Lexus has pulled the covers off its fifth-generation LS saloon flagship at the 2017 North American International Auto Show.
Inside and out, the new LS reflects a strong, ‘uniquely Japanese’ identity and approach to luxury, says Lexus. “Not only will the LS symbolise the Lexus brand, it will become the definitive new-generation luxury car embodying Japanese tradition and culture,” said Toshio Asahi, chief engineer for the new LS. “As such, this global pinnacle must go far beyond what the world expects from a luxury car.”
Longer and lower than the outgoing model, the all-new LS debuts a new bold design with a coupe-like silhouette, yet offering the spaciousness of saloon. The flagship model is built on a new platform for ‘greatest-ever’ LS agility and comfort.
Power comes from an all-new 3.5-litre V6 engine specifically for the new LS, with all-new twin turbos developed through the company’s F1 technology. Offering ‘V8-level power without sacrificing fuel economy’ it pumps out 415 hp for a projected 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds (RWD). The new engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, which already debuted in the Lexus LC 500, with shifting via paddles available.
Lexus says it tuned the exhaust to convey a more ‘authoritative tone’, yet also designed the cabin to ensure ‘utterly quiet cruising’. New sound suppression methods further hush the environment compared to previous LS models.
“The LS is the flagship of the Lexus brand,” said chief designer, Koichi Suga. “More than any other model, it embodies the history and image of Lexus and serves as a symbol for everything the brand stands for.”
Lexus says its designers took full advantage of the new platform, with its lower profile and length on par with that of a prestige long-wheelbase saloons, to give the new LS a stretched, ground-hugging appearance. Compared to the current LS, the new model is about 0.6 inches lower. To preserve headroom with the lower profile, the new LS features an outer slide-type ‘moonroof’.
The LS debuts five wheel designs, including two new 19- and three 20-inch wheel designs. All but one of the wheel designs feature a hollow rim structure that helps reduce the resonance sound generated by the tyres.
Available in approximately 90 countries, the new Lexus LS goes on sale in US at the tail end of 2017, with other markets yet to be confirmed.