New Delhi: Almost a year after coming to India in March of 2017, Lexus on Monday took off the covers of its flagship model – LS 500h hybrid – in the country. Priced at Rs 1.77 crore, the luxury sedan signals a firm commitment of the luxury brand of Toyota to make a mark in the automotive sector here.
The LS 500h, which had made its global debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, comes in three variants - Luxury (Rs 1.77 crore), Ultra Luxury (Rs 1.82 crore) and Distinct (Rs 1.93 crore). The high price tag is mostly because the car will be taking the Custom Built Unit (CBU) route which means additional taxes and import cess factored into the pricing released.
Luxury and oppulance in the LS 500h though also shows just why it has the price tag that it does.
The car is the fifth launch from Lexus in India – after the RX 450h, ES 300h, LX 450d and the NX 300h. The LS 500h though stands quite apart from even its siblings in India and boasts of a string of performance and aesthetical features. Based on Toyota’s TNGA platform, it gets Lexus’ signature spindle grille up at the front, sharp head lights, and chrome garnishing galore all around. Measuring 5325mm in length, 1990mm in width and at 1450 mm in height, the LS 500h also has a massive wheelbase of 3125mm and a ground clearance of 149mm.
Under the hood, the car gets a 3.5L V6 petrol engine and two electronic motors that puts out a total power of 354hp. There’s a CVT gearbox on the inside but the real punch comes from the 84-cell lithium-ion battery pack. The car claims to go from naught to 100kmph in 5.4 seconds.
Those unimpressed by just numbers can instead unwind inside a cabin which prioritises Japanese sensibilities and craftsmanship. The interior styling is inspired by origami hand pleats and Kiriko cut glass. Some of the technological and comfort features include a 24-inch (world’s largest) Heads Up Display (HUD), shiatsu massage seats, Mark Levinson 22-speaker sound system with speakers mounted on the inside roof for 3D effect as well – among many other features.
While the inherent emphasis is clearly on luxury, company executives also underlined Lexus’ commitment towards hybrid and electric vehicles in the country. “We are hopeful of a conducive environment for hybrid and electric cars in India in the near future. We are committed towards bringing here the best of what we have,” said N. Raja, Chairman, Lexus India. "Taxation structure did slow down the sales of hybrids but it is now slowly picking up."