2021 Lexus LS Lands in Japan, Portends U.S.-Market Changes
Lexus has updated its flagship LS sedan for the Japanese domestic market, so while it’s not exactly the model we’ll be sure to send soon, it does offer a good look at the future luxury four-door LS on the market. American market. It should be noted that the LS is not a brand new model, but rather the type of enhancement of an existing product typical of a mid-cycle update.
The changes to the LS may be minor, but Lexus’ focus on the details, especially the interior materials (and the techniques used to create these materials) is so specific that you think the automaker has perfected a katana of traditional manufacturing. Speaking of which, we hope Lexus is using katana (rhetoric) to cut off some of the rough edges of the LS, which has given us mixed messages recently. Is it a luxury car or a large luxury sports sedan? The last time we drove it, it looked like its engineers weren’t sure where to go and had released a product that didn’t do either job particularly well. Let’s take a closer look at the updated LS and see if Lexus has cracked the code on what its big, elegant sedan should be.
Lexus LS 2021: handling and suspension changes
Much of our anger was directed to the F Sport suspension, which we last experienced on our 2018 Lexus LS test car, the car of the year 2019. The configuration makes the large sedan incredibly agile, but “ruins the walk on the magic carpet of past Lexuses, allowing impacts to penetrate harshly into the passenger compartment,” as we said earlier. We also felt that the F Sport trim was more efficient than performance-oriented, trying to impress the driver with a very palpable change between suspension modes rather than an optimal suspension adjustment in each mode.
It seems possible that Lexus engineers heard these complaints, as the updated Japanese model features a revised adaptive variable suspension. The refined system reduces the damping forces but increases the rigidity and rigidity of the roll bar, which should provide similar maneuverability with less hardness in the event of large impacts It is likely that the American model will adopt this global change , but with a unique specific calibration adapted to our roads (largely spoiled).
Lexus LS 2021: engine and transmission
Japan will still have two powertrain options, designated by the LS 500 and LS 500h badges, and they are largely the same as before. The 500h hybrid’s electric motors get a little more battery assistance during acceleration, while reducing the speed of its gasoline engine when starting from a standstill. The overall effect should reduce the noise and vibration of the 3.5-liter V-6.
Meanwhile, the twin-turbo V-6 found in the LS 500 gets similar incremental adjustments. Lexus says it has slightly increased torque at speeds seen in normal driving for better throttle response and synchronized gear changes on the transmission to reduce the incidence of downshifts.
Engineers have also stepped up efforts to tune active noise control and engine sound improvement (Lexus terms for engine noise suppression and engineered engine noises sent into the cabin, respectively) to improve them. We have complained in the past about the improved artificial noise of the LS 500, in particular. Looks like Lexus took our comments to heart.
All of these revisions seem common sense and easy to implement, and we have no reason to believe that they will not affect the LS of the US market.
Lexus LS 2021: Interior and exterior design
Here’s where things get a little trickier. The exterior design should be transferred from Japan to the United States with only minor changes – and more specifically, the changes to the exterior design are slight. A character line in the front bumper has been changed and chrome trim in the rear lights changes to piano black. Nothing revolutionary there.
Inside, the accent panels have a new look called “Nishijin & Haku”, which delivers the visual effect of moonlight on ocean waves. Transforming a poetic image into a unique patterned material is about as Japanese as things in the car world. And on the outside, there’s a new paint color called Gin-ei Luster, a metallic silver finish that Lexus claims to be smooth and mirror-like, to accentuate the curves of the LS sheet metal. We don’t know if any of the elements will make him American.
Lexus LS 2021: technology and security
Without specific information about LS in the US market, there is no guarantee that any of LS’s new security technologies will arrive here. For one thing, the LS gets the adaptive high beam system seen for the first time on the 2020 Lexus RX. We already know that this system is not yet available in the United States, so consider it unlikely, for the moment. Most importantly, the LS accommodates a touchscreen infotainment system in its cabin. Users should no longer have to play with the brand’s delicate touch controller when interacting with the car’s 12.3-inch central screen.
The same goes for the car’s so-called Teammate system, a driver assistance suite that includes automatic lane keeping and allows the vehicle to follow others and make lane changes, and overtaking slower traffic on routes supported by the system. Teammate also includes an automated parking system. We don’t expect to see this system here, but we’re interested in how it works in the regions where it is supported, first in Japan, then in other unspecified markets.
Lexus LS 2021: sale date and price
Since the latest communication from Lexus does not cover our market, we are not sure what to expect for the next LS we can buy here. But a company representative tells us that U.S.-specific information will fall later this summer, including feature content and a release date, by which time we will know how much the JDM LS is affecting our model.