The new Lexus LS500h is the brand’s flagship. You can’t do that without the tech and style business cards that the inventors and stylists of the Germans are completely setting trends. The head-up display mirrors into the windshield like a widescreen television. Seat heating, seat cooling and steering wheel heating are via the multimedia screen, clumsy but super cool, adjustable in three steps; warm – warmer – warmest, cool – cooler – coolest. Hip pho, King Wellness!
The description of his technological highlights could fill a newspaper. They do show the gap between the manufacturer’s ambition and his understanding of the user. The Lexus touchpad for the infotainment system remains a literal slippery game of dexterity. The active safety system also warns you at junctions of traffic coming from the left and right that someone with a good pair of eyes should be able to see for themselves. No private driver will dare to play pinball with his boss on the erotically willing massage chair at the rear right with the ten gears of the multi-stage transmission. Or explore the physical limits of the car with the active four-wheel steering. Yet it all has to be done, because flagship.
On the other hand, I fall for the best find in its simplicity in the pampering package. The remote control for the door lock is the key to end all keys. Where those bitches in the competition grow into a buddy smartphone, Lexus wisely opts for scaling down and unburdening. You get a slightly thickened credit card in a chic folder, even buttons are no longer on it. The LS automatically unlocks for the cardholder and locks after disembarking. You want that. Butler.
I also fall for the car, but what a style break it is. All the pastors were dead limousines for a type of leaders we don’t have here. Japanese governing elite in uncomfortable suits, savoring the unprecedented silence of history’s most impressive V8. The car was just like that, a stiff jerk, monumental parody in its gossamer ways. Lexus wanted to get rid of that stigma and that is why this is the first Japanese top class car to play the design card. With its sloping roofline, it cultivates somewhat Tesla Model S-esque the fashionable style of the large four-door coupe, the longest of its kind; 5 meters 23.
The interior is a work of art. The armrests in the door panels seem to float in a halo of twilight. On special order, the doors can be further enhanced with decorative panels made of cut ‘kiriko glass’ in a crystal structure, which, like the hourglass-shaped diamond grille, is intended as an ‘exciting play with light and shadow’. Oh yes, the seat belt attachment points are lit.
His size is generous in the back, he has tailored suits in the front. The further exquisite sitting behind the wheel is reminiscent of old large Jaguars. You sit low under a low roof, for which you do not have to be two meters ten. The steering is more direct and accurate than before, the chassis no longer week-American but firm. BMW and Audi drivers with adultery tendencies could be tempted. On clover leaves and roundabouts he plays Januskop with a somewhat schizophrenic mix of Asian feudal and European fitness discipline. Sotto voce; the new powertrain of the hybrid LS500h – V6 petrol engine plus electric motor – makes no more life than the road-economy V8.
In defiance of the angling for active lifestyles, the system power has dropped by a whopping 86 hp compared to the previous hybrid version. Lexus is the first manufacturer in this class to cut power, which I can only applaud. It got completely out of hand with that horsepower sprawl and you notice surprisingly little of that little bit less. In addition, this powertrain is the best of its kind. When you let go of the gas on the highway, the petrol engine switches off immediately. Then he drives electric. It switches seamlessly and smoothly, without jerks. The consumption, 1 in 12, compared to the previous LS hybrid, moreover, only marginally decreased. He weighs 2,355 kilos, think it’s crazy.
In the loudspeaker tsunami of audio supplier Mark Levinson, moderation is hard to find. Of the now 23 speakers, four have reached the ceiling, which should contribute to the 3D surround effect. The system does indeed sound screaming good, that is. And in the bitter practice of a pan-European traffic jam, this may be the innovation that will make you the happiest on balance. Mozart!