Lexus LS 500h F Sport first drive

Lexus LS 500h F Sport review

The Lexus LS goes on sale in the UK in January 2018

All-new Lexus LS looks to take the fight to the Mercedes S-Class; short drive provides early clues and provokes several questions

The fifth-generation Lexus LS’s mission statement is “to reset the luxury benchmark”. Which is both bold and, in simple terms, means it must eclipse the Mercedes S-Class.That, in turn, raises the question of what defines luxury. After all, one man’s sprawling mansion is another’s minimalist, modernist flat. Again, Lexus believes it can provide the answers, and they are wide-ranging in their intent, taking in everything from the exterior styling and interior materials, through to the dynamic set-up, technical gadgetry galore and a veritable host of driver aids.Underpinning all this is the new Lexus GA-L platform, which also sits beneath the well-received LC. It allows the LS to be lighter, lower yet larger than before, with the critical potential benefits of a lower centre of gravity and the positioning of most of the mass, including the engine and occupants, more centrally. The structure has also allowed Lexus’s engineers to develop a more rigid multi-link suspension system, with air suspension available as an option.As is common in class, the list of interior luxuries is long and varied. Too long and varied for them all to be listed here, but for a taster of the level of detail Lexus has gone to, consider a driver’s seat that is adjustable in 28 ways. The list of safety features is no shorter, and includes for the first time a pedestrian detection system that can automatically brake the car and potentially steer around the obstacle while staying in the lane.In the UK the LS will be only be sold as a hybrid. That means a 295bhp 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine and four-speed automatic gearbox that link to two electric motors to deliver a peak of 354bhp, driven through a clever CVT transmission that mimics ten cogs. It is, Lexus says, quicker to change than a dual-clutch gearbox, yet more compact and lighter. The LS can run in full electric mode at speeds of up to 87mph, and the 0-62mph sprint covered in 5.4 seconds. No fuel economy or emissions figures have been released yet. …read more

Source:: Autocar