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New Lexus LS 500h debuts high-tech safety

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Prices have been announced for the latest Lexus LS 500h, the first car from the brand with a host of new safety technology.

The flagship petrol-electric hybrid model goes on sale early in 2018 at prices ranging from £72,595 to £97,995.

Lexus is particularly promoting the safety specification of the LS, which debuts the latest suite of safety and driver assistance systems dubbed Lexus Safety System+ A. This technology includes autonomous emergency braking that can detect both cyclists and pedestrians at night and provides more effective braking.

Lexus LS 500h rear view - Dubai

Part of the system involves Active Steering Assist, claimed as a world-first and steering the car away from a permanent obstacle, such as a crash barrier or a pedestrian, if it calculates braking will not avoid a collision.

CoDrive, meanwhile, adds to the usual cruise control system to reduce the strain on the driver.  Including technology dubbed Lane Tracing Assist, it works to keep the car in its lane, distinguishing between tarmac, grass and kerbs, and will make steering inputs to help.

Coupé style

The fifth-generation version of the LS is longer, wider and lower than the car it replaces, with visual styling made to appear coupé-like. It is only available with a hybrid drivetrain, employing the latest multi-stage unit that debuted in the LC coupé earlier in 2017 – this combines a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with a 650-volt electric motor.

The result is 359hp, sending the car through 62mph from rest in 5.4 seconds in rear-wheel-drive form – an all-wheel-drive version is also available, a tenth slower to the 62mph marker.

The maximum speed of both versions is an electronically-limited 155mph, while the rear-wheel-drive version returns combined cycle fuel economy of 43.5mpg and COemissions of 147g/km – the all-wheel variant’s equivalents are 39.8mpg and 161g/km.

Four trim levels are available: 500h, 500h Luxury, 500h F Sport and 500h Premier, with all-wheel drive offered as an option on the top two trims.

Lexus LS 500h The Car Expert

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.