The Lexus LS made its debut in 1989 as a 1990 model at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. For the uninitiated, LS stands for “luxury sedan” and the car’s quiet cabin and luxurious interior, combined with a very high level of customer service, helped launch the Lexus marque in the United States.
The first LS hybrid came in the form of a concept car, the LF-Sh, or Lexus Future-Sedan hybrid, shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2005, and a production model, the LS 600h, was previewed at the New York International Auto Show the following year. Customers flocked to dealerships to order it before it even hit the showroom, and the initial allocation of the vehicle was sold out, a pattern repeated in the first year of production when it sold so well there was a one-year wait for delivery.
The current LS was refreshed with the new Lexus corporate fascia (most prominent feature, the new spindle grille) in 2012 and an F-Sport model was added to the lineup.
DRIVING THE 2016 LEXUS LS 600 H
Lexus is known for having a cloud-like ride and the LS 600 h does not disappoint. The cabin is near silent; we didn’t even hear the ticking of its clock. As expected, it has a handsomely outfitted interior with nearly every creature comfort known to man and luxury car designers.
This includes features that have become commonplace in lesser cars, such as excellent Bluetooth compatibility that includes streaming, a USB port, a large central display, and heated and cooled seats. The quad-zone automatic climate control allows each passenger to maximize individual comfort. Lexus Enform telematics and smartphone integration, as well as the amazing 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system round out the infotainment offerings, and intelligently implemented driver assistance features that include rear cross traffic alert, adaptive (radar) cruise control, active lane departure warning and assist, blind spot warning, forward collision warning, and a driver drowsiness monitor assure safe driving capabilities.
The Executive Class package turns the rear right seat into a business-class mini suite that you’d expect on the world’s finest airlines. Recline? Check! Footrest? Check! Tray table? Of course. This is passengering at its finest.