Lexus Refreshes Flagship LS

Over the last 18 months, Lexus has updated most of their entire lineup, with the exception of their flagship car the LS. Now, as we close out 2012, Lexus is ready to reveal the update to their flagship luxury sedan.

While the 2013 LS is a midcycle refresh, over half of the parts involved in building this car are completely new. There is a substantial rework of the exterior, which features Lexus’ signature spindle grill up front along with significant sculpturing throughout the body from nose to tail to greatly reduce aerodynamic drag.

In a market segment that puts a premium on perfection the new LS is positioning itself to once again be the standard by which others are measured. Not only is the exterior refreshed, the interior gets a complete makeover as well. The design concept 1st seen in the interior of the new GS is now brought in to the flagship LS sedan.  One of the features of the interior is the 12.3 inch  center display which can be organized into 3 different columns of information.

Interior materials also get an upgrade including a unique wood trim called Shimamocu. This unique wood trim takes 38 days and 67 different processes to complete. It has a horizontal grain pattern which helps to emphasize the with an interior space of the LS. If you choose to go with the hybrid version of the LS you can choose the bamboo wood option which gives a very nice look and feel to the interior.

Something else that is also unique in the LS is the analog clock in the center of the dash is linked via GPS to automatically update times, even when crossing into different time zones. So, let’s say you’re driving from Detroit to Chicago, where you go from the Eastern time zone to the central time zone, the clock will automatically update to the local time.

There will be several trim levels available in the  LS, including the ultra-lux package which will have 4 different climate zone controls. All cars, 16 way power driver seat,” way adjustable passenger seats. Opt for the 600 L, or 460 L, and you will have rear seat that will recline, as an ottoman, and also massage functionality. It truly is an “Executive” sedan. The driver and passenger seats also have a unique climate control system integrated into them the seats sense body temperature and bring the temperature of the seats to the desired temperature, until the rest of the cabin can reach that temperature.

Depending on which trim level you get, the LS can have a sportier feel, but the emphasis of the LS has been, and always will be, that of late luxury sedan. As such, the emphasis is on a quiet interior and a smooth and comfortable yet very controlled ride. The LS will never be a Canyon Carver, but on tight twisty roads it can hold its own.

Powertrains are a carryover, a 4.6 L V-8 with 386 hp combined with an 8 speed automatic transmission will be standard. Elect for the hybrid version and you have a combined power rating of 438 hp between the gasoline motor and electric motor. The hybrid model also gets a redesign regenerative braking system which aids in recharging the batteries much quicker and more efficiently.

Available for the first time in the LS is the F-Sport trim.  With the F-Sport you will get a deeper drill with other aero treatments, cooling ducts for the brakes, suspension lowered 10mm, Alcantera headliners, larger side bolsters in the seats,, paddle shifters and a Torsen limited slip differential.

You also get 19” BBS wheels that are unique to the F-Sport along with massive six piston Brembo brakes.

Pricing will be announced at the end of October and the LS’s will begin to go on sale in November. 

Fantastic Finish To Historic 50th Running Of The Bathurst 1000

Make it through a 500 mile NASCAR race, and ultimately the “photo finish” is a manufactured event due to phantom trash causing a yellow flag, or the always predicable green, white checkers.  Down in Australia though, 1000 kilometers of racing (621 miles) over a bit over six hours brought some of the tightest racing in the last 10 laps that you will see, and no safety cars, or full course yellows were needed, just two drivers going balls out for the most important race in Australian motor racing.

For those that don’t know the Bathurst 1000 is Australia’s version of the Indy 500, it’s the most important race of the year, and people who don’t care about cars, and car racing tune in for the event.  You could never win a championship, but if you win Bathurst, you become part of legend.

With this years running being the 50th, many teams broke out historic paint jobs for days gone by to pay tribute to the heros of the past.  The racing through out the event was some of the best the mountain has ever seen as well, but in the end, it came down to David Reynolds in the Ford Performance Racing Falcon and Jamie Whincup in the Triple Eight Comadore.  The last 10 laps were nost to tail around the 6.21km circuit, with Whincup’s team mate Craig Lownes charging hard from back in 8th’s place trying to make the podium.

Here is a highlights package to look at, we are hoping that like all the other races this year, the entire race will be uploaded to YouTube.