The 2018 Lexus LS is inspired by the traditional Japanese hospitality principles of Omotenashi. We take a look at seven features that create a comfortable, safe and relaxing environment for its occupants, extending the boundaries of luxury.
1: Dashboard design
The flowing lines that run the width of the dashboard are one of the eye-catching interior features of the all-new Lexus LS. The design was inspired by the strings of a koto, a traditional Japanese instrument, often referred to as a Japanese harp. While the cabin has many subtle hints of traditional Japanese aesthetics, the styling of the dashboard is a clear reminder that the LS is a car that embraces the traditions and customs of Japan.
The dashboard features lateral fins to represent the strings, elements of which are moveable in order to direct the flow of air into the vehicle cabin. However, the fins covering these vents remain perfectly in line wherever the airflow is adjusted.
2: Shiatsu massage function
The qualities of Omotenashi hospitality in the all-new Lexus LS are not confined to the well-being of passengers; they also address driver fatigue and alertness with a shiatsu-style massage programme integrated into the driver’s seat. This feature helps refresh the driver and maintain their level of attention on the road, generating a safer driving experience without affecting their operation of the vehicle.
The system offers five different massage courses, two of which cover the full body and three which focus on specific areas. These can be selected via the car’s multi-information display.
3: Interior illumination
The LS cabin captures the Lexus ethos of hospitality, using subtle interior lighting to set the mood in this inviting and luxurious space. Light sources are located behind the door ornamentation panels and the armrest to provide gentle downward light that welcomes passengers the moment the door is opened, and continues to create a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere, especially at night.
The gentle glow of this lighting style draws on ancient Japanese culture, reminiscent of the way andon lamps were used to illuminate study rooms, to enhance the sense of calm and spaciousness.
4: Air suspension
A luxury vehicle should sit high enough to making getting in and out a graceful exercise, yet conversely, many luxury saloons sit lower to the ground to maximise aerodynamic performance at speed. In view of this, the Lexus LS is equipped with air suspension to deliver the best of both worlds – a height-adjustable system that maintains a low ride height when driving but raises the car’s level when parked to make it easier for people to get into or exit the vehicle.
The electronically controlled air suspension on the new LS has an access mode which automatically raises the vehicle height when the doors are opened or closed, or locked and unlocked, anticipating the requirements of its occupants in the spirit of Omotenashi.
5: Mark Levinson Reference audio system
Lexus has a long and successful relationship with Mark Levinson, the world-renowned manufacturer of the finest quality audio systems and pioneer of new frontiers in sound reproduction quality.
This partnership has reached a new level with the inclusion of a Mark Levinson Reference audio system designed exclusively for the 2018 Lexus LS flagship saloon. The aim was to deliver an exceptional listening experience, with all the tonal subtlety and power of sitting in the best seats of a concert hall, undisturbed by external noise or interference.
Advanced technology divides the audio sources into separate streams, then mixes them to create an ideal sound environment played through a total of 23 speakers strategically positioned in 16 locations around the interior.
6: Climate Concierge
In the all-new Lexus LS, Omotenashi hospitality means that providing a comfortable cabin temperature is not simply a matter of heating and cooling. The sophisticated Climate Concierge system monitors the body temperature and environment around each occupant, automatically adjusting warmth, ventilation and air quality to achieve the ideal level.
Such precise control is possible because a network of infra-red sensors constantly monitor 16 separate zones around the cabin, prompting the system to make fine adjustments to air temperature flow and direction, and co-ordinating with the operation of heating and ventilation systems integrated in the seats. It even takes into account external factors, such as uneven heat caused by sunshine through the windows.
7: Noise-reducing wheels
It is not just the design of the all-new LS luxury saloon’s interior that produces an exceptionally serene, relaxing and calm environment. Lexus has explored every detail to achieve the quietest possible cabin, including an alloy wheel that suppresses noise generated by the tyres.
The secret of these noise-reducing wheels is a design that eliminates sound waves generated by vibration of the air inside the tyres. These sound waves are channelled to a resonator hole in the rim of the wheel and into a hollow structure where friction converts them into heat. Not only do the wheels help prevent noise disturbance reaching the cabin, they also are also lightweight and highly rigid, qualities that further contribute to the fine handling and fuel efficiency of the new 2018 Lexus LS.