The Lexus LS 500 glides into 2022 with a modicum of changes. The most notable update for new owners will be the retuned suspension, spring and damper rates adjusted to provide a more comfortable ride and anti-roll bars enlarged to tamp down body roll. On sedans optioned with the adjustable-ride-height function, Lexus said that feature has been "enhanced" to make getting in and out even easier.
Output from the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 doesn't change from 416 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, but a trio of tweaks are said to upgrade the experience. Reshaped tops on the pistons deliver "quiet operation when cold" — as if engine noise has ever been a Lexus problem — and lower emissions. New wastegate control logic means better turbo efficiency. And the 10-speed automatic transmission gets recalibrated shift mapping to keep the engine in the meatier part of the power band.
The other changes for every LS 500 trim start with Lexus making its Safety System+ 2.5 standard across the range. This adds active safety features like Pre-Collision System (PCS), Frontal Collision Warning (FCW), Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Pedestrian Detection and Bicyclist Detection. Inside, Lexus says the infotainment system "provides additional control options for driver and passenger," without going into what those are.
Those who option the Luxury or Executive Packages can get a new foil interior treatment called Haku. This is derived from 400-year-old the Japanese art of decorative gold leaf, the most well known being Kanazawa-haku, the leaf made by hammering gold until it was one or two ten-thousandths of a millimeter thin. Yes, you read that thickness correctly. The foil is so delicate that Lexus says it has to be applied by hand. Lastly, the 2,400-watt, 23-speaker Mark Levinson stereo can be optioned on the entry-level LS for the first time.
Prices don't change from the current MSRPs for the 2021 sedan, the base LS 500 with rear-wheel drive starting at $76,000 and adding a $1,075 destination charge for $77,075 total. The rear-driven LS 500 F Sport starts at $80,675. Optioning either with AWD costs another $3,250.