After what seems like an eternity, there is finally an all-new Lexus LS, and it’s looking to take down the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series as the preeminent full-size luxury sedan.
Making its world debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, the 2018 Lexus LS was designed and built from the ground up and now rides on the company’s new global large luxury car platform (GA-L) that premiered on the LC 500 coupe in 2016.
It’s wider and sits lower, featuring a 1.3 inches longer wheelbase than the outgoing model. Thanks to the extensive use of new lightweight materials such as aluminum, Lexus engineers were able to reduce overall weight by 200lbs (91 kg).
Comfort on the road has greatly been enhanced by VDIM (Dynamics Integrated Management), a new chassis control system that monitors and controls just about every part of the sedan’s ride and handling.
On the power front, the new Lexus LS can be ordered with a twin-turbocharged V6 that produces 415 horsepower and 442lb-ft of torque, better overall performance than the old V8’s output. The engine is mated to an all-new, ten-speed automatic transmission that Lexus claims allows the large sedan to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 4.5 seconds.
Unfortunately, a V8 is no longer part of the premium equation. Are there any car enthusiasts saddened by this omission?
The new LS embraces the key elements of Lexus’ latest styling direction, as well as the now-ubiquitous coupe-like profile trend that has swept the large luxury car segment. Did the company’s exterior designers do a good job?
Inside, occupants are treated to a host of tech and convenience features fit for a king, including available 28-way power seats with heating, cooling and massage functions for those in the front; a 12.3-inch satellite-navigation display; a 3D surround Mark Levinson audio package with in-ceiling array speakers; a next-gen remote touch display with supported handwritten input; and the largest heads-up display (24 inches) in the world.
LS chief engineer Toshio Asahi sums up Lexus’ fifth-generation flagship sedan as follows:
“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.”
North American sales of the all-new, 2018 Lexus LS begin near the end of 2017. Does Lexus’ flagship sedan have what it takes to dominate the segment-leading Mercedes S-Class? Share your thoughts in the comments below.