The fifth-generation of Lexus’ LS flagship sedan has launched in Australia with prices starting at $190,500 for both the V6 LS 500 and hybrid LS 500h in F Sport spec.
For the LS 500h, this represents a $23,000 price drop from the outgoing LS 600h F Sport, despite being equipped with the more advanced 220kW/350Nm V6-petrol electric Multi-Stage Hybrid powertrain taken from the LC coupe.
While it’s not as powerful as the outgoing V8-based LS 600h, its 5.4-second 0-100km acceleration is 0.3 seconds quicker. It’s also considerably more efficient, with combined fuel consumption figure of 6.6L/100km, compared with the LS 650h’s 8.6L/100km thirst.
The standard petrol powertrain is also more advanced, with a powerful 310kW/600Nm 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 that sends power to the rear wheels via a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission.
This is the first turbocharged LS model to date and, despite losing two cylinders, it provides significantly more grunt that the 286kW naturally aspirated V8 it replaces and will hit 100km/h from a standing start in just 5.0 seconds.
The enhanced powertrains are just one of the significant advancements to Lexus’ BMW 7-Series rival. Built on the Japanese carmaker’s new GA-L (Global Architecture – Luxury) platform, it’s more luxurious than before too, with a longer 3125mm wheelbase giving it the most legroom of any LS generation, including long-wheelbase variants.
As well as being able to accommodate more opulent furniture than ever before, the additional length also achieves improved 52:48 front-rear weight distribution and lower centre of gravity for greater agility and comfort.
The coupe-like cabin houses advanced new front and rear seat designs with new massage functions and in-cabin technology including a 12.3-inch multi-media screen, large head-up display and a 23-speaker Mark Levinson sound system and auto-closing doors.
The latest Lexus Safety System+ brings a pre-collision system, all-speed radar active cruise control, lane keep assist and adaptive high-beam system to control the LED headlamps automatically, along with blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert and tyre pressure monitoring system.
Performance benefits include standard Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), adaptive air suspension with access mode control, dynamic rear steering, variable gear-ratio steering, and active stabiliser bars that provide increased stability control while maintaining ride comfort.
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All that kit is included in the performance-focused F Sport variant along with sporty exterior and interior treatments, 20-inch alloys with staggered front-rear tyre widths, and high-performance brakes.
For an extra $5000, the range-topping Sports Luxury loses some of the performance kit including VDIM and active stabiliser bar, but adds four-zone climate control with rear cooler box, 22-way power rear seats with passenger-side ottoman and seven massage programs, rear-seat entertainment, and noise-dissipating 20-inch alloy wheels.
A range of trim options based on traditional Japanese craftsmanship are available to each variant, some of which are no-cost while others add to the bottom line.
The 2018 Lexus LS also benefits from an expanded customer care program which includes 10-year complimentary roadside assistance.
2018 Lexus LS pricing
- LS 500 F Sport - $190,500
- LS 500h F Sport - $190,500
- LS 500 Sport Luxury - $195,500
- LS 500h Sport Luxury - $195,500