UPDATE: Lexus Australia has today confirmed the new-look, upgraded 2021 Lexus LS will make its way to Australia early next year.
July 8: The 2021 Lexus LS update has been unveiled, bringing semi-autonomous driving tech and a number of performance improvements to the brand's flagship luxury sedan.
Lexus has given the big LS a more conservative look than has been seen from the brand in recent years – doing away with the hooked cutaway that previously ran out of the LS's main headlight unit – but has offered the very latest in exterior and interior materials.
Suspension and chassis refinements have been developed to reduce noise and improve passenger comfort.
Lexus says its 310kW 3.5-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 LS500 and 264kW 3.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol-hybrid V6 LS500h models benefit from "greater responsiveness and reduced noise".
The LS500 limo's 10-speed automatic transmission also gains improved shift timing and a wider acceleration range in each gear, resulting in fewer downshifts and better driving comfort.
Earlier torque production in the turbo LS500 contributes to improved acceleration, while the LS500h gets better battery assistance for a more immediate response in accelerating from low speeds.
Technology is at the forefront of the latest iteration of the Lexus LS, providing drivers with the addition of Toyota's semi-autonomous system, known in this iteration as 'Lexus Teammate'.
Lexus Teammate approaches the system with the idea of the car and driver working together, rather than simply taking over from the driver. Lexus says the system can be customised to the driver's preferences.
However, the semi-autonomous technology can still perform the tasks of acceleration, brakes, and steering, with particular emphasis given to highway driving and parking.
Bladescan, an advanced high-beam system first seen on the Lexus RX SUV, will also make its way onto the updated LS.
A new 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system supplements the trackpad-only system on pre-facelift LS models, and now features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The facelifted LS also sees the introduction of Gin-ei Luster, a new metallic silver colour from the company. Using a technique that condenses the volume of aluminium flakes held within the paint, Lexus claims this provides "deep shadows and robust highlights".
The interior of the updated Lexus LS is heavily influenced by Japanese design and culture, with optional door fabrics borrowing from traditional woven silks from Kyoto, and a metal leaf motif in the door trims.
The new LS is scheduled to begin deliveries in Japan towards the end of this year, with an Australian debut confirmed for early 2021. Specific timing and details are expected to be revealed in the coming months.