Lexus has been working toward spreading its new design language across its entire lineup. This has been a slow process for the Japanese automaker, and the one model lagging way behind has been the flagship LS. How Lexus could allow its flagship sedan to fall so far behind is beyond me, but this will finally come to an end in 2018.
The 2018 LS sedan will not only take on Lexus’ new design language, it will undergo a radical transformation. Sure, it’s got the new, large spindle grille, the sleeker headlights, more aggressive body lines, and the revised check-mark driving lights, as expected, but its roofline now features a coupe-like swoop that so many luxury flagships have now. Around back, the new LS also features new taillights, bumper, and more.
On top of looking completely different, the new LS also has all-new dimensions. Lexus didn’t get into specific measurements, but it does note that the new LS is longer, lower, and wider than the model it replaces.
Sitting beneath this all-new body is the brand-new GA-L platform and a 123-inch wheelbase — 1.3 inches longer than the outgoing LS long-wheelbase model. The GA-L platform is a clean-sheet design and features plenty of advanced materials, including cast-aluminum suspension towers, which are 42 percent lighter up front and 50 percent lighter in the rear when compared to last year’s model. It also boasts ultra-high tensile hot stamped steel and other steel alloys throughout to help enhance its strength while also keeping things light.
Inside, Lexus upped the ante with loads of premium materials, trim options, and colors. The upgrades include available quilted seats, L-shaped seat perforations, and natural woodwork inspired by Shimamoku wood patterns.
The rear seats also received some special attention, as Lexus aims to make the LS a great car to be driven in as well. These seats boast optional heating and massage functions, and a raised ottoman. The rear seats also feature 3.4 inches of additional legroom compared to the 2017 model.
Under its hood, the base 2018 Lexus LS 500 comes with a new 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine that injects a mighty 416 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. These numbers easily best the outgoing 4.6-liter V-8’s 386 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. The V-6 engine mates to a new 10-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain launches the LS 500 to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. Rear-wheel drive will, of course, be standard, while all-wheel drive will be an available option.
For buyers seeking something a little greener, there is the LS 500h hybrid, which uses a 3.5-liter Atkinson-cycle V-6 and two electric motors to produce 354 horsepower. This engine pairs with a continuously variable transmission. This results in a 5.1-second sprint to 60 mph and up to 28 mpg combined.
Lexus will ship the 2018 LS to showrooms in February 2018 at a starting price of around $75,000.