The 2014 Lexus LS flagship sedans, descendants of the car that turned "heritage" on its head more than 20 years ago, hold a special place in the premium luxury category. Distinctive design, made even more so in the LS redesign for 2013, envelops an impeccable blend of performance, luxury craftsmanship and technological innovation.
The first Lexus LS ushered in a new era in luxury car performance by making a powerful V8 engine standard at a time when European premium luxury cars offered a V8 as an option. The V8 performance advantage continues for the 2014 LS models, a contrast to several competitors that have reverted to standard six-cylinder engines in their flagship sedans. Responsive power and swift, nearly silent acceleration remain trademarks of all LS models.
The 2014 Lexus LS line includes the LS 460 in regular and long-wheelbase versions with a 386 horsepower 4.6-liter V8 (360 hp with all-wheel drive) and the LS 600h L hybrid with 438 total system horsepower from a 5-liter V8 paired with an electric motor. The LS 600h L is available exclusively with all-weather drive and is also the best-equipped LS in standard form.
Convenience and ease of use make another leap in the 2014 Lexus LS with the addition of available Siri(R) Eyes Free Mode technology licensed from Apple(R). Compatible with the iPhone(R) 4S and iPhone 5 models forward, Siri lets you call contacts, select and play music from iTunes(R), get turn-by-turn navigation through Siri and Apple maps, and much more. To help you keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, Siri can read notifications and calendar information and allow you to add reminders, calendar appointments and notes.
The new-generation Lexus LS design is at once bold and efficient. The signature spindle grille provides instant brand recognition, and while pleasing the eyes, the LS design cheats the wind with a very low 0.26 coefficient of drag. Discretely placed stabilizing fins on the body contribute to that low number and also help enhance high-speed control and handling.
The Lexus LS beckons the driver to savor curved roads a bit more thanks to significant enhancements in driving dynamics. The standard frequency-dependent shock absorbers, for example, help deliver flatter, road-hugging handling while also smoothing out rough surfaces. Available air suspension delivers an uncannily smooth ride while preserving the enhanced agility of the new-generation LS.
F SPORT for Road Lovers
How do you turn up the handling prowess in a premium luxury sedan and still preserve the ultra-smooth, quiet ride quality? It's not an easy proposition, as introducing any harshness can "cheapen" the feel of a premium car. Lexus found the ideal balance with the LS F SPORT.
Sitting 0.4 inches lower on its sport-tuned air suspension and 19-inch forged alloy wheels, the F SPORT treatment gives the LS decidedly sportier driving performance. Yet, the Lexus trademark smooth, quiet ride remains intact. The contribution of high-performance hardware like the Torsen(R) limited slip rear differential (RWD model) and Brembo six-piston caliper brakes remains seamless. The F SPORT is also available with all-weather drive.
Inside, the Alcantara headliner, aluminum trim and leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters readily identify the F SPORT as the driving enthusiast's LS. Yet, comfort remains pure Lexus.
The F SPORT tastefully "sportifies" the LS exterior design. The unique front fascia shows off an exclusive mesh version of the spindle grille with black grille surround, larger air intake openings and round fog lamps. A chrome-plated bar running along the bottom edge of the rear bumper conveys the lowered center of gravity.
Personalizing the Lexus LS starts with a wide selection of exterior color and interior finishes. Personalization continues behind the wheel with the Drive Mode Select dial on the center console. The driver can tailor the car's performance to driving style or mood by selecting one of three settings - "Normal," "Eco" or "Sport S." The system automatically adjusts several performance parameters, including shift points and throttle response. "Eco" prioritizes fuel efficiency, while "Sport" quickens responses for a livelier feeling. Models equipped with the air suspension offer two additional drive settings, "Comfort" and "Sport S+."
Luxury in the Obvious and in the Details
Since the introduction of the original LS more than 20 years ago, the Lexus flagship sedan has continually raised the bar for interior comfort, quietness and standard luxury amenities. Heated and ventilated front seats, with 16-way power adjustment for the driver and 12-way for the passenger, are standard. The redesign brought improved comfort for long-distance drives, as well as larger heating and cooling areas and quicker heating and cooling times.
