Range-topping Lexus LS saloon revised for 2020 with some extra technology, a few chassis tweaks and more driver assistance systems
Lexus has officially launched the facelifted version of its fifth-generation LS flagship saloon. The updated model will go on sale in the UK towards the end of this year – and Lexus hopes its tweaks will help keep the LS competitive with the next-generation Mercedes S-Class.
Cosmetic revisions for the updated Lexus LS are few and far between, with the Japanese manufacturer focussing instead on improving the saloon’s technical side. So, there’s a couple of comfort-biased chassis tweaks, an all-new infotainment system and a fresh arsenal of driver assistance technology.
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Lexus’s engineers have equipped the LS with a new “Adaptive Variable Suspension” system whose dampers feature a larger reservoir, which the company says has improved the saloon’s ride comfort over rough road surfaces. The LS’s anti-roll bars have also been adjusted to make the car more comfortable when cornering.
There’s a fresh set of engine mounts, too, while the seat padding is now made from a more supportive urethane rubber – and features an additional cushion and deeper stitching. Lexus says that both of these tweaks will make the LS better at absorbing vibrations.
Lexus has even given the LS’s powertrains a tickle, in an effort to smooth out some of their lumpiness. So, In the LS 500h hybrid, the drivetrain has been altered to rely more on battery power and less on the petrol engine at low speeds, which the company says has improved refinement and made accelerating away from a stop more seamless.
For the non-UK-market, pure-petrol LS 500, Lexus’ engineers have fettled the powertrain’s response by increasing the amount of torque delivered at “often-used driving speeds” – which, in layman’s terms, means cruising and overtaking. The company has also worked on improving the automatic gearbox’s shift pattern.
Facelifted 2020 Lexus LS: infotainment and technology
Elsewhere, the old LS’s slightly fiddly iDrive-style infotainment system has been swapped for a new 12.3-inch touchscreen unit. It’s compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and it features a new call-up switch, which gives the driver instant access to their most frequently used controls.
The revised LS also adopts Lexus’s BladeScan adaptive LED headlight technology, which was first fitted to the latest RX SUV. Rather than projectors, the system uses moving mirrors to automatically adjust the headlight beam – and is coupled with a larger digital rearview mirror, which eliminates glare from following road users.
The technology upgrades continue with a new fully automated parking system, which can recognise and store details on spaces which the driver uses regularly. The system is paired with a 360-degree camera and can even operate even if a space hasn’t been marked with lines or if there are no adjacent vehicles.
Facelifted 2020 Lexus LS: design and interior
You have to look hard for them but, hiding underneath all the technological updates, there are a couple of styling tweaks – most notable of which is the new Lunar Silver paint finish.
Lexus has also given the LS’s front bumper a very minor update, while the car’s headlights and tail lights have been slightly reprofiled. There’s a new, darker radiator grille, too, along with some fresh alloy wheel designs for F-Sport models.
Inside, there’s a couple of new trim options for the door cards which are supposedly inspired by traditional Japanese decorative arts. Buyers can choose from two faux weaved metal foil designs, which are set on laser cut open pore ash backgrounds.
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