The new Lexus LS has been seen up close for the first time in the UK with a secret hands-on demonstration of the car’s new technology in central London.
Features new to the LS, like Drive Select and the latest Lexus family styling are joined by genuinely exquisite features like seats fit for a Sultan and, on certain models, a wooden steering wheel so fine it takes more than five weeks to make.
This minor model update - albeit including 3,000 changes according to Lexus - has a deeper ‘spindle’ front grille and new, solid-strip daytime running lights to better define the front end and increase road presence.
Arguably the main change is in ethos, with certain new features serving no practical purpose whatsoever. Previous versions were shy towards such fripperies but the latest model has embraced the times.
The car senses its key, and as the holder approaches the exterior puddle lamps fade on. Step in and a symphony of lighting gently builds around the cabin, crowned by a thin horizontal sweep of light along a strip above the glove box. It’s wonderfully delicate and classy.
In a nod to those areas of the past that loyal LS users like there’s a round analogue clock in the centre console, which also automatically adjusts to the local time zone. A huge colour screen dominates the dashboard and gives supremely clear readouts.
‘Climate Concierge’ monitors each occupant’s facial temperature and automatically adjusts the four climate-controlled zones to suit, while massage functions are available in the rear left-hand seat - the best side for UK pavements.
On top of all the new technology, the traditional strengths of the LS have been bolstered still further. The leather quality is the very highest and the interior environment is more hushed than ever before. Lexus claims the ‘conversation clarity’ performance at 60mph is 100%.
Standard with certain interior trim colours is a Shimamoku wooden steering wheel that takes 38 days to produce. Its black and silvery-bronze finish looks to be beyond superb