Lexus LS 500, 500h abound with performance and refinement

We all know how much Toyota’s premium nameplate, Lexus, has done to redefine what a Japanese automobile is since it appeared on these shores in 1989. The original LS 400 made it clear to everyone that maybe, just maybe, not every interpretation of the S-class had to necessarily come from Mercedes-Benz. Lexus introduced the latest version of its flagship LS sedan in 2018, and it’s heading into 2021 with a raft of refinement that’s applicable not only to the hydrocarbon-fueled LS 500, but also to the part-time-electric LS 500h.

With that oh-so-pronounced grille treatment leading the way, the LS series remains on the Lexus GA-L platform, which receives revised shock absorber and spring rates for 2021, enhancing its ride quality. Adaptive Variable Suspension incorporates adjustable ride height. Standard power, hybrid and otherwise, is the Toyota-designed 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6, with all of 416 horsepower on tap, linked to a standard 10-speed automatic transmission. AWD is an option, and the LS offers six choices of powertrain responsiveness, selectable by the driver. A new Palomino interior treatment, with black accents, will be offered, and a 12.3-inch multimedia touchscreen becomes standard, now with Amazon Alexa compatibility. All LS variants hit the showrooms late this month with a starting MSRP of $76,000.

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