Easiest Luxury Limo – 2014 Lexus LS460 – F Sport and AWD vs RWD + Pandora.com Cavallo Point Flashbacks

Orig Published on: Jan 25, 2014 @ 12:46

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Back to work! After some side projects recently, it is time to get back to action. The Lexus LS is the perfect car for “getting down to business.” So let’s dive in.2013_Lexus_LS_460_F_SPORT_021

When shopping for a new luxury limousine, the question most car magazines ask is:

“Which is Best?”

But does this miss the point of a limo entirely? Which is easiest seems the most on-target for many shoppers in this segment.

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Sidebar: As I get more experienced with auto news and reviews, I am starting to recognize many of the photo locations!  

These Lexus LS images are primarily from Sausalito and Cavallo Point, a really swanky resort just below the Golden Gate bridge in Marin County, California.


Cavallo Point used to be a U.S. Naval officers base, guarding the San Francisco Bay. It is now a huge resort and spa, popular for corporate retreats.

Here is a photo on the Big House balcony during a quick “check emails” break during a 2008 Pandora.com conference held here.


When I posted this photo to my Facebook at the time, it brought widespread derision as a “Nerd Porch Party.” =]  But look at Pandora now. A $6B market cap.

See this video link for a charming one-minute look at escaping the city in favor of a scenic drive up the coast.

Lexus http://www.lexus.co.uk/amazing-in-motion/steps/index.tmex#/AmazingInMotion/Beyond/BeyondTheRoad


So, which luxury limo is Best? Which is Easiest might be more on-target.

Abrupt segway alert: Totally different story, in Hinsdale… at the bank.. of all places.

After seeing a friend’s sweetheart of a mother driving her new 2004 740Li BMW many years ago, I stopped to say hello to Mrs. McCarthy.


She was doing well, and liked the new car a lot! They had previously been a Jaguar XJ family for at least the last three family limo’s. But when asked about the tech functions of the BMW for Mrs. McCarthy, the situation got a bit clearer:

  • very few new 740Li drivers knew how to do anything in the car besides starting it, blinkers and a few other things. Even the gear level can be a mystery.

  • this is not a fault in training really. The dealers may have spent many hours teaching the functions to every new buyer.

  • but all technology should be intuitive as the First Law


What is the point of all this?

Well, the Lexus LS makes life easy.


It contains all the latest technology, and even a few world-exclusive features in the LS 600hL. The only limo both protested by Greenpeace — but likely driven by Greenpeace’s biggest donors.


All the technology of the LS is really friendly, basically. The hybrid and F Sport models are very daring — but really cannot match the purity of the V8-powered LS460 and LS460 L.


Pricing starts from just $72,000 for the LS — which is an incredible value proposition on cars as stellar as these.


2014 MSRP

LS 600h L


LS 460 L

RWD: $78,440

AWD: $81,925

LS 460

RWD: $72,140

AWD: $75,085


Overall Exterior Styling/Body Design

  • 18-inch split five-spoke wheels with hollow spoke noise reduction technology and high gloss finish

  • Aggressive inverted trapezoid-shaped upper and bottom-wide lower grille to produce a new “spindle grille”

  • Arrowhead-shaped LED Daytime Running Lamps

  • Integrated LED fog lamps

  • Heated electrochromic outside rearview mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, LED puddle lamps

  • (mounted on the underside of mirror housing), and power folding function

  • New exhaust diffusers with integrated dual-chrome exhaust tips

  • New deck lid, rear bumper and license plate surround

  • Rain-sensing wipers

  • Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) integrated headlamps (low beam)


Body Structure and Paint

  • Acoustic glass windshield

  • Aluminum crush boxes reduce damage from light impact and improve serviceability

  • Body hand-sanded twice during the application of alternating layers of paint and coatings

  • Elimination of lead additive in paints, coatings and ceramic components

  • Exterior colors (all 3-4 coat multi-bake process) (8): Ultra White (F SPORT only), Liquid Platinum, Fire Agate Pearl, Starfire Pearl, Nebula Gray Pearl, Obsidian, Matador Red Mica, Satin Cashmere Metallic

  • High-strength steel alloy and ultra-high strength sheet metal used in body structure

  • Laminated side window glass (front only on LS 460)

  • Narrow and precise body panel gaps

  • Thinsulate insulation for more effective sound absorption

Convenience Features

  • Power door closers

  • Trunk lid opens without key fob being within range when vehicle is unlocked

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Interior Trim

  • Grain-matched wood trim with genuine aluminum accents for center console, dash and door panels

  • Headliner for Black/Saddle Tan changed to Parchment (replaces Light Gray)

  • Interior leather/wood trim colors: Parchment, Light Gray, Flaxen, Black, Black with Saddle Tan Accent and unique F SPORT Black with White Perforations

  • Matte Bamboo trim available with Parchment or Black interior with semi-aniline leather trim

  • Three-spoke wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel



  • 16-way power driver’s seat with auto slide-away and 12-way power front passenger seat

  • Power seatbelt shoulder height adjusters for front passengers

  • Three-position memory system for driver seat and front passenger seat

Instrumentation and Controls

  • 12.3-inch display

  • Analog clock with GPS functionality

  • Cruise control

  • Drive Mode Select

  • Eco Drive indicator

  • Electrochromic inside mirror

  • Electroluminescent (Optitron) gauges

  • Shifter with leather-trimmed with sequential sport-shift mode

  • HomeLink programmable garage door opener

  • Power tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio, brake hold function and multi-information display controls

