The 2021 Lexus LS flagship sedan gets a new touchscreen, a more refined interior, an updated suspension and engine enhancements, and a higher starting price for the mid-cycle refresh, Lexus announced Wednesday. The price of the F Sport gets cut, however.
The 2021 Lexus LS500 starts at $77,025, including $1,025 destination fee. That's $550 more than last year. Yet the F Sport trim costs $80,625, which is $1,850 less than last year. The price cut to the F Sport results from Lexus essentially dividing the F Sport between a cosmetic trim package and a new dynamic handling package that was included in last year's more expensive F Sport.
Each LS500 now comes with a 12.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto/Amazon Alexa compatibility. A touchpad in the console is complemented by heated seat and steering wheel buttons. Navigation is included for a 3-year trial, and Lexus offers an available 24-inch head-up display. The seats get revised springs and thicker cushioning, while the soft touch surfaces on the armrests and console have more foam to make for an even comfier ride, according to Lexus.
Known as a supremely comfortable touring sedan, the 2021 LS500 comes with an upgraded suspension with revised spring and damper rates for even better ride comfort and less body roll in turns, Lexus said. The available air suspension has been tweaked to make getting in and out easier.
Other modifications under the skin of the LS500 include a new shape on the top of the piston in the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 to reduce emissions and noise when the engine if cold. The engine makes 416 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, and uses a 10-speed automatic transmission that has been recalibrated for more responsiveness. The LS500 comes with rear-wheel drive standard or all-wheel drive for an extra $3,250 on either trim. Last year, AWD was $3,220 extra.
F Sport models come with 20-inch alloy wheels, grille flourishes, rocker moldings, and subtle aluminum trim elements inside. It also comes with 28-way power-adjustable front seats. Larger front and rear brakes make for more confident stopping of the large sedan, but for optimizing all the LS has to offer, shoppers might want to opt for the dynamic handling package with adaptive steering and active roll bars for sharper turning and more balanced handling.
Fuel economy numbers haven't been announced yet, but it will likely be the same as the 2020 model at an EPA-rated 19 mpg city, 30 highway, 23 combined in rear-wheel drive. Those are respectable numbers for a full-size luxury sedan laden with goodies, but the LS500h hybrid version is the one to target for efficiency, netting 25/33/28 mpg in 2020. Changes to the shift software and battery usage promises to provide more electric power earlier in the powerband for more responsive acceleration.
Hybrid pricing will be announced closer to the early 2021 delivery date. The gas models go on sale later this month.