2018 Lexus LS 500 debuts with new 3.5 litre biturbo V6, 10-speed auto, pedestrian avoidance, 24-inch HUD

2018 Lexus LS 500 debuts with new 3.5 litre biturbo V6, 10-speed auto, pedestrian avoidance, 24-inch HUD

It’s a fitting venue, North America, for the unveiling of the 2018 Lexus LS luxury sedan, considering that its ancestor, the original LS – the LS 400 – spearheaded Toyota’s thrust into the North American market with its then-infant Lexus sub-brand. Here in its fifth generation, the Lexus LS also marks the inaugural deployment of a turbocharged powerplant in the marque’s flagship.

Underpinned by the GA-L base which made its debut in the LC 500 coupe, the company’s new global architecture for luxury vehicles, a 3.5 litre, twin-turbo petrol V6 replaces the previous-generation’s naturally-aspirated V8, here producing 415 hp and 599 Nm of torque.

Power is channeled to a 10-speed torque converter automatic, which then sends drive to either the rear wheels or all four wheels in the launch variant, the LS 500.

The GA-L platform is Lexus’ stiffest yet, according to the manufacturer, and the lower, wider design of the fifth-generation LS isn’t just for looks; it is to enhance its centre of gravity as well as its weight distribution.

2018 Lexus LS 500 debuts with new 3.5 litre biturbo V6, 10-speed auto, pedestrian avoidance, 24-inch HUD

Measuring 5,235 mm long with a 3,125 mm wheelbase, 1,900 mm wide and 1,450 mm tall, the fifth-generation LS sports a wheelbase that’s 33 mm longer than that of the outgoing, fourth-generation long-wheelbase LS. Compared to the older car, the new LS is 15 mm lower, with the bonnet and boot measuring 30 mm and 40 mm lower than before, respectively.

In a couple of Lexus firsts, the LS is the first Lexus sedan to feature a six-sided window design, while the flush-surface windows integrate smoothly with the pillars. In the company’s efforts to reconcile two conflicting goals, sufficient headroom with a low roofline, the new LS employs an outer-slide-type moonroof instead of the conventional, internally retracting item.

The single most intricate item on the new LS is probably the mesh spindle grille, which Lexus says is “the result of both intense CAD development and hand-adjusting thousands of individual surfaces.” Five wheel designs on the new LS include two new designs measuring 19 inches and three designs measuring 20 inches in diameter.

The larger items wear an electroplated sputter finish for a more brilliant shine, while four out of the five designs employ a hollow-rim, resonance-combating design for aiding road noise reduction.

On the inside – where a luxury car really matters, some would say – new seating designs are applied to 28-way adjustable powered front seats which feature heating, cooling, and massage, while the dashboard design positions the information displays at a uniform height, which assists the driver with the ‘seat-in-control’ layout in operating “all systems without the need to change posture.”

At the business (person’s) end of the cabin, the rear seats also feature heating, cooling and massage functions, while a rear seat luxury package adds a raised ottoman for the greatest amount of rear legroom in any LS model yet, says Lexus. In traditional rear seat comfort emphasis, the rear seat behind the front passenger with this optional package can be reclined up to 48 degrees, with the scope to be raised by up to 24 degrees to assist the rear passenger exit the LS.

Noise control is a key factor in any luxury vehicle, and the new LS adds Active Noise Control to its kit, countering noise with opposite-phase sound waves played through the speakers to cancel out noise. As for the noise from the new engine’s exhaust, Lexus has tuned it for a “more authoritative tone,” yet designed the cabin for quiet cruising.

For sounds actually desired, the new LS features 3D-surround Mark Levinson audio with in-ceiling array speakers. Its next-generation, remote touch infotainment interface is said to be designed to mimic smartphone operation, with support for handwritten input. Alongside the 12.3-inch navigation display, the LS can be specified with an optional 24-inch, colour HUD (heads-up display) for the driver’s view – the largest HUD in the world, says Lexus.

In addition to “a high degree of passive safety for occupant protection in collisions,” the new Lexus LS packs a suite of active safety systems which includes the Lexus Safety System + and the Advanced Safety Package, which in itself includes Intuitive Pedestrian Detection with Active Steering within the lane – another world first, according to Lexus.

This setup aims to handle scenarios where it will detect a pedestrian ahead in the car’s lane, and if a collision is looming, the new LS is designed to automatically brake and avoid said pedestrian, while staying in its own lane.

It’s been ten years since the last full-model-change LS; what do you think of the latest in Japanese luxury?



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Mick Chan

Open roads and closed circuits hold great allure for Mick Chan. Driving heaven to him is exercising a playful chassis on twisty paths; prizes ergonomics and involvement over gadgetry. Spent three years at a motoring newspaper and short stint with a magazine prior to joining this website.

