Lexus has presented the 2018 LS in its fifth-generation guise; on the inside and out, the new LS reflects a strong, uniquely Japanese identity and approach to luxury and offers innovative technology with a human touch.
The 2018 Lexus LS debuts a strikingly sleek and bold design with a coupe-like silhouette. The car’s lower profile and length give the new LS a stretched, ground-hugging appearance. Front highlights include reworked spindle grille mesh and the narrow slit-like 3-projector light that merges with an L-shaped LED light.
The coupe-like silhouette is not due solely to the fastback roof style. Maximizing the new platform’s low form, the pillars of the cabin taper from the central position of the occupants. Together with the contrast between the pulled-in doors and the front and rear fenders that flare away from the central position of the occupants, this creates a dynamic form.
A front to the rear shoulder line gives the vehicle’s basic posture a low stance with a horizontal axis and a bold appearance. Additionally, the axes of the dramatically flared front and rear fenders are slanted forwards, creating a dynamic impression that evokes driving performance. An outer slide-type moonroof preserves headroom with the lower roofline.
The 2018 LS debuts two new 19-inch wheel designs and three 20-inch wheel designs, two of which are also new. The 20-inch premium wheels employ a brilliant appearance created using an electroplating technique known as sputtering. All but one (F Sport) of the new wheel designs feature a hollow rim structure that helps reduce resonant sounds generated by the tyres.
Inside, the new LS is offered with new seating designs along with the available 28-way power adjustable front seats. Combining electric motors with a new pneumatic control system allows fine adjustment of the entire seat with minimal weight and bulk. In the rear seats, there are two dedicated heaters located in the shoulder and lower back areas.
The driver stares at the organically shaped dash design clusters. Information is displayed at a uniform height to support the “seat-in-control” layout that emphasizes the driver’s ability to operate all systems without changing body posture.
The 2018 LS 500 offers a choice of nine interior color schemes, plus two for the F Sport (Black and Circuit Red). In addition, nine choices in interior trim are available, including the exclusive Naguri-style aluminum for the F Sport. Furthermore, the higher-grade seats feature quilting, and the perforation pattern on the F Sport front seats has the same L-shaped mesh pattern as the car’s front grille.
An all-new 60-degree 3.5-liter V6 engine has been specifically made available for the new LS. The new LS engine offers the output one would expect in a flagship sedan, 416 horsepower and 600 Nm (442 lb-ft) of torque. The engine is paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission for a premium passenger car, for the first time. The 10-speed gearbox first appeared in the Lexus LC 500.
Lexus LS Hybrid
The 2018 LS Hybrid takes an entirely different approach than the previous LS Hybrid model. The new Multi Stage Hybrid System, which debuted in the LC 500h Coupe, combines a naturally aspirated Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with two electric motor/generators and uses a compact, lightweight lithium-ion battery. D-4S direct fuel injection and lightweight valvetrain components allow a 6,600-rpm redline, with Dual Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (Dual VVT-i) ensuring ample torque across the engine speed range. Combined system output of the internal combustion engine with the electric traction system is 354 hp, enabling the LS 500h to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in a little over 5.1 seconds (rear wheel version).
The new system is based on the electronically controlled planetary continuously variable transmission of Lexus Hybrid Synergy Drive coupled to an all-new four-speed automatic gear set at the output stage. The two systems work together to expand the overall range of gearing and increase operation of the V6 engine across a wider speed range than previous hybrids. In M mode, the two gearsets are controlled together to provide the effect of 10 ratios, giving the LS 500h a highly engaging driving feel and allowing the driver to shift through the ratios with paddle shifters.
For performance oriented LS variants, there are the GS F and RC F, both track-tuned maximum-performance machines. The F Sport versions, including the new LS 500 F Sport RWD, instill a more engaging driving spirit through carefully applied chassis tuning and enhancements, while still emphasizing exceptional comfort.
When it comes to safety, the LS is equipped with Lexus’ Integrated Safety Management Concept, plus the Lexus Safety System+; available with optional additional equipment.