Lexus has up to date its flagship LS sedan for the Japanese dwelling market—so whereas it’s not precisely the mannequin we’re certain to be despatched quickly, it gives a superb preview of the forthcoming refreshed U.S.-market LS luxurious four-door. Of word, the LS is just not an all-new mannequin, however relatively the type of honing of an current product typical of a mid-cycle replace.
The LS’s modifications could also be minor, however Lexus’s give attention to particulars, notably the inside supplies (and the strategies used to create these supplies) is so particular that you simply’d suppose the automaker was honing a traditionally-made katana. Talking of, we certain hope Lexus is utilizing a (rhetorical) katana to slice a number of the tough edges off of the LS, which has given us blended messages of late. Is it a luxurious automobile or a big, luxurious sport sedan? The final time we drove it, it appeared like its engineers weren’t fairly certain which strategy to go, and put out a product that achieved neither process notably properly. Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at the refreshed LS and see if Lexus has cracked the code on what its large, smooth sedan needs to be.
2021 Lexus LS: Dealing with and Suspension Modifications
A lot of our ire has been directed on the F Sport suspension, which we final skilled on our 2019 Car of the Year–contending 2018 Lexus LS check automobile. The setup makes the massive sedan impressively agile however “ruins the magic-carpet journey of previous Lexuses, permitting impacts to harshly penetrate the cabin,” as we put it beforehand. We additionally felt the F Sport trim was extra performative than performance-oriented, trying to impress the driving force with a really palpable change between suspension modes relatively than optimum suspension tuning in each mode.
It appears attainable that Lexus engineers heard these complaints as a result of the refreshed Japanese mannequin options revised Adaptive Variable Suspension. The refined system reduces damping forces however will increase the stiffness and roll bar rigidity, which ought to present related dealing with with much less harshness from large bump impacts. It’s doubtless the U.S. mannequin will undertake this general change, however with a singular particular calibration tailor-made to our (largely messed-up) roads.
2021 Lexus LS: Engine and Drivetrain
Japan will nonetheless get two powertrain choices, denoted by the LS 500 and LS 500h badges, and so they’re largely the identical as earlier than. The 500h hybrid’s electrical motors get barely extra battery help throughout acceleration, whereas on the similar time lowering its gasoline engine’s revs when setting off from a cease. The general impact ought to scale back noise and vibration from the three.5-liter V-6.
In the meantime, the twin-turbo V-6 discovered within the LS 500 will get equally incremental tweaks. Lexus says it elevated torque barely at speeds seen in regular driving for higher throttle response and tweaked shift timing on the transmission to scale back the incidence of downshifts.
Engineers additionally redoubled efforts to tune the Lively Noise Management and Engine Sound Enhancement (Lexus phrases for noise-canceling and synthetic engine noises despatched into the cabin, respectively) to make every higher. We’d complained up to now concerning the LS 500’s synthetic noise enhancement, particularly. Feels like Lexus took our suggestions to coronary heart.
All of those revisions appear commonsense and simply applied, and now we have no motive to suppose they received’t percolate over to the U.S.-market LS.
2021 Lexus LS: Inside and Exterior Design
Right here’s the place issues get somewhat trickier. The outside design ought to carry over from Japan to the U.S. with solely minor modifications—and extra to the purpose, the outside design modifications are slight. A personality line within the entrance bumper has been modified, and a few chrome trim within the taillamps switches to piano black. Nothing groundbreaking there.
Inside, accent panels get a brand new look referred to as “Nishijin & Haku,” which delivers the visible impact of moonlight on ocean waves. Turning a poetic picture right into a uniquely patterned materials is nearly as Japanese as issues get within the automobile world. And out of doors, there’s a brand new paint shade referred to as Gin-ei Luster, a metallic silver end that Lexus claims is clean and mirror-like, to intensify the curves of the LS’s sheet steel. There’s no phrase as as to if both ingredient will make it Stateside.
2021 Lexus LS: Expertise and Security
With out particular details about the U.S.-market LS, there’s little assure that any of the LS’s new security tech will make it right here. For one, the LS will get the adaptive high-beam headlight system first seen on the 2020 Lexus RX. We already know this method isn’t but accessible within the U.S., so contemplate it unlikely, for now. Extra importantly, the LS welcomes a touchscreen infotainment system to its cabin. Now not should customers resort to twiddling with the model’s finicky touchpad controller when interacting with the automobile’s 12.3-inch middle display.
The identical goes for the automobile’s so-called Teammate system, a driver help suite that features computerized lane-keeping and permits the car to comply with others and full lane modifications, and overtake slower site visitors on roads supported by the system. Teammate additionally consists of an automatic parking system. We don’t count on to see this method right here, however we’re to study the way it operates in areas the place it’s supported—first in Japan, and later in unspecified different markets.
2021 Lexus LS: On-Sale Date and Pricing
Since Lexus’ newest communication doesn’t cowl our market, we’re undecided precisely what to anticipate for the subsequent LS we are able to purchase right here. However an organization consultant tells us that U.S.-specific data will drop later this summer season, together with characteristic content material and an on-sale date, at which level we’ll know the way a lot of the JDM LS trickles over to our mannequin.
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