The 2018 Lexus LS arrives in Detroit as the new Lexus flagship, with a new design, a new platform and an all-new 3.5 litre V6 engine.
The wheel comes full circle for Lexus as the all new Lexus LS is revealed at the Detroit Motor Show, 28 years on from the arrival of the original, game-changing LS in 1989.
But what Lexus has done with the latest LS is not game changing in the way the original car – with its Japanese take on a Mercedes S Class – was, but it does make the LS fit for today and able to stand up0 to the German competition.
New styling brings a coupe look to the big LS saloon, but does so without compromising interior space, and the big spindle grille shouts Lexus without being brash.
Sitting on a version of the same platform as the Lexus LC Coupe, the LOS promises to be far more wieldy and dynamic than the current car – which really isn’t – as well as promising the isolated waft the current LS does so well.
Power comes from a new twin turbo 3.5 litre V6 which delivers a fairly useful 409bhp and 442lb/ft of torque, driving the rear wheels through a ten-speed automatic and hitting 62mph in a respectable 4.5 seconds. There will also be a 4WD version, but Lexus ar light on details at the moment.
The LS comes with what Lexus call Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), an integration of settings for braking, suspension, engine and steering, with air suspension offered as an option to the multi-link, as is Lexus Dynamic Handling with active stabiliser bars and independent front and rear steering.
Inside is a Japanese take on luxury, with very high quality materials, active noise suppression and a plethora of luxury and safety stuff including heated and cooled seats, ambient lighting inspired by Japanese lanterns, Shimamoku wood inspirations, Mark Levinson sound, 12.3″ navigation display and optional 24-inch colour head-up display.
The safety stuff includes Lexus Safety System+ with intuitive pedestrian detection and active steering to avoid colliding with wayward pedestrians, and Lexus CoDrive.
It’s going to be at least the end of 2017 before the Lexus LS goes on sale in the UK, and although its sales volume isn’t going to frighten BMW or Mercedes (although it may dig in to Jaguar), the new LS does look an appealing alternative.