Lexus LS

The sixth generation LS — which will be unveiled in Japan later this year — is expected to arrive in South Africa during early 2021. Image: Supplied

Ssshhh…can you hear it? It’s the new Lexus flagship LS

Lexus releases a ‘teaser’ ahead of the launch of its sixth-generation LS – and its all about the driving experience.

Lexus LS

The sixth generation LS — which will be unveiled in Japan later this year — is expected to arrive in South Africa during early 2021. Image: Supplied

When a carmaker makes a big noise about features such as “Engine Sound Enhancement tuning for improved quietness and Active Noise Control”, something just screams prestige.

That is the distinct impression left by Lexus when the luxury Japanese nameplate last week revealed a number of the softer and yes, quieter attributes of its new flagship LS.

When will it premiere?

The sixth-generation LS — which will be unveiled in Japan later this year — is expected to arrive in South Africa during early 2021.

It is now three decades since Lexus debuted its first generation LS in 1989, with the premium brand saying it remains committed to its mission of setting a new standard for luxury vehicles:

“A goal that has brought  levels of luxury, comfort and serenity that to this day redefines luxury vehicle refinement.”

Miles apart: Over a span of 30 years, the Lexus LS DNA has evolved from its first-generation flagship LS, left, to ts fifth generation luxury sedan. Image:

Built-in Lexus luxury

And reflecting this approach, Lexus has positioned its much-anticipated new model as “advanced evolution”, with the LS to be introduced with a new edition — Lexus Teammate — described as the latest in advanced driving assist technologies.

And along with “exceptional quietness and comfort” the company said its evolution of the Lexus DNA also includes high-quality interiors inspired by traditional Japanese crafts.

According to chief branding officer and master driver Akio Toyoda, Lexus positions the LS – in all its generations – as “a model that gives rise to transformation through the spirit of constant innovation and by providing new technologies and value for the times”.

As the flagship sedan of the Lexus brand, the LS has cumulatively sold 87 million units, gaining popularity over a span of 31 years.

Dynamic improvements

Image: Supplied

The new sixth-generation LS builds on the daring coupe silhouette of the previous version dating back to 2017 with yet again improved levels of comfort, quiet operation and overall refinement and a range of new dynamic improvements dictated by the brand’s Lexus Driving Signature initiative.

With reference to Teammate, Lexus said it had not only thoroughly honed essential fundamental vehicle performance to achieve levels of driving assist that provide occupants with an even higher sense of security, but had also incorporated AI (artificial intelligence) technologies centred on deep learning for predicting and responding to various driving situations.

Paint job

Image: Supplied

The model will be dressed in a new exterior panel colour that achieves deep shadows and robust highlights, enabled by new paint technology, and known as Gin-ei Luster.

Step inside with Japanese craftsmanship

“On the inside, in addition to the use of a touchscreen for improved operability, Lexus paid uncompromising attention-to-detail through a collaboration involving traditional Japanese crafts, such as Nishijin brocade and metal leaf decoration, creating a high-quality interior atmosphere only suitable for the Lexus flagship,” said Lexus.

Uncompromising attention to detail marks the interior of the new Lexus LS. Image: Supplied

In his comments on the new LS, TSAM Marketing and Lexus Sales vice-president Glenn Crompton said:

“In pursuing high-quality driving performance, which is the starting point of the LS, Lexus thoroughly addressed every detail of the components and control systems related to driving performance, including quietness and ride comfort, ranging, for example, from the internal structure of the tyres to the feel experienced when sitting in the seats and the acceleration response in daily driving.”

The current Lexus LS 500 and F-Sport are powered by a 3.5 litre V6 offering 310 kW and 600 Nm, and he company said it planned to extend the local range with the introduction of the new LS.

The 2018 Lexus LS 500 F-Sport in motion. Image: Supplied

Torque and Teammate

Lexus also targeted improved initial engine torque.

“Often-used driving speeds leads to greater acceleration response. Improved shift timing and a wider acceleration range for each gear has resulted in less-frequent downshifts. These improvements make possible driving that is powerful and with room to spare,” Lexus explained.

The added that the Lexus Teammate driving assist greatly improves the fundamental vehicle performance of the new LS, resulting in the further evolution of the high-quality driving experience expected of a brand flagship.

Lexus unpacks new features

  • Newly developed Adaptive Variable Suspension;
  • Increased battery assist during acceleration at often-used driving speeds in the LS 500h;
  • Improved initial engine torque at often-used driving speeds in the LS500 petrol version for – greater acceleration response;
  • Improved shift timing and a wider acceleration range for each gear for less-frequent downshifts; and
  • Active Noise Control and Engine Sound Enhancement tuning for improved quietness.

What your Teammate will do for you

  • Lexus Teammate helps improve driving capabilities with attributes such as keeping the vehicle in its lane;
  • It assist in maintaining vehicle-to-vehicle distance;and
  • Assists with lane splits, changing lanes, and overtaking when driving on highways and normal roads.

“And”, said Lexus, “The fundamental vehicle performance was honed so that the driver would feel secure in leaving driving to the vehicle.

“The driver is freed from operation of the accelerator, brakes, and steering, allowing a reduction in driver burden on long drives and enabling safe driving in which the driver can pay better attention to the surroundings.”

The carmaker said Teamate system will appear first in the Japanese market for possible adoption, and later in other markets. Specifications will vary for each market.

Lexus also announced that its flagship would also be introduced with “a few subtle aesthetic changes, which will be made to the new LS, both inside and out”.