Lexus LS 500h Nishijin variant launched at Rs 2.22 crore
The Lexus LS 500h Nishijin is named after a place in Japan called Nishijin, a district in Kyoto, famous for its traditional craftsmanship. The updates to the Nishijin variants include a new paint job, a special interior and a minor cosmetic update. Prices for the Nishijin variant start at Rs 2.22 crore, a Rs 3.10 lakh premium over the standard car.
On the outside, the Nishijin variant doesn’t get too many changes but the most striking difference is the Gin-ei Luster paintwork. It is a silver that changes its shade with the mildest of changes in ambient light and uses state of the art paint technology which leaves a smooth, mirror-like finish. There’s also a mildly redesigned bumper up front, and those are the only two major changes on the outside.
On the inside, the Nishijin variant gets ‘Nishijin and Haku’ interiors, said to resemble the ocean on a full moon day. There are silver threads which play the role of ‘shimmering waves’ while the Haku — a platinum metal foil — represents the ‘moonlight shining on waves’. Fancy lingo aside, the interior does look good, but it isn’t too different from the standard LS 500h.
Under the hood, the Nishijin variant retains the powertrain from the standard LS 500h, which is a 3.5-litre turbocharged V6, mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, sending power to the rear wheels only. The 3456cc engine along with the electric motors, churn out a combined output of 354bhp and 350Nm of torque. Thanks to this, it can do a 0-100kmph sprint in just 5.4 seconds.
P.B.Venugopal, president, Lexus India said, “Following the positive response of the LS 500h in India, we are delighted to unveil the new Nishijin variant and improvements to the flagship model. These upgrades keep in line with the sophistication and craftsmanship of the Lexus LS 500h flagship luxury model and will deliver optimum performance with cutting-edge technologies while keeping in mind the environmental benefits and the sought-after comfort of our guests. We are excited to see the response to this new and luxurious variant in the Indian market.
The Lexus LS 500h comes with a price tag of Rs 1.91 crore (ex-showroom, New Delhi) for the standard variant and Rs 1.96 crore for the Ultra Luxury variant. This puts the Nishijin at the top of the LS lineup with a price tag of Rs 2.22 crore. The LS 500h goes up against the likes of BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Jaguar XJ and Audi A8L in India. However, Lexus has struggled to make a case for itself in this ultra-luxury sedan segment. Will this Nishijin variant turn the tide? We will only know, once we get behind the wheel for a detailed review.