Reviews: The Fifth Generation (XF50) Lexus LS

Serpens

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Given the only coherent fast charge network in North America is Tesla's I don't see how that's gonna work. PHEV is the way forward until probably 2030.
By the time 2022 rolls around we'll have seen a dramatic increase in public charging stations. That you can bet on. Regardless, the conventional S-class sedan will have a PHEV version as well. They've actually already sold a PHEV S-class (S550e) here in the past, but was sold in very small quantities due to limited range.
 

Ian Schmidt

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We'll see. A lot of industry observers believe German EVs are going to be as hilarious as early-2000s German computerized cars. The S550e certainly didn't dispel that concept.
 

Serpens

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We'll see. A lot of industry observers believe German EVs are going to be as hilarious as early-2000s German computerized cars. The S550e certainly didn't dispel that concept.
My industry connections (including the German ones) agree about this early round. The Mercedes EQC, the Audi EQC, BMW iX3, etc. that are on adapted ICE platforms certainly will. The dedicated EV platform ones that are coming along around 2022 will be a different story.

Anyways, I just hope Toyota doesn't wait too long.
 
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Ian Schmidt

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I think Toyota believes that the near-weekly spectacle of Teslas going out in a blaze of lithium-ion may be looked upon a lot more harshly if they're doing it. Remember the whole "unintended acceleration" fiasco? Hopefully solid-state batteries will come on line sooner rather than later to render that a non-factor.
 

Will1991

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Electric cars are clearly the future, not hidrogen.
You can to some extend recharge a BEV in every single outlet (with longer charging times but it’s doable), where do you can recharge a FCV? It’s also clear that FCV technology will improve, but also battery cell, they haven’t reach their potential.
Toyota is playing a very dangerous game, everyone has said Tesla would fail, but they are still here and actually selling a lot more than Lexus! Let’s keep in mind Tesla has some 10 years (the first roadster it’s just a swapped Elise), and they still pushing strong! Model S has almost 10years (when no one was looking for BEV) and still sells in very good numbers!
Toyota is a lot behind for some stupid decision I really don’t understand!
And clearly (i-Pace, Kona, etc...) the market is looking for electric (not hybrid/PHEV/FCV, I mean, look for the grow every year), but only proper BEV’s and not some compliance crap car without a proper range.
 

Ian Schmidt

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Tesla is offering $50,000 (!) cash on the hood on fully loaded examples of the Model S right now (MSRP $149k). I'm not sure that's something you do for a car that's selling in good numbers.
 

Will1991

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They ended referral program, their supercharging network is being paid (when first was free), closed stores... In any other car brand the price would remain the same, they choose to give the difference to the costumer. I honestly believe that if they wanted, they could offer even more price reductions while maintaining average profit for the insdustrie.
Also, it’s an older car (almost 10 year old platform), and with their price point, it’s not really uncommon to have this ‘promotions’.
 

Ian Schmidt

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Except they had to re-open the stores and they're re-building the supercharger network to deliver more power now, so there are no savings aside from the layoffs. Math always wins, even over Elon.
 

ssun30

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Electric cars are clearly the future, not hidrogen.
You can to some extend recharge a BEV in every single outlet (with longer charging times but it’s doable), where do you can recharge a FCV? It’s also clear that FCV technology will improve, but also battery cell, they haven’t reach their potential.
Toyota is playing a very dangerous game, everyone has said Tesla would fail, but they are still here and actually selling a lot more than Lexus! Let’s keep in mind Tesla has some 10 years (the first roadster it’s just a swapped Elise), and they still pushing strong! Model S has almost 10years (when no one was looking for BEV) and still sells in very good numbers!
Toyota is a lot behind for some stupid decision I really don’t understand!
And clearly (i-Pace, Kona, etc...) the market is looking for electric (not hybrid/PHEV/FCV, I mean, look for the grow every year), but only proper BEV’s and not some compliance crap car without a proper range.
Your post is based on outdated information.
 

Will1991

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Except they had to re-open the stores and they're re-building the supercharger network to deliver more power now, so there are no savings aside from the layoffs. Math always wins, even over Elon.
Even without any improvement they have the best charging network (regarding availability, locations and quantity).
In my opinion BEV market is so big at this point that we're only looking for proper ranges and performances. As a personal opinion the build quality for an 2019 Lexus ES is so much better than any Tesla, it's a whole different championship, let alone Lexus LS!
And this can also be seen on sales volume for NA (Tesla selling more than Lexus).

For me, right until Tesla showed up, Lexus meant doing things differently as they were one of the youngest car brands (doing Hybrids much sooner than the competition, pushing for stronger design languages, doing things different as remote touch and such) but somehow Lexus (and Toyota) seemed to pull the brakes on evolving all of this (without any Lexus PHEV, even at this point...with all the required technology available at Toyota).

Your post is based on outdated information.
Yes, I agree it may be. It's noting more than my personal opinion regarding all the information I know.
 

ssun30

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but somehow Lexus (and Toyota) seemed to pull the brakes on evolving all of this (without any Lexus PHEV, even at this point...with all the required technology available at Toyota).
Toyota does not have the required technology (in production) to make a usable Lexus PHV at this moment because their largest PHV battery pack at this point is 10.5 kWh. None of their current products are designed to fit a larger pack without severely eating into cargo space. And you will be surprised by how few PHV models on the market actually have usable range. As a (previous) PHV owner I can tell you that you would not want to own any PHV today.

