An all-new 2018 Lexus LS sedan was revealed at the Detroit Auto Show, taking on an entirely new level of power, luxury and style but taking a different path than before in many respects.
The fifth-generation Lexus LS has arguably taken a radical turn in all aspects of its design as well as its engineering. The all-new luxury flagship sedan marks a number of significant firsts for Lexus as well as the class in which it will compete.
Longer, lower and wider, the first thing you notice is the new silhouette with its extended passenger cabin with glass spanning well past the rear door. It’s standard 123-inch wheelbase is almost two inches longer than the extended length 2017 LS 460 L.
With an overall length of 206-inches, the footprint itself only gains an inch but when you combine its 1-inch lower overall height it just has a much sleeker and less bulky appearance than ever before. Add in the fastback coupe style roofline, the LS has become much less formal.
At the front is a familiar family style of the Spindle Grille bookended by tripple-beam LED headlamps. But, notice how the fender lines introduce a new rounded wheel arch element to its shape up front, breaking a little bit of expectation there I think.
From the rear view, the LS’s new swept roofline make take some getting used to for some, looking similar in form to say, a Tesla Model S. It ties in well to the latest iteration of Lexus angular tail light design but does offer up a smaller trunk opening than before.
Though it has grown substantially in size, the new LS body and platform Lexus tells us is some 200 pounds lighter. Aside a stiffer lighter body structure with extensive use of aluminum in its suspension, they saved a lot of weight by replacing its big V8 with something smaller.
Powering the 2018 Lexus LS will be an all-new 3.5 liter twin-turbo V6 engine mated to a segment first 20-speed automatic transmission. While some might wince at the passing of traditional V8 thrum, the new V6 offers a good deal more thrust with 415 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque.
Lexus tells us that’s good for 0-60 mph in about 4.5 seconds in the rear-wheel drive model, slightly slower with all-wheel drive. As expected, a great deal of focus has been placed on smoothness and refinement with the new engine, in addition to electronic controls to make power immediate. We’ll know more when we drive one.
From behind the wheel, the LS introduces another major shift in its interior design. Yes it has all the expected top-end leathers and woods but notice the shape and detail in the dash. It actually has what you might call a cockpit, a place far more driver focused than before.
Not to worry thought, rear seat passengers can still be coddled with more leg room and package options that can give them Shiatsu massage with a raised ottoman and the ability to recline and raise the seat in many ways.
We’ve only touched the surface here as the new 2018 Lexus LS has many comprehensive new design and feature details that will be revealed as we get closer to its on sale date late this year.