Is this a case of beauty being only skin deep?

That's what some hybrid-auto enthusiasts may be asking after Lexus' unveiling of its new luxury lines of vehicles in San Francisco on Monday.

Like other members of Toyota's luxury marque, the 2013 LS 600h L gets a slightly revised exterior. It also benefits from a few changes you can't see from outside, including a more rigid body thanks to chassis reinforcements and the debut of a full-time all-wheel drive system on the hybrid.

Still, many of the specs replicate those from 2012. The car will still have 438 horsepower, will still go from to 60 miles per hour in about five and a half seconds and, most importantly, will still get exactly the same fuel economy as last year: just 20 miles per gallon combined, 19 in the city and 23 on the highway. Those are Toyota's estimates, anyway, and the company adds that, "Actual mileage will vary." As for sticker price? No word on how it's going to change from the 2012's MSRP of $112,750. Here's guessing that it's not going down.
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Lexus LS Flagship Luxury Sedans Redesigned For 2013 Model Year

San Francisco, Calif. – July 30, 2012 - With its dynamic handling, bold new design and superior craftsmanship, the 2013 LS flagship models hail the future of the Lexus brand as it embarks on its third decade in the premium luxury category. While retaining many of the qualities that have defined Lexus for more than 20 years, the LS reaches new heights with an exciting blend of beautiful design, modern refinement and advanced technology.

The 2013 LS line-up includes the LS 460, LS 460L, LS 600hL hybrid, and the first-ever LS 460 F SPORT. LS 460 and LS 460L are available in RWD and AWD. The LS Hybrid is available with a full-time AWD system.

The all-new LS 460 F SPORT combines a more aggressive exterior with a unique sport interior featuring F SPORT seats with larger bolsters, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters and genuine aluminum trim. With a sport tuned air suspension that has been lowered 0.4 inches, a Torsen® limited slip rear differential (RWD model), Brembo six-piston caliper brakes, and 19" forged wheels with summer or all-season tires, the LS F SPORT promises to be the most engaging LS ever.

The entire 2013 LS lineup is refined with dynamic, fresh styling that reflects the bold new face of Lexus. The aggressive spindle grille gives the new LS a greater road presence and stronger brand identity while heralding a significant improvement in driving dynamics, responsiveness and handling.

Increased body rigidity enhances stability, and allows for a more comfortable ride. Pitch and bounce control has been enhanced by adopting new frequency dependent shock absorbers, resulting in an even flatter, road-hugging ride. Revised steering offers improvements in accuracy and turn-in response. The braking system has been adjusted for more immediate power and greater pedal feel.

Available safety enhancements include the industry's most advanced Pre-Collision Safety (A-PCS) system with Collision Avoidance Assist. This system is designed to assist the driver in avoiding or mitigating collisions with vehicles and pedestrians under a wide range of city and highway speeds. At speeds lower than 24 miles per hour, this technology helps the LS to avoid accidents by automatically bringing the LS to a full stop.

The driver-focused interior integrates modern refinement with intuitive technology. The Advanced Illumination System (AIS), an all-LED interior lighting system, illuminates to greet the approaching occupants and then fades in sequence with the vehicle starting procedure.

The new, available Lexus Climate Concierge offers maximum comfort for every LS occupant. The customizable system uses multiple sensors to automatically regulate not only the temperature of the cabin, but also the climate control seats and the heated steering wheel, quickly bringing each occupant to their preferred temperature.

The standard navigation system is displayed on a 12.3-inch, split-screen, high-resolution multi-media display which is large enough to support simultaneous viewing of a large map display and other vehicle functions.

A next-generation Remote Touch, with one-push confirmation, is standard on all models and enables smooth, intuitive control of many vehicle systems. The Remote Touch allows the user to operate the climate, audio, phone controls, navigation system and more. The screen menus are selected with a controller conveniently located within easy reach on the center console. A number of well-placed buttons on the steering wheel and instrument panel enable the direct control of frequently used functions (e.g. temperature setting, fan speed, preset audio stations, etc.)

Lexus Enform® with App Suite leverages the customers' mobile phone technology to provide a new level of connectivity and information management. Users can conduct local searches through Bing™, utilize voice-enabled apps to make restaurant reservations through OpenTable®, get movie tickets via MovieTickets.com, tap into internet radio, including Pandora® or iHeartRadio, search business reviews on Yelp and check in on Facebook places. A one-year trial subscription is included for the App Suite.