Yes, I agree it may be. It's noting more than my personal opinion regarding all the information I know.
By outdated information I meant that TMC has no longer been fully committed to FCV and no longer an opponent to BEV since the end of 2017. They are not just engineering the products; they are planning their whole BEV program from the root of the supply chain. From mining rights to secure battery suppliers to new materials that reduce reliance on strategically-challenged resources. Their EV program is much, much deeper than you think, and they did this all in the past three years. The supply chain of EVs is incredibly fragile, and if a car company rushes and does not come fully prepared they will very quickly face a nightmare.

They WERE playing the dangerous game in the early 2010s however they made a very quick 180-degree turn (they could do that because they are the richest car maker on the planet). But their official stance did not change that quickly since they didn't want to lose face (admitting FCV is not the right direction). That's why you still see their PR department putting these anti-PHV/BEV ads in various markets.

A lot of Tesla's competitors are very sloppily engineered (like the I-Pace you mentioned) and are not even close to the Model S's level of sophistication.
 

Motor

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2019 Lexus LS 500 F Sport Review – A Peculiar Development in Big Sedan Land
I’m not the target market for a big, somewhat sporty sedan, by any means. This is a “captain of industry” car, while I’m at best an ensign. But for the admiral looking for a dreadnought that can drive like a cutter when needed, this LS 500 F Sport would be a brilliant choice.
https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2019/04/2019-lexus-ls-500-f-sport-review-a-peculiar-development-in-big-sedan-land/
 

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The 2019 Lexus LS 500h Hybrid Makes Us Question Its Purpose
https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a27239576/2019-lexus-ls500h-awd-by-the-numbers/
Lexus's big LS 500h sedan is both a flagship and a hybrid. We're not convinced it can serve both masters

The Judgment
If you're familiar with Lexus's brand of luxury, it won't surprise you to hear that there's a Japanese textiles theme going on in its ornate interior. And, as we've said before, inside it is a very fine thing indeed, a place where aromas, eye delights, and items of fanciful touch abound. Then we tried its infotainment. Lexus is notorious now for its refusal to build an intuitive system, which is ironic given its—ahem—aging customer base. The haptic touchpad, which is the centerpiece of its interface, is a struggle to use while driving, and you're more likely to cross a lava flow in a rowboat made of matchsticks than you are to decipher its menu structure. We managed, but not without singeing our patience.

Perhaps the LS hybrid's biggest obstacle is self-inflicted. Lexus starts this electron-wielding heavyweight at $84,055, and our test car, equipped with the $1500 height-adjusting air springs, a $2800 active-safety package, and a cochlea-stroking 2400-watt Mark Levinson audio system, twists the dealer knife with a $97,495 ask. That's in the ballpark with both a Mercedes S450 4Matic and a BMW 7-series 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid, both of which match or exceed the LS 500h's performance and fuel economy while offering a richer luxury experience. So, yes, there are a few bumps in this Lexus's road to the future. Possibly they'll be most easily avoided in a German sedan.
 

Joe

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The hybrid LS gives an impression of an 'unfinished car'. Unlike the LC 500h, in the LS you get the impression that the Multi Stage Hybrid drive train is not adapted to the overall concept of the car. Journalists comparing the LS hybrid with its (diesel of PHEV) competitors are very negative and comment on unnatural gear shifts, strange revving, (very) noisy engine sound, high consumption for a hybrid...

These comment lines of Car and Driver very well describe what almost all journalists agree upon:

"From a standstill, modest accelerator input moves the LS on pure electric power—something Lexus claims it can achieve at speeds up to 80 mph in ideal conditions. The handoff to the gas engine usually comes at no more than 15 mph, and that's when the LS begins to feel decidedly, well, busy.
In its Normal drive mode (there are also Eco, Sport S, and Sport S+ settings), the V-6 feels completely disconnected from the wheels as the LS's electronic brain determines the most efficient engine speed required for the requested acceleration. The result doesn't align with the mission of an LS. Too frequently the V-6 fires and is immediately laboring at a speed out of proportion with driver input. It's uncouth. And it makes noises that are both obvious and out of place in a luxury carmaker's headlining equipment. It's especially misplaced in a Lexus, a brand that built its luxury reputation with reticent, velvety sedans."


The LS still gets a lot of credits for its really excellent seating comfort, design, craftsmanship,...
But the negative image in the press is a real pity, as the LS as a real flagship should be able to confirm the top quality and progressive luxury image of Lexus.
Given the multiple positive test results in the press on the LS 500 petrol I am a bit frustrated not to get the occasion to test drive the LS 500...
 

Motor

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The 2019 Lexus LS 500 Is a Boldly Chiseled Success
Lexus has clearly opted to move the LS in a more athletic direction. Handling response is improved over previous editions—at the expense of ride quality. This may very well leave more than a few LS loyalists ruffled, as unfailingly plush cruising has long been an LS hallmark. On the other hand, new Lexus customers may enjoy the increased edge in the suspension. Combined with the conspicuous exhaust of the high-revving V-6, the tauter chassis makes the new LS a more enjoyable machine when you’re in the mood to hustle. Whether that’s the right call, though, remains for the market to decide. I remember being awfully impressed by how effortlessly previous LS models soaked up the pains of the road—and I’m surprised the new car isn’t even better at that task.

Lexus has clearly attempted to distance itself from German marques like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, and in this new LS they have succeeded. The LS 500 feels distinctly different from the big Germans, an alternative take on the flagship-sedan paradigm. That may very well be the right call in a crowded marketplace. I can’t help feeling, though, that the essential DNA that has always served the LS so well was not in need of tweaking.
 
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