The 2011 Lexus LS is the Japanese premium marque’s flagship sedan rival to established executive mobiles like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series and the Audi A8, the latter receiving a complete redesign for the 2011 model year
In this company you’d think the Lexus would have a hard time competing but to the contrary, the LS is one of the top contenders here.
That's because of Lexus’ penchant for impeccable quality and refinement, something the LS has in spades. It also features the latest in technology, including an optional hybrid drivetrain, as well as decent handling and dynamics for such a big car.
The top of the range model is the LS 600h L, which comes with a long-wheelbase body just like its rivals, but with a V-8 gasoline-electric hybrid instead of the typical gas-guzzling V-12. The hybrid combo matches a 5.0-liter V-8 engine with Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, which results in a peak output 438 horsepower.
The hybrid system essentially aids the gasoline engine during high-load situations and also features regenerative brakes that help top up the batteries. Fuel economy is an EPA rated 20/22 mpg city/highway and the 0-60 mph time is just 5.5 seconds--astounding for a sedan this big and packed with so much technology.
While the LS 600h L is nice for quiet and comfortable drive, the sporty choice is the new 2011 Lexus LS 460 Touring Edition
, which has just been introduced for the 2011 model year and is priced from a very reasonable $73,000.
It has a less powerful 380 horsepower 4.6-liter V-8 but its smaller wheelbase and lack of a hybrid system means the car will accelerate from 0-60 even quicker than the LS 600h L, doing the dash in 5.4 seconds. If you opt for the all-wheel drive version, however, this time drops to 5.9 seconds.
The other reason we like this model is because of the extra features you get, such as standard 19-inch five-spoke alloys, a sporty bodykit and grille, sport seats, and a mix of wood and leather throughout the cabin.
An eight-speed automatic transmission is fitted across the LS range.
Our only grip with the LS is its relatively soft suspension, even when the car is equipped with the sportier adaptive suspension. Note, there’s three different ride modes to choose from, Comfort, Power, and Sport, all of which afford different ranges of response for the throttle, steering, and suspension.
For a detailed look at the complete 2011 Lexus LS range, head over to TheCarConnection
for the full review.