Chassis/Body/Suspension/Brakes/Tires
• Numerous stabilizing fins help the LS to be one of the most aerodynamically efficient cars in its segment with a coefficient drag of 0.26.
• Laser screw welding, body adhesives and other structural reinforcements increase rigidity and enhance stability, steering feel and handling.
• New standard Drive Mode Select allows the driver to choose from 3 distinct drive settings (Eco, Normal and Sport). Vehicles equipped with the available air suspension add Comfort and Sport S+ modes.
• The available Air Suspension with Variable Gear Ratio Steering automatically adjusts the damping force for optimal comfort and performance.
• The available AWD system features a central, permanently engaged, Torsen Limited Slip center Differential (LSD) to further enhance grip, traction and cornering stability.
• Noise-reduction wheels channel resonant noise from the main air chamber to adjacent hollow areas within the wheels via resonator holes, resulting in an incredibly quiet ride.

Safety/Security
• The Advanced Pre-Collision Safety system (APCS) can detect stationary pedestrians and those moving at speeds of up to three miles per hour and stop the vehicle from a speed of 24 miles per hour if a collision with another vehicle is imminent.
• Available Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) constantly monitors the distance to vehicles ahead and is capable of operating at any speed. The system can bring the vehicle to a complete stop, and accelerate away once the road ahead is clear
• An upgraded, optional Lane-Keep Assist system (LKA) helps the driver stay in the intended lane.
• New to LS, the Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) uses rear millimeter-wave radar to monitor the vehicle rear side blind spots at 10 miles per hour or more. This feature includes Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) which automatically operates when the vehicle is in reverse, alerting drivers to the approach of other vehicles when backing out of a parking place.
• The Available Automatic High Beam system features a camera located in the inner mirror that detects light sources in front of the vehicle - including the headlamps of oncoming vehicles, the tail lamps of a vehicle ahead and street lighting - to automatically switch the high beams on and off accordingly.

Luxury/Comfort/Convenience
• Enhancements have been made to the sound insulation for an even quieter cabin.
• Redesigned front seats minimize pressure peaks and increase support. Both front seats feature an improved standard heating and cooling system with larger heating and cooling areas and reduced heating and cooling times.
• All AWD models including the LS600hL feature a heated steering wheel and Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) heating elements which warm the front cabin area quickly after vehicle start-up. Windshield de-icer and headlamp washers are standard on AWD models.
• The LS features a standard Lexus Premium Audio System with a nine channel amplifier, 10 speakers, CD / DVD player changer, DVD audio and video compatibility, MP3 sound enhancement, HD Radio™ with iTunes tagging, and a three-month trial subscription to SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio. Standard entertainment and connectivity advancements include enhanced Bluetooth® capability with automatic phonebook download and streaming audio.
• The optional Mark Levinson Reference Surround System provides a 5.1 home theatre surround with 7.1 architecture , discrete circuitry, 15 channel, ML3-16 Processor Power Amplifier covering a frequency range of 20Hz-20kHz, and 450 watts with less than 0.1% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD).

Luxury Options
• Available Power rear seats with Climate Concierge.
• An available Ottoman Seating Package with Shiatsu Massage and a Rear Seat Entertainment System featuring a Blu-ray DVD player, an SD card slot and a retractable, ceiling mounted, nine-inch full-color VGA screen.

Exterior Design
• The inverted trapezoidal upper grille and slanted lower grille that were first introduced on the GS sedan have been combined and integrated into a single element on the LS to create a more prominent spindle shape.
• When equipped with the optional three projector LED headlamp unit, the LS offers all LED exterior lighting, including turn signals an fog lamps
• LS 460 F SPORT features a unique front fascia with an enhanced three-dimensional mesh grille, larger cooling openings, black grille surround, and round fog lamps. A chrome-plated bar running along the bottom edge of the rear bumper accentuates the lowered center of gravity. F SPORT exterior badging completes the look.
• LS F SPORT offers six exterior colors; Ultra White is exclusive to F SPORT.

Interior Design
• The dashboard is divided into two distinct zones: an upper Display Zone, with the large, 12.3-inch, LCD multi-display screen, and a lower Operation Zone, which allows access to system controls such as the second generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI).
• The driver's instrument meter cluster incorporates high-visibility, large diameter Optitron dials; a 5.8-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) Multi-information screen; and an aluminum analog clock with a GPS-based time correction function.
• The interior is offered in 5 color schemes: Ivory, Light Gray, Black, Black and Saddle Tan, and a newly available Topaz Brown.
• Optional wood includes Walnut, Shimamoku Espresso, Matte Brown Bird's Eye Maple. The LS 600h L also offers an eco- friendly Bamboo wood trim.
• The new, Shimamoku finish is an example of the finest traditional Japanese craftsmanship. Shimamoku, translated as "striped wood," involves the painstaking layering of angle-cut dark and light shaded wood veneers in a unique process which involves 67 manufacturing steps over the course of 38 days.
• The LS 460 F SPORT features aluminum ornamentation and a unique interior, featuring a black Alcantara headliner.

