With all the hype surrounding the all-new Lexus LS, it's finally being launched in its home market of Japan. There are two powertrains on offer: a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 in the Lexus LS 500, and a 3.5-litre V6 paired with a multi-stage hybrid system in the LS 500h. While these are wildly different in operation and performance, both powertrain options are available in 5 different variants, with both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive layouts.
The number of options and features available for the Lexus LS is staggering. In addition to the plain-jane LS 500 and LS 500h, buyers can opt for the "I package", an "F SPORT" line (one familiar to Malaysian consumers), the "version L", and the "EXECUTIVE". Each brings a progressively longer equipment list, with the price increasing steadily as you go from former to latter. Getting a base model rear-wheel drive LS 500 will set you back 9,800,000 yen (RM 367,504), while the most expensive LS on offer would be an all-wheel drive LS 500h EXECUTIVE that goes for 16,800,000 yen (RM 630,007).
It's clear that the price nearly doubles between the two variants, but what is it that the EXECUTIVE variant has that makes it so much pricier? The all-wheel drive system is a consistent 400,000 yen (RM 15,008) premium for each variant, so the brunt of the price increase lies in the features. Standard for the EXECUTIVE trim line are the massaging seats for both the front and rear, exclusive targeted heaters for the rear seats, and a Mark Levinson Reference 3D Surround Sound System.
But this is only on top of whatever else the other variants receive. For the majority of the variants, the front seats are 28-way power adjustable, while the rear seats are 22-way power adjustable- even with a setting for easy ingress and egress. There's even the Lexus Climate Concierge which will constantly monitors the temperature in the cabin through the use of infra-red sensors to detect body temperatures of occupants, and adjusts accordingly to keep the climate stable. It's an extremely nifty system that makes the ride or drive that much more pleasant.
When it comes to safety, Lexus isn't skimping either. With the exception of the base model LS 500 and LS 500h, the other LS models receive the Lexus Safety System +A, which is a holistic package that includes PCS with pedestrian detection function and active steer assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Lane Keeping Assist, as well as Automatic High Beams. In addition to this, there is the Driver Emergency Stop System that's connected to the Land Transport Authority and Front Cross Traffic Alert. It's basically as all-encompassing as what you would find on a modern Volvo, but adapted for the purpose of the Lexus LS.
Unique to the rear-wheel drive F SPORT variants are co-ordinated control of the active stabilizers, but this can be specified for other model variants as well as an option. The F SPORT is still a rather unique form for the Lexus LS as it's a bit of a tongue-in-cheek reminder that Lexus doesn't forget about those who enjoy driving as well. Most executive limousines in this class are very much passenger oriented, but the Sport variants of the LS have been known to be surprisingly fun to drive.
To learn more about the all-new Lexus LS, read our world debut article here and our interior detailing article here. This all-new Lexus LS has been a long time coming and has stayed true to its roots while evolving and adapting to fit shifting consumer expectations. With a new platform and both turbocharged and hybrid powertrain options, it will likely be competitive in an apples-to-apples comparison, while remaining unique within the segment.