We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there's only one question that really needs answering -- would you buy one?
What is it?
This is the recently upgraded flagship of the Lexus fleet, now available in four variants. The car we drove is one up from the 'base' model with a luxury slant as opposed to a more sporty flavour. It leaves precious little to be desired in terms of pampering passengers.
The Sport Luxury goes for $192,400, about ten grand up on the kick-off price.
What are competitors?
Competitors include the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, Jag XJ.
What's under the bonnet?
Plenty of poke from a revised 4.6-litre petrol V8 with direct dual injection (like the Toyota 86), variable cam timing, variable cam lift on the intake side and other tech stuff to achieve 285kW/493Nm output. Transmission is an eight speed auto - silky smooth, adaptive and with paddle shift. Drive is to the rear wheels.
How does it go?
Quick for a big luxo-barge. Stops the 0-100kmh clocks in 5.9 seconds and has plenty of performance ready and waiting especially in Sport and Sport+ modes on the drive select system which also offers Eco, Comfort and Normal. Ride and handling is impressive too due in part to the adaptive air suspension, big brakes, and multi links at all four corners. Scores 19-inch tyres this time around.
Is it economical?
Surprisingly so for a two tonner. We saw better than the claimed 10.7 litres/100km. It dipped into the 8.0s on the highway but averaged mid 9.0s in mixed driving without trying too hard.
Is it green?
Moderately so, EU5 engine.
Is it safe?
Five star or equivalent.
Is it comfortable?
Supremely so right down to the front passenger's ottoman seat, seat heaters and coolers including the back seats which electrically recline, privacy blinds on the rear three windows, radar cruise control, awesome Mark Levinson audio with a bazillion speakers, largest info/satnav screen in the business. Multiple seat adjustment, electric wheel adjustment, supple ride, no noise at all pretty much.
What's it like to drive?
Felt like a chauffeur. But still pretty good from the driver’s seat. Unreal in the back pews if you can score a driver. Watch the Blu Ray, turn on the seat heater, recline and take a nap....
Is it value for money?
Against the competition yes.
Would we buy one?
No, unless we could afford a chauffer.
Lexus LS 460 Sport Luxury
Price: from $190,664
Engine: 4.6-litre 8-cylinder petrol, 280kW/493Nm
Trans: 8-speed sports auto, AWD
Thirst: 11.1L/100km, CO2 261g/km
Mercedes-Benz S Series
Price: from $220,650
Engine: 3.5-litre 6-cylinder petrol, 225kW/370Nm
Transmission: 7 speed sports auto, RWD
Thirst: 9.0L/100km, CO2 210g/km
Price: from $238,000
Engine: 4.2-litre 8-cylinder DTT Diesel, 258kW/800Nm
Transmission: 8-speed sports auto, FWD
Thirst: 7.6L/100km, CO2 199g/km
Price: from $222,600
Engine: 3.0-Litre 6-cylinder petrol, 250kW/450Nm
Transmission: 8-speed sports auto, RWD
Thirst: 9.6L/100km, CO2 224g/km