Lexus Malaysia has launched the fifth generation of their flagship model, the LS 500.
Almost everything is new starting with the new platform, the GA-L (Global Architecture – Luxury) last seen in the LC 500 Coupé and the underpinning for all future rear-wheel drive Lexus models.
In keeping with the current production trend, reducing overall weight to improve mileage and increasing structural rigidity were key aspects of the development brief. The new platform is lighter from the increased use of aluminium components and ultra-high tensile hot stamped steel, with Lexus-developed production methods to replace the conventional ones where necessary. An example being the use of self-piercing rivets and high-strength adhesive bonding to attach new cast-aluminium suspension towers in the front and aft, to the steel bod, two materials that can’t be welded together by conventional techniques.
Compared to structures with similar capabilities in steel, this technology is 42% lighter at the front; in the rear the aluminium structure has 1.5 times the rigidity of steel with 50% less weight. The high tensile steel mass composition is more than double of that in the previous generation, at nearly 30%.
To improve driving performance, most of the car’s mass – the engine and the occupants – are in a lower, more centralised position in the chassis.
The naturally-aspirated V8 in the the LS’s predecessor has been replaced by all-new 3.5-litre twin turbo V6 engine that produces the same 415bhp and 600Nm of torque of the earlier powertrain though it is now paired with a first-in-its-class 10-speed automatic gearbox. Two trim levels are available the LS 500 Luxury and LS 500 Executive. The higher spec being the Executive. There is also a hybrid variant, the LS 500h Executive which churns out a combined output of 354bhp and 350 Nm of torque.
The LS is now 28mm longer at 3.125 metres. Its wheelbase has been increased, by 35mm, so legroom is comparable to that of a long wheelbase limousine. The width is now 1.9m (an increase of 25mm) while the roofline has been lowered by 15mm for a sportier look.
Air suspension is standard and automatically raises the car by 30mm, when the car is unlocked with the smart key to make it easier to get in and out of the car. Front seats are power adjustable up to 28 way, rear seats in 22 ways. In the Executive variant, the front passenger seat can be folded away and the left rear passenger seat reclined at the touch of button so the passenger can stretch out. The seat moves back automatically into an upright position when the door is opened so the passenger is seated ready to exit in an seated position ,
Lexus Safety System+ is standard with a Pre-Collision system (PCS), Lane Departure Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, Adaptive High-Beam System and Lane Keep Assist. There are 12 SRS airbags including side and seat cushion airbags at the rear.
New cabin customisation options offered include laser-cut wood veneers inspired by Shimamoku wood patterns, Kiriko Glass panels for the door trim and also hand-pleated fabric door trim, a process that took four years to develop and can only done using human hands. It is so painstaking that the option is limited to 60 cars a month – globally – and is exclusive to the LS 500 Executive and LS 500h Executive variants.
The Lexus LS starts from RM799,000. The LS 500 Executive is priced at RM999,000. The range-topping LS 500h Executive is RM1,459,000. All prices are on-the-road without insurance. The new Lexus LS will come with a comprehensive five-year warranty covering unlimited mileage.