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Updated Lexus LS flagship gets improved hybrid tech

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Lexus has revealed the new, updated LS saloon ahead of its sales launch in the UK and Europe in late 2020. The company says it is introducing new technologies, equipment and design features that reinforce the status of the LS as the flagship of the brand.

Lexus International President Koji Sato said: “In developing the new LS, we aimed for further evolution of the exceptional quietness and comfort that have been a constant feature of the LS since its first generation, and the starting point of the Lexus brand.”

Lexus says the smoothness, refinement and power of the LS 500h have been further increased through technical revisions that strengthen the contribution of the lithium-ion high-voltage battery.

In making the changes, Lexus says it sought to improve the car’s drivability by increasing the level of assistance the battery provides to the electric motor and expanding its range of operation. The focus was on the quality experienced in the “normal” driving that accounts for around 90 per cent of the time on the road, when the driver is applying only moderate pressure on the accelerator pedal and only low G forces are generated.

As a result of the changes, less effort is needed to move faster; acceleration is smoother and more linear, keeping the vehicle stable and suppressing G forces. This is designed to provide more comfortable city driving, but Lexus says there are also benefits when travelling on winding routes, or when pulling away on an uphill gradient.

With the hybrid battery playing a greater role, the engine is able to operate at lower rpm, which makes for quieter running, for example when the engine restarts after a period of EV electric mode driving.

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