Lexus LS 460 Flagship: ultra luxury and an eight speed auto transmission
By Mike Hanlon
January 7, 2006
January 8, 2006 Statistics suggest that this year will see Toyota become the world’s top selling automobile manufacturer, so the launch of the flagship LS 460 model of the company’s ultra luxury Lexus brand took on more significance than in any of the LS’s previous 17 years. The most significant technological achievement with the new LS460 is the use of the World's first eight-speed automatic transmission and for the first time we will also see a long wheelbase variant.
"The Lexus LS 460 was designed to expand the definition of the full-size luxury sedan," said Jim Press, Toyota Motor Sales president and COO. "The new LS is the product of an advanced production process developed specifically for this vehicle with remarkable new levels of accuracy, refinement, precision and craftsmanship. Considering our record for quality over the last 17 years, that's quite a statement," he added.
High Output V8, World's First Eight-Speed Transmission
The LS will be powered by an all-new highly advanced 4.6-liter V8 engine that will produce approximately 380 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque. Combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission, a world-first, the LS 460 will travel from zero-to-sixty miles per hour in less than 5.5 seconds. With that level of performance, the new LS will achieve an estimated combined city/highway mileage in the mid-20s. Lexus is targeting an Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle II (ULEV II) rating for the LS 460.
The new LS is built on a sophisticated platform that maintains a delicate balance between ride comfort and responsive handling. The completely redesigned multilink suspension system includes an electronic power steering system and a next-generation Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system.
VDIM is an advanced stability system that integrates and manages a new Electronically Controlled Brake (ECB) system, Electronic Power Steering (EPS), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Antilock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and engine torque via the electronically controlled throttle.
Monitoring a variety of sensors, the system is designed to anticipate the onset of a vehicle skid or slide and then help correct the situation with a combination of braking, throttle and steering control in a way that is essentially transparent to the driver. Data is gathered from more sources and processed earlier and faster than in previous designs, helping to make VDIM less obtrusive and even more effective.
First Long-Wheelbase Sedan
At nearly 203 inches, the long-wheelbase LS 460L provides an even higher level of comfort and convenience features along with some of the most advanced technology ever offered in a production automobile. The four-passenger compartment of the LS 460L transports its rear-seat passengers in an environment whose luxury features closely resemble those of a private jet.
Luxury by Lexus
Intelligent technology and emotionally evocative design is clearly evident throughout the beautifully appointed cabin of the new LS sedans. Extra luxury and comfort touches include a heated steering wheel and seats swathed in one of four tones of semi-aniline leathers matched to one of three coordinating wood-grain trims.
Rear occupants can relax and enjoy power reclining seats equipped with power leg rests and even a massage feature. The new LS even offers body-heat sensors that help maintain the perfect temperature for all occupants. A fold-away table matched to the interior wood grain provides ample work space for rear passengers. The LS also features a nine-inch headliner-mounted rear-screen monitor along with an all-new 19-speaker Mark Levinson® audio system that provides a true theater-level entertainment experience. Additional luxury convenience features include a power rear-door closer and an automatic-powered opening/closing trunk lid.
New Lexus Design Direction
Over the last two years, Lexus has developed a new styling philosophy that it calls L-finesse. This new design language rests upon the inherent contrast between simplicity and elegance-and the beauty of achieving a balance between the two. Simplicity, in form and function, reflects styling that is uncluttered and void of extraneous elements. Lexus elegance, inside and out, avoids exaggeration by prioritizing understated luxury that is intriguing, subtle, seamless and slightly surprising.
Lexus imbued the development of the 2006 GS and IS series sport sedans with this new styling direction. Now the LS further expands the L-finesse visual philosophy, revealing a family resemblance in the new Lexus sedans-one that conveys elegance, refinement and a strong emotional appeal.
"During the next few months, we'll provide more details about the all-new Lexus LS 460 as we prepare to launch this highly anticipated sedan," said Press. "If you like the way the LS looks, you'll be even more impressed when you hear about its advanced safety and innovative technology," he added.
The 2007 Lexus LS 460 and LS 460L are targeted for sale beginning in the fall of 2006.
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