The luxury sedan also gets a subtle facelift and a revised suspension.
Lexus unveiled the LS facelift at the beginning of July, but it’s only now Toyota’s luxury division is releasing details and images of the US model. Naturally, it gets the same array of updates as the global variant, namely suspension tweaks and interior refinements for greater comfort. In addition, the 12.3-inch infotainment is finally of the touchscreen variety.
Going a bit deeper into details, the 2021 LS has an updated suspension with modified spring and damper rates, along with further optimized front and rear anti-roll bars. To ensure a silky-smooth ride, Lexus has installed bigger liquid-filled bushings at both the front and rear. In addition, the height-adjustable air suspension now makes it easier to enter and exit the car.
The interior has been subjected to a few changes, but you’ll have to feel it to discover what’s new. That’s because the seat cushions, armrests, center console armrest, and other touchpoints benefit from extra foam material. Lexus paid special attention to the front seats, which now have thicker cushioning material as well as updated springs, all for the sake of greater comfort.
Gallery: 2021 Lexus LS (US Spec)
At long last – the infotainment system is now a touchscreen, meaning you’re not stuck with the trackpad anymore to navigate through the many available functions. When we reviewed the pre-facelift LS back in July 2019, we found the system rather frustrating to operate: “You use a trackpad as your input mechanism, but there’s a terrible disconnect between your finger moving and the cursor selecting what you want that makes navigating the system incredibly frustrating. Just drop it, Lexus, and start over with something entirely new. Please.” Thankfully, that day has finally come.
The 2021MY also brings some discreet styling changes inside and out, such as a black finish for the controls on the center console and steering wheel. The center stack now incorporates a switch for showing the heated seats and steering wheel functions on the touchscreen. A Palomino Leather upholstery option is being introduced, as is a fancy interior trim made of cut glass.
Stepping outside, the Lexus LS gets a mildly updated front bumper with squared lower air intakes and a dark metallic finish for the spindle grille. Adaptive high-beam headlights as seen first on the RX SUV are now available for the premium sedan, while the chrome trim at the back now has a piano black look. Lastly, Iridium joins the color palette for 2021 and the F Sport gets its own minor visual tweaks.
Both the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 and the naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 have been carried over, but the gas model utilizes a recalibrated 10-speed auto that keeps the engine “in a more responsive area of its power band.” The electrified LS adopts a different “battery strategy” to provide more power during acceleration.
The LS 500 will hit dealers beginning late November from $76,000 (an increase of $550 over 2020MY) in rear-wheel-drive form while the LS 500h is due early 2021, with pricing to be announced closer to launch. Expect a minor bump over the 2020 LS 500h’s $80,010 sticker price.