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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 LSThe 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 LSLexus 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 LSThe 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

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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Refreshed luxury crossover

2022 Lexus NX earns Top Safety Pick +

The 2022 NX earned a Top Safety Pick + award.

Lexus

The redesigned 2022 Lexus NX just got its crash test scores, and they're strong. The new crossover picked up a Top Safety Pick + award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the agency's top award. It's the NX's fourth consecutive Top Safety Pick + award, and before that the vehicle earned Top Safety Picks.

2022 Lexus NXThe NX has picked up top awards for several years in a row. Lexus

The 2022 NX picked up top scores in testing, earning a "Good" rating in all crash-test categories, a "Good" score for headlights, "Superior" scores for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention, and a "Good+" score for LATCH system ease of use. Though the 2021 model also picked up a Top Safety Pick + award, it scored lower for its car seat anchors.

Lexus offers the new NX with a whopping four propulsion options, including a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 203 horsepower, a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 275 horsepower, a 2.5-liter hybrid with 239 horsepower and a plug-in hybrid powertrain with 302 horsepower. The two gas engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive, while the two hybrids both get all-wheel drive.

2022 Lexus NXLexus offers the NX with four powertrain options. Lexus

Pricing for the 2022 NX starts at $39,025 for the base NX250. Moving up the line, the NX350h starts at $42,125 and the NX450h+ starts at $56,725.

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New luxury EV

Lexus announces all-electric RZ 450e

Lexus just announced the new RZ 450e

Lexus

Lexus and Toyota have finally jumped onto the EV train, and we’ll soon see new all-electric SUVs from both. The Lexus variant, named RZ 450e, features a reasonable range, upscale interior, and neat all-wheel drive technology. We don’t have firm pricing for the Lexus, but expect it to start in the mid-to-high $40,000 range.

2023 Lexus RZRange is expected to reach 225 miles per chage. Lexus

The RZ shares a platform and much of its underlying engineering with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, but will take a more upscale approach. Though its size and overall shape are similar to the others, the Lexus’ exterior styling is sharper and sportier, with functional aerodynamic bodywork. A new Lexus logo is spelled out on the rear gate, instead of the traditional “L” of previous models.

The SUV comes with a 71.4-kWh battery that should deliver a range of around 225 miles on a charge. All-wheel drive is standard, and uses the RZ’s dual electric motors to shift power between the wheels that need it most.

Inside, the RZ features a minimalist, open space with controls meant to remind drivers of a horse’s reins. Ultrasuede upholstery and woodgrain trim come standard. Lexus notes the RZ’s head-up display is controllable via steering wheel-mounted buttons that handle navigation, audio, and other functions.

2023 Lexus RZThough similar to the Toyota bZ4X inside, the Lexus IS more upscale and minimalist. Lexus

Speaking of the steering wheel, the first RZs will be available with a round wheel only, but later on, Lexus will offer a yoke-style wheel like the one seen in the Toyota bZ4X concept and Tesla’s Plaid models.

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