Last week we brought you the first images of the 2013 Lexus LS. The old saying, “never judge a book by its cover” seems appropriate in this case, as we didn’t expect the 2013 Lexus LS to be much more than a cosmetic exercise for the exterior and interior. As it turns out, Lexus have done a whole lot more to the LS than the pictures would suggest.
Lexus says the upgrades to the 2013 Lexus LS represent one of the most significant mid-life updates in the limousine’s history, with approximately 3 000 component changes and improvements over the previous model, including three world firsts and 14 firsts for the brand.
While based on the fourth generation model that has been in production since 2006, the refreshed LS sedan gains a more dynamic exterior look along with a restyled interior and notable changes under the sheetmetal to fend off the German competition that comes in the form of the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Headlining the upgrades is the comprehensively redesigned interior, which boasts a new dashboard, with new centre console layout and technology that takes a step forward from the recently released Lexus GS range.
Sitting above the new analogic timepiece on the center console is a 12.3-inch, split-screen, high-resolution multi-media display for the infotainment and navigation systems, which Lexus says is “large enough to support simultaneous viewing of a large map display and other vehicle functions”. A next-generation Remote Touch allows the user to operate the climate, audio, phone controls, navigation system and more. All models benefit from a 450-watt 19-speaker Mark Levinson audio system with 7.1-channel surround sound that is supported by a nine-inch rear-seat entertainment screen and a DVD and Blu-ray player. Six interior colour schemes can be selected along with a number of new ornamental trim inserts including Walnut wood grain, bamboo and aluminium.
On the styling front, the 2013 LS picks up the brand’s new “Spindle” grille design, while both ends benefit from new bumper designs, most obvious at the front. The face of the new LS also gains new GS-inspired headlights, featuring a unique perforated panel beneath the bi-xenon projectors. At the rear end, the ‘new’ LS gets updated lights with a new design for the internal LED layout. The part of the tail-lights that reaches into the boot lid has also been reshaped, now angled toward the top right instead of the bottom right. In new F Sport form, the LS picks up larger wheels, a lower ride height and the familiar chrome-framed mesh grille first seen on the new GS F Sport.
The LS 460, 460 L and F Sport all draw motivation from a 4.6-litre V8 engine, mated to an 8-speed sequential shift automatic transmission. The rear-wheel drive model produces 288 kW and 487 Nm of torque which allows it to achieve a 0 – 100 km/h sprint in 5.4 seconds. The all-wheel drive version sees the same engine’s output limited to 268 kW and 470 Nm of torque, which extends the sprint time to 5.9 seconds.
The LS 600h Hybrid comes with a 5.0-litre V8 engine producing 290 kW and peak torque of 521 Nm. Lexus has fitted the hybrid model with an electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission (ECVT). This conventional petrol engine works together with two electric motors and the Ni-MH battery pack for a total power output of 327 kW. It does the 0 – 100 km/h sprint in 5.5 seconds.
While the LS 460 F Sport does not feature any changes under the bonnet, it does benefit from sport tuned air suspension that has been lowered by 10mm, a Torsen limited-slip differential, Brembo 6-piston caliper brakes and 19-inch forged wheels.
Prices and availability for all 2013 Lexus LS models will be announced in due course.