The all- new 2018 Lexus LS reflects a strong, uniquely Japanese identity and approach to luxury according to Toshio Asahi, chief engineer for the new LS. “As such, this global pinnacle must go far beyond what the world expects from a luxury car.” He said.
To create the 2018 LS, Lexus took the approach of starting from new, reimagining what a flagship sedan should be, as if launching the brand once again. The goal was not to improve on what Lexus has done, but to exceed expectations of global luxury guests. A common thread through all LS models remains: Omotenashi, the concept of Japanese hospitality. Applied to a luxury automobile, it means taking care of the driver and passengers, anticipating their needs, attending to their comfort and helping to protect them from hazards.
“The LS is the flagship of the Lexus brand,” said chief designer, Koichi Suga. “More than any other model, it embodies the history and image of Lexus and serves as a symbol for everything the brand stands for.” Lexus designers took full advantage of the new platform, with its lower profile and length on par with that of a prestige long-wheelbase sedan, to give the new LS a stretched, ground-hugging appearance. The new LS is also the first Lexus sedan with a six-window profile, which enables excellent outward visibility. Also a first for a Lexus sedan, the flush-surface windows smoothly integrate with the side pillar. The coupe-like silhouette is not due solely to the fastback roof style. Maximizing the GA‑L platform’s low form, the pillars of the cabin taper from the central position of the occupants.
For high power, scintillating performance and excellent fuel efficiency, Lexus designed an all-new 60-degree 3.5-litre V6 engine specifically for the new LS. This engine has an undersquare design for improved thermal efficiency coupled with twin turbochargers, and has benefitted from the company’s F1 technology. This new LS engine is indicative of the more dynamic approach being taken by Lexus, offering V8-level power in a more compact package with efficiency and refinement.
The new LS 500 sees a 0-100 km/h time of 4.6 seconds. Perhaps more critical to driving enjoyment, though, is how Lexus tuned the engine and transmission to deliver instant acceleration and a constant buildup of torque toward the engine’s redline. The driver can tailor powertrain response and feel by choosing from Normal, Sport S or Sport S+ modes. Just enough of the exhaust note can be heard to enhance the sporty feel.