Nowadays, you can find cutting edge technologies in almost all vehicles and to raise the bar high is tougher than before. A flagship model needs to offer something more, and the new LS that is coming from Lexus offers a lot in the luxury sedan segment. The 2018 Lexus LS was presented at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, and it is dominant in every aspect – its powertrain is impressive, its suspension remarkable and the safety improved.
LS chief engineer, Toshio Asahi said in a press release: “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.” In order to go beyond what the world expects, a new twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine comes instead of the current 4.6-liter V8 unit. The new 3.5-liter powerplant produces 415 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, which is a significant increase from V8 figures at 386 horses and 376 lb-ft of torque. According to Lexus, the new flagship model will complete the 0-60 mph run in 4.5 seconds.
Asahi also talked about this change, and he said: “Looking five to 10 years down the line, we need to factor in the social responsibility of the environment. Alternatively, we understand the customer need of this segment is to have an engine equivalent or exceeding a V-8. With the twin-turbo, we have ensured the performance aspect exceeds what we would get in a V-8. We also wanted to be more advanced with better environmental performance and fuel efficiency to our competitors.”
The 10-speed automatic transmission is used, and it is claimed that its shift times easily compete with those of dual-clutch transmissions. Furthermore, the paddle shifters are available, but the driver’s input is not essential because Lexus uses the electronic control system. The driver can also opt for Normal, Sport or Sport+ driving mode.
According to reports, the multi-stage hybrid powertrain will be offered as well. The 2018 Lexus LS features a multilink suspension with double ball joints for the upper and lower control arms ensuring sporty yet comfortable ride. It is rumored that this vehicle is also intended for the Chinese market and that it will be equipped with a different engine than the one for other countries. The LS is the first model that is based on the new global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA-L), because of which it sees 200-pound weight loss, while the stiffness is increased. Consequently, the driver will have better control over the vehicle, the handling will be enhanced and the cabin noises reduced.
Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management chassis-control system is also new, and its purpose is to sense longitudinal, lateral and vertical motion of the car and improve traction control. Also, the rear-wheel steering is offered as an option whereas the usual safety features are expected, but what is interesting is that the world’s first system with intuitive pedestrian detection will be installed in the new 2018 Lexus LS. This means that if a person might be hit, the car automatically engages brakes or avoids the person without switching lanes.
The front fascia of the LS is aggressive, and you can see authentic spindle grille and zigzag headlights whereas the roofline extends smooth to the C-pillar and into the rear deck. In the cabin, active noise control suppression cancels certain frequencies, and it is more quiet than usual. The front seats come with heating and cooling options while getting your back massaged is a possibility as well. The seats in the rear also come with heating and cooling, and they can be reclined up to 48 degrees. Furthermore, the infotainment system retains that trackpad interface available in other Lexus models.
“The customers who are going to want to own a Lexus flagship are already surrounded by luxury on a daily basis, people who have a sharp eye for authenticity, to begin with,” Asahi said. “We wouldn’t turn their heads with a conventional premium product.”