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The current-generation Lexus LS has been around from 2007, while its facelift arrived in 2012. Four years on from that, the next-generation iteration of the car that started it all for the Lexus brand has been spied testing, still with plenty of concealment.

This is a very big sedan which appears to be growing bigger still, and our spy photographer source suggests as much; underpinned by the GA-L platform which also forms the basis of the LC coupe, the new limousine is expected to have a wheelbase in excess of 3,000 mm. As a reference, the current model measures 5,210 mm long by 1,875 mm wide, with a wheelbase of 2,970 mm.

The test mule’s relatively low nose and sharp front end hint at the new model’s sleek looks, already previewed by the LF-FC concept show last year.

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Under the hood, the standard LS recipe of a naturally-aspirated V8 – in this case, the 467 hp, 527 Nm 5.0 litre V8 from the LC 500 is a likely option – and a hybrid offering is expected, perhaps the 3.5 litre V6 hybrid powertrain from the LC 500h. Transmission is expected to be via a new 10-speed Aisin automatic gearbox on the forthcoming LS.

It will be almost exactly 10 years since the debut of the current-generation LS, when the new model makes its official appearance next year. Rumours of additional variants are abound, with a high-performance LS F thought to surface later on in the new model’s lifecycle. There are also rumours that a hydrogen fuel cell version could appear as a technology demonstrator.