It’s been a busy 2017 for Lexus India and looks like it’ll be a busier 2018 too. The company launched its flagship product the LS 500h in India and has priced the Luxury variant at ₹ 1.77 crore, the Ultra Luxury variant at ₹ 1.82 crore and Distinct variant at ₹ 1.93 crore.
The launch of the flagship sedan comes close on the heels of the launch of the NX 300h which was launched in India at a very competitive price. The company has set itself apart from the rest of the luxury car makers by multiplying its hybrid-electric portfolio instead of just launching conventional petrol and diesel powertrains on its cars. The LS 500h is no different, as it is Lexus’ fourth hybrid car in India and the company says that there will be more coming soon.
Longer and lower than the model it replaces, the all-new LS shows off a sleek and bold design with a coupe-like silhouette which has been punctuated by the Lexus design language. The LS 500h is built on the company’s all-new global architecture for luxury vehicles.
A common thread through all LS models remains: Omotenashi, the concept of Japanese hospitality. Applied to a luxury automobile, it means adopting a human-focused approach to the vehicle: taking care of the driver and passengers, anticipating their needs, attending to their comfort and helping to protect them from hazards.
Compared to the outgoing LS, the new model is about 15 mm lower, while the hood and trunk are approximately 31mm and 40mm lower, respectively. The coupe-like silhouette is not due solely to the fastback roof style. Maximizing the GA-L platform’s low form, the pillars of the cabin taper from the central position of the occupants. Together with the contrast between the pulled-in doors and the front and rear fenders that flare away from the central position of the occupants, making it look extremely aesthetic.
The all-new GA-L vehicle architecture that underpins the LS is the result of a completely new approach to engineering, materials and loads of the vehicle structure. Rather than starting from existing vehicle platform and then figuring out how to modify it to fit the LS’ shape and strengthen it to support contemporary chassis dynamics, Lexus engineers literally started with a clean sheet in designing the new structure.
The luxury sedan gets a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine which works together with two electric motors to provide a combined output of 350 BHP. Just like in the rest of the cars, the Lexus LS 500h gets an eCVT transmission which powers feeds the power either to a rear-wheel drive system or Lexus’ new-age E Four electric all-wheel-drive system.
The LS 500h goes up against the likes of the S-Class, 7 Series, A8 L and the XJ L and in fact could get the upper hand here considering both Mercedes-Benz and Audi are planning to launch their updated flagship sedans in 2018.