Archive for the ‘Lexus LS’ Category
Attention all you lovers of the naturally aspirated, un-electrified internal combustion engine: your days in the sun are numbered. Yep, the hybrids are coming, and in a big, big way, too. What started as a means to extend the range provided by the liquefied dinosaur juice known as gasoline has now turned into a full-fledged assault across all segments. First it was with commuters, like the Prius. Then we got outrageous hypercars like the LaFerrari, McLaren P1, and Porsche 918 Spyder. Then it was SUVs and wagons, and now, Lexus has added hybridity to the premium sedan niche with the new LS 500h.
The big reveal just occurred at theGeneva International Motor Show, and was preceded by similar announcements from other makes also going hybrid. Porsche is one example of this, giving us the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, a top-shelf sports sedan laying down a whopping 680 horses thanks to its battery-boosted twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8. Check out our full review on the new range-topping Panamera by clicking here.
Now we get this, an electrified iteration of Lexus’ brand-new four-door flagship. We first got a look at the new LS in 500 guise earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show, boasting 415 horses from a twin-turbo V-6. Meanwhile, the 500h gets all the good stuff as the more traditional LWB luxury sedan, but with addition of hybrid power under the hood.
Of course, anyone who’s familiar with the history of the LS nameplate shouldn’t be all that surprised. The model has traditionally been a bastion of new technology and innovation, but I feel like this model is indicative of a larger trend in the industry to, well, hybrid all the things. Continue reading to see what I’m on about.
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The Lexus LS became an instant halo car when it was released in 1990 and was the very basis of which the Lexus brand was able to grow. Fast forward to today and the LS entered its fifth generation for the 2018 model year with an all-new platform, new twin-turbo V-6 drivetrain, 10-speed automatic transmission, and a sweet but sexy look with the newest iteration of Lexus’ spindle grille. But, with the introduction of a new LS Sedan, comes the introduction of a hybrid version that’s called that LS 500h – a car that sheds a bit of it’s V-8, high-performance hybrid roots in the name of economy. Yeah, that’s right, no V-8 Hybrid system here, but we’ll talk more about that later on.
For now, we don’t know a whole lot about the next-gen LS 500h outside of what we can see in the one teaser image that’s been released and the knowledge that it will be quite similar to its non-hybrid sibling. Lexus brought the standard LS to the Detroit Auto Show but has been saving the LS 500h for the Geneva Auto Show that kicks off on March 7th. With that said, let’s take a look at the teaser image and talk more about the new hybrid before Lexus beats us to the punch and spills all the beans.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lexus LS 500h.
The LS full-size luxury sedan is an extremely important model for Lexus. First introduced for the 1990 model year, the LS is essentially the torchbearer for Lexus’ values, offering the greatest possible comfort, style, and technology that the brand can muster. In case you were unaware, the LS nameplate stands for “luxury sedan,” and as the company’s flagship, it basically helped usher in the Lexus brand nearly three decades ago. Now, with a debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, there’s a next-gen model on deck for the 2018 model year, and it’s got a coupe-like exterior design, a roomy four-door interior, a new platform under the skin, a new twin-turbo V-6 and 10-speed automatic, and optional cutting-edge safety technology.
It’s called the LS 500, and it promises the “greatest-ever LS agility and comfort.” Lexus is also touting the new LS as the embodiment of traditional Japanese philosophies of hospitality and craftsmanship.
Lexus will begin selling the new LS late this year as a 2018 model, bringing it globally to 90 different markets. The most important market will be the U.S., but there’s no shortage of competition in this segment, so rest assured the brand won’t be pulling any punches.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Lexus LS.
Super Bowl LI is less than two weeks away. We all know what time it is then, right? A number of automakers are already gearing up for the Big Game with their Super Bowl commercials, and as the days wind down to February 5, 2017, we’re going to see more brands roll out their ads in one of the year’s biggest night in advertising. For now, Lexus seems to be the first to the party after unveiling its 60-second extended spot for the Super Bowl, titled “Man & Machine.”
The star of the ad is the new Lexus LC, the same performance coupe that Lexus hopes will pose a strong challenge to established rivals like the Porsche 911. That goal won’t be realized overnight, but at the very least, Lexus wants the LC to make a strong impression to the American buying public, which is why the automaker pulled out all the stops to make this ad as meaningful and as memorable as possible.
