Lexus LS gets a mid-cycle update for 2021 that refines ride experience, keeps touch pad

The new Lexus LS has most of its refinements underneath its hood and body.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

It's been around four years since the current generation Lexus LS was revealed and now the company is showing off a variety of updates to the car for the 2021 model year.

The latest round of upgrades focuses on three areas: comfort, soundproofing, and refinement. "The entire team united and tenaciously searched for elements that needed to be improved," said Yoshiaki Ito, Lexus International. "Placing importance on people's sensibilities, we thoroughly addressed every detail of the components and control systems related to driving performance, including quietness and ride comfort, ranging, for example, from the internal structure of the tires to the feel experienced when sitting in the seats and the acceleration response in daily driving."

2021 Lexus LS The automaker has implemented new paint technology that allows them to offer a fresh version of the typical silver paint job.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Underpinning the car is a new adaptive variable suspension that combines comfort with performance, allowing both to be translated to the driving experience. The vertical spring rate and run-flat tires combine with the stabilizer bars to execute this balance.

Lexus has changed the orifice inside the engine mounts allowing for less noise and vibration from the beating heart of the flagship to permeate the cabin. The models have undergone active noise control and engine sound enhancement refinement as well to deliver a quieter interior.

Lexus IS giving the LS the same adaptive high-beam system that debuted on the 2019 Lexus RX. Additional refinements to the exterior of the car include a vertical-themed character line at the corner of the front bumper with chrome trim wrapping around the lower edge of the bumper and up the sides. Deep headlights and quarish sub-radiator grilles sit on the face while the grille mesh has been changed to a dark metallic color. Chrome trim within the rear lights has been changed to Piano Black.

LS 500 F Sport models get a dedicated spindle grille and 20-inch wheels in a dedicated color.

2021 Lexus LS LS F Sport models get a dedicated dark paint color for the wheels and grille.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Buyers can get the car in Gin-ei Luster, a new exterior color that is enabled because of fresh paint technology. The paint is applied using the Sonic Method, a process that condenses the paint volume. It employs a aluminum evaporation coating that is spread over the surface at high density resulting in a smooth, mirror-like texture.

The LS 500h, the car's hybrid battery system delivers improved initial engine torque to deliver greater acceleration response. The car's shift timing has also been adjusted resulting in an automatic transmission that downshifts less frequently.

The LS features upholstery with deeper stitching points and underlying seat pads are made of low-resilience urethane, which helps absorb vibration and enhance comfort. New Nishijin & Haku ornamentation is available, taking its deign notes from a "path of moonlight on the sea".

2021 Lexus LS Rear seat riders can have an executive car experience.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Lexus has also altered the controls on the steering wheel and center console, making them all black. Also, a switch for displaying on the touch display the controls for the often-used seat heaters and steering wheel heater has been added to the center console.

Additional features include a rearview camera mirror, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 12.3-inch infotainment touch screen.

Lexus is giving the LS Advanced Drive and Advanced Park driving assist technologies. Advanced Drive performs like many other hands-on advanced driver assist systems like Nissan's ProPilot Assist and Tesla Autopilot, allowing technology to guide a vehicle in its lane, maintain vehicle-to-vehicle distance, change lanes, and overtaking other vehicles when driving on expressways. According to Lexus, "The driver is freed from operation of the accelerator, brakes, and steering, allowing a reduction in driver burden during long drives and enabling safe driving in which the driver is able to pay better attention to the surroundings."

2021 Lexus LS New Nishijin & Haku ornamentation, seen here one the door panels, is available.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Advanced Park technology utilizes integrated cameras and ultrasonic sensors to park a vehicle. The system takes control of the car's steering, acceleration, braking, and gear changes while the infotainment screen displays the ideal steering wheel positions for a safe parking experience.

The car will go on sale in Japan later this year with additional markets to follow.

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Toyota is offering its Lexus and Toyota financial services customers impacted by severe winter weather payment options to ease the burden of recovery.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota Financial Services (TFS) and Lexus Financial Services (LFS) are offering payment relief options for Texas customers after by Winter Storm Uri. The storm, which struck earlier this month, killed dozens of Texans, left millions without power, and impacted the water supply for over 15 million homes.

Any TFS or LFS customer who lives in the designated disaster area is eligible for relief. Over 60 Texas counties were part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) recent Texas Severe Winter Storms (DR-4586-TX). It is currently categorized as an active disaster.

There are a number of options for those that have leased or purchased vehicles utilizing the financial services and insurance arm of Toyota Motor Company. Some of those options include:

  • extensions and lease deferred payments;
  • redirecting billing statements; and
  • arranging phone or online payments.

Texas icicle sign Icicles hang off the State Highway 195 sign on February 18, 2021 in Killeen, Texas.Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

TFS customers who would like to discuss their account options are encouraged to contact the company by calling 800-874-8822 or contact TFS via email using the Mail Center function after logging into ToyotaFinancial.com.

