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First look: Lexus updates LS430 flagship

Technocrat: Revised LS430 gets a different look, more torque and more gadgets.

The Lexus limousine gets a thorough midlife makeover - and it’s only six weeks away

8 Aug 2003

LEXUS in Japan has released the first pictures of the facelifted LS430 limousine that will go on sale here in just six weeks – on September 23.

Featuring new front and rear lighting, a revised grille and new alloy wheels, the revised Lexus flagship will also offer a new six-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission to replace its predecessor’s conventional five-speed unit.

While details remain sketchy, it is believed a tweaked version of the current LS430’s 4.3-litre DOHC alloy V8, producing the same 206kW of peak power but with an extra 13Nm of maximum torque at 430Nm, will find its way into the updated LS.

Other new Lexus features expected to debut in the facelifted LS430’s subtly revised interior include active cruise control, stability control, in-dash DVD player and a keycard security system.

Expect the new LS430 modifications to filter through to the Lexus SC430 coupe-convertible sometime during next year. They share many of the same mechanical features.

The Lexus upgrade is the first facelift for the third generation LS model launched here in 2000.

Next year should see the unveiling of an all-new GS300, Lexus’ rear-wheel drive BMW 5 Series. The current Mk2 model has remained essentially unchanged since it debuted here in November, 1997.

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