The 2021 Lexus LS luxury sedan has been revealed, featuring changes to the exterior, interior, drivetrains and suspension, along with new safety and entertainment features.
These changes to the fifth-generation Lexus LS which has been on sale for three years now will better help Japan's large luxury sedan fight European rivals like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8.
For starters, the Lexus LS500h's 3.5-litre V6 petrol-hybrid powertrain has been tuned for better response by concentrating power delivery lower in the rev range. Peak power is unchanged at 264kW.
Engineers have improved the lithium-ion battery’s assistance by optimising shift software in the continuously-variable transmission. Lexus claims it now requires less throttle pressure on twisty roads.
Other changes to the LS500’s 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 include new pistons with revised lip designs said to reduce engine noise during cold running. The variable valve timing's inlet side gets hydraulic control which reduces weight, as does a new aluminium one-piece intake manifold.
The Lexus LS's adaptive suspension has been tuned for more comfort and stability thanks to an “enlarged flow path inside the control valve”.
Visually, the 2021 Lexus LS gets a new “elegant” grille, as well as a new bumper design and high-grade LED adaptive headlights with BladeScan technology.
Inside, there is a larger 12.3-inch infotainment screen that’s no longer integrated into the dash. It is complemented by a new digital rearview mirror that broadcasts live from a rear-facing camera, avoiding passengers or headrests that may otherwise obstruct the view.
Safety is also bolstered with intersection turning assist that will warn if you’re turning into traffic. Lexus Connected Service and Auto Emergency Call is also standard. The same system can also trace a Lexus LS if it is stolen.
As before the Lexus LS range kicks off with the F-Sport model, available with both hybrid and twin-turbo petrol powertrains. The F-Sport now includes Active Steering Assist, Curve Speed Reduction and Lane Tracing Assist, front cross-traffic alert and diagonal vehicle approach detection.
The top-grade Sport Luxury goes even further, with lighter 20-inch alloys and new run-flat tyres that are said to improve ride comfort.
Power-adjustable leather front and rear outboard seats feature multi-layered urethane cushioning for an even softer feel and better insulation.
All Lexus LS variants have a plethora of options, including no-cost platinum foil and “Nishikin-ori” textile finish on the door trims of the Sport Luxury as shown in these interior shots.
White, Black, Chateau and Hazel ornamentations can also be optioned at no-cost.
Other premium ornamentations start at $10K on all Lexus LS variants, while Lustre Shadow silver is also added to the palette, which includes aluminium flakes.
Pricing before on-roads has jumped slightly, with the LS 500h and 500 F Sport kicking off at $195,953, or $1818 more than before. The Sport Luxury commands a $1442 premium over the 2020 model, starting at $201,078.