LFS customers may call 800-874-7050 or contact LFS via email using the Mail Center function after logging into LexusFinancial.com.

Houstonians are also able to receive additional relief for disaster-related issues. The Harris County Appraisal District announced that Houstonians whose home saw at least 15 percent damage and who live in a disaster-declared area are entitled to a temporary exemption of a portion of the appraised value of the property, according to CultureMap reporting.

Toyota isn't the only automaker stepping up. Ford has also offered to delay payments for Texans that owe money to its Ford and Lincoln financial services divisions.

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The Land Rover Defender has gotten a beefier engine option for the 2022 model year.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

The new generation of the Land Rover Defender came to U.S. shores last year with a heaping helping of anticipation from buyers. With initial orders fulfilled, the company is upping the ante to bring an improved and more powerful Defender to North America for the 2022 model year.

The additions will mean that both the 2022 Land Rover Defender 90 and 2022 Land Rover Defender 110 will have nine grades available for purchase. The Defender 90 and Defender 90 S are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

2022 Land Rover Defender The Land Rover Defender has a long history of V8 engines.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Moving up to the Defender 90 X-Dynamic S, X-Dynamic SE, X-Dynamic HSE, or X will get you a 395-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter mild-hybrid six-cylinder engine that achieves 406 pound-feet of torque. The new supercharged 5.0-liter V8 gets 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque in the V8 and V8 Carpathian Edition models.

The same engines are available in the larger Defender 110 and have the same power. The Defender 110 and S trim levels have the turbo-four. SE, X-Dynamic SE, X-Dynamic HSE, XS Edition, and X have the mild-hybrid under the hood. The V8 and V8 Carpathian Edition have the V8.

Land Rover has also upgraded the SUV's Pivi Pro infotainment system. It's now available in a 11.4-inch screen option that features curved glass and with new operating system touch screen optimization to make interacting with the screen easier. Wireless device charging is now standard.

2022 Land Rover V8

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

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The new V8 engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It can get the Defender 90 from zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and has a top speed of 149 mph. Opting for the V8 gets buyers the new Dynamic drive mode within the SUV's Terrain Response system. Models equipped with the power plant also get anti-roll bars and a unique electronic active rear differential with yaw controller. V8-powered Defenders also get their own induction and exhaust systems that are designed to enhance the vehicle's soundtrack.

Each of the V8 models is available with a Carpathian Grey, Yulong White, or Santorini Black paint job. The grey and white-colored models have a contrasting Narvik Black roof.

The interior of the vehicles features seats trimmed in Ebony Windsor Leather with Mike Suedecloth and Robustec accents. The cross car beam has a satin black finish and the steering wheel is finished with an Alcantata rim. Leather is wrapped around the airbag housing and gear selector. V8-scripted treadplates complete the look.

2022 Land Rover Defender XS Edition

2022 Land Rover Defender XS Edition 110

The 2022 Land Rover Defender XS Edition replaces the Launch Edition in the company's lineup.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

The new Defender XS Edition replaces the First Edition for the new model year. It has body-colored lower cladding, lower wheel arches, and 20-inch Satin Grey contrast diamond-turned alloy wheels. Buyers can choose their model with either a Silicon Silver, Hakuba Silver, Gonwana Stone, or Santorini Black paint job.

XS Edition models also get 12-way heated and cooled seats finished in Ebony Grained leather and Robust Woven Textile. The cross car beam features a light grey powder coat while leather extends throughout the cabin and illuminated metal treadpates compete the look.

Buyers also get a stand electronic air suspension, Terrain Response drive modes, tri-zone climate control, cabin air ionization, adaptive cruise control, rearview mirror, and a 10-speaker Meridian sound system.

2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Carpathian Edition

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

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‚ÄčThe flagship Defender V8 Carpathian Edition is unique not just because of some badging and extra supple leather. It also has a bespoke chassis settings designed to deliver new levels of engagement and agility on- and off-road.

The model is only available in Carpathian Grey with a Narvik Black roof, hood, and tailgate. It wears bespoke badges, has Satin Black tow eyes, and is adorned with Carpathian Gloss front and rear skid pans, front grille bar, and Xenon Blue brake calipers.

The interior of this model is the same as the traditional V8 offering.

Land Rover is also offering a number of new packages to enhance the model. The Bright, Extended Bright, and Extended Black Packs feature unique exterior design touches. A Defender with the Bright Pack wears Noble Chrome front and rear skid pans, and a Noble Chrome grille and badging. The Extended Bright Pack adds Ceres Silver to the lower body cladding and wheel arches. A gloss black finish on those components comes as part of the Extended Black Pack.

Prinvg for the 2022 Defender 90 and 110 will be announced at a later date.

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