Local launch of the new Lexus LS



Lexus LS 2018 Singapore launch price6Luxury limo takes the fight to the mainstream Germans for the first time, entry-level LS 350 starts at $435,800 with COE

Singapore

Singapore – The face of luxury is changing these days, which is why the new Lexus LS looks as sharp as it does. It’s just arrived in here, and starts from $435,800 with COE.

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As you can tell from the pictures, the new LS is probably the most aggressively-styled luxo-barge on sale today, the better to attract younger customers to the brand and further shed its super-refined-for-uncles-image, a move that was highlighted by the sensational LC Coupe launched last year.

Four versions of the LS are available in Singapore: LS 500h Luxury ($535,800), LS 500 Luxury ($515,800), LS 350 F Sport ($450,800), and LS 350 Luxury ($435,800). All prices are inclusive of COE.

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With the new entry level LS 350 model, the LS is able to compete with the more popular variants of established German luxury limos for the first time, in this case the Mercedes-Benz S 320L and BMW 730iL.

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Like the LC, the LS is based on the company’s new G-AL platform, which has enabled it to be lighter, lower and more rigid than the outgoing model. We drove the car on its international launch last year and found it to be a vast improvement in the handling department – hit up our landing page for reviews or watch our walkaround video right here.

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All the variants have 3.5-litre V6s behind their intricate spindle grilles, but with rather different characteristics. The LS 500h borrows its Multi-Stage Hybrid drivetrain from the LC 500h, pairing its engine with electric assistance and feeding through to the wheels via a complex CVT/four-speed automatic mashup. With a total peak output of 354hp, the LS 500h will waft its way to 100km/h in 5.4-seconds, while returning a fuel economy rating of 6.7L/100km.

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The sporty option among the bunch is the LS 500. This one uses a different 3.5-litre V6, this time twin-turbo’d for 415hp and 600Nm of torque. That’ll see it finish the century sprint in a sports car-baiting 5.0-seconds, with imperceptibly smooth gearchanges along the way thanks to the world’s first 10-speed auto transmission.

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The big seller for Singapore though, will be the 311hp LS 350. Ironically, this entry-level variant is probably also the driving enthusiast’s choice, thanks to less weight (150kg lighter than the hybrid) and the immediacy/accessibility of a naturally-aspirated engine, as we found out.

For really, really keen drivers, the LS 350 is also available in F Sport guise, which brings with it a racier bodykit, fatter tyres, larger brakes, rear-wheel steering, sports-tuned air suspension, more supportive front seats and LFA supercar-style moving instrument dial. As typical of a Lexus F Sport kit, there’s also themed-badges on the inside

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Making its debut on the LS is Lexus Safety System+, which will be available as standard on all variants. LSS+ is the umbrella name for a suite of advanced active safety tech, which in this case includes radar cruise control, a preventative collision system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and a surround-view camera.

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As befitting the nature of a car like this, a lot of work has been put into making the car as comfortable as possible. This includes features such as Active Noise Control to cancel out noise on the road, air suspension that raises the car when parked for greater ease of access, “Climate Concierge” which uses infrared sensors to detect the body temperature of occupants, rear seat entertainment system, and interior design and materials that revolve around “Omotenashi”, the Japanese word for hospitality.

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Jon Lim
CarBuyer's latest addition is its fourth historical Jonathan. Old-fashioned in all but body, he thinks car design peaked in the '90s. He also strongly believes any car can be a race car if you have a sufficient lack of self-preservation, which explains why he nearly flipped a Chinese van while racing it.