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http://www.autoweek.com/apps/p.../1009
The review is generally very positive but at one point they say that the motor, when pushed, emits a "remote and not especially pleasing (to our taste) metallic, insectile note."
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Emperor Joseph’s problem was that he knew how to read music. “Your work is ingenious,” he informs Mozart in Amadeus. “But there are too many notes. Just cut a few and it will be perfect.”
To which Mozart famously retorts, “Which few did you have in mind, Majesty?” Satoru Maruyamano must relate to that.
Maruyamano-san is so enthusiastic about European classical music that after a good European dinner he cannot resist leaping up to conduct the violinists. But in his day job for nearly the past five years he has been chief engineer of the Lexus LS 460, a new corporate flagship crammed to its side curtains with so much technology that an early draft of the owner’s manual ran more than 700 pages.
Lexus officials admit to just a bit of concern about that. (“We do gain sales from not having iDrive,” remarks one dryly.) The last thing they want is for their clientele to fret about managing what has to be the most complex machine this company has ever offered.
But what to cut from the book? It’s all such keen stuff, and so much of it requires explanation. Like the optional, hands-off self-parking system, the first in a production vehicle. We find it works well, but it takes some learning.


Luckily one can enjoy music without reading the score, and Maruyamano’s orchestra of 1500 has so harmoniously integrated the 460’s gadgetry that owners needn’t give a thought to most of it. They won’t have to know this fourth-generation LS is the first completely fresh design in the model’s 17 years, and that it feels faster because of a larger, higher-revving engine; that the transmission is the industry’s first eight-speed, benefiting both performance and economy; that the steering—now electric—features twin-axis kingpin geometry like Audi’s, for sharper response; or that Toyota Formula One racing experience is manifest in a “stepped venturi” panel under the engine, which reduces lift.
Drivers even can enjoy the super-smooth texture of the steering wheel without knowing the leather was buffed for three hours, six times longer than before.
In fact, during introductory drives in Austria recently we found it possible to cover some considerable kilometers in the LS 460 without noticing much difference from the outgoing 430. It is a whole new car, but it’s still that much of a Lexus. The overall dimensions are very similar. The ambience is fully familiar. The feel, the manners, the quiet are all just what LS owners love.
Except there’s more of it all. More gizmos and features and luxury appointments, yes, but kick up your driving tempo and the 460 comes more alive, more eager, brighter. That’s not to say it’s the kind of hard-core sports sedan that incites misbehavior, but the initial experience suggests some who trade out of a 430 might more often find themselves muttering, “Oops, I’m speeding.”


They might be ones who shouldn’t hear this: For the first time Lexus allows the traction/stability control to be turned off. Completely. Tap the button once and the system stays off until the speedometer reads 30 mph; that’s for “rocking” out of snow. But hold the same button down longer than three seconds and you can spin your little wheels as fast as they will go (up to the governed 130 mph). “Just be careful,” commented a corporate officer. A refreshing attitude in this industry today.
All this added liveliness is deliberately expressive of the fact Lexus is now organizationally separate from Toyota and going its own way in terms of design, engineering and manufacturing. The outgoing car was staid-looking, but the “L-finesse” corporate styling theme has now been applied to the 460 in an edgy way that adds visual energy.
The conceptual source of these lines is the two-seat LF-A coupe that toured the auto shows last year, and Lexus personnel confirm they will be producing just such a supercar one day not soon enough.
That should give the new 4.6-liter engine a real ride. In the LS 460 it’s hidden under a gormless slab of plastic, and that’s a pity, because it’s a beauty. While not many LS sedan intenders are likely to be moved by learning of its connection with Toyota’s Formula One racer, the chief engineer vows it is real. In Maruyamano’s words through an interpreter, the new V8 was “spun off together” with the F1 program. Not that they share components, but they are expressions of the same knowledge base.


