Home / Reviews / First Drive / Lexus LS 500h First Drive Review – Tech a Bow

 

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The new Lexus, loaded with technology and oozing opulence, aims to raise the luxury limousine bar
Story: Sarmad Kadiri
Photography: Lexus

I’m in Yokohama, Japan, to drive the fifth-generation Lexus LS which has been upgraded a few notches in every aspect ― from the stylish exterior and premium interior to driving dynamics and technology overload. Our driving route is a short 15-km loop with a speed limit of about 80 km/h. So, the report is equally crisp, quick and powerful. And now we head straight to the newly introduced technology.

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The LS is based on Lexus’ new GA-L platform, so it’s larger yet lighter now. The cabin has been given extra attention and uses quality material, finished with top-class craftsmanship. There’s a whole bunch of driver’s aids and impressive features. A mite too many to list, but what needs mention here are its safety features.

The LS comes with ‘Safety System+’ as standard, but our car’s equipped with the optional ‘Lexus Safety System+ A’ with additional features. It gets the Pre-Collision System (PCS) which detects pedestrians and vehicles ahead and, when necessary, even brings the car to a halt by itself. Similarly, while reversing from a parking spot the system constantly monitors the surrounding, since there’s limited visibility for the driver, and reduces speed if it senses a pedestrian or a car in the path.

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On the motorway, I also got to try the Lane Departure Alert (LDA) which ensures that the car stays within the desired lane. To gauge the system’s ability, I allowed the car to drift out of the lane and the system came into play by steering it back in. Then there’s the Lane Trace Assist (LTA) that can follow cars in front in case the lane lines are not clear enough. This even warns the driver if he’s too fast for a turn.

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Propelling this luxury limousine is a smooth 3.5-litre V6 engine which comes in combination with two electric motors to produce an impressive 354 PS. Using the might of all three motors, the LS 500h claims a 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) sprint in 5.1 seconds. The company also claims that the LS’ 10-speed automatic gearbox is smaller than most dual-clutch transmissions and even offers faster shifts.

Since I got limited driving time and distance, it’s not easy to give a judgement on the LS. The ride quality was pliant for most part and the cabin remained isolated from the outside noise, as you would demand having spent a fortune on a car. The biggest draw for the LS 500h are its unique design, the benefits of having a hybrid powertrain, an enviable list of driver’s aid and comfort features, and the outstanding service reputation Lexus have.

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Now begins the wait to get a chance to drive this ultra-luxurious car again; hopefully, for a longer distance and in India.

 

About the author: Sarmad Kadiri

 

 

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