  • Remote Touch Interface

  • SmartAccess with push-button start/stop

  • TFT (Thin Film Transistor) color multi-information display

Comfort/Convenience Features

  • 12v outlet in center console

  • Dual-zone front climate control with smog sensor and automatic recirculation control

  • First aid kit

  • Individual vanity mirrors in rear seat area

  • Lexus HDD Navigation with backup monitor

  • Prices (one-year trial All Access subscription included), subscription-free Enform App Suite, Intuitive

  • Park Assist

  • Power tilt-and-slide moonroof with one-touch closure

  • Rear back-up camera

  • Transitional LED ambient lighting (under I/P wood trim)



  • Lexus Premium Audio

  • 10 speakers including subwoofer

  • AM/FM/CD player, MP3/WMA capability

  • Automatic Sound Levelizer (ASL)

  • Digital Sound Processor (DSP)

  • HD Radio™ with iTunes tagging

  • Integrated SiriusXM Satellite Radio receiver

  • MP3 and USB/iPod audio input plugs

  • Streaming audio via Bluetooth



  • 3-point seatbelts and headrests for all three rear seating positions

  • Active front headrests

  • Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS)

  • Location specific Direct-type Tire Pressure Monitoring System

  • Dual stage driver and front passenger airbags

  • Force limiters and seatbelt pretensioners

  • Front passenger occupant classification system

  • Front passenger twin-chamber airbag

  • Knee airbags for driver and front passenger

  • Side airbags for driver and front passenger

  • Side-curtain airbags

  • Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system

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  • Entry system with lock, two-stage unlock, trunk open and “panic” features, volume-adjustable confirmation

  • tone and rolling code technology

  • Headlight off delay feature: after locking vehicle, headlights remain illuminated for a certain period of time

  • before automatically shutting off

  • Multi-function SmartAccess remote with engine immobilizer and remote window “down” feature

  • Remote-activated/key-linked illuminated entry: dome light and ignition key cylinder ring illuminate when doors

  • are unlocked (remain illuminated for 15 seconds or until door is opened)

  • Safety Connect with Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, Emergency Assist Button,

  • and Enhanced Roadside Assistance (complimentary one-year trial subscription included)

  • Vehicle theft-deterrent system

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  • 8-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift

  • Aluminum block and cylinder heads with aluminum-magnesium alloy cylinder head covers

  • Direct Ignition System (DIS)

  • Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-iE) with electrically controlled intake

  • Electronic Parking Brake and brake hold function

  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)

  • High-grade plastic water jackets to improve cylinder cooling and performance

  • Hollow tube camshafts to reduce weight and increase efficiency

  • Increased use of aluminum in suspension components

  • Liquid-filled engine mounts to reduce noise and vibration

  • Shock absorbers for coil suspension (provide greater ride comfort and agility)

  • Smart Stop Technology

2014 Lexus LS460 Tech Specs

Official Release from Lexus below.


Some of the Best Bells and Whistles Can’t Be Seen or Heard

  • Advanced Pre-Collision Safety System Helps Driver Avoid Accidents in 2014 Lexus LS Luxury Flagship Sedan

  • Available Night-Detection Capabilities Help Driver Recognize Stationary and Moving Objects

  • LS Brought to Full Stop at Low Speeds


TORRANCE, Calif. – Sometimes things just come out of nowhere when driving on the road.  Drivers may not see an obstacle, but the Lexus LS available Advanced Pre-Collision System (A-PCS) is designed to detect it and bring the car to a full stop.


The LS flagship luxury sedan models have offered bold styling, superior craftsmanship and dynamic handling for nearly 25 years. Now, as the LS embarks on its third decade in the premium luxury category, it blends modern refinement with advanced technology and safety options.


Available safety enhancements include the Advanced Pre-Collision Safety (A-PCS) system with collision avoidance assist. This system is designed to assist the driver in avoiding or mitigating collisions with vehicles and pedestrians under a wide range of city and highway speeds, by day or night. 


A-PCS includes a system that combines information from millimeter wave radar, near infrared projectors and a stereo camera to help sense a wide range of obstacles with by day or night.  Because some pedestrian collisions occur after dark, the A-PCS night detection capabilities are key enhancements to the effectiveness of this system.  The system provides enhanced recognition logic for analyzing images from stereo cameras.  The system helps detect moving, as well as stationary pedestrians.

If A-PCS determines that the possibility of a collision is high, the system triggers or activates:

  • A warning light and buzzer;

  • Brake Assist (BA) to increase braking force when the driver presses the brake pedal;

  • Steering assist via Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) to help improve the vehicle’s response;

  • Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) to stiffen the dampers to help control nose drive;

  • Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system to help increase vehicle control during an evasive maneuvers.

At speeds lower than 24 miles per hour, this technology helps the LS to avoid accidents by automatically bringing the LS to a full stop if the driver does not take any corrective actions.

A-PCS is designed to help reduce the crash speed and damage in certain frontal collisions only.  This system is not a substitute for safe and attentive driving.  System effectiveness depends on many factors.  These available advanced technology bells and whistles may be silent, but they can help assist LS drivers day or night.


About Lexus: Lexus launched in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since that time, Lexus has expanded its line-up to meet the needs of global luxury customers. Lexus is now going beyond its reputation for high quality vehicles with the integration of innovative technology, emotional exterior and interior designs, and engaging driving dynamics and performance.  With five models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers six F SPORT models and two F models, including the LFA supercar, for top-of-the-line performance. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 233 dealers who are committed to exemplary customer service.

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