More for your money. That, paired with the archetypal tenets of craftsmanship best describe Lexus’s new flagship LS 500 which glides into South Africa with a repeated history of smoothness, quietness, safety and craftsmanship.
Inside and out, the new LS reflects a strong, uniquely Japanese identity.
The LS 500 instinctively inherits many dynamic styling cues from Lexus’s LC 500 while sleek modern design references many of Lexus’s other indirect luxury projects such as the Lexus Sports Yacht Concept and the quirky hoverboard. Together these myriad influences combine for beguiling and entirely original architecture for those luxury connoisseurs who seek to stand out from the crowd.
The LS 500 envelopes everything learned from three decades of luxury but reimagines the LS nameplate with a sportier all-new rear-wheel drive platform that allows the car to be longer and wider than before but perfectly balanced at the same time. In any event the LS 500 is not a double-edged sword; dynamic driving does not compromise renowned comfort.
To differentiate itself, Lexus has their own word for comfort – Omotenashi. It means hospitality. This vibrant word expresses the LS’s human-focussed approach which is anchored on anticipating the needs of the driver and passengers through technology and premium materials.
The intersection between tradition and technology impresses: Air suspension adjusts to instantly alter the character of the drive while interior lighting – inspired by Japanese lanterns – provides a soothing ambience. Shimamoku-inspired wood features bold contrasts between light and dark, giving the wood a more vibrant appearance. Heated and cooled seats allow one to appreciate even the softest leather, with 360-deg technology careful not to be unobtrusive or distracting to its driver.
Chief among the day-to-day systems is the premium Mark and Levinson sound system, breaking the creamy silence with twenty-three speakers in sixteen locations Speaker integration is an art, both in placement and in design, and this desire of turning the ordinary hardware into a sculpture is one of the many examples where extra time and attention has a profound effect.
The LS 500 deploys neatly concealed cameras and radars to bridge the gap to a chauffeured drive with the latest in autonomous awareness. Particularly relaxing on a long drive, the LS 500 will hold a constant distance to the car ahead, maintaining speed without the driver’s inputs. All the while gentle steering corrections are applied within the lane, drastically reducing the amount of effort needed on a long trip.
Blending these traits with enlivened performance is the work of an all-new 3.5-litre turbo charged engine. It provides the best of both worlds; low fuel consumption with tangible performance gains out on the road. Improvements in all areas have transformed the way the LS 500 masks its size through agility – the extra torque versus the old model pulling the LS 500 with enthusiasm across its spread of ten ratios. It is here where shades of the LC 500 sportscar shine through, smoothing out the curves before compressing distance with vigorous performance.
The complete Lexus flagship is now engineered with additional bandwidth to modernise those archetypal tenets of business-inspired luxury. Yachts. Hoverboards. Combined.