 

Comments

  • Derka Derk on Jan 10, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Side profile looks like Perdana lol.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 33
    • Original Sam on Jan 10, 2017 at 10:57 am

      Please work harder to reward yourself with a Lexus, else you can always get the Vios 1st and upgrade from there.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2
    • KL Has Fallen (2017) on Jan 10, 2017 at 11:09 am

      god darn same old look not boring meh? shd learn from proton and perodua facelifting capability, make a visual difference.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13
    • AutoFrenz (the original) on Jan 10, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Stunning and beautiful…kudos lexus for a job well done…the headlights are breathtaking…the side profile so coupe like and very sporty….

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0
  • heybadigol (Member) on Jan 10, 2017 at 9:26 am

    It looks fine from bumper front until the edge of the rear doors, cos after that and all the way to the back, it looks like an Infiniti. But at least Lexus is finally getting serious about turbo power. The interior is nicer than the outside, the pin stripes effect on the wood panels is quite cool. But the LFA-ish instrument cowl seems a bit odd – like it doesn’t quite gel with the rest of the dash. But maybe it’s due to the angle of the photos. But one thing is for sure, they did not hold back on the design. It makes the BMW 7 Series look pedestrian in comparison. Whether that’s good or bad is for the people who buy these cars to decide.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1
  • Much sleeker than it’s German counterparts

    wouldn’t mind being driven in one

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1
  • applepen on Jan 10, 2017 at 9:32 am

    next Perdana

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 16
  • passion on Jan 10, 2017 at 9:48 am

    low rider.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4
  • andrew on Jan 10, 2017 at 10:01 am

    very exquisite ! but the design reminds me of a Genesis only with some sharper elements.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4
  • sohhai on Jan 10, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Exterior looks like a souped up version of the 2018 Camry. Oh well, guess Toyota was going for the ‘same sausage, different length’ concept

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6
  • applegreen on Jan 10, 2017 at 10:22 am

    5.2m long? aiyo… very hard to park this car

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9
  • Mikey on Jan 10, 2017 at 10:24 am

    A Toyota is a common car for common Joe like U & me who live in a common housing estate with common facilities. Well, I think U get it.

    A Lexus is well A LEXUS or in short, it represent “LUX”. In this case, a Lexus LS 500 with new 3.5 litre biturbo V6, 10-speed auto, pedestrian avoidance with 24-inch HUD.

    This is a serious rival to the Merc S-Class, 7-series & Audi A-8. At 5235mm long, 1450mm high & 1900mm wide, this is a Behemoth. It cannot fit into our normal parking lot.

    Please don’t engage this Lexus for a sprint as U will be viewing the back of this LS-500 most of the time. It’s 0-60mph in 4.5sec is something even a M5 have 2 respect.

    The LS is equipped with Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), a system that oversees control of braking, steering, powertrain & suspension to control & suppress body movement. Handling can be further enhanced by active stabiliser bars & the Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system with independent front & rear steering.

    The Best part of this car is reserved for the back passenger. It has too many goodies/features that this space is Not enuff for it to fill.

    In fact, the LS 500 have reset the luxury benchmark. The addition of “a high degree of passive safety for occupant protection in collisions,” the new Lexus LS packs a suite of active safety systems which includes the Lexus Safety System + & the Advanced Safety Package, which in itself includes Intuitive Pedestrian Detection with Active Steering within the lane – another world first, according to Lexus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  • nabill (Member) on Jan 10, 2017 at 10:24 am

    As usual for lexus nowadays, the styling is overdone… But the interior looks classy AF, and the new engine looks great n tasty…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  • Aside from the way the windows swoop up to meet the 3/4 window in the C-pillar in a infinity sort of way, it’s a very interesting looking car, thou I’m challenged to say handsome. The interior looks to be one special place. It’s no S-class Baroque or 7-series Bauhaus, there’s a sense of Zen in the way all the metal and leather flows, clearly seen in the door cladding.

    Im only disappointed that Lexus haven’t ditch their gawd awful infotainment layout / nor it’s cluttered steering wheel. The two defining points that will definitely put people off from getting one. The engine is also surprising, a decent blown power plant to replace the decade old UZ, Toyota seems to be moving ahead with new power plant and about time.

    Lexus have done a fine job being a distinct alternative to all it’s German rivals rather than just another wannabe trying to be Germans. It has taken all the best element of Japanese design and translate it beautiful in form and design. Will it drag deep pocketed individuals away from the best of Munich, Stuttgart or even Ingolstadt? Not a chance, the Germans are still the best overall in execution, but the Big L is still simply stunning and will certainly be the most outstanding and different in a valet parking full of W222

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
  • The spindle grill looks like fishnet in oictures.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • Arrive in style with the party’s conversation piece…

    LS is desirable again..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • longjaafar on Jan 10, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    It’s exciting to see so many new models from outside the US, launching their new or concept models in the heart of the US motor industry, Detroit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
 

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