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Freshened 2021 Lexus LS gains powertrain refinements, quieter cabin, bigger screen

The Lexus LS has been refined for the 2021 model year with a good roster of improvements.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The 2021 Lexus LS is getting a mid-generation refresh. A roster of changes aim to make riding in and driving the company's flagship sedan a quieter, smoother, and more high-tech experience. Though this announcement was made earlier this year, we now know exactly which changes are coming to U.S. models.

Lexus will continue to sell the LS in two grades: LS 500 and LS 500h. The LS 500h will remain the hybrid option for buyers. An F Sport package will continue to be offered.

The new model year brings a fresh front bumper that houses redesigned fascia. Lexus has altered the color of the spindle grille to appear more elegant while new three-projector LED headlights sit at the corners.

2021 Lexus LS The car gets new headlights for 2021.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Taillights have been stitched to Piano Black to enhance the vehicle's presence. Lexus will offer the 2021 LS in a new exterior color, Iridium, which is also now available on the fresh 2021 Lexus IS.

The 2021 LS 500 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that delivers 416 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. The engine has been refined for the new model year to be more refined when operating cold and reduce the amount of emissions. Lexus pairs the engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission, which has been recalibrated to be more responsive.

Rear-wheel drive is standard on the LS 500, which has a zero to 60 mph time of 4.6 seconds. Eco, Comfort, Normal, Custom, Sport S, and Sport S+ drive modes are standard. All-wheel drive with variable torque distribution is available.

Lexus LS 500h models are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that is mated to two electric motors and a lithium-ion battery. The automaker has given serious consideration to the system's power distribution for 2021 allowing the car to utilize more power under acceleration rather than focusing on distributing power while cruising. This change means the car's total system output of 354 horsepower will enable the car to hit 60 mph from a standstill in just 5.1 seconds.

2021 Lexus LS Lexus will continue to offer the LS with the F Sport package, which adds darkened accents to the exterior of the model.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Addition improvements have been made to the suspension and chassis to give the LS a smoother and more comfortable ride. This includes larger anti-roll bars and liquid-filled brushings. The company has also enhanced the available ride-height-adjustable air suspension.

Inside the car's cabin, armrests, seat cushions, and the center console armrest have all received additional padding for 2021. The front seats have new seat springs and thicker cushioning material.

Lexus has changed all steering wheel controls to black while a switch for displaying controls for seat heaters and the steering wheel heater has been added to the center console.

Buyers will get a new interior color scheme and ornamentation options for 2021. Buyers are invited to check the Palomino Leather box and choose from new Black Laser Special or Open Pore Black accents, which join Kiriko Glass, among others.

2021 Lexus LS The LS's steering wheel has had all its buttons turned to black for the new model year.Photo courtesy of Lexus

At the center of the dashboard is a new 12.3-inch infotainment touch screen. All LS models come standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa capability. Drivers can add a 24-inch head-up display to their model. For 2021, the car's digital rearview mirror offers a larger, high-resolution display. Lexus includes a complementary three-year Dynamic Navigation system trial with every LS purchase.

The Executive Package now comes with heating and massaging functionality for rear seat passengers. Additionally, the passenger-side seat can be reclined up to 48 degrees.

Lexus continues to equip the LS with Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 as standard, which features a number of safety and driver assist technologies.

2021 Lexus LS

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The 2021 Lexus LS 500 will begin arriving at dealerships later this month with a starting MSRP of $76,000, a $550 jump over the 2020 price. The 2021 Lexus LS 500h will make its way to the U.S. in early 2021. Pricing for that model will be announced at a later date. The 2020 Lexus LS 500h starts at $80,010.

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Electric vehicles

Three new EVs we can't wait to see

The F-150 Lightning is just one of several new EVs we'll see soon.

Ford

With all the crazy news coming out of the auto industry this year, it'd be easy to believe that the rollout of new models is slowing to a snail's pace. The pandemic and ongoing microchip shortage have slowed vehicle production, to be sure, but they haven't put the brakes on automakers' push to roll out exciting new electric vehicles. In the next few months alone, we'll see several new electric trucks, cars, and SUVs hit the market, some of which will break new ground and help define their segments. We're on board with this trend 100 percent, and to help you get excited, we've rounded up a few of our favorites.

Here are the three upcoming electric vehicles we're most excited to see.

Ford F-150 Lightning

One of the world's best-selling and most popular vehicles is going electric. The Ford F-150 Lightning is set to arrive in 2022 with a fully electric powertrain, forward-looking technology, and a familiar style that will make any truck lover feel at home. We don't have full details on the truck, but Ford has shared some awe-inspiring performance numbers. The Lightning will offer around 563 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque, which should push the truck to 60 mph from a standstill in just four seconds. Payload capacity comes in at up to 2,000 pounds, and towing will reach 10,000 pounds for specific configurations.


