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From rags to riches: Hyundai Elantra and Lexus LS460 priced

Unless Hyundai execs somehow lose their marbles and make a play for a segment beyond their reach, this may be the only time that Lexus and Hyundai will share space in the same post. Being that both manufactures released pricing details on their newest offerings yesterday, we thought it best to keep you informed and kill two birds with one post, errr... stone.

Starting at the, ahem, lower end of the spectrum, Hyundai announced that their redesigned 2007 Elantra will come in at $670 below its predecessor beginning this month. The new mid-segment sedan will start at $13,995, including shipping, and will come standard with the mundane; tach, variable wipers, armrest with cup holders, and the sublime; power heated mirrors, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and side curtain airbags. Those last three features may have only been found on the high dollar vehicles of yesteryear, which brings us to the antithesis of the Elantra, the LS460.

Lexus' flagship sedan is packed with more features than Blockbuster and priced accordingly. Available in both standard and long wheelbase trim, the LS460 will begin at $61,000 (MSRP), with their first ever 'L' model available for an extra ten large. A newly developed 4.6-liter V8, producing 380 HP, will send power through an eight-speed automatic, another first for the manufacturer. A host of acronyms will thwart you from going farming with your new luxo-cruiser, including VSC for stability,
VDM for more stability, electric power steering (EPS) and ABS with ECB for braking control. Along with the active safety gizmos, the LS will also be equipped with a pre-collision system that makes use of the active cruise control and, if all else fails, the 460 comes standard with eight air bags, including matching knee airbags for both driver and passenger.

While not thinking about the possibility of carnage, Lexus sought to shove as many electronic toys into the LS as they could fit, while still keeping fuel efficiency in the 'acceptable' realm. Some standouts include a sat-nav with a 2,000 song capacity hard-drive, a 19-speaker, Mark Levinson surround sound setup, a ceiling mounted, nine-inch VGA screen, four-zone climate control, foldout tables and, if you're the right-rear passenger, a reclining seat, complete with massage and ottoman.

Further exploration of the automotive opulence continues in the press release, after the jump.

[Sources: Auto News (sub. req.) and ToMoCo]


Lexus Announces Pricing on 2007 LS 460 and LS 460 L Full-Size Luxury Sedans
10/06/2006 Torrance, CA

October 6, 2006 – Torrance, CA - Lexus today announced pricing for the all-new 2007 LS 460 and the company's first-ever long-wheelbase model, the LS 460 L. The fourth-generation LS blends new levels of performance, sophistication, contemporary styling, and luxury refinements while redefining the full-size luxury-sedan segment. With a base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $61,000 for the LS 460 and $71,000 for the LS 460 L, Lexus' new flagship luxury sedans will represent a compelling value in their segments.

"The new LS continues the heritage set by our original flagship luxury sedan by setting new standards in its class," said Bob Carter, Lexus Division group vice president and general manager. "This sedan has moved the Lexus brand beyond previous achievements in the areas of craftsmanship, styling, performance, and production innovation."

The new LS achieves a segment-leading combination of acceleration performance and excellent fuel consumption with an all-new 4.6-liter V8 engine mated to the world's first eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine, Lexus' first all-new V8 since the brand's launch, produces an impressive 380 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. It features Variable Valve Timing with intelligence and the world's first Electronically controlled intake cam (VVT-iE).

The dual VVT-iE combination of electrically controlled intake and hydraulically controlled exhaust achieves superior engine-startup operation and high-output performance. The LS 460 will travel from zero to 60 miles per hour in approximately 5.4 seconds while achieving an estimated 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway, 18 city/27 highway for the LS 460 L, by the EPA testing method. The LS sedans also achieve an Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle II (ULEV II) rating.

In an effort to create a more intelligent vehicle, Lexus has combined advanced active and passive safety technology into a consolidated system. Among the new active features on the LS is the next-generation Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) stability system, which integrates and manages a new Electronically Controlled Brake (ECB) system, Electronic Power Steering (EPS), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), and engine torque via the electronically controlled throttle. The driver can also choose to completely disable the VSC system via a console-mounted button. In addition to the active safety features, the new LS has eight standard airbags, including a twin-chamber front passenger airbag with both driver and passenger knee airbags, and a potential of ten airbags with option packages.

Both LS models include a number of standard luxury features including SmartAccess keyless entry with push-button start/stop, an electronic parking brake, a 10-speaker Lexus Premium Audio system, 18-inch nine-spoke aluminum alloy wheels, and seven new exterior colors. The paint is applied by a new proprietary paint process that includes double hand sanding.

Optional comfort and convenience attributes on the LS include a pre-collision system with dynamic radar cruise control, Lexus Link®, and Intuitive Park Assist.

The long-wheelbase LS 460 L brings with it 4.8 inches of additional space and a long list of outstanding standard conveniences, including fifth-generation Lexus Navigation with factory-installed XM Satellite Radio with NavTraffic, climate-controlled front seats, heated rear seats, a new heated steering wheel, power rear sunshade, a new one-touch open/close power trunk, power door closers, headlamp washers, and laminated side glass, which is exclusive to the long wheelbase.

The new navigation system includes a hard disk drive (HDD) for faster calculations. The HDD can also store as many as 2,000 digital songs when partnered with the optional Mark Levinson® Reference Surround Sound system. The specially developed 19-speaker, 450-watt discrete 5.1 Mark Levinson® audio system creates a new benchmark for automotive sound with its theater-level entertainment experience.

The Executive Class Seating Package offered on the LS 460 L includes a rear-seat entertainment system featuring the world's first ceiling-mounted 3.0 VGA high-quality display with a nine-inch screen that operates with an electronic-motor open/close function. It also incorporates a right rear-seat recliner with multifunction massage and an ottoman leg rest, a four-zone independent front and rear air conditioning system with air purification and the world's first ceiling climate diffusers, rear-door power sunshades, and a fixed rear console with foldout table.

The all-new LS sedans offer the Advanced Parking Guidance System (APGS) as an option to assist with parallel and back-in parking. With this optional technology, once the driver has correctly positioned the car and identified the desired parking spot via the nav screen, APGS utilizes the back-up camera, parking sonar sensors and electric power steering system to automatically guide the car into the spot, while the driver controls speed via braking.

The all-new LS 460 and LS 460 L both come with a standard 48-month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48-months/unlimited miles and a special 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty unique to both Lexus and the luxury segment.

The 2007 Lexus LS 460 and LS 460 L, which go on sale on October 20, will represent a strong value in their segments with dynamic styling, advanced technologies, increased size, and improved performance and craftsmanship.

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