Lexus flagship sedan gets a subtle facelift, more driver assistance tech and yes, finally, a touchscreen.
Lexus is tweaking its flagship LS sedan for 2021. The Japanese luxury automaker had a digital global debut for the LS on Tuesday, showing off new looks and new tech for the big four-door.
Mechanically not much has changed with the LS. The twin-turbo V6 and hybrid models continue on, with slight tweaks to both. Engineers have tweaked the gas engine for more torque at common driving speeds, and the hybrid uses its battery more during acceleration than before. Both options still hook up to a 10-speed automatic as well, with either rear- or all-wheel drive on offer. Lexus has fiddled with the adaptive suspension, suspension bushings, and even the seat cushions to make the ride even smoother too.
SEE ALSO: 2020 Lexus NX300 Review
You’ll need to squint to spot the changes outside, too. The biggest giveaway is the new set of headlights. The old Z-shaped headlights have made way for simpler shapes, with small notches on the lower outer edges. The gigantic Spindle Grille remains, with a three-dimensional mesh giving it a sense of depth. The F Sport model continues, and it gets its own mesh insert, as well as a unique lower front bumper design. A different rear bumper is also part of the F Sport treatment. The regular LS gets a new vent aft of the front wheels, but this disappears on the sportier trim too.
Lexus has crafted a new silver paint for 2021 LS, dubbed Gin-ei Luster. The company used a new painting method for it, which includes aluminum. Lexus claims it increases contrast and a feeling of smoothness, though how much of that translates from pictures is up for debate. We’d very much like to see it in person, Lexus.
There are bigger changes inside. New interior trim options include platinum leaf and Nishijin brocade, a 1,200-year-old traditional fabric from Kyoto. Lexus says this particular pairing is meant to evoke the “path of moonlight on the sea.” A more straight-forward red leather interior continues for the F Sport model as well.
Lexus Teammate joins the lineup for 2021. The driver-assistance system is designed to take the sting out of the daily commute, using a combination of existing assists. Lexus says the system will handle lane discipline and distance from other cars on the road, and that it prioritizes safety during operation. Meanwhile an Advanced Park feature can handle all aspects of parking for the driver (throttle, brake, and steering). Most importantly, Lexus will be able to update the system through software updates.
SEE ALSO: 2020 Lexus ES 300h Review
If you’ve used a modern Lexus recently, you’ll be happy to know the LS will add a touchscreen for 2021. The trackpad continues, but now you’ll be able to reach out and interact with the 12.3-inch screen directly. It allows for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connections. The digital rear-view mirror features higher resolution than before as well.
Lastly, the 2021 LS features the BladeScan adaptive high-beam system that debuted on the RX last year in other markets. The system uses an LED light and a fast-spinning mirror to light a wide swath of the road ahead, while selectively avoiding oncoming cars or people. Don’t expect this system to show up on this side of the Atlantic, however.
In fact, since this was a global debut, we’re not sure which of the new features the 2021 LS will feature once it lands. Sales will begin in Japan late this year, so expect more North American details, including price and availability, some time this fall.