Car News

Lexus Reveals Details on All-New 2018 LS Flagship

Lexus has just revealed new details on its all-new 2018 flagship LS sedan. It has a new engine, more safety tech, and more style - both inside and out.

Lexus has made the new LS longer, lower, and wider. It's 13 mm lower on the roofline, but the hood and trunk are about 40 mm lower than before. It's also about 40mm longer, which means there is no L extended wheelbase model this time. The LS gets more curves than before. It has bulging fenders front and rear, and a wider, bolder version of the Lexus spindle grille. It looks more full-size IS than LS.

To go with the newfound style, Lexus says the LS can dance too. That's thanks to a new platform that Lexus calls the stiffest in its history. The new LS has the automaker's latest chassis control system. It uses the car's safety systems to control motion in all directions, including yaw, roll, and pitch. The suspension uses aluminum and high-strength steel to save weight but still increase rigidity where needed.

Despite the handling upgrades, Lexus says that the ride is still LS compliant. That's thanks to an adaptive variable suspension with 650 levels of damping adjustment. That's up from just nine last year.

The engine is an all-new 3.5L V6 with a pair of turbos to make 416 hp and 442 lb-ft. That's up 30 hp and a massive 75 lb-ft over last year's V8. It has port and direct injection.

That engine, along with a 10-speed automatic, allows the LS 500 hit 100 km/h from a stop in 4.6 seconds. That's helped by standard all-wheel drive and a mechanical limited-slip center diff. The new automatic weighs the same as the old eight-speed, and Lexus says it shifts as quickly as a dual-clutch box. The transmission has steering wheel mounted paddles, but the transmission uses acceleration, braking, and cornering inputs to anticipate the driver's gear needs.

The LS hybrid uses the new multi-stage hybrid system from the LC 500h coupe. It couples an Atkinson-cycle 3.5L V6 with two electric motor/generators and a lithium-ion battery. Combined output is 354 hp for a 0-100 km/h run of 5.5 seconds. The new hybrid system lets the LS 500h run up to 140 km/h with the gas engine off.

Inside, Lexus has added more style and new features. Like 28-way power adjustable seats. The LS has six interior colour choices and five trim choices available. Almost every surface gets leather and soft-touch materials. Higher grades have quilting for the seats, and the perforations in the F-Sport model's front seats match the mesh pattern of the grille.

The wood trims use laser-cutting techniques, with some of the designs taking over a year to create. Other touches include lantern-inspired interior lighting and floating armrests. Executive trim cars get cut glass ornamentation, drawing their look from Japanese Kiriko glassware. They are created by Kiriko master craftsmen who hand cut the lines and then polish them to a soft glow.

The cabin has a new Remote Touch interface designed to mimic a smartphone. It has a huge 12.3-wide navigation display and a 24.0-inch head-up display. Lexus calls that head-up display the largest in the world.

Rear seat passengers aren't left out. It has many of the same design elements, as well as available power rear seat with Shiatsu massage and a raised ottoman. It offers 86 mm more legroom than any previous LS model. The passenger side seat can recline up to 48 degrees and raise up to 24 degrees to aid egress.

Aural luxury comes from an available Mark Levinson QLI Reference audio system. It uses 23 speakers in 16 locations along with a 2,400 watt amplifier to offer a unique audio experience.

This is the Lexus flagship, so it has lots of active safety features. Lexus Safety System + adds pre-collision detection, lane departure alert, and dynamic cruise control. New to that is active steering that can steer around collisions and front cross-traffic alert. A new pedestrian alert will automatically steer and brake to avoid a pedestrian collision. It will show the driver where the pedestrian is on the head-up display.

Lexus CoDrive and Lane Tracing Assist anticipate what the driver wants to do and track lane lines as well as the vehicle ahead to help steer the car. LTA will also notify the driver, and possibly slow down, if it believes the driver is entering a corner too quickly.

It's a safer, more powerful LS, with more style and more interior craftsmanship. The all-new Lexus LS 500 and LS 500h are slated to go on sale in Canada early next year.