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Heavily revised Lexus LS targets low-carbon luxury newcomers

The new LS will go on sale later this year, with long and short wheelbases and engine options including the hybrid LS 600h and a new LS 460 petrol. Styled similarly to the latest GS, it has the same spidle grille with L-shaped daytime running lights, while interior upgrades include a large in-dash display screen.

It faces an increasingly tough market. BMW has brought CO2 emissions for ActiveHybrid 7 down from 219g/km to 158g/km, Audi has a 144g/km hybrid A8 in the pipeline and Mercedes-Benz has developed a 149g/km four-cylinder diesel S-Class. To be competitive, the new LS will need to dramatically improve on the outgoing model's 218g/km CO2 emissions.

Lexus has altered the manufacturing process to offer more rigidity, improving handling without affecting ride comfort. The manufacturer has comprehensively adjusted the driver settings, including the car’s Adaptive Variable Suspension, steering and brake pedal feel to give a more involving ride.

Also new to the LS is an F Sport version (pictured, white), which uses 10mm lower suspension, Brembo six-piston brakes and has steering wheel gearshift paddles. Five switchable driving modes; Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport S and Sport S+ allow the driver to tailor the experience to the route, and optional noise-reducing wheels help boost refinement.

Pricing, performance and specification will be announced closer to its launch later in 2012.

Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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