The Lexus television commercial says the company is “in relentless pursuit of perfection” in an automobile. They may very well have hit the mark with the 2011 LS 460.
After significant changes in 2010 that saw revised styling, electronics and an optional performance-tuned Sport Package, Lexus continues to offer the LS 460 and the longwheelbase LS 460 L, both available in rearwheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). The LS 460 has the brand’s sleek L-finesse design philosophy that conveys elegance and refinement. Minimal body gaps, a low front grille and deep-drawn fenders all contribute to the car’s distinctive muscular profile. Attention to detail is evident in the integrated dual chrome exhaust tips and the one-piece chrome window surround.
For 2011, changes were made to the LS suspension for all-wheel drive models and the new standard Smart Stop Technology was added. LS 460 AWD models have standard coil suspension for comfortable daily driving and available air suspension that lets drivers adjust for a given driving situation. The Smart Stop Technology is a braking system enhancement that automatically reduces engine power when the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal are applied simultaneously under certain driving conditions.
Lexus LS 460 models deliver the luxury of powerful, smooth performance from a 4.6-liter V-8 teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 380 hp and 367 pounds-feet of peak torque in rear-wheeldrive configuration; 357 hp and 344 poundsfeet of torque with AWD.
The LS V-8’s performance is due in large part to innovative technologies, including the electric motor-driven Variable Valve Timing with intelligence and an electronically (VVTiE) controlled intake cam. The electrically controlled intake achieves better engine-startup operation and high-output performance.
A dual fuel-injection system, with both port and direct injection, optimizes efficiency under all conditions. The direct injection helps provide cylinder cooling that allows the high compression ratio (11.8:1) needed to produce such high power cleanly and efficiently. The dual-tract intake system and an Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS) contribute to the smooth power delivery.
The Lexus eight-speed automatic transmission allows gear ratios that maximize torque up to the tire-grip limitations in the lower ranges, yet maintains quietness and admirable fuel efficiency at higher speeds. The LS 460 accelerates from zero-to-60 mph in about 5.4 seconds; 5.9 seconds for the AWD models.
Even with that level of performance, the LS 460 has earned an EPA-estimated 16/24 mpg fuel economy rating (AWD is 16/23 mpg) and meets Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle II (ULEV II) certification. An ECO drive indicator helps encourage economical driving.
Base price on the 2011 LS 460 Touring Edition (rear wheel drive model) is $73,000. Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.