Some key details about the local version of fifth-generation Lexus LS were revealed at the car’s international launch this week.
The new LS will arrive in Australian showrooms from April 2018 with two drivetrain options: the LS500 with a new 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6, and the LS500h with the same Multi-Stage Hybrid setup we first saw in the LC coupe.
The LS350 and its naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6 is currently reserved for “price sensitive” markets, and won’t be available in Australia.
This latest LS will be the first to launch without a V8 engine. The LS500’s 3.5-litre V6 twin-turbo drives the rear wheels via a 10-speed auto, and its 310kW/600Nm easily outpoints the outgoing 285kW/493Nm 4.6-litre V8.
Confusingly the LS500h has a total system output of 264kW from its Atkinson-cycle 3.5-litre V6 and electric motor. By combining Lexus’s two motor generators and power splitting device with a four-speed automatic, the hybrid steps its way through 10 gears.
In Australia, the two LS drivetrains will offered in both Sports Luxury and F Sport trim. The Sports Luxury will be available with four different interior colour choices, and six choices of ornamentation, including the option of Kiriko cut glass elements and hand pleated leather trim for the doors.
For F Sport buyers there will only be three cabin colours to choose from, while the only ornamentation available will be aluminium inlays.
While other markets will receive a 12-speaker Pioneer sound system, the upscale 23-speaker, 16-channel, 2400W Mark Levinson unit will be standard fit on all Australia-bound models. This is hooked up to the latest Remote Touch infotainment system with a 12.3-inch screen and a haptic feedback trackpad.
The Lexus Safety System+ package, utilising radar and cameras, is standard on all local LS models, and includes all-speed active cruise control, adaptive high beam lights, automated braking with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assistance, and lane departure warning.
The LS can optionally use its camera and radar systems at low speeds to detect and warn the driver about nearby pedestrians and objects.
Also standard are new run-flat tyres, which are said to be developed specifically for the new LS and more comfortable than previous generations of the technology.
Available features include Shiatsu-style massaging, an air suspension setup that can be lifted up 30mm for easier ingress and egress, a four-zone climate control system that seamlessly operates with the seats’ heating and cooling elements, 28-way electronically adjustable front seats, and a surround view monitor.
There’s also 12 airbags and an auto-reclining ottoman seat for the spot behind the front passenger in Sports Luxury models.
F-Sport variants feature 10 airbags, an active stabiliser bar, grippier seats, aluminium pedals, and a different digital instrumentation display including a physical ring for the tachometer.
Pricing and full specifications will be announced closer to the car’s on-sale date. It’s understood pricing will be on par with the car’s natural competitors, although standard equipment is expected to be higher.
Stay tuned for our first drive review of the new Lexus LS.