The Power of Attraction: Redesigned Lexus LS Makes Its Global Debut
July 31, 2012
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What is it about a thing, a place or a person that draws us in and generates an attractive force? Lexus offered up a provocative and sophisticated exploration of that fundamental question in San Francisco on Monday, creating the perfect backdrop for the global unveiling of the most attractive iteration of the brand’s flagship sedan yet—the 2013 LS.
The nearly 1,000 VIPs who attended the invitation-only event began the night viewing an exclusive collection of images crafted by world-renowned fashion photographer Ellen von Unwerth. The evening’s most striking and dramatic image, however, was saved for last when the reimagined LS was revealed.
Immediately apparent to the attendees was the vehicle’s dynamic new exterior styling, epitomized by an aggressive iteration of the spindle grille that now reflects the face of Lexus. An inverted trapezoidal upper grille and slanted lower grille was first introduced on the 2013 GS. For the LS, those two elements have been integrated into one, creating an even more prominent spindle shape.
This bold new look suggests the new LS will deliver even greater road presence, improved driving dynamics and enhanced responsiveness and handling. A preview of just some of the sedan’s mechanical upgrades hint at how this will be accomplished:
- Increased body rigidity and more controlled pitch and bounce to help improve straight-line stability and produce a flatter, road-hugging ride.
- An Adaptive Variable AIr Suspension system that automatically activates the vehicle’s adjustable damping force shock absorbers in keeping with road conditions.
- A revised Variable Gear Ratio Steering system to help improve accuracy and turn-in response.
Higher levels of comfort and convenience complement this more spirited LS. Among the highlights are:
- An Advanced Illumination System comprised of LED lights that illuminate to greet approaching occupants and fade as the vehicle starts up.
- A new Lexus Climate Concierge that uses multiple sensors to regulate the temperature of the steering wheel and seats in keeping with each occupants’ preferences in four customizable zones.
- Improved sound insulation for an even quieter cabin.
- Wheels that channel resonant sound from the main air chamber to adjacent hollow areas within the wheels, converting road noise into heat energy.
- Redesigned front seats to minimize pressure peaks and increase support.
- A 12.3-inch high resolution multimedia display that offers split-screen viewing of navigation, climate control, audio, back-up camera and other vehicle information.
- A next-generation Remote Touch control with one-push confirmation that makes it easier for the user to operate climate control, audio, phone, navigation and other systems.
- The Lexus Enform with App Suite system that integrates the driver’s mobile phone with the multimedia display to more readily access such services as Bing, OpenTable, MovieTickets.com, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Yelp and Facebook.
- A new available Shimamoku, or striped wood, finish to the steering wheel and lateral dashboard ornamentation.
Safety and security have also been enhanced, with such new features as:
- An Advanced Pre-Collision Safety system that’s capable of identifying pedestrians and helping to mitigate or avoid collisions by stopping the LS from speeds less than 25 mph.
- A new Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert that automatically operates when the vehicle is in reverse, helping to alert drivers to the approach of other vehicles when backing out of a parking place.
- An upgraded available Lane-Keep Assist system that tracks clear lane markings as well as external disturbances, such as a strong crosswind, via a new yaw-rate feedback control.
For 2013, the LS lineup will include the LS 460 and LS 460 L offered in both rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations, as well as the LS 600h L hybrid with a full-time AWD system.
And, for the first time, an F SPORT derivative of the LS will be available for gas-only models. Available in RWD or AWD, the LS 460 F SPORT combines a sportier exterior and interior with more dynamic performance capabilities. Mechanical modifications include lowering the road height by 0.4 inches and incorporating a Torsen limited slip differential, Brembo six-piston caliper brakes and paddle shifters that provide automatic throttle blipping on downshifts. Other exclusive F SPORT features include solid aluminum interior ornamentation, perforated leather steering wheel and matching shift knob, aluminum pedals and scuff plates and an Ultra White exterior color.
The 2013 LS is scheduled to begin arriving at Lexus dealerships this fall.
By Dan Miller