01 August 2012

Lexus injects healthy dose of style into the 2013 flagship LS

The 6 year old Lexus LS-series has been given a serious dose of style injection to keep it afresh. The changes are so significant and altered the outlook too dramatically to be called a mere facelift. Although typically the life cycle of the LS series is around 6 years, Lexus has chosen to update the model in its sixth years of service, leaving us wondering if Lexus is indeed planning to extend its life a little further, judging by the sheer effort in restyling it.

For one, the exterior outlook has been brought aligned with the rest of the Lexus line-up. The sombre front fascia of the outgoing car has been dazzled by the huge spindle grille. Its mammoth, running all the way from the hood edge down to the air dam level. The crisp front fascia is joined by similarly sharply dressed headlight, which looks uncannily like the one on the new GS.

While the side profile is recognisably belong to the 4th generation LS, the rear end has been thoroughly tweaked. The trunk lid, lighting, garnish and bumper are all revised, with the chromed interlink between the more elaborate rear light bring on a harmonious look unfound on the previous LS. The character line that runs from the bumper, upwards into the rear light, narrowing before joining the trailing edge of the trunk lid has given a new found assertiveness as far as design impact is concerned.

Continuing the trend set by the new GS and updated RX, Lexus is also offering a sportier F Sport model. Similar in modus operandi to the Bimmer's M Sport model, the exterior outlook has been given an uptight of muscle contraction, firming up the look significantly. For the LS 460 F Sport, the front bumper is chunkier, with more pronounced curved and flared, especially around the lower air intake and fog lamp housing. The barely friendly face of the "normal" LS has been swapped for more angrier look, frumpy even.

The rear end tweaks are minimal. It is limited to the different lower valence design that features a few vertical strakes in place of the smooth item on standard LS car. The 10mm lower suspension and 19" alloy wheel complete the F Sport exterior makeover. The chassis has been tightened for the F Sport, featuring a stiffer shocks, Torsen LSD for the RWD and Brembo 6 pot caliper at the front.

If you want to find a reason why this 2013 LS is by no means a mere facelift, you just have to look at the interior. There's never been a facelift that gives the car a whole new dashboard! For the 2013 LS, Lexus has thrown the outgoing soulless dashboard to the bin, and in comes a more modern looking item. It gets a twin cowled top fascia which extend towards the middle of the car and house a gigantic 12.3" screen that housed the entertaintment and navigation system, complete with split screen hi-res functionality. The dashboard also gained a metal section that housed the classy analog clock, again similar in trend with the new GS and ES model.

The door trim has been updated too, although the basic moulded section remains the same. Lexus has replaced the wood insert with a more elaborate multi-section component, in-line with the look on the new Lexus GS. All in all, once seated in, you won't be recalling a 2007 Lexus LS anymore. The F Sport treatment meanwhile covers the trimmings and color scheme.

The updated LS series comes in four variant: LS460, LS460L, LS460 F Sport and LS600hL. Mechanically, these car are unchanged fundamentally, although the 4.6L V8 has been given a boost of power and torque, totally 386bhp and 497Nm. Drive is channelled via the 8 speed automatic gearbox, to the option of either RWD or AWD for the gasoline version. Performance can be described as scintillating, with century sprint can be completed in 5.4s while the top speed is limited to bizarre 210km/h only. The hybrid LS600hL continues to be powered by 5.0L V8 hooked to a pair of electric motor, making it an AWD only.

Full gallery of the 2013 Lexus LS can be found after the jump.

Lexus LS460
Lexus LS460 F Sport
Lexus LS600hL

For comparison with the pre-facelifted 2007 Lexus LS460, reference gallery can be found below:

All galleries are from Netcarshow.

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