Thus this first new V8 design since 1989’s LS 400 has precisely the optimal bore diameter (94.0 mm) to yield the least possible friction as the aluminum block distorts during temperature and stress cycles, he says. “That was the first decision.”
Other ultra-high-performance thinking can be found in many areas of this street motor. Like a racer, it has roller cam followers for lower friction, sharper profiles and higher rpm. To the same ends the cams are manufactured with a new process: Each of the 32 lobes is forged and ground individually, then locked precisely into place on the four shafts—which are hollow like rifle barrels to save weight. (No, that’s not a secret from the F1 shop, according to Lexus technical trainer Bob Allan: “They don’t need the engine life.”) In another first, cam timing is adjusted electrically rather than by the former hydraulic system to avoid temperature-induced variations.
Listen to this—they force a liquid abrasive through the crankshaft’s oil passageways to make them slick, reducing resistance to flow. “Oil-smoothing,” they call it.
These and many other tricks add up to a honey of a V8 that is 7.3 percent larger than the old 4294-cc unit yet makes a whopping 36.7 percent more power. The numbers are 4608 cc, 380 hp at 6400 rpm (102 hp and 800 revs higher than before despite a slightly longer stroke) and 367 lb-ft at 4100 rpm (32 percent more torque peaking 700 rpm higher). Yet it’s claimed to be class-leading in fuel efficiency.
In the company’s words, the new 4.6 offers the power of a 5.5 with the economy of a 3.5. In the words of Maruyamano, “Other companies intend from the outset to apply supercharging to get performance. We prefer to do it from basic design.” He is very proud of this engine.


Enthusiast LS drivers will want to keep all this in mind about the engine, because they won’t hear much from it. It’s so quiet in normal driving that aural cues can’t be used for manual-mode gearshift decisions. Only when whipped does it emit a remote and not especially pleasing (to our taste) metallic, insectile note. Hopefully the LF-A super coupe will really scream, both literally and figuratively.
Regarding that eight-speed, the chief engineer says the rationale is that more gears allow both a lower low and a higher high, while also keeping the engine in its sweet zone more of the time. Why not just go to the CVT that will be in the forthcoming hybrid version of this car? “It has torque limitations,” he admits.
But the hybrid 600h will have all-wheel drive, and snow country folks will be glad to hear awd is to become available in the LS 460 as well.
Enough boring technoid talk; what about the fun stuff? Okay, there’s a throne. Order the new-to-Lexus long-wheelbase edition, the 460 L, and its extra 4.72 inches make room for an optional right-rear executive-class recliner with extending ottoman leg-rest, shiatsu massaging seatback and “the world’s first” motorized nine-inch DVD screen that deploys from the overhead. Truly fit for an emperor. One of them at a time, anyway—the driver’s seat prevents a second rear ottoman.
Even more amusing is the Advanced Parking Guidance System. When so equipped the car will parallel-park itself either to the right or the left, and also back itself neatly into a slot too narrow for the doors to open. (Why you would want that is your affair.) Twelve sonar sensors take care of determining if there is enough room as the car approaches a likely place and stops in the usual fashion.
When you select reverse, a green quadrangle representing the car’s perimeter appears on the dashboard rearview TV screen. By touching arrows on the display, move the virtual car into the open space. If the computer thinks there is a danger of hitting something, the obstruction will be indicated in red. In that case you must either adjust the quadrangle or drive someplace else.
Finally, keep your hands off the wheel but your foot on the brake and allow the LS to creep backward. The wheel cranks itself furiously, like an invisible drift driver is sitting in your lap, and the car maneuvers precisely into place, scratch-free.
Except for an important, important note: It’s up to you to stop at the end of the process. The system won’t automatically apply the brakes.
Can you think of cities where other motorists won’t grant you enough time to go through this exercise? Sure, but we predict self-parking will be a sellout. Speaking of which, the LS 460 goes on sale in October. Pricing is yet to be announced.
There is so, so much more packed into this new LS; it’s a regular automotive Nozze di Figaro. But we wouldn’t cut a note.
 

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Re: Autoweek article on new Lexus LS460 (Farver Bluben)

Quote, originally posted by Autoweek »
In the company’s words, the new 4.6 offers the power of a 5.5 with the economy of a 3.5. In the words of Maruyamano, “Other companies intend from the outset to apply supercharging to get performance. We prefer to do it from basic design.” He is very proud of this engine

Rightfully so. They weren't kidding.
The LS460 is projected to be as fast as a 550i yet expected to get fuel economy numbers comparable to the 530i. Some credit goes to the new 8-speed auto tranny but when you consider that the LS460 is 400lbs heavier than the 550i, there's no denying that the new 4.6 V8 is one fantastically strong yet efficient motor.
http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif


Modified by Dinosaurius at 4:09 PM 8-21-2006
 

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Re: Autoweek article on new Lexus LS460 (Viergang Fuchs)

Quote, originally posted by Viergang Fuchs »
...until the road curves.

Agreed. However, unlike BMW it doesn't scream "abuse me".
As already mentioned, there are special kind of people, who just like being transferred from one place to another, not unlike riding the old RRs.
The difference is, that this time, they for some wierd reason want to sit behind the wheel, pretending that they are actually driving the darn thing.
 

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Re: Autoweek article on new Lexus LS460 (Farver Bluben)

I love it. Awhole glowing review and you find the one bit of slightly negative press to harp on. Go back under the bridge you came from, 914_VR6.
 

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Re: Autoweek article on new Lexus LS460 (Viergang Fuchs)

Quote, originally posted by Viergang Fuchs »

...until the road curves.

And you completely missed the point.
The new Lexus 4.6liter V8 combined with the 8-speed auto is a great drivetrain. More powerful than BMW's latest 4.8liter V8 yet as fuel efficient as BMW's 3.0liter I6 in a smaller lighter car.
Neither I, Lexus nor Autoweek ever claimed the LS was comparable to a 5series in the corners. Duh!



Modified by Dinosaurius at 4:38 PM 8-21-2006
 

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Re: Autoweek article on new Lexus LS460 (Viergang Fuchs)

Quote, originally posted by Viergang Fuchs »
...until the road curves.

People take their 7-Series and S-Class auto-Xing? Wow, didn't know that

Who gives a crap? These are luxury point and shoot cars. You get in, forget about all your cares in the world, and drive...err, be driven.
 

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Re: Autoweek article on new Lexus LS460 (Mazda 3s)

I'm surprised a new LS thread has gone on this long without an "OMG, BMW RIPOFF!!!!"
(And yes, I am fully aware that stating this now ensures it will probably be said very soon.
)
 

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Re: Autoweek article on new Lexus LS460 (Farver Bluben)

There is some hope. Can this car be more pleasant than a new S-Class. Maybe.... at least from the outside.
 

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Re: Autoweek article on new Lexus LS460 (Mazda 3s)

Quote, originally posted by Mazda 3s »

People take their 7-Series and S-Class auto-Xing? Wow, didn't know that

I'd like to thank you for setting me up to put this photo in:

Quote »
Who gives a crap? These are luxury point and shoot cars. You get in, forget about all your cares in the world, and drive...err, be driven.

I give a crap. I autocross and track my Phaetons. I know a variety of people who drive their Siebeners and S-Classes competitively and/or enthusiastically. Not everybody in the market for a full-sized car wants to suffer from induced narcolepsy.
 

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Re: Autoweek article on new Lexus LS460 (Viergang Fuchs)

Quote, originally posted by Viergang Fuchs »
I'd like to thank you for setting me up to put this photo in:
I give a crap. I autocross and track my Phaetons. I know a variety of people who drive their Siebeners and S-Classes competitively and/or enthusiastically. Not everybody in the market for a full-sized car wants to suffer from induced narcolepsy.

Exception to the rule. If you can sit here with a straight face and tell me that more than let's say...even 5% of luxu-boat S-Class/7-Series/LS/Phaeton drivers buy their vehicles to track them or run autocross, then I'll kneel down and kiss your feet

I'd even take a gander to say that the chances of seeing a modern $100,000 S-Class doing laps for the sake of doing laps is about as good as me seeing even 10% of the SUV drivers in Raleigh taking their vehicles off-road to go muddin'.
Bottom line, the MAJORITY of people don't buy an S-Class or LS or 7-Series b/c they want to feel like Michael Shumacher. They already have a 911 or a 360/430 or an M3 for that. They drive the luxobarge for comfort/pampering, status and gadgetry by the bucketsful.
 

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Re: Autoweek article on new Lexus LS460 (Mazda 3s)

Quote, originally posted by Mazda 3s »
Exception to the rule. If you can sit here with a straight face and tell me that more than let's say...even 5% of luxu-boat S-Class/7-Series/LS/Phaeton drivers buy their vehicles to track them or run autocross, then I'll kneel down and kiss your feet

I'd even take a gander to say that the chances of seeing a modern $100,000 S-Class doing laps for the sake of doing laps is about as good as me seeing even 10% of the SUV drivers in Raleigh taking their vehicles off-road to go muddin'.
Bottom line, the MAJORITY of people don't buy an S-Class or LS or 7-Series b/c they want to feel like Michael Shumacher. They already have a 911 or a 360/430 or an M3 for that. They drive the luxobarge for comfort/pampering, status and gadgetry by the bucketsful.


He does have a point though.
It's like arguing about who needs a capable SUV (Discovery for example) if only 1% of them are ever going to be taken offroad. Just because a 99% of SUV owners are wankers, doesn't mean that a vehicle must be a wank-mobile.
We already know that the new LS is an extremely comfortable cruiser, but if it can also be taken to a race track, that's an additional point in a "cool" factor.
 

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Re: Autoweek article on new Lexus LS460 (J-Tim)

Quote, originally posted by J-Tim »
He does have a point though.
It's like arguing about who needs a capable SUV (Discovery for example) if only 1% of them are ever going to be taken offroad. Just because a 99% of SUV owners are wankers, doesn't mean that a vehicle must be a wank-mobile.
We already know that the new LS is an extremely comfortable cruiser, but if it can also be taken to a race track, that's an additional point in a "cool" factor.

But the original purpose of an SUV was to off-road, and the original purpose of luxu-cruiser was to pamper and coddle. SUVs are moving closer to car-like comfort, but I don't think that luxo-cruisers are moving at the same rate to sports car handling.
One doesn't buy an S2000 and expect to get Lexus levels of service or a buttery smooth ride and low wind noise. Likewise, one doesn't buy a 7-Series and expect it to handle like a Z4.
I can see what's your saying, and that to some it may be the holy grail, but I see it more as a quirk or anomoly. It's like finding out that your wife digs chicks or something. Sure, it sounds great at first and the possibilities of a 3-way dance in your mind like crazy, but the practical implications of a 3 person relationship totally clash with what your thoughts are of a what your relationship with your wife should be.
Likewise, tracking an S-Class might be a cool idea to some, but it goes against the grain of what the mission statement of an S-Class is and what typical S-Class' are used for.


Modified by Mazda 3s at 10:48 PM 8-21-2006
 

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Re: Autoweek article on new Lexus LS460 (J-Tim)

Quote, originally posted by J-Tim »


He does have a point though.
It's like arguing about who needs a capable SUV (Discovery for example) if only 1% of them are ever going to be taken offroad. Just because a 99% of SUV owners are wankers, doesn't mean that a vehicle must be a wank-mobile.
We already know that the new LS is an extremely comfortable cruiser, but if it can also be taken to a race track, that's an additional point in a "cool" factor.

You can take a school bus to a track, but just because you can doesn't mean you should and certainly doe not necessarily makes it cool.

Anyways here is an LS430 at an autocross event for the naysayers. IMO it is ridiculous to track any cars in this class be it Benz, Lexus, BMW or what ever. There are just too many, better suited, more fun, and a lot cheaper alternatives.
 

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Re: Autoweek article on new Lexus LS460 (koko12)

I can't beleive I am saying that but after looking at that picture, the "LS" is officially "cool" car in my books.
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Re: Autoweek article on new Lexus LS460 (Mazda 3s)

Quote, originally posted by Mazda 3s »
Exception to the rule. If you can sit here with a straight face and tell me that more than let's say...even 5% of luxu-boat S-Class/7-Series/LS/Phaeton drivers buy their vehicles to track them or run autocross, then I'll kneel down and kiss your feet

Five percent? Oh, hell no. As a matter of fact, I can't sit here with a straight face and tell you that five percent of any type of car commonly sold in this country would ever be used for track or autocross. Porsche sells 10,000 911s a year in this country and to suggest that 500 of them find their way onto a track or autocross every year would be pushing the limits of credibility.
That being said, it's track capability of which we are speaking. The buyer of a high-end German sedan wants to know that it can be driven hard without falling on its face. I had the pleasure of running down I-64 this past weekend with a CLK55 AMG close on my tail. For about an hour we cut through very light traffic at speeds which varied between 90 and 135mph. I have some seat time in the big Lexus sedans and I wouldn't have felt comfortable running those cars at that speed. Perhaps the new car will be different - but until then, the people who want that capability will have to choose a German car, or a Cadillac STS.
Quote, originally posted by koko12 »
Anyways here is an LS430 at an autocross event for the naysayers. IMO it is ridiculous to track any cars in this class be it Benz, Lexus, BMW or what ever. There are just too many, better suited, more fun, and a lot cheaper alternatives.

Fun's subjective. I like driving big cars fast for the same reason I like driving slow cars fast. Any jagoff can rip a Z06 around Ledges in the 1:30 range. Probably with his eyes closed. Doing it in a Phaeton takes concentration, patience, a little practice, and the who-gives-a-damn willingness to write off a $78,000 car. I call that making it interesting.
 

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Re: Autoweek article on new Lexus LS460 (Viergang Fuchs)

Quote, originally posted by Viergang Fuchs »

I give a crap. I autocross and track my Phaetons. I know a variety of people who drive their Siebeners and S-Classes competitively and/or enthusiastically. Not everybody in the market for a full-sized car wants to suffer from induced narcolepsy.

Then they won't be buying the LS. I don't see what the problem is. You can't expect a car to be super luxurious and quiet and what not while offering excellent feel and feedback to the driver.
So you have the LS460 for people who want comfort and have no intention of tracking their car and you have the 750 for the 1% of 750 owners who will drive it competitively.
Its a win win for all involved!
 
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