The treatment of the ad itself is indicative of Lexus’ mood for the LC. There are no cute storyboards or witty lines. There are no gimmicks or cheap pops either. There’s only the coupe taking center stage with noted street dancer Lil Buck providing the entertainment with his trademark style of dancing to the tune of Sia’s “Move Your Body.” A voice-over joins in half-way through the ad with a short comment about how some machines can inspire emotion, alluding, of course, to the Lexus LC and the reactions people get upon seeing the car and the emotions felt when driving it.
As far as the whole commercial goes, it’s not the kind of hard-sell ad that we’ve come to expect from Super Bowl commercials. Instead, it takes a different approach in establishing the LC as a car that’s worth our attention. On that level, the ad succeeds in doing just that, for better or worse.
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As the first model to wear the Lexus badge and the company’s oldest nameplate (introduced in 1989), the LS is arguably the most important vehicle for Toyota’s luxury division. Despite this, it took Lexus quite a few years to replace the fourth-generation model. While the first three iterations were sold for five to six years, the fourth-gen sedan soldiered on for more than a decade. Granted, Lexus introduced updates in 2009 and 2012, but the LS was a bit long in the tooth compared to its competitors. Come 2017 and the fifth-gen LS was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show, and I finally understand why it took so long for the new full-size sedan to arrive.
Much like most redesigned cars, the LS boasts a ton of new features inside and out, as well as new underpinnings and a new drivetrain. However, nothing says revolution more than the new design language that Lexus introduced with the fifth-gen four-door. Okay, maybe it’s not all that new given that specific cues can be seen on existing Lexus cars, but there are quite a few new features worth mentioning. And if current design strategies are any indication, these new elements will probably find their way in other Lexus models too.
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Being Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus is tasked with making high-end vehicles that compete with Germany’s best and Cadillac’s finest. Sitting atop the Lexus lineup is this, the LS sedan. It’s longer, wider, and more luxurious (obviously) than any other Lexus, giving it the role as the flagship sedan. Though its main rivals, the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class, have been around much longer and have larger customer bases, the underdog Lexus comes out swinging.
The LS sedan comes in a variety of flavors, including the “base” LS460, the extended LS460 L, the LS460 F Sport, and the hybrid LS600h L. Most models come standard with RWD but offer AWD as an option. The hybrid is the exception, having AWD only. Power ratings range from 386 horsepower in the LS460 up to 438 horsepower in the LS600h L. That might not compete with AMG, but the 4.6-liter V-8 holds its own.
To put the LS sedan to the test, Lexus sent me a well-equipped LS460 dressed in the F Sport package. The car came decked out with the Comfort Package and Mark Levinson audio system, which added heated and vented front seats, a power-operated rear sunshade, power-operated trunk, and 19 speakers.
Initial impressions reminded me of the 2014 Lexus GS 450h, a sedan I tested previously, though with the hybrid powertrain. While there are huge differences between the two sedans, their unassuming characters of luxury and serenity are similar. Still, the LS460 rises above in terms of comfort, features, and of course, cost.
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Automakers are always submitting trademark applications for vehicle names. Sometimes it’s to ensure that a given name isn’t snatched up by a rival, but more often than not, it hints at a new vehicle or model in the pipeline. With this in mind, Lexus has just trademarked the LS 500 and LS 500h names in Europe, which comes just five months after the LC 500 and LC 500h names were trademarked.
Although it has been updated several times, the current Lexus LS has been on the market now for almost a decade. With a new flagship sedan imminent, this trademark filing could suggest that the LS lineup will be adding a new hybrid model – perhaps as a more entry-level alternative to the LS 600h L. Another feasible possibility could be that Lexus is planning to replace the 5.0-liter V-8 in the LS 600h L with a more advanced, downsized engine with similar power but better efficiency. Most other automakers are relying heavily on direct-injection and forced induction to create cleaner cars without sacrificing performance.
Based on Lexus’ current naming system, this new hybrid would likely be powered by a 4.0-liter engine and, if the downsized engine option turns out to be the case, then expect this big hybrid to produce more than 438 horsepower in combined output and return better than 23 mpg on the highway. As pointed out by the report from Autoguide, there’s also an outside (read: highly unlikely) chance that Lexus is just changing its vehicle names to better align with the corresponding engine displacements.
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