Ford F-150 Lightning The Lightning will offer impressive capability in a familiar package.Ford


The Lightning's starting price will come in under $40,000, but don't get your hopes up about actually buying one for that amount. Ford says the entry-level Lightning is a commercial truck that will be a stripped-down work-ready vehicle, which likely means features like vinyl seats and far fewer of the desirable tech goodies that you'll want. To get the truck you and your family will want to drive, you'll need to spring for the XLT model, which starts just shy of $53,000. That's quite a bit more, but it is still a somewhat reasonable price to pay for what will surely be a capable electric pickup.

Mercedes-Benz EQS

The S-Class is a unique model in Mercedes-Benz's lineup. The car typically showcases the automaker's latest technologies and design techniques and offers a glimpse of the features that eventually trickle down to the rest of Mercedes' vehicles. Soon, we'll see the EQS, a fully electric flagship sedan that paves the way for the brand's other electrified offerings. The car will have a range of well over 400 miles on a charge, up to 516 horsepower, rear-axle steering, and breathtaking technology.


Mercedes-Benz EQS The EQS will usher in a new electric era at Mercedes.Mercedes-Benz


The EQS is expected to land sometime late in 2021 and will carry a price tag that matches its premium brand name and top-notch feature set. Pricing for the "entry-level" EQS 450+ will come in at around $100,000, while the top EQS 580 4MATIC will land well north of that number. Remember, though, that Mercedes offers a long list of ultra-desirable options for its cars, so you'll likely shell out more than the base price to get the features you want.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

The Hyundai Ioniq name is nothing new, but the way it will be seen in the automaker's lineup will change significantly going forward. Rather than being a model name within the Hyundai catalog, Ioniq will split off and become its own sub-brand, covering a line of electric vehicles of all types. The Ioniq 5 is the first such vehicle and will be offered in single- or dual-motor configurations that generate 225 or 320 horsepower. The car's futuristic design is attractive and features a pixelated look for the front-end, lighting features, and rear. Inside, the vehicle is clean but comforting and offers the features buyers expect in a family crossover.


Hyundai Ioniq 5 The Ioniq 5 is the first in what will be an entire line of new EVs from Hyundai.Hyundai


The Ioniq 5 should go on sale in late 2021 and is expected to cost between $40,000 and $50,000.

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The F-Type P450 cars replace the P300 and P380 as part of the Jaguar lineup.

Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Two new versions of the Jaguar F-Type are on the horizon. New versions of the model have been created to further the car's luxury proposition and both are powered by a roaring V8 engine. The new P450 variants replace the P300 and P380 models currently in the lineup. Jaguar is keeping the F-Type R around.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450

The 2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 will be available as a coupe or convertible in P450 RWD or P450 R-DYNAMIC AWD grades. All varieties come with a 444-horsepower supercharged V8 under the hood that achieves 428 pound-feet of torque. An electronic active differential is standard. In all configurations, the car gets from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 177 mph.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 The car has received minor exterior updates from the 2021 model.Photo courtesy of Jaguar

In a nod to its suburban buyers, the F-Type has a Quiet Star mode that allows a more subtle roar out the back side of the car upon startup. Drivers who don't care about keeping quiet can switch the car in to Dynamic mode and let the rumble out.

Each F-Type P450 rides on 20-inch wheels, has larger brakes than traditional F-Type models, and has the switchable exhaust. Double J-Blade daytime running lights feature up front while new slender rear lights allow the body of the car to speak for itself.

Buyers who get the F-Type P450 R-Dynamic AWD get bespoke badging; a gloss black front splitter, side sills, valance, and venturi; auto-dimming, power- folding, heated door mirrors with memory; and 20-inch Style 6003, split-spoke, gloss Dark Grey with Contrast Diamond Turned Finish Wheels.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 The interior sports a refined appearance.Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Monogram stitch patterns on the car's seats and interior accents in Windsor Leather and satin-finish Noble Chrome enhance the interior. Additionally, there are "Jaguar Est.1935" markings on the center console finisher, glovebox release button surround, and seatbelt guides. Six-way electric power seats are standard on F-Type P450 RWD, while F-Type P450 R-Dynamic AWD adds 12-way electric memory front seats, electrically adjustable steering column with memory, Delta Aluminum Center Console, and R-Dynamic branded metal treadplates as standard equipment.

A 12.3-inch driver information display is standard.

F-Type P450 is available in 11 standard exterior colors, and can be ordered in over a dozen custom SVO paint finishes. It starts at $69,900 for the P450 RWD Coupe and $79,900 for the R450 R-Dynamic AWD Coupe.

2022 Jaguar F-Type R

The F-Type R is the pinnacle of the Jaguar lineup with torque on-demand all-wheel drive, Jaguar Intelligent Driveline Dynamics control technology, a double wishbone front and rear suspension, and electric power-assisted steering.

It can get from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph thanks to its 575-horsepower supercharged V8 engine. All-wheel drive is standard.

This model starts at $103,200.

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