2021 Lexus LS facelift – Lexus Teammate autonomous driving and parking tech, touchscreen, better comfort

2021 Lexus LS facelift – Lexus Teammate autonomous driving and parking tech, touchscreen, better comfort

The race towards autonomous driving is on, and it looks like the luxury sedan segment is where the action truly is. The new W223 Mercedes-Benz S-Class aims to be the first certified Level 3 autonomous vehicle, and while this newly-revealed facelifted Lexus LS isn’t quite there yet, it’s debuting the Japanese carmaker’s advanced Lexus Teammate system in its home market.

As shown in previous technology demos, the Advanced Drive system essentially provides a high level of autonomous driving on expressways and other roads that the feature supports, from entry to exit. Lexus has yet to release details on how it all works but confirmed it would take control of the accelerator, brakes and steering, allowing the driver to take their hands off the steering wheel.

However, it’s not a full Level 3 system, as the driver still needs to keep their eyes on the road. Lexus isn’t the first Japanese carmaker to introduce such technology, with Nissan having launched the Skyline with the similar ProPilot 2.0 last year. The difference here is that the LS appears to be capable of negotiating lane changes and forks on its own without driver intervention, as is the case with Nissan’s system.

The new LS will also feature Advanced Park, which supports steering, acceleration, braking, and gear changes when making parking manoeuvres. Lexus says that, as the name suggests, it’s a more advanced form of parking assist, though quite how it differs from systems already on the market remains to be seen.

2021 Lexus LS facelift – Lexus Teammate autonomous driving and parking tech, touchscreen, better comfort

Models fitted with Lexus Teammate are easy to spot thanks to the fitment of prominent radar sensors in the grille, front fenders and rear bumper, and the sensor in front even comes with a dedicated washer to clean it. The LS is also available with the facelifted RX‘s BladeScan Adaptive High-beam System (AHS), which uses a spinning blade mirror to more precisely control the high beam using fewer LEDs.

Otherwise, the exterior changes are relatively minor and include styling cues introduced on the new ES. The arrow-shaped daytime running lights are now properly integrated into the headlights and frame the new rectangular projectors that sit atop the BladeScan module. The more angular corner air intakes also emphasise the car’s stance, while the spindle grille is finished in a dark metallic hue for a classier look.

At the rear, the L-shaped trim in the tail lights is now finished in gloss black to be more in line with the headlights. The F Sport gets a unique front bumper design, with the corner inlet surrounds now wrapping around the bumper; it also has a unique finish for the grille and the 20-inch alloy wheels.

The LS also introduces a new paint finish called Gin-ei Luster. This silver hue utilises a new method of condensing the aluminium flakes that are then spread over the surfaces in a high density, providing increased sheen and deeper shadows.

2021 Lexus LS facelift – Lexus Teammate autonomous driving and parking tech, touchscreen, better comfort

More significant revisions can be found on the inside, with the dreaded Remote Touch infotainment system finally receiving a 12.3-inch touchscreen that sits proud of the dashboard. Further improving usability is the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as a larger high-definition display for the optional digital rear-view mirror. The latter provides a wider view of what’s behind the car.

Elsewhere, the LS can be specified with Nishijin fabric on the door cards, which incorporates silver threads to give the panel a unique, almost camouflage-like appearance. This is paired with Haku platinum leaf decor, lending to an atmosphere that Lexus says is comfortable and relaxing.

The powertrain lineup soldiers on and consists of the 3.5 litre twin-turbocharged V6 and the ten-speed automatic gearbox in the LS 500, as well as the naturally-aspirated V6, electric motor and Multi-Stage hybrid transmission in the LS 500h. Output figures have yet to be revealed, but the previous models produced 415 hp and 354 hp respectively.

Improvements include increased initial engine torque in the LS 500 for greater throttle response, along with improved shift timing and a wider acceleration range from the gearbox, leading to reduced downshifts. As for the LS 500h, acceleration has been made smoother and more refined thanks to increased electric assistance and a reduction in the maximum permitted revs.

Lexus has undertaken further measures to improve refinement and comfort. The Adaptive Variable Suspension features a new solenoid to reduce the damping force, while the stiffness of the run-flat tyres and anti-roll bars have been optimised.

The engine mounts have also been redesigned to reduce engine vibrations being transmitted into the cabin, and the Active Noise Control and Engine Sound Enhancement systems have been retuned for increased quietness. The seats have been redesigned too, with deeper stitch points and low-resistance urethane padding for increased cushiness and vibration absorption.

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.



  • Datuk on Jul 07, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    Lexus LS and S class canggih, coming with Level3 autonomous.
    On top of Tesla

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Disappointed, now the front grille has a HOLE in front (someone broke the craftsmanship). The side has a stupid square looking camera, looks a lot less luxury now.
    Pre Facelift looks way better than this crap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • vivizurianti on Jul 07, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    So canggih and smart this car. Can it detect potholes and avoid them? Or auto slow down when driving over (mega size) speedbumps?? I’m just asking on behalf of fellow Malaysian drivers. #ahem#

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  • (Like) Lexus LS facelift.
    (Dislike) The new W223 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
  • LING CHEE HUAT on Jul 08, 2020 at 10:45 am

    “However, it’s not a full Level 3 system, as the driver still needs to keep their eyes on the road.” Even until Level 3 autonomous driving, the driver monitoring is still required so that you can take over anytime required.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Semi-Value (Member) on Jul 08, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    this car is art

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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