When the Lexus LS flagship sedan launched more than 25 years ago it made its mark with its luxury features, an interior that was created with painstaking attention to detail, and a remarkably smooth engine. Today, the supremely smooth standard 386-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission is only one facet of the Lexus LS 460 numerous features. Undeniably, it’s the one whose benefit you feel quite strongly during a road test. Quiet acceleration remains a hallmark aspect of driving a Lexus LS, which also offers the option of a more engaging driving experience with the F SPORT Package.
A wide range of model choices also make the Lexus LS a standout. The LS 460 comes in regular and long-wheelbase versions, each with the further choice of rear-wheel drive or all-weather drive (360 hp with AWD). The ultimate Lexus flagship sedan remains the LS 600h L hybrid with 438 total system horsepower from a 5-liter V8 paired with an electric motor and all-weather drive.
For 2016, the multimedia system is enhanced with minute changes that help usability considerably. Drivers are now able to display the map across all 12.3-inches of the navigation screen and enjoy updated graphics. For convenience, menu shortcuts have been added to the side of the screen for quick access to functions like Audio, Navigation, Phone, Climate, etc. Enhanced voice recognition capabilities will help users when commands are not understood by the system. In addition, the Remote Touch Interface now has “enter” and “back” buttons to help the driver navigate the multimedia screen.
The 2016 LS also receives body adhesive in more areas for enhanced body rigidity and handling. Runflat summer tires are now available as a convenient option for LS gas models.
With Lexus Enform Service Connect, new for 2016, the LS can tell you what it needs, and when. Information includes maintenance alerts, warning light notifications and a vehicle health report. Use the MyLexusandBeyond mobile app (for iOS devices) or LexusDrivers.com website to set push-reminders and alerts for maintenance and service issues including, for example, required maintenance warning light will alert you and your dealer of a specific factory recommended maintenance for a specific maintenance interval.
Great Looks That Really Work for It
With its Lexus-signature spindle grille and sleek, coupe-inspired design, the LS cuts through the clutter of luxury sedan sameness and at the same time slices through the air with a very low 0.26 coefficient of drag. That figure translates into meaningful benefits that include hushed wind noise and admirable V8 fuel efficiency.
Beneath the sleek lines, standard frequency-dependent suspension dampers contribute to flat, agile handling and the uncanny ride smoothness that has long been a Lexus LS hallmark. Using Lexus Drive Select, you can tailor the car’s performance to your driving style or mood by selecting one of three settings – “Normal,” “Eco” or “Sport S.” The system automatically adjusts several performance parameters, including transmission shift points and throttle response. “Eco” prioritizes fuel efficiency, while “Sport” quickens responses for a livelier feeling. Models equipped with the air suspension – including F SPORT — offer two additional drive settings, “Comfort” and “Sport S+.”
F SPORT: Sharp Through Curves, Smooth Over Bumps
Sharpening the agility of a premium luxury sedan requires a deft touch to the suspension tuning and tire selection; the wrong choices bring harshness into the picture. Not so with the Lexus LS 460 F SPORT.
Sport-tuned air suspension and 19-inch forged alloy wheels lower the car by 0.4 inches, a change that noticeably tightens cornering response. The F SPORT also equips the LS with such high-performance hardware as a Torsen® limited slip rear differential (RWD model) and Brembo® six-piston caliper front brakes. You can combine F SPORT with all-weather drive for maximum grip a wide variety of conditions.
Outside, the F SPORT treatment adds a unique front fascia with an exclusive mesh spindle grille featuring a black surround, larger air intake openings and round fog lamps. Inside, the F SPORT conveys the proper driver’s car feeling with an Alcantara headliner, aluminum trim and leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters.
Luxury That Redefined The Term
A history of defining true luxury in both the obvious and smallest details continues to define the Lexus LS. Standard comforts include heated and ventilated front seats, with 16-way power adjustment for the driver and 12-way for the passenger.
The trademark quietness of the Lexus LS is rooted in body construction techniques that minimize noise, right down to the noise-reducing wheel design. As the car drives, resonant noise is channeled from the main air chamber to adjacent hollow areas within the wheels via resonator hole, cutting a significant source of road noise.
The supremely quiet cabin gives passengers the comfort to admire the craftsmanship that has set Lexus apart for decades. For example, Lexus craftsmen take 38 days to create the available Shimamoku (“striped wood”) Espresso wood steering wheel and matching trim. It’s an exhaustive 67-step process of layering dark- and light-shaded veneers to create this one-of-a-kind wood finish. The finished product is like a work of art.
Even the climate control caters to individuals. The available Lexus Climate Concierge is a four-zone system that lets occupants set temperature preferences for the main climate control system, the climate control seats and, for the driver, the heated steering wheel. Multiple sensors throughout the cabin ensure that the system reaches heating/cooling preferences quickly.