Lexus long ago mastered the art of luxury nuance and continues to hone its expertise in this area, an excellent example being the Advanced Illumination System (AIS). This all-LED interior lighting system illuminates to greet the approaching driver and passengers and then fades in sequence with the vehicle starting procedure - reminiscent of sequential light fading prior to a stage play or symphony performance.
Lexus pioneered new body construction techniques to minimize noise, and that spirit of innovation continues in the new-generation LS, which employs a special noise-reduction wheel design. As the car drives, resonant noise is channeled from the main air chamber to adjacent hollow areas within the wheels via resonator hole cutting a significant source of road noise.
The Lexus LS personalizes passenger comfort with the available Lexus Climate Concierge. This four-zone system lets occupants set temperature preferences for the main climate control system, the climate control seats and, for the driver, the heated steering wheel. Multiple sensors throughout the cabin ensure that the system reaches heating/cooling preferences quickly.
Craftsmanship throughout the cabin reflects an obsessive focus on materials and details. For example, Lexus craftsmen take 38 days to create the availableShimamoku ("striped wood") Espresso wood steering wheel and matching trim. It's an exhaustive 67-step process of layering dark- and light-shaded veneers to create this one-of-a-kind wood finish. The finished product is simply stunning.
Useful Technology That's Easy to Use
As luxury brands have been adding new and sometimes complex technologies, Lexus continues to find an ideal balance of usefulness and usability. Navigation is standard on all LS models. The 12.3-inch, split-screen, high-resolution multi-media display is large enough to simultaneously show a map display on one side and selectable vehicle functions on the other.
Steering wheel buttons provide quick, easy access to frequently used functions in the climate and audio systems. Operating navigation, climate control, a paired cell phone, audio system and numerous other vehicle functions does not require a master's degree in engineering. Rather, with the console-mounted Lexus next-generation Remote Touch, complete with leather trimmed wrist pad, the driver can quickly toggle through screen menus to operate a variety of vehicle systems. One-push confirmation makes menu and item selection easy and intuitive.
Lexus has expanded connectivity in its vehicles while helping to reduce driver distraction. The foundation of this capability, Lexus Enform(R), can make a compatible Bluetooth(R)smartphone even smarter. The available Enform service, with Destination Assist, eDestination, and App Suite, comes with the Navigation System/Mark Levinson Audio Package. Lexus Enform provides access to the subscription-free App Suite. These voice-enabled apps let you search the Internet through Bing(TM), make restaurant reservations through OpenTable(R), get movie tickets via MovieTickets.com(TM), listen to Internet radio, including , Pandora(R), and iHeartRadio(TM), search business reviews on Yelp(R), and check in on Facebook Places(TM).
The LS' telematics system, Lexus Enformwith Safety Connect(R) is available by subscription. Complimentary one-year trial subscriptions are available on all purchases of new Lexus vehicles equipped with these features. Safety Connect is standard on all vehicles while Lexus Enform with Safety Connect is on all vehicles equipped with the optional Navigation system. The Lexus Enform and the Safety Connect response centers operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week-every day of the year.
Lexus Enform vehicles are factory ready for subscriptions to a variety of innovative SiriusXM(R) services including NavTraffic, NavWeather, Sports, Stocks and Fuel Prices. SiriusXM services offer complimentary one-year trial data subscription.
Lexus Heritage: Stunning Sound
From its inception, Lexus also changed expectations for standard and optional in-car audio, and the newest LS models continue this tradition. Since the 1970s, audiophiles seeking the depth and power of a live performance in their living rooms have turned to the Mark Levinson(R) brand for its ultra high-end equipment. The hushed cabin of the Lexus LS offers the ideal stage for hearing music at its best, which is what the optional Mark Levinson Reference Surround System provides.
"Reference" is a term respected among audiophiles, and it means the music is played back with the utmost fidelity to the recording. The 19-speaker Lexus Mark Levinson system provides a 5.1 home theatre surround experience using 7.1 architecture and discrete circuitry. The 450-watt, 15-channel ML3-16 Processor Power Amplifier covers the 20Hz-20kHz frequency range with less than 0.1% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) - a stunning achievement in mobile audio.
