The global flagship sedan from Lexus is all-new for the 2018 model year. According to the automaker, the fifth-generation LS is longer, lower, wider and more powerful than ever and borrows several technologies from their latest luxury coupe, the LC.
“Not only will the LS symbolize the Lexus brand, it will become the definitive new-generation luxury car embodying Japanese tradition and culture. As such, this global pinnacle must go far beyond what the world expects from a luxury car,” said Toshio Asahi, chief engineer for the new Lexus LS.
The 2018 LS aims to reimage the flagship luxury sedan. Sitting on an all-new global architecture for luxury vehicles called the GA-L, the new rear-wheel-drive platform is an extended platform derived from the LC 500 coupe. With it, Lexus claimed the new LS will deliver better riding comfort and improved driving dynamics.
The 2018 LS measures in at: 5,235mm long, 1,900mm wide, 1,450mm tall and has a 3,125mm wheelbase.
Design-wise, the 2018 LS looks sleeker thanks to the lower profile and longer body. Still following the 'Yet' philosophy from the first-generation model, the new LS still features the three-box design while incorporating a 'ground-hugging' appearance. Compared to the previous generation, the 2018 model sits 15mm lower than before.
The signature spindle grill has been heavily revised for the 2018 LS while the headlights take styling cues from the RC coupe. Apart from that, the new LS is the first model from Lexus to have a six-side window design thanks to the coupe-like appearance. It even has 'flush-surface' windows that seamlessly integrate with the side pillar.
Five wheel designs will be available for the new flagship sedan, including two 19- and three 20-inch designs. The larger set gets a distinct shine made possible with an electroplating technique called sputtering. Meanwhile, the rear section also gets the aggressive design courtesy of quarter-flanking taillights, dual exhaust pipes and molded trunklid spoiler.
Inside, new seating designs with 28-way power adjustability, heating, cooling and massage function were installed for the front seats. The sweeping dashboard design is also a key feature according to Lexus as it emphaisizes better driver ergonomics. The rear seats also get the same level of comfort and equipment and even benefits from Shiatsu massage and reclining function up to 48-degrees.
In terms of trim, natural woodwork, aluminum pieces and new dark-bright contrast interior finishes were also made available to offer a personalized cabin design. On the other hand, Active Noise Control (ANC), hushes the cabin from outside noise. The optional Mark-Levinson premium audio system is still available for the 2018 LS and is channeled through the car's touchscreen infotainment. Beyond that, the LS also comes with a 12.3-inch navigation display and an optional 24-inch color heads-up display, the largest in the world according to Lexus.
Driving the 2018 LS is not a V8, but a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6. Lexus says the twin-turbo system was developed through the company's F1 technology, offering V8 power without sacrificing fuel economy. It cranks out 420 PS and 599 Nm of torque. With it, Lexus claims the 2018 LS can go from 0 – 97 km/h in just 4.5 seconds. To ensure smooth power delivery, Lexus redesigned the engine mounts, installed a ladder frame structure on the cylinder block and fitted it with electric wastegates.
Like the LC 500, the new LS gets a 10-speed automatic transmission that shifts like a dual-clutch gearbox even though it's a torque converter according to Lexus. Paddle shifters will come as standard on the 2018 LS.
The Lexus Safety System + will be standard equipment on the new LS, along with the Advanced Safety Package. Some of the features available on the aforementioned safety kit are: pedestrian detection, active steering, forward collision mitigation, automatic braking and lane keep assist as such.
"The LS is the flagship of the Lexus brand. More than any other model, it embodies the history and image of Lexus and serves as a symbol for everything the brand stands for," said Koichi Suga, chief designer for the LS.
Lexus will begin accepting orders for the new LS by the end of the year.