The overhauled 2013 Lexus LS line-up is now on sale in Australia, with the new model range making its way into local showrooms over the coming week.
Starting at $189,900, the 2013 LS range opens with the sharp 460 F Sport model, replacing the 460 Sport grade of the outgoing line-up.
Despite a nearly $1000 price drop, the LS 460 F Sport gets an upgraded chassis, five-mode drive mode select, All-Speed Cruise Control, IS F-style Torsen LSD, embossed bucket seats and - like the rest of the LS range - new exterior styling.
An F Sport version of the top-shelf LS 600h hybrid is also available, adding an Active Stabiliser system for better body control and steering response.
Overall, the 2013 LS range represents a major overhaul of the current model, arriving with more 3000 new components and improvements.
Among them, the brand says, are three world-firsts and 14 Lexus-firsts.
On the styling front, the 2013 LS picks up the brand's new "Spindle" grille design, while both ends benefit from new bumper designs, most obvious at the front.
In new F Sport form, the LS picks up larger wheels, a lower ride height and the familiar chrome-framed mesh grille first seen on the new GS F Sport.
The face of the new LS also gains new GS-inspired headlights, featuring a unique perforated panel beneath the bi-xenon projectors.
At the rear end, the 'new' LS gets updated lights with a new design for the internal LED layout.
The 2013 LS features updated versions of the current model's engines, both bringing improvements to power and fuel consumption.
In LS 460 form, there's a 4.6 litre V8, producing 288kW and 497Nm of torque - up from 280kW and 493Nm. Matched with an eight-speed auto, the 460 promises a 0-100km/h time of 5.6 seconds.
For the 600h hybrid, the LS pairs a 5.0 litre V8 with a pair of electric motors to deliver a combined 326kW. Lexus promises a 0-100km/h time of 5.5 seconds.
Among the updated model's tweaks are new laser-screw welds, adhesive body bonding methods and new structural bracing for a 60 percent improvement in body rigidity.
There's also new engine bay member joints, a larger transmission tunnel brace, along with larger partition panel reinforcements and seat brackets.
There is also a new four-wheel interlock-control evolution of the Adaptive Variable air Suspension system, designed to improve pitch and bounce control for a flatter rider.
Lexus says its engineers focused on steering performance, with upgraded steering hardware and increased bracing for improved accuracy, feel and turn-in.
There's a revised Electro Power Steering system calibration and an overhauled brakes system for more immediate power and greater pedal feel.
The LS' drive modes now also include Comfort, along with Eco, Normal, Sport and Sport+, enabing drivers to select from a number of predetermined driving system configurations.
Lexus is also touting the updated LS 600h's new rating with the Australian Government's Green Vehicle Guide, achieving 4.5 out of 5 stars.
The entire LS range has achieved a "Beyond Euro 6" exhaust emission standard, meaning it meets current and future emissions standards both locally and overseas.
The F Sport model, a new addition to the LS family, gets a torque-sensing Torsen limited-slip rear differential, along with six-piston Brembo brakes up front.
The F Sport version of the new LS 600h also gets an Active Stabiliser system for better body control and steering response, and the LS 460 F Sport gets steering-mounted paddle shifters.
The paddle shifters incorporate Lexus' Sports Program Direct Shift, offering an automatic throttle-blip on manual down shifts.
Lexus says it paid particular attention to the LS' engine note, with intake and exhaust systems optimised to deliver "pleasing engine notes" under load.
More than one in four Lexus sold in Australia is now an F-Sport variant, and Lexus says the proportion is rising.
In the cabin - revealed here for the first time - the new LS has been redesigned to bring it interior in-line with the new themes established with the 2012 GS sedan.
Among the redesigned elements are the entire dash cowl, centre console and surrounds.
The new instrument panel in the centre stack features two sections: the upper display area with a 12.3-inch LCD screen, and a lower 'operation' section with the new Lexus Remote Touch controls and Drive Mode Select system.
There is also a new three-spoke steering wheel, measuring 10mm smaller than the four-spoke wheel it replaces - a change made to capitalise on Lexus' renewed focus on the driving experience.
The front seats have also been reworked, and now also feature an enhanced heating and cooling system.
Lexus says front passengers can now also enjoy a little more comfort, with an ottoman foot rest available, improving lower leg comfort and reducing heel and thigh pressure.
The carmaker also promises new Champagne White AIS-LED interior lighting and a new 450-watt 19-speaker Mark Levinson 7.1 channel surround-sound system.
Lexus has also given the new LS a new Climate Concierge system, combining automatic operation of front and rear seat climate control and the steering wheel rim heater, via a network of 13 sensors managed by a central ECU to "attain ideal occupant comfort".
In the cabin of the F Sport, there's two colour schemes, 16-way power adjustable F Sport seats, a perforated leather steering trim and gear lever, along with aluminium pedals and scuff plates.
Among the LS safety features is a Pre-Collision Safety System, monitoring the movement of the driver's head when looking from side to side, via two built-in near infra-red LEDs and a CCD camera.
If the driver turns their head away from the road ahead for a few seconds while the vehicle is in motion and the system detects that a collision is probable, the system will automatically bring forward the pre-crash warning alarm.
If the situation continues, it will briefly apply the brakes. If the driver does not then respond immediately, all pre-collision functions will fire up.
A Blind Spot Monitoring system has also joined the LS line for 2013, using a rear-side radar to monitor the vehicle's rear side blind spots.
Lexus says the system can distinguish walls and other stationary objects from approaching vehicles.
Pricing (excluding on-road costs)
- 2013 Lexus LS 460 F Sport - $189,900
- 2013 Lexus LS 460 Sports Luxury - $192,400
- 2013 Lexus LS 600h F Sport - $217,900
- 2013 Lexus LS 600hL $POA (available on-order only).
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