Safety and Collision Avoidance
The Lexus LS offers a raft of driver-assist technologies, including the advanced Pre-Collision Safety (A-PCS) system with Collision Avoidance Assist. This system is designed to assist the driver in avoiding or mitigating frontal collisions with vehicles and pedestrians under a wide range of city and highway speeds. At speeds lower than 24 mph, this technology can help the LS driver to avoid accidents by automatically bringing the LS to a full stop.
What's New for 2014
Siri Eyes-Free mode.
Revised auto headlamp on/off
Ability to open trunk lid without key fob being in range when vehicle is unlocked
Minor interior color and trim revisions.
Numerous stabilizing fins help make the LS one of the most aerodynamically efficient cars in its segment with a coefficient drag of 0.26. Laser screw welding, body adhesives and other structural reinforcements increase rigidity and enhance control, steering feel and handling.
Standard Drive Mode Select allows the driver to choose from three distinct drive settings (Eco, Normal and Sport S). Vehicles equipped with the available air suspension add Comfort and Sport S+ modes.
The available Air Suspension with Variable Gear Ratio Steering automatically adjusts the damping force for optimal comfort and performance.
The available AWD system features a central, permanently engaged, Torsen Limited Slip Center Differential to further enhance grip, traction and cornering stability.
The Advanced Pre-Collision Safety system (APCS) can detect stationary pedestrians and those moving at speeds of up to three miles per hourand stop the vehicle from a speed of 24 miles per hour if a collision with another vehicle is imminent.
An upgraded, optional Lane-Keep Assist system (LKA) helps the driver stay in the intended lane.
Available Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) constantly monitors the distance to vehicles ahead and is capable of operating at any speed. The system can bring the vehicle to a complete stop, and accelerate away once the road ahead is clear.
Optional Lane-Keep Assist system (LKA) helps the driver stay in the intended lane.
The Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) uses rear millimeter-wave radar to monitor the vehicle rear side blind spots at 10 miles per hour or more. This feature includes Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), which automatically operates when the vehicle is in reverse, alerting drivers to the approach of other vehicles when backing out of a parking place.
The available Automatic High Beam system features a camera located in the inner mirror that detects light sources in front of the vehicle - including the headlamps of oncoming vehicles, the tail lamps of a vehicle ahead and street lighting - to automatically switch the high beams on and off accordingly.
Quietest LS cabin ever.
Front seats minimize pressure peaks and increase support. Both front seats feature an improved standard heating and cooling system with larger heating and cooling areas and reduced heating and cooling times.
AWD models, including the LS 600h L, feature a heated steering wheel and Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) heating elements, which warm the front cabin area quickly after vehicle start-up. Windshield de-icer and headlamp washers are standard on AWD models.
The LS features a standard Lexus Premium Audio System with a nine-channel amplifier, 10 speakers, CD / DVD player changer, DVD audio and video compatibility, MP3 sound enhancement, HD Radio(TM) with iTunes tagging, and a three-month trial subscription to SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Standard entertainment and connectivity advancements include enhanced Bluetooth capability with automatic phonebook download and streaming audio.
Available power rear seats with Climate Concierge.
An available Ottoman Seating Package with Shiatsu massage and a Rear Seat Entertainment System featuring a Blu-ray Disc(TM) DVD player, an SD card slot and a retractable, ceiling mounted, nine-inch full-color VGA screen.
The dashboard is divided into two distinct zones: an upper Display Zone, with the large, 12.3-inch, LCD multi-display screen, and a lower Operation Zone, which allows access to system controls such as the second generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI).
The driver's instrument meter cluster incorporates high-visibility, large diameter Optitron dials; a 5.8-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) Multi-information screen; and an aluminum analog clock with a GPS-based time correction function.
Optional wood includes Walnut, Shimamoku Espresso and Matte Brown Bird's Eye Maple. The LS 600h L also offers an eco-friendly Bamboo wood trim.
48-month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48 months/unlimited miles.
72 months/70,000 miles powertrain and restraint system coverage.
72 months corrosion perforation protection coverage, regardless of mileage.
Eight years/100,000 miles hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery-control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter.