Lexus luxury at new

level with LS 500h

Lexus LS 500h, 2018, front, action
Lexus LS 500h, 2018, front
Lexus LS 500h, 2018, side
Lexus LS 500h, 2018, rear
Lexus LS 500h, 2018, grille
Lexus LS 500h, 2018, rear touchscreen
Lexus LS 500h, 2018, rear seats
Lexus LS 500h, 2018, interior
Lexus LS 500h, 2018, cutaway

A NEW level of luxury is on the way from Lexus with its latest LS flagship saloon arriving in the New Year.

Priced from £72,595 the Japanese premium car maker will be offering the new LS in six specifications including all-wheel-drive models.

The range will top out at £105,595 for the LS 500h Premier AWD that has air suspension and advanced safety systems which includes technology that can detect pedestrians even when reversing.

The LS 500h is the fifth generation of Lexus's legendary limousine which has become fabled for refinement since its debut in 1989.

The new ones have touchscreen control front and rear, reclining rear seats and more than a metre of leg room in the back.

There's also retractable leg rests in the rear and all seats are ventilated to heat and cool with a massaging function available on the Premier models.

All versions are powered by Lexus's latest Multi Stage Hybrid System first seen on the LC coupe which uses a 3.5-litre V6 engine mated to an electric motor and a 10-speed variable automatic transmission.

With 354bhp on tap performance figures are 0 to 60 in 5.4 seconds with a maximum speed restricted to 155mph.

Fuel economy is rated at 43.5 mpg with emissions of 147g/km for the rear-wheel-drive models. The all-wheel-drive versions are not quite as frugal at 39.8mpg with a CO2 figure of 161g/km.

At 17ft 6ins long the latest LS is twice the length of a smart car and it sits on a new platform specifically designed for the car.

Lexus calls it the Global Architecture - Luxury platform and it gives the LS 500h a wheelbase of 10ft 5ins, an inch-and-a-half more than before creating more than three inches extra leg room in the rear.

However, boot space at 430 litres is down from 465 litres in the current model.

Externally, the LS 500h takes Lexus's current design theme to a new level with the brand's ‘spindle' grille and sculpted air ducts more dominant than ever.

In fact, Lexus claims there are now more than 5,000 surfaces incorporated in the grille design - 7,000 on the F Sport models.

The car has 20-inch alloys across the range and with a lower ride height is much more imposing than the current LS 600h.

Other technology includes a partial self-driving mode, rear wheel steering and a 16-zone climate control system which detects a passenger's body heat to adjust onboard temperatures.

Active noise cancellation is also fitted as a further refinement while the top specification models have a 23-speaker Mark Levinson sound system which Lexus says is the finest audio set up it has used in any of its cars.

"Not only will the LS symbolise the Lexus brand, it will become the definitive new generation luxury car, embodying Japanese tradition and culture," said Toshio Asahi, the LS 500h chief engineer. "As such, this global pinnacle must go far beyond what the world expects from a luxury vehicle."

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