New Lexus Flagship LS 500 – Omotenashi to the maximum

By Wright Communications

The new generation flagship sedan for Lexus embodies Japanese tradition and culture in its svelte longer and lower profile of the car it replaces.

"Omotenashi is the concept of Japanese hospitality - taking care of and anticipating the needs of the driver and passengers, attending to their comfort and protecting them, that is the philosophy behind the Lexus LS 500," says to Paul Carroll, the Senior General Manager of Lexus New Zealand.

"The LS offers powertrain smoothness and performance, ride comfort and quietness, craftsmanship, style and luxurious appointments."

"It also reflects a strong and uniquely Japanese identity and approach to flagship luxury. It goes far beyond what is expected from a luxury car," he said.

True to the concept of Omotenashi, the LS endeavours to do more than simply meet a discerning person's expectations of a luxury sedan. The LS anticipates them and seamlessly delivers on that promise, so that whatever is required is always immediately available, whether it is smooth and responsive power or a discrete guiding sequence of interior lighting.

The sleek and bold design shows the new Lexus design language and is based on an extended wheelbase version of the new global architecture platform for luxury vehicles first seen in the stunning and scorchingly fast LC 500 luxury coupe.

A driver centric feel stems from this new platform and offers a more dynamic driving experience through the multi-link suspension, which also provides the supreme comfort Lexus is known for.

The air suspension can be raised when unlocking the car with the smart key, making it easier to get in and out. At the same time the driver's seat bolsters open invitingly.

Its ground hugging appearance comes from the 15 mm lower roof line and a bonnet and boot that are 30 and 40 mm lower than the LS model it replaces. Narrow headlights merge with an L shaped LED lamp that wraps around to the side and includes sequential indicators.

The flared fenders slant forward creating a dynamic impression. The LS sits on 20-inch diameter alloy wheels which are electroplated with a technique known as sputtering.

But it is the interior where the LS 500's character really stands out, with an intuitive sense that you're looking at an interior that is unlike any other luxury car.

"The 2018 LS 500 has unique appointments and visionary technology to surprise customers and reset their expectations," said Mr Carroll.

Twenty-eight-way power adjustable front seats include pneumatic control systems for fine adjustments with heating, ventilation and massage functions. The outer rear seats are 18-way power adjustable and have specific heaters for the shoulder and lower back areas.

Four leather accented upholstery colour choices are available - black, ivory, topaz and noble brown - featuring quilting and hand pleating. The headlining is trimmed in luxurious suede.

Shimamoku wood patterning is one of the interior ornamentation options, also available is laser cut wood which uses laser cutting manufacturing technologies. The other interior styling options are walnut, and tinted red grain. The interior lighting in LS is inspired by Japanese Andon lanterns.

Information displays on the dashboard are clustered at a uniform height so the driver does not have to change body posture to operate all the systems.

A next generation remote touch interface mimics smart phone operation. The navigation system has a 12.3-inch widescreen and there is a 600mm wide colour head-up display, making it one of the largest in the luxury class.

Lexus designed an all-new twin turbocharged 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine that provides exceptional performance, smoothness and excellent fuel efficiency for this type of car. This engine includes direct fuel injection, and twin water-cooled intercoolers.

It produces 310 kW of power and 600 Nm of torque, a significant gain over the out-going V8 engine's 285 kW and 493 Nm.

The ten-speed automatic, which first appeared in the LC 500, is mated to the engine and provides shift times similar to dual clutch systems. With greater use of aluminium components, it weighs no more than the eight-speed unit used in the previous LS 460.

Alternatively, the 3.5 litre V6 hybrid engine which debuted in the LC 500h coupe is also available with 264 kW total system output and a multi-stage hybrid transmission combining a four-speed automatic gearbox and an electronically controlled variable transmission for 10 effective gear ratios.

The 23 speaker Mark Levinson sound system performs at its optimum. The speakers are placed in 16 locations, including the ceiling.

Lexus Safety System + is included which features a Pre-Crash System with Autonomous Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection, Two-stage Adaptive High Beam headlamps, Lane Departure Alert and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Keep Assist.

A panoramic view monitor provides a view of the side and cornering clearance space. A rear camera detection system, another Lexus first, uses a camera and radar to detect pedestrians behind the car, an advance on the standard rear cross traffic alert which only detects vehicles.

Other standard features include a hands-free power boot lid; four zone climate control air conditioning; rear colour touchscreen display arm rest control panel; moon roof; rain sensing wipers; power back and rear side window shades and exterior mirrors with automatic dimming, auto fold, heating and reverse tilt.

The Lexus LS is priced at:

Lexus LS 500h 3.5 V6 Hybrid Sedan: $224,900
Lexus LS 500 3.5 V6 Twin-turbo Sedan: $224,900

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