The all-new Lexus LS 460 is an engineering masterpiece, a car that more than any other Lexus before it exemplifies the brand’s famous “relentless pursuit of perfection” motto.
On sale from 8 January, the new LS is the fourth-generation of Lexus’s luxury flagship. It combines meticulous attention to detail, such as components hidden deep within the engine being mirror-polished by hand, with a suite of advanced, world-first electronic safety systems to set new standards for refinement, luxury, comfort and safety.
As such, you could fill a book with the details – and in fact the detailed press pack is pretty much that – but here we highlight just a few key points that characterise the new LS 460.
These are not gimmicks, but ground-breaking technologies in safety and engineering that position the LS 460 well ahead of its rivals.
- Eight-speed automatic transmission: for better economy and refinement
- Advanced Pre-Crash Safety System: activates the safety features in the instant before impact to maximise passenger protection
- Advanced Obstacle Detection system: radar detection of hazards ahead, by day and night
- Driver Monitoring System: sounds a warning and primes safety systems if the driver dozes off at the wheel
- Emergency Steering Assist: helps the driver steer the right way in a skid
- Intelligent Powertrain Control System: smooth, quiet, safer and more efficient engine power control
- Rear Pre-Crash Safety System: adjusts seatbelts and headrests just ahead of a rear-end smash, whether you’re moving or parked, to protect against whiplash
- VVT-iE electric camshaft activation: gives better engine efficiency over a wider speed range
The LS 460 is better equipped than any other car on the market to prevent an accident happening, as well as mitigate the consequences should the worst happen. The road ahead is scanned by a radar and infra-red camera to warn of any potential collision with another vehicle or even a pedestrian, day or night, while another camera follows the driver’s head movement and triggers an alert if eyes are not looking ahead when a collision risk is detected. If there is no avoiding an impact, the brakes, front seatbelts and suspension are all primed to deliver peak performance and minimise damage to occupants.
The LS 460 is the first car to provide a Rear Pre-Crash Safety system, with a radar that senses when a following vehicle is about to collide with the Lexus. Whether you’re moving or stationary, it automatically adjusts the front headrests to provide the best protection against whiplash injury, before the impact happens.
Automated processes may give the LS 460 the finest build tolerances Lexus has yet achieved, but it’s the human hand and eye that help give the car the luxurious qualities that can’t be measured, only experienced by sight, sound and touch. Master craftsmen are responsible for the polishing of components, hand finishing in the paint process and checking every engine with a stethoscope to ensure the V8 emits just the right note.
THE LAP OF LUXURY
It’s the attention to detail that best expresses the level of luxury achieved in the Lexus’s cabin. The fact that every compartment lid is engineered with the same damping force, so that they all open in the same direction and at the same speed is just one small thoughtful touch. Mark Levinson has created a 19-speaker hi-fi audio system specifically for the LS; front and rear seats are heated and air conditioned; and rear air diffusers in the headlining ensure the four-zone climate control maintains the perfect atmosphere on board.
The new LS 460 is available in three grades: LS 460, LS 460 SE and LS 460 SE-L. On-the-road prices are, respectively, £57,000, £65,000 and £71,000. The LS 460 & LS 460SE are group 18E for insurance, with the LS 460SE L model being group 19E. The 375bhp V8 engine produces 493Nm of torque. Carbon dioxide emissions are 261g/km, placing the LS 460 in Band G for Vehicle Excise Duty.