The flagship trim has been drastically readjusted to be more comprehensive.
You just have to applaud Lexus for continuing to battle it out in the full-size premium sedan category where the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series continue to reign dominant. Long-standing competitors such as the Jaguar XJ have already bowed out of the competition but the LS maintains its presence in the trying segment.
The brand's flagship sedan is currently available with two drivetrain options. A twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 with a 10-speed automatic, or a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 hybrid driving the wheels with a CVT. Annoyingly the latter will soon be subjected to a drastic price increase which the company defends by clarifying that it will transform into a more comprehensive offering.
As investigated by Cars Direct, the Lexus LS Hybrid will be the recipient of a $21,000 price increase, making it $36,000 more expensive than the base LS500. This brings the starting price up to a rather bold $112,000 MSRP before destination. That's still fairly competitive in contrast to the S-Class's starting price of $111,100 MSRP.
Mind you, it's not just a flat-out increase without any justification. The LS Hybrid will improve its value proposition by only being available as an all-wheel drive model. It will also now come standard with the Lexus Teammate semi-autonomous cruise control, the Advanced Driver Assist System, and Safety System 2.5+.
Lexus spokesperson Amanda Roark clarifies that the LS Hybrid will be the only model available with this technology as a standard fitment. It will also include all of the features from its Luxury Package without any additional cost, such as adaptive air suspension, a panoramic monitor, a head-up display, and more.
With this revision, the only optional extras that you can add to the LS Hybrid are visual highlights for the interior and exterior and functional accessories such as cargo nets and floor liners. The decision to fully load the flagship LS is a strategy that we've seen from brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz who both understand that there may be more value in offering customers all of the available features as one package.