THE NEW LEXUS LS 460
- All-new fourth generation of the Lexus flagship
- Higher levels of quality, refinement and performance
- New 4.6-litre V8 engine matched to the world’s first eight-speed automatic transmission
- UK debut at British International Motor Show, ahead of sales launch in November
Centrepiece of the Lexus stand at the British International Motor Show is the all-new Lexus LS 460. The luxury flagship of the Lexus range is making its UK debut, in advance of going on sale in November.
The fourth generation Lexus LS 460 has been developed around a concept that emphasises dynamism, the fundamentals of engineering excellence, human-centred technology and revolutionary manufacturing techniques. Even the most basic of processes has been re-evaluated in order to challenge every aspect of conventional engineering wisdom.
In the pursuit of ultimate dynamism, key elements such as platform, engine and suspension have been developed from a clean sheet of
paper to integrate perfectly with the LS 460’s numerous, driver
awareness-enhancing on-board sensors, achieving a dynamic and exceptionally safe drive in conjunction with the highest levels of passenger comfort.
By insisting on the adoption of expressly human-centred technologies, Lexus’s engineers have further improved the level of hospitality the LS provides for every occupant. Furthermore, a totally new manufacturing process has been developed, combining state-of-the-art automated operations with exquisite craftsmanship accomplished by highly-skilled technicians.
Among the many innovations featured in the new LS, perhaps the most significant is a revolutionary concept that interconnects and integrates several active, electronically managed components, forming an ‘intelligent’ network. Operation of the engine, automatic transmission, Adaptive Variable Suspension, systems such as the steering and brakes, stability control systems and support sensors, including the millimetre-wave radar and stereo imaging camera has been painstakingly harmonised to achieve unprecedented levels of safety and driving dynamics.
The new LS showcases numerous ground-breaking developments, based on the principle of accident avoidance through anticipation. A
state-of-the-art Enhanced Pre-Crash Safety System sets new standards, being designed not only to protect the vehicle occupants, but also those in its close environment. It features four world-firsts:
Advanced Obstacle Detection System, Emergency Steering Assist, Rear Pre-Crash Safety System and Driver Monitoring System.
The new LS also premieres a completely new 4.6-litre engine featuring innovative technologies that combine high specific output with class-leading fuel consumption among V8 petrol engines. To fully exploit its performance potential, it is mated to the world’s first eight-speed automatic transmission.
This unit will later be complemented by a hybrid powertrain in the
LS 600h, which made its public debut at the New York Auto Show.
During the past two years, Lexus has developed and introduced a new styling philosophy, L-finesse. This design language is based on the inherent contrast between simplicity and elegance, and the beauty of achieving a balance between the two. Following the introduction of the new GS and IS model ranges, the next generation LS is instantly
identifiable as the latest expression of the elegance, refinement and strong emotional appeal that are inherent to L-finesse.
The LS 460 marks two segment firsts in active safety provision: Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM). These not only prove protection,
but also reinforce driving pleasure. Moreover, these key Lexus technologies establish a link between active and preventive safety.
Variable Gear Ratio Steering
Variable Gear Ratio Steering employs an actuator attached to the intermediate steering column shaft, which alters the steering gear according to vehicle speed. At very low speeds, the gear ratio is at its lowest, to reduce both the steering input and effort required during tight cornering and parking manoeuvres. At medium speeds, the gear ratio is at its highest, to ensure gentle response to inputs and maximise vehicle stability.
In addition, VGRS connects with other safety systems in order to ensure the most rapid steering response possible, when needed.
Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management
Processing comprehensive status data provided by sensors located throughout the vehicle, VDIM integrates the new LS 460’s ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Traction Control (TRC)
and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) active safety systems with the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) and Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS). VDIM has the ability to act in anticipation, activating control of these systems before the limits of the vehicle’s dynamic capabilities have been reached. In addition, this stability control system can
enhance performance, traction control and vehicle stability, while offering smoother vehicle behaviour at this threshold.
Electrically Controlled Brakes (ECB)
The new LS 460 is the only car in its segment to feature a by-wire braking system. This reduces the overall weight of the braking system and allows more precise distribution of the brake force, which supports optimum operation of VDIM and other brake control systems.
The brake system generates unparalleled stopping power through the use of four-piston callipers at the front and two-piston callipers at the rear, both fabricated in aluminium to reduce unsprung weight.
The new Lexus flagship takes anticipatory, preventive safety to new heights with a number of world and segment-first features. Its unprecedented combination of preventive safety measures is
designed to recognise potentially dangerous situations in advance and minimise the chance of an actual collision., providing the best possible protection, not only to occupants, but also for the first time to pedestrians.
Enhanced Pre-Crash Safety System
In a significant development of Lexus’s advanced Pre-Crash Safety System, engineers at the Lexus Development Centre in Japan have incorporated new features that anticipate and automatically react to several types of collision, even after dark.
By means of a millimetre-wave radar and stereo cameras, the Advanced Obstacle Detection System can detect a wide range of obstacles in the path of the vehicle, including, for the first time, pedestrians and animals. When there is a high probability of a collision, an alarm will prompt the driver to take evasive action. However, if the system deduces that the collision is unavoidable, the Pre-Crash Seatbelts’ pretensioning mechanism will be activated and
the brakes automatically applied to reduce the consequences of the impact.
Moreover, Emergency Steering Assist substantially improves the vehicle’s response to the driver’s steering input in the likelihood of a
collision, increasing the chances of avoiding the obstacle. This is achieved through a close interaction between VGRS, VDIM and the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), providing a more direct steering gear ratio, selective brake control when necessary and a stiffer suspension setting.
The LS 460 also features the world’s first Rear Pre-Crash Safety System, which uses a millimetre-wave radar installed in the rear bumper. This constantly scans the area around the back of the vehicle and, if it determines a high probability of collision, it automatically activates the Pre-Crash front head restraints, which move forwards and upwards to cushion the occupant’s head in anticipation of an impact, greatly reducing the risk of whiplash injury.
A further element in the Enhanced Pre-Crash Safety System is the first Driver Monitoring System. A miniature camera on the steering column constantly tracks the movement of the driver’s face. If an obstacle is detected in front of the vehicle when the driver is not
looking ahead, the Pre-Crash alarm function will be triggered, and gentle braking applied to alert the driver.
In order to protect occupants from the consequences of a collision, a robust safety structure capable of absorbing a high degree of impact
energy and several strategically placed airbags are provided as the ultimate effective line of defence.
In addition to front, side and curtain shield airbags, the new LS 460 is, in common with its predecessor, the only car in its segment to offer knee airbags for both front passengers. This device can not only protect the occupant’s knees, but also contributes to a better
distribution of the loads imposed on the body by the safety restraint systems during severe impact deceleration.
Furthermore, the Twin-chamber Passenger Airbag is offered in this segment for the first time. Its advanced shape is based on the Lexus Omni-Support concept: once inflated, the twin chambers create a depression in the centre of the airbag, effectively cradling areas of the face, while allowing the physical impact of the bag to be dispersed to other contact points across the head and shoulders.
DRIVING ASSIST FUNCTION
The LS 460 is the first car in the segment to be equipped with a Lane-Keeping Assist system. When this system determines that the vehicle is deviating from its lane, based on white road line information picked up by the stereo cameras, an alarm sounds and enough steering rotation is automatically applied for a short period of time to
guide the vehicle back into its lane. In addition, when the Adaptive Cruise Control is active, ‘steering power support’ is provided to ensure the vehicle is centred in its lane, again based on the white line information. The driver can, however, always override the automatic steering action.
NEW 4.6-litre V8 ENGINE
Although it shares its architecture with its 4.3-litre predecessor, the 4.6-litre V8 engine in the LS 460 is an entirely new unit featuring
numerous sophisticated engineering advances that are unique to Lexus, setting a new benchmark for normally-aspirated V8 engines. Preliminary figures indicate a maximum output of around 375bhp (380 DIN hp) and combined fuel consumption of 25.4mpg, creating a class-leading combination of performance and fuel efficiency among petrol V8 engines.
The new unit combines the D-4S dual-injector system with Electric Motor Drive VVT – an electrically activated intake valve timing system – to achieve the perfect balance of high performance with low fuel consumption and emissions. D-4S, a technology unique to Lexus, is the only injection system to adopt two injectors per cylinder: one in the intake port, the other in the combustion chamber itself. This configuration combines the advantages of both direct and indirect injection, maximising power and torque throughout the rev range.
Simultaneously, Electric Motor Drive VVT offers a more prompt response than conventional, hydraulically activated variable valve timing systems, enhancing engine flexibility even further by improving torque and fuel economy across the rev range.
LEXUS LS 460 PRELIMINARY TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
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|Fuel consumption (combined,
dioxide emissions (g/km)