Back in 2015, Lexus was releasing the LF-FC concept, a high-end four-door luxury coupe. Even though it was never supposed to go into production, there have been plenty of rumors saying otherwise. After nearly two years they actually went ahead and showcased the brand new 2018 Lexus LS500. This is an all new car. It is based on a new platform, it features new engines, and it is set to become a true flagship for the Japanese company.
So far it seems that Lexus is not only looking to be competitive but they might just have what it takes to become new class leaders. The LS is lighter, larger and definitely considerably better looking than before. In order to offer the best possible package, Lexus used their new GA-L platform, the same that can be found in the LC Coupe.
This is a Lexus-specific rear wheel drive chassis which has been elongated by 10 inches for the LS. However, while it may not be obvious at first, the chassis actually has quite a few parts in common with the TNGA modular platform. Thanks to that the LS was cheaper to develop and it should also be cheaper to maintain than otherwise.
The previous model of the LS was offered as a short or as a long wheelbase model. Things changed for the new car. This time around the new 2018 Lexus LS500 is available in a single wheