Car Revievs

 Lexus LS 350 Luxury (A)

The Japanese have a saying, 'deru kugi wa utareru', which in English translates to 'the nail that sticks out gets hammered down', or put simply, 'standing out invites criticism'.

For a company once known to embody the most traditional of Japanese values, Lexus is now on a path of radicalisation of sorts. Or at least, the designs of its cars are.

Take its new LS for example. Lower, wider and longer than before, its styling is far more adventurous than anything else in the large luxury sedan segment, borderline funky, in fact.

The LS350's striking design, on top of its grown proportions, gives it tons of road presence

A bold expression

The brand's loyalists may struggle to accept the outcome of its latest design exercise but, personally, I think it's well-executed and refreshingly exciting for a car of its stature. And its spindle grille, which took a designer six months to create, is itself an expression of art and highlights the fanatical attention to detail Lexus has put into the car.

A similarly sensuous design language continues inside, where all on board are nestled in a cabin crafted using the most immaculate of materials by the most skilled of craftsmen.

Unparalleled obsession to detail

There's a sense of flow where door meets dashboard that's heightened by the ambient lighting, organic shapes and floating armrests.

The fit and finish of the LS' cabin exceeds the usual Lexus expectations

Everything you touch is a tactile treat, such as the fine leather passionately stitched into dead-straight seams and slender rotary dials, so much so that you can easily overlook the dated infotainment system and lack of massage function for the rear seats.

The only thing that would make one think twice about the LS350 is its powertrain.

As soulful and creamy as its naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6 is, it isn't particularly eager to get the 2,125kg luxobarge up to speed, especially if you're accustomed to the turbocharged treatment of cars like the Audi A8 and the BMW 7 Series.

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