2020 LEXUS LS 500 QUICK TAKES
2020 LEXUS LS 500 QUICK TAKES
- LS 500 Inspiration Series added to LS lineup, Limited to 300 Units
- LS 500 Inspiration Series Offered in Deep Garnet
- LS 500 F SPORT Gets Updated Brakes, White Interior Option
For more than three decades, the LS has helped define the flagship sedan segment.
The LS 500 and LS 500h return in 2020 with a few key updates, but the biggest news in the lineup is the addition of the new LS 500 Inspiration Series.
The 2020 LS 500 Inspiration Series will be offered in a unique Deep Garnet exterior paint and is outfitted with standard features such as 20-inch Black Vapor Chrome wheels, white semi-aniline leather interior and Kiriko glass trim, just to name a few. It will be limited to only 300 units.
Already equipped with one of the most technologically advanced safety systems in the industry, the 2020 LS also features the Lexus Safety System 2.0 as standard equipment. LSS+ 2.0 features daytime bicyclist detection and low-light pedestrian detection along with Road Sign Assist (RSA) and Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) to further expand the scenarios in which the LS is designed to help provide additional safety to the driver and passengers.
Daytime bicyclist detection is part of an enhanced Pre-Collision System (PCS). Previously designed to detect a preceding vehicle or pedestrian, the Pre-Collision System now has the potential to detect a preceding bicyclist as well.
The PCS has also been enhanced to help detect a preceding pedestrian in certain low-light situations by increasing the camera’s sensitivity and dynamic range.
Road Sign Assist (RSA) displays select road sign information on the instrument panel (and head-up display, if equipped) while the Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) system is designed to detect lane markings to determine lane position and place the vehicle in the center of the lane when working in conjunction with the All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. If road markings are not detected, LTA is also capable, in certain conditions, of following the car ahead of it.
The optional Lexus Safety System, a feature exclusive to the LS, also adds a new Lane Change Assist (LCA) feature.
With the All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) and Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) engaged the LCA system will determine if a safe lane change can be made and then actively steers the vehicle into the next lane if it is clear to do so.
Additional Technology for Connected Drivers
All LS models for 2020 come standard with Apple CarPlay® compatibility that allows guests to access the same familiar interface of their iPhone® through the LS’s 12.3-inch dashboard display.
The LS also offers Amazon Alexa compatibility, as LS owners can ask Alexa for the same access to information and thousands of skills available through Alexa at home. Users can also control compatible smart home devices such as lighting, thermostat and security systems. Alexa can even sync to the navigation system to provide on-the-go recommendations.
The Lexus App with Lexus Enform Remote features compatibility with smartwatches and Alexa-enabled devices at home to make it easier to lock and unlock the doors, check the fuel level and start the car remotely.
Long, Low and Luxurious
The 2020 Lexus LS has a sleek and bold design with a coupe-like silhouette.
Lexus designers took full advantage of the rear-wheel drive Global Architecture – Luxury (GA-L) platform to give the LS a stretched, ground-hugging appearance.
Compared to the previous generation, the latest LS is about 0.6 inches lower, while the hood and trunk are approximately 1.2 inches and 1.6 inches lower, respectively.
The 2020 LS offers two 19-inch wheel designs and three 20-inch wheel designs, with the 20-inch Vapor Chrome wheel now available on the base grade.
The 20-inch premium wheels employ a brilliant appearance created using an electroplating technique known as Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD).
All but one (F SPORT) of the wheel designs feature a hollow rim structure that helps reduce resonant sounds generated by the tires.
An Engaging, Nimble Feel
More than ever before, luxury sedan owners expect greater handling agility and performance without sacrificing comfort.
Helping to provide the uncanny ride and handling balance is the latest generation of our unique chassis control technology known as Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), which was first introduced in 2005.
This system implements cooperative control of all available vehicle subsystems—ABS, Traction Control (TRAC/TRC), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Electric Power Steering (EPS), Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS), and Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS) when equipped with the F SPORT performance package—to control basic longitudinal, lateral and vertical motion as well as yaw, roll and pitch.
To further refine the ride quality, the LS offers an available air suspension system as well as the latest Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) which continually adjusts damping control in response to driving operations and road surface conditions.
The Power of a Twin-Turbo V6 and the Efficiency of a 10-Speed Transmission
For scintillating performance and excellent fuel efficiency, Lexus designed a 3.5-liter V6 engine specifically for the LS.
This engine has an undersquare design for improved thermal efficiency coupled with twin turbochargers. The LS engine offers the output one would expect in a flagship sedan: 416 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque.
In RWD form, the LS 500 delivers a 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds. Perhaps more critical to driving enjoyment, though, is how Lexus tuned the engine and transmission to deliver instant acceleration and a constant buildup of torque toward the engine’s redline.
The driver can tailor powertrain response and feel by choosing from Eco, Comfort, Normal, Custom, Sport S or Sport S+ modes. Just enough of the exhaust note can be heard to enhance the car’s dynamic nature.
The 10-speed automatic transmission uses a torque converter, yet the shift times rival those of dual-clutch transmissions. The wide bandwidth afforded by 10 closely spaced ratios is ideal for all driving situations.
These improvements, plus a resin plastic transmission oil pan, yield a 10-speed transmission weighing the same as the previous 8-speed gearbox.
The available AWD system features a Torsen® limited-slip center differential to further enhance grip, traction and cornering stability.
The torque distribution can vary from 31 percent front / 69 percent rear on dry roads to as much as 48 percent front / 52 percent rear on slick surfaces.
Hybrid Power Taken to a New Level
The 2020 LS Hybrid uses a Multi Stage Hybrid System that combines a naturally aspirated Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with two electric motor/generators powered by a compact, lightweight lithium-ion battery.
D-4S direct fuel injection and lightweight valvetrain components allow a 6,600-rpm redline, with Dual Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (Dual VVT-i) ensuring ample torque across the engine speed range.
Combined system output of the internal combustion engine with the electric traction system is 354 hp, enabling the LS 500h to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds (RWD).
The system is based on the electronically controlled planetary continuously variable transmission of the Lexus Hybrid Synergy Drive coupled to an all-new four-speed automatic gear set at the output stage.
The two systems work together to expand the overall range of gearing and increase operation of the V6 engine across a wider speed range than previous hybrids.
And with a 22.2-gallon fuel tank and EPA-estimated fuel economy of 25/33/28 (city/highway/combined), the LS 500h RWD has a range of over 600 miles, depending on driving conditions and habits.
2020 LEXUS LS 500 AWD MSRP $78,670
AS TESTED WITH LEXUS SAFETY SYSTEM; FORGED ALLOY WHEELS; EXECUTIVE PACKAGE; PANORAMA GLASS ROOF; HAND PLEATED INTERIOR DOOR TRIM; MARK LEVINSON AUDIO SYSTEM; AND MUCH MORE….TOTAL VEHICLE PRICE: $115,970