Leave all the settings alone (which is difficult because many of the settings are in that system) and you will be in one of the most comfortable spaces imaginable, even as the driver. The air suspension soaks up all but the worst bumps and the engine delivers its power in a smooth and effortless way. The engine is a new 3.5l twin-turbo that delivers 310kW and 600Nm though the same 10-speed gearbox as in the LC coupe.
The LS even has a playful side. Switch it into Sport or Sport+ and the traction control will let you have a bit of fun as the engine note growls a little more and away you go. And it does go with a claimed 0-100km/h time of five seconds.
It is impressive because the LS500 is very large. It measures more than 5.2m, a full 137mm more than a 740i but 20mm shorter than a S450L.
It is also a lot more expensive than both these key competitors. At R2,141,400 it is R540,000 dearer than the S450L and R640,000 more than the 740i. It does have everything as standard though and the design and attention to detail, particularly inside, is just mind-blowing.
This all brings us back to the matter of perception. The LS500 is an incredible piece of engineering, design and refinement. It will be a rare sight on our roads compared to its rivals, but whether you can balance that price tag with your personal perception of the brand will be an interesting argument and one which Lexus has been battling to deal with since the LS400 first announced the arrival of the brand back in 1989.