Lexus LS 350 Luxury Review
aLive and Stunning

clifford chow
17 Sep 2018
 

But why would Lexus allow their flagship to feature a Sport+ mode?

Smooth and creamy, that has always been my impression of the LS series Lexus. I can still recall back in the late 80s, when they first introduced the brand to our shores, with an ad campaign, featuring stacked champagne glasses boldly placed on to the bonnet, stressing on how smooth their back then naturally aspirated V8 engine was.

A few generations later, the Japanese luxury manufacturer unveils a car with a change that we see as being in-line with the times.

The LS has for the longest time always featured their smooth V8 under the hood, with many marvelling at how balanced and silky-smooth the engine was. The new car however now makes do with two cylinders less, and offers up three different power variants; a naturally aspirated 3.5 litre V6 and a multi-stage hybridised version of the same engine. They also offer higher-powered twin-turbocharged engine, which is also a 3.5 litre V6, but utilises a different engine block.

Our naturally aspirated V6 test car, pumps out 310bhp and 280Nm of torque. Torque is delivered in linear fashion, and peaks at 4,800rpm. Surprisingly enough, the engine feels about as smooth as a V8, with no sign of vibration from the front even with heavy footed me behind the wheel. Power is transferred to the rear via a 10-speed automatic gearbox, with such a smooth delivery, you would not know for sure which gear the car is in after a while.

But the plush riding qualities you get, stems from the combining of the various vehicle subsystems, under what Lexus calls their Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), sorting out things like braking, steering, powertrain and suspension, which all come together to help control the various weight transference a car would experience. The system is able to react within a split-fraction to changes in road surfaces, ensuring optimum comfort for occupants. The very same system is also able to work out the best setup when spirited driving is involved.

On the subject of a spirited drive, the LS feels very nimble for its size, partially thanks to Lexus taking pains to shed a good amount of weight. Their flagship sedan looses up to 200 pounds from the platform and body, with the clever use of aluminium in-place of steel, including in components like the suspension in order to reduce the un-sprung weight. Body rigidity has also increased, contributing to the car’s sublime handling.

Within the plush cabin, and in one of the most comfortable car seats in the industry, you will hardly know about this load of tech working for you. Ride comfort when the car is in its ‘Normal’ or ‘Comfort’ drive modes is similar to how the Mercedes S-Class rides, which means the car generally wafts around, soaking up any undulations the road presents.

But why would Lexus allow their flagship to feature a Sport+ mode? Well you see, part of the Lexus brief when designing this LS was also to cater to a younger audience, and in the right hands, the LS can cut corners much like how a smaller sports car would. All of this while maintaining that cucumber cool and calm environment on the inside.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 3456cc Turbocharged
Engine Type V 6
Compression Ratio 11.8:1
Bore x Stroke (94 x 83)mm
Power 310bhp @ 6600rpm
Torque 380Nm @ 4800rpm
Power to Weight 139.5 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 6.5s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 10.5 km/L
Drag Coefficient 0.290

Misc Technical Data

Drive Type FR
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type Coupe
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(5235 x 1900 x 1450) mm
Wheelbase 3125 mm
Turning Circle 11.4 metres
Kerb Weight 2222 kg
Boot Capacity 440 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 82 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs