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The 2007 Lexus LS460 is an absolutely stunning car. For a start, the styling and general proportions are much more appealing and balanced than those of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It doesn't try to be flash or avant garde. The look is elegant and reserved.

Underneath its skin, the facts speak for themselves: a brand new 4.6 litre V8 with direct injection developing 380 bhp. Acceleration time of 0-60 in 5.5 seconds. Top speed limited to 155 mph. Engine mated to the world's first 8-speed automatic gearbox. Fuel consumption of 25.0 mpg. VDIM fitted as standard. Instead of an options list as long as War and Peace, every conceivable electronic gadget appears to come as standard, with the exception of a voice-activated DVD SatNav system, a 19-speaker Mark Levinson stereo with a 7.1 surround sound system, and an 8-Gigabyte media server. Talk about Vorsprung durch technik; not even the Audi A8 is this advanced.

The quality and integrity of the cabin environment is once again, peerless. The materials used together with interior build quality once again raise the bar, giving even Rolls-Royce something to think about. The layout of the controls follows the intuitive simplicity of the IS. Forget BMW's clumsy i-drive controller (copied badly by Mercedes-Benz), the LS is all about clever touch-screens and one-button functionality. The tough choice you'll need to make with this car is: do I sit in the back or the front?

Those of you fortunate to have a chauffeur, may decide to fire him. But if you do prefer to sit in the back, a long wheelbase version is also available. If you want, you can specify it with four seats rather than the amply comfortable standard rear bench. The four-seat version is not unlike the interior of a Maybach, but is a little less gharish. There is a centre table that folds away between the two seats. A roof mounted TV screen swings down for your viewing pleasure and there is a massage option for the rear right seat.

The best news about this car isn't merely that it blitzes the best Germany can offer, but that it will be available in the UK at a price that makes every other car in the class look like a rip-off. Early indications are that it will sell at between £55,000-£60,000. An equvalent spec Benz, BMW or Audi would be at least £75K, making the LS460 incredible value.

This is an astonishing car by any objective standard. And if the new IS caused German engineers to quietly withdraw to the local bierkeller to drown their sorrows and sing morale-boosting songs about the good old days, then the new LS will probably cause them to contemplate Hari Kiri. It's that good.

The 2007 LS shows such a solid understanding of what customers in this vehicle segment want, that you instantly realise that the product shelf-lives of its nearest competitors will be dramatically shortened by its arrival. This is the kind of car that you'll drive until oil supplies truly run out, safe in the knowledge that it will never fall apart. So once people get into this car, it is unlikely that Mercedes-Benz, BMW or Audi will persuade them to get out of it any time soon.

In terms of besting Germany's top marques, it's a slam dunk for the Lexus. The real question it poses is to the buyers of Bentleys and Maybachs. Do you buy a Lexus LS460 instead and have enough money left over to buy a fractional share of a private jet, a Chris-Craft boat or a membership of Exclusive Resorts?

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She looks lovely, like a big version of the new IS (not a bad thing).

The prices should come down for the MK4 when that baby comes out too, (eventually).

I'll definitely be going for a sit in one of them. (They probably won't let me drive one)

55K though, 35K after a year no doubt.

If I won the lottery it would be the first car I bought, and i'd keep it forever.

:D

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Looks like we'll have to get tapered numberplates to fit into that front design feature? No room for kids in the back...thank goodness!

8 Speed? Sounds a bit overkill?

Looks a bit new-beemer from the rear?

But otherwise, a bit new-GS? Getting to have a 'Corporate look', rather than each model having a separate look/style?

Put it on my Christmas card wish list.

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Who wants a bet it will be slated by the UK press, particularly Clarkson's mob? It doesn't matter how much we love these cars, the general public over here will always think they are an inferior Merc clone.

Devoid of passion etc. blah blah blah..

I defy anyone to drive any LS on a long distance cruise of 500 miles and to not be impressed?

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In terms of appearance, I think the new S-class is much better. Not sure why they've put on that 7 series bootlid, and the front doesn't seem to really know what its doing. All in all, looks a bit like a blend of the other luxury cars out there which is a bit disappointing after the totally inspired new IS :(

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Will the new Lexus LS460L be coming to the UK?

http://www.globalautoindex.com/news.plt?no=1311

Wow! I like the look of that! Check out the exhausts built-in to the design of the body:

Toyota Nation pic of exhausts

I've had my LS 430 for a year now so I could well be tempted by this. :D

I mean, 0-60 in 5.5 seconds AND a heated steering wheel, what more could you ask for? :winky:

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Still not too keen on that exterior, but they've really made up for it with that interior! Totally loving those maybach style rear seats

£55K, must be for a base LS460, so possibly £65K for a fully loaded LS460L? Seems quite reasonable to me :D

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On the whole, I think new LS460 is extremely attractive and I like its more restrained styling approach. Whoever said that it isn't as inspiring as the new IS was right, but I'm looking forward to see what the looks like in natural light rather than studio/ indoor lighting, before i pass final judgement. Whatever, it is certainly better looking than the current model in my view.

Irrespective of exterior design the features of this car are impressive. It exudes a confidence and uniqueness that is evidently missing from the German luxo-barge trio.

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Just read this on the 4car website:

"It also has a hands-free self-parking system which requires the driver to do nothing more than use the brake pedal."

Does anyone know what this is actually? Sounds very impressive :)

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