Pre Production Review: 2013 Lexus LS 460 and LS 600hL

Posted on 10. Aug, 2012 by in Auto News

The LS and I have a long relationship. Back in 1993 I was an impressionable teenager just before the holy-grail Age: 16 This meant that I always dreamed of driving. My parents were Oldsmobile and Chrysler people, so my choices were a 1980 Custom Cruiser, a 1985 Cutlass Ciera, or a 1988 Grand Voyager. The Oldsmobiles were diesel. Need I say more? One day my best friend's father put in a brand new 1993 Lexus LS 400 for the school run. I had no idea that cars with this kind of precision could be mounted, and my world was changed forever. Needless to say, when the Lexus invited me to the unveiling of the fifth-generation LS, my expectations were set high.

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The first thing to know about the all-new fifth-generation LS, it is not all new. 2013 brings a major update to the "FX40" LS Sedan, where some 3,000 parts have been changed from the 2006 to 2012 model (which was face-lifted in 2009). As an important refresh there sheetmetal changes and only the doors, roof and rear window are the same. Lexus mounted a very aggressive interpretation of its new "spindle" finally give the LS-like "rear-view mirror 'presence as the German competition.


Lexus has a good reputation for interior perfection. Even though we are in a pre-production car (which usually means it's going to be something wrong) were, there was not as much as a stitch out of place. That's not to say that the LS-Class is a leader in internal parts. The LS 460 still shaped with a dashboard and pleather door panels, while Mercedes and BMW have to double him laying on leather quality.

During the LS 'seats among the most comfortable I have ever sat in, the GS' offer 18-way seats a wider range of movement and adjustment. If you are lucky enough to be buying an LS in drivable if driving, the 10-fold rear seats have no equal. Oh, and the right rear seat shiatsu massages. As Mercedes and BMW, Lexus offers a short and long version of the LS. Due to the age of the LS is the fundamental dimensions of the LS 460L inside stretched considerably shorter than BMW 7 series.

Apart from the opulence of the rear seat in the extended LS, the gadget list is a reminder of two things. One: the 2013 LS is a refresh. Two: Lexus has historically a company that perfected not reinvented. To this end, you will not find a fancy LCD instrument cluster or any whiz-bang-I-gotta-have-it tech. Lexus has even quietly removed their complicated self-parking option. Instead, Lexus has doubled down, which has called for its target audience: perfect leather, perfect stitching, the quietest ride you have ever had and flushed quantities of wood, Jaguar would.

Infotainment / Gadgets

In the middle of the new dashboard is a standard 12.3-inch infotainment / navigation screen. This latest generation of Lexus' Enform "is essentially the same software as last year, the model is adapted for a larger screen. The screen is bright and easy to read, he unfortunately Lexus awkward joystick for the ride. If you think iDrive is a pain to use, can Lexus' pointing device to take you to a whole new level of frustration. As with the system in the current GS, the graphics interface and step behind iDrive, MMI and Volvo Sensus.

The optional 19-speaker Mark Levinson audio system for audiophile perfection as close as you will find in a factory-installed audio system. While the 450-watt on tap, this system behind the Bowers & Wilkins and Bang & Olufsen systems used in competition, its unlikely to be a problem for most buyers. USB, iDevice and smartphone app integration are the same as in the rest of the Lexus line up provides a solid and stable interface without voice commands ala Ford SYNC and even Toyota Entune.


With all the changes inside and only 50% of the parts is new, it's obvious what does not change, the drive train. The same 4.6L engine and 8-speed transmission, the breakthrough was in 2006, still with only minor software tweaks that pushes the engine by 6HP to 386HP or 360HP Total equipped with the optional all-wheel drive. If you feel particularly spendy, Lexus will continue to provide the LS 600h L 438HP and seemingly unlimited torque through all four wheels (and consume large amounts of fuel in the process) to offer. The observant will notice in the crowd, these numbers pale in comparison to the twin-turbo V8 from the Germans, but remember that the LS stickers for significantly less.


When the rubber meets the road, you do not hear a lot when you're piloting a LS. Lexus always known