Lexus LS (2012): the full set of new photos

Published: 31 July 2012

Lexus has fully revealed the new LS, after last week’s Facebook teaser. Two different LS models will be available again – the LS460 and LS600h – but there’s now F-sport trim available for the first time, for those who want to give their LS a more sporting look.

The LS will go on sale later in 2012, after its worldwide in-the-metal debut at the Moscow motor show.

F-sport, on a Lexus LS? What’s that all about?

It’s not all just a snarly new face and a sporty bodykit, like a BMW M Sport or Audi S-line. Lexus F-sport cars also get sound tweaks to introduce more induction noise into the car’s usually serene cabin. Imagine that: a Lexus with more noise!

The LS F-sport’s ride height is lowered by 10mm, and Brembo six-piston callipers are fitted to the front brakes while paddle shifters take control of the gearbox.

The rear-wheel drive LS 460 F-sport model further benefits from the addition of a Torsen limited slip differential and the automatic ‘box throttle blips on downshifts.

The LS’s angular grille recalls the current F-sport GS saloon, a design element first seen on the LF-LC concept coupe. It’s a far cry from 1989’s original, bar-of-soap smooth face.

Surely the 2012 Lexus LS is aiming for tech masterclass status?

Naturally, there are systems on board to stop you crashing, and to look after you should you manage to have an accident after all. Thirteen sensors in the car’s cabin automatically adjust the LS’s climate control to keep occupants comfortable, and there’s a 12.3-inch (yes, twelve) infotainment screen on board. Widescreen indeed.

All models will be hybrid only – in the UK, at least – although in big Lexus cars this has always been more in a quest for better performance on the road, not at the fuel pumps. No details of the tech spec have been issued yet, but the outgoing flagship LS600h boasts four-wheel-drive, powered by a combined 5.0-litre V8 and electric motor that jointly develop 439bhp – more than a BMW M3.

Even back in 2007, that was good enough for a claimed 30.3mpg, thanks to the then-radical eight-speed gearbox. However, don’t expect Toyota’s finest brains to have been resting on their laurels, or been too busy playing with the sublime LF-A to have neglected the LS.

Expect the new car to have a downsized engine, more efficient electric motor and even better eco-credentials. However, Transport For London has wised up to luxury hybrids like the LS ducking into Congestion Charge exemption, and has moved the goalposts, so London-dwelling executives who wish to travel in absolute opulence can no longer dodge a few quid when entering the capital.

By Ollie Kew

Former road tester and staff writer of this parish