Warranty
• 48-month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48 months/unlimited miles.
• 72 months/70,000 miles powertrain and restraint system coverage.
• 72 months corrosion perforation protection coverage, regardless of mileage.
• Eight years/100,000 miles hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery-control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter

2013 LS 600h L Product Information

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase 121.7 in.

Overall Length 205.0 in.

Overall Width 73.8 in.

Overall Height 58.3 in.

Tread Width - Base: Front/Rear 63.6/63.4

Ground Clearance 5.1 in.


INTERIOR DIMENSIONS

Seating Capacity 5

- Maximum w/ Executive Class
Seating Pkg. 4

Headroom
- Front: (with moonroof standard) 38.0 in.

- Rear (with moonroof standard) 38.0 in.

Shoulder Room - Front:

58.5 in. - Rear: 56.4 in.

Hip Room - Front 55.4 in. - Rear 55.5 in.

Couple Distance (distance between front and rear seatbacks)

45.5 in.

EPA Cargo Volume 10.1 cu. ft.


WEIGHTS AND CAPACITIES

Curb Weight 5,115 lbs. with executive seating package 5,202 lbs.

GVWR
- Five passengers 6,205 lbs. - Four passengers 6,060 lbs.

Weight Distribution – Percent Front/Rear 52/48

Fuel Capacity 22.2 gal.


HYBRID POWER SYSTEM

Type, Materials Hybrid system with gas engine and two motor/generators

Total system power

438 hp

ENGINE

Type, Materials Designation Valvetrain

Displacement
Bore x Stroke Compression Ratio Horsepower Torque
Fuel System

Recommended fuel
Tailpipe Emission Certification (manf. Est.)

V8, aluminum block and cylinder heads 2UR-FSE

32 valve w/ Dual Variable Valve Timing w/ intelligence and Electronically controlled intake (VVT-iE)

5.0 liter
3.70 in. x 3.52 in. (94.0 mm x 89.5 mm) 11.8:1
389 hp @ 6,400 rpm
385 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

D-4S System (direct- and port-injected system) Electronic Throttle Control System with intelligence (ETCS-i)

Premium 91 octane unleaded SULEV II

ELECTRIC MOTORS

Motor Generator 1 (MG1) - Function - Type

- Cooling system

Primary generator, engine starter Permanent magnet motor Water-cooled

Motor Generator 2 (MG2) - Function - Type

- Max. voltage
- Max. output
- Cooling system

Drives wheels; regenerative braking Permanent magnet motor
650 V (DC)
221 hp (165 kW)

Water-cooled

HYBRID BATTERY PACK

Type
Cell Quantity Cell Type Nominal Voltage

Sealed Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) 240 cells (12 cells x 20 modules) Nickel-plated metal container
288V


DRIVETRAIN

Layout Full-time all-wheel-drive

Transmission Type Electronically-controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT) with two-stage planetary gear

reduction, and normal, power and snow modes

Designation L110F

Differential Ratio 3.916

CHASSIS AND BODY

Body/Frame Steel Uni-body Frame Structure

Suspension - Front Multi-link, double-joint, Air Suspension (AVS) - Rear Multi-link, double-joint, Air Suspension (AVS)

Steering

- Type

- Overall Ratio
- Turns (lock to lock)
- Turning Circle (curb to curb)

Rack and Pinion with Electric Power Steering (EPS), Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM)

11.5 – 18.5 2.3-3.7 38.8 ft.

Brakes - Type

- Front - Rear

Antilock Braking System (ABS); Electronically Controlled Brakes (ECB); Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), VSC, TRAC (all systems integrated VDIM System)

Four-piston calipers, ventilated discs, power assisted Two-piston calipers, ventilated discs, power assisted


CHASSIS AND BODY CONT.

Wheel Size/Type 19 x 8.0 in. split seven-spoke with liquid graphite finish

Tire Size/Type 245/45R19 all season

Matching Full-size Spare 245/45R19 with alloy wheel

PERFORMANCE

0-60 mph acceleration (manuf. results) 5.5 seconds

Top Track Speed (electronically limited) 130 mph

Estimated Fuel Economy (City/Hwy/Combined mpg)* 19/23/20

Recommended fuel Premium unleaded

Coefficient of Drag (Cd) 0.27

* 2013 EPA MPG estimate. Actual mileage will vary.