A flagship has to offer something above and beyond the usual luxury car. And with impressive technology now cascading across all vehicles, premium advances are becoming harder to find. But with its upcoming LS flagship, Lexus believes it has raised the ante in the prestige-sedan segment.
Unveiled at the Detroit auto show, the 2018 Lexus LS is a marvel of powertrain, suspension, and safety advances that the automaker feels will trump its German rivals.
The LS uses a lengthened version of the GA-L platform from the stunning new LC sports coupe. Lexus says the platform lowers the car’s center of gravity and centralizes the mass. Additional high-strength steel, as well as aluminum, have been used to remove about 200 pounds from the platform. Braces in the engine compartment and stiff front and rear suspension towers add strength to the structure.
Lexus says Formula One technology went into the twin turbos of the all-new 3.5-liter V-6. It produces 415 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, and Lexus quotes a 0-60 mph run of 4.5 seconds. The 10-speed automatic is also used in the LC 500. It can be shifted with paddles, and Lexus claims it shifts as quickly as a dual-clutch transmission.
Optional suspension components include active sway bars, air suspension, and rear-axle steering.
The 2018 Lexus LS will come standard with the Lexus Safety System+, which features forward collision warnings with emergency braking, lane departure alerts, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. An Advanced Safety package will be optional. It will include a pedestrian detection system with active steering that can detect a pedestrian in the lane ahead and steer around them while staying in the lane.
Given its relatively low volume, the LS likely won’t be crash tested, but we expect it to have a sturdy structure.
Standard features of what will be called the LS 500 model will include leather upholstery, navigation, a 12.3-inch center screen, Lexus’ Remote Touch control interface now supporting handwritten inputs, active noise cancellation, and 19-inch wheels.
Options will include a 3D Mark Levinson sound system with in-ceiling speakers; a color head-up display that Lexus says is the largest on the market; air suspension with an access mode that lowers the car and opens the seat bolsters; 28-way power adjustable front seats with heating, cooling, and massage functions; a right side rear seat ottoman with a reclining seat, and 20-inch wheels.