cabin, in the nicest possible way, they promise.
UK pricing and specs to be announced later.
By Georgia Lewis
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