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Lexus LS update locked in for early 2021

The updated Lexus LS500 and LS500h will arrive in Australia early next year, sporting a range of upgrades for improved comfort and drivability.

1 month ago
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James Wong
Journalist

The biggest and baddest Lexus is on track to touch down in Australia early next year.

First revealed in its home market of Japan in July, the updated Lexus LS boasts a slew of revisions intended to enhance its comfort levels, along with adding new technology and personalisation options.

Headlining the upgrades is the new Lexus Teammate driver assistance suite, building on the current Lexus Safety System+ portfolio.

The enhanced technologies are able to keep the vehicle in its lane, maintaining vehicle-to-vehicle distance, navigating lane splits and overtaking other vehicles when driving on highways – making for Level 2 autonomous capabilities.

While the 310kW 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 in the LS500 and the 264kW 3.5-litre V6 hybrid in the LS500h carryover, both drivetrains have been tweaked for “greater responsiveness and reduced noise”.

The LS500 now offers better response thanks to “earlier production of engine torque”, aided by revised shift timing for the 10-speed automatic transmission and a wider acceleration range in each gear, also improving refinement.

Meanwhile, the LS500h is claimed to offer increased battery assistance during acceleration from lower speeds to offer “greater immediacy in performance”. Lexus says refinement in the hybrid has also been improved by lowering the max-available engine speed during take-off.

New for 2021 are Active Noise Control and Engine Sound Enhancement technologies, as is a revised engine-mount interior which helps to reduce powertrain noise and vibration through alternate damping characteristics.

Other changes under the skin include a number of suspension revisions to further enhance comfort and refinement, while also offering claimed improvements to handling.

The front and rear stabiliser bars have been made more rigid, while a new solenoid for the adaptive suspension system reduced damping force for a more comfortable ride in tandem with reduced stiffness of the run-flat tyres.

Inside, there’s upgraded seating with deeper stitch points and low-resilience urethane for the padding for improved comfort.

There’s new ornamentation available in ‘Nishijin & Haku’, with ‘haku’ meaning “metal leaf” in Japanese.

There’s also a new laser-cut wood trim option, as well as a new ‘ochre’ L-aniline leather option.

Elsewhere in the cabin, the 12.3-inch infotainment system has been brought closer to the driver and added touchscreen functionality, while a new digital rear-view-mirror – a first for Lexus in Australia – improves rearward visibility.

Rounding out the MY21 changes for the Lexus LS are a number of subtle exterior revisions, including revised three-bulb LED headlights with BladeScan adaptive high beam, a new dark metallic finish for the grille insert, and piano black finish between the tail lights.

F Sport models get wraparound lower intakes in the front bumper, and a “dedicated colour” for the sports front grille and 20-inch alloy wheels.

Gin-ei Lustre exterior paint is new as well, employing the latest paint technologies and incorporating aluminium flakes for a mirror-like texture, according to Lexus, offering “beautiful sparkles of light and contrasting deep shadows that create a sense of depth”.

Stay tuned for a pricing and specifications breakdown when full details for the updated Lexus LS range are announced in the lead-up to its early-2021 sales launch.


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