Hybrid technology with the highest level of refinement, comfort, and safety. This is how we could define the new Lexus LS 500h, which we have been able to test exclusively for BRAND CARS and which incorporates new technologies, equipment, and design features that reinforce its status as a flagship and technological reference for the Japanese brand. Lexus says that 2020 has been a great year for the brand in Spain, taking into account the exceptional circumstances of the market (pandemic, the closing of dealerships and stoppage of activity for two months, economic crisis, etc.

The data supports this assertion, as it is one of the premium brands that decreased the least in sales (15%, well below the 32.3% average drop in registrations). Also, Lexus believes that 2021 will be a good year for the brand in Spain and expects to exceed 7,500 units sold, 4% more than the previous year.

The Lexus LS 500h won’t be the brand’s best-selling model, but it represents the spirit of Lexus better than any other vehicle. In two words: hybrid luxury. The high level of sophistication justifies the price, from 107,500 euros for the access version with a Business finish to 164,500 euros for the top-of-the-range Luxury version with maximum equipment and permanent all-wheel drive (AWD). At the wheels new redesigned and improved model retains the 359 hp hybrid system, consisting of a 3.5-liter gasoline engine that develops 299 horsepower and an electric motor that delivers 179 hp and is also capable of powering the vehicle on its own.

An arduous task if we consider that we are talking about a car with almost 2,200 kilos when empty. Even so, Lexus has managed to reduce the noise from the gasoline engine, associated with a CVT-type automatic transmission or continuously variable transmission. Although engine spin at high revs is still very noticeable when we demand full power to accelerate, Lexus engineers have been able to improve the smoothness and linear acceleration of the LS 500h by increasing the contribution of the lithium-ion battery of high voltage. According to Lexus, the priority was the quality experienced during normal driving, which accounts for 90% of the time at the wheel, when the driver depresses the accelerator pedal moderately and the centrifugal forces generated are low. And the reality is that the customer who buys an LS 500h does not want it to drive sportily on mountain roads as Lexus suggested to us during the dynamic test.

Rather the owner of this car will travel placidly in the comfortable rear seats and will let a chauffeur drive him every day to the office to an official ceremony or a business lunch. Let’s not forget that hybrid cars are designed for urban use and in this, the LS 500h delivers perfectly.

To improve ride comfort, Lexus has revised the performance of the tires the Variable Adaptive Suspension (AVS) the anti-roll bars, and even the seat structure. It has also included for the first time in the model the automatic parking system with a memory function that recognizes and saves details of the places where the driver usually parks. And of course, the Lexus LS 500h incorporates new safety and driver assistance technologies, such as adaptive high-beam control a digital rear-view mirror that projects the images captured from the outside by the rear parking camera the function of detection of pedestrians for the 360-degree panoramic view monitor and additional motorized assistance to tension the belts in addition to the pretensioners when emergency braking is activated.

Another great novelty of the LS 500h is the multimedia system, with greater functionality and an improved interface. The system is controlled by a new 12.3-inch touchscreen and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And we cannot forget to mention the interior details handmade by Japanese craftsmen, another of the hallmarks of Lexus refinement.