We’re back from the Lexus Centre in Mutiara Damansara, where Lexus Malaysia has just launched the new Lexus LS limo. This latest LS made its world debut just over two months ago at the ‘Lexus Laws of Attraction’ exhibit in San Francisco, USA. It’s not all-new, but this is a thoroughly reworked LS with 3,000 new parts and a new outlook.
The LS is available here in four variants – the LS 460 (RM788,000), LS 460 F Sport (RM818,000), the long wheelbase LS 460L (RM878,000) and the top of the line LS 600h L (RM1,068,000). All prices are on-the-road without insurance.
The latest LS is easily recognised by its “spindle grille”, Lexus’ new trademark snout that we’ve already seen on the GS sedan and RX SUV. Besides giving the limo greater road presence, Lexus says the new face heralds a significant improvement in driving dynamics, responsiveness and handling.
The dashboard is a new design. All eyes will be drawn to a large 12.3-inch high-res split-screen LCD, said to be the largest in the industry. This screen is big enough to support simultaneous viewing of a large map display and other vehicle functions, which are now controlled via Lexus’ Remote Touch Interface. Operation is somewhat similar to a computer’s mouse.
Another new feature is the Climate Concierge, which utilises 13 infrared sensors strategically placed around the cabin to detect your body heat and adjust the air-con accordingly. Should it sense rising body temperature, Mr Concierge will cool you down via 20 individual air outlets throughout the cabin. Customers in colder regions will appreciate the heating.
Refinement is a Lexus specialty, and this has been further improved in the new LS. Advanced sound deadening materials are used in the wheel arch liners, around the floor and in the boot. Wind noise has been further cut by a change of insulation material for the roof trim, and the addition of aero fins to the door mirrors to reduce turbulence.
The new LS uses Shimamoku wood, or “striped wood”. Processing Shimamoku involves 67 manufacturing steps over the course of 38 days, so there’s plenty of craftmanship involved. The seats are of a new design that minimises pressure points, improves body support and reduces fatigue.
The car you see here is the LWB LS 460L model with a rear seat entertainment system (Blu Ray DVD, nine-inch screen), Mark Levinson 7.1 19-speaker ICE system and rear seat ottoman plus massager. These three items, and 19-inch rims, are the features that the ‘L’ has over the standard wheelbase LS 460.
The 460 variants carry over the marque’s 1UR-FSE 4.6 litre V8 with 380 hp and 493 Nm of torque. This 32-valve, Dual VVT-iE engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Linked to the drivetrain is the new Drive Mode Select that allows the driver to choose from Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport+ modes, which also alters the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) air suspension settings.
This is the first LS with an F Sport variant, and the sporty one adds on unique exterior parts (mesh grille, front/rear bumper, 19-inch wheels), six-piston Brembo brakes and an intake sound creator for a sportier engine note.
The interior gets F Sport leather, aluminium pedals, scuff plate and a F logo on the perforated leather steering. It looks great in the brochure, but unfortunately there wasn’t a live specimen at the launch.
The flagship LS 600h L is a hybrid model, as denoted by the ‘h’ in the name. Here, a 5.0 litre V8 combines with two motor generators for 438 hp. The 20-module, 240-cell battery pack is a nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) unit. In place of the eight-speed auto is a CVT gearbox, and unlike the petrol-only LS, the 600h L lays power to the ground via permanent AWD with a Torsen centre LSD.
Features unique to it are LED headlamps (not just DRLs and signal lamps, making it all LED exterior lighting), hybrid design 19-inch wheels and an Eco Drive meter. Everything else is per LS 460L.
A live gallery from the launch is after the jump. The interior pics aren’t great, no thanks to a dark room and a black cabin, so do click here for a huge gallery of nearly 100 official pics of the Lexus LS.