Lexus’ flagship sedan, the LS 500h, is here and it is the first Japanese contender in the super luxury sedan segment dominated by the Europeans. Carrying a price of Rs 1.77 crores ex-showroom, India, the Lexus LS 500h is being offered in three trims Luxury, Ultra-Luxury and Distinct with the last one going up to Rs 1.93 crores, ex-showroom.
The Lexus LS 500h was first showcased at Geneva last year and is built around the all-new Global Architecture – Luxury (GA-L) platform that also underpins the new Land Cruiser. The new platform allows a lower centre of gravity, rigidity and the required flex, all at the same time, allowing the engineers to reap the benefits of a super comfortable ride along with classy handling.
And that is because of the powerful hybrid powertrain of the LS which catapults it to 100kmph form standstill in less just over five seconds. The 3.6-litre dual VVT-i V6 petrol engine along with the dual electric motors develop a combined 354bhp of power and the power is transferred by a CVT gearbox. The hybrid system runs on lithium-ion batteries and has a multi-stage unit which optimises power and efficiency.
On the inside, the Lexus’ radical design continues and underlines the Takumi craftsmanship. Being the flagship luxury sedan, it gets all the bells and whistles that define comfort along with a host of electronics and features befitting the Japanese heritage.
At just under Rs 2 crores, ex-showroom, the Lexus LS pits itself against the Mercedes-Maybach S500 and that is a very tough ask first up. The you have the BMW 7 Series and the Audi A8 L queuing up with their V8s and W12s. If you are a V6 fanboy, there is also the Porsche Panamera competing directly with the Lexus LS500h. And if you are looking at something exotic, you have the Maserati Quattroporte flashing its trident.
In case you are wondering what else you can buy for the same price, there is the Range Rover LWB with a diesel engine, the fully specced-up Toyota Land Cruiser and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. In case of sporty sedans, you have the Mercedes C63 AMG, the BMW M3 and the Audi RS7, all of which will save you a few lakhs over the Lexus. If you want to get sportier, Maserati GT, Jaguar F-type and the Nissan GT R are some of the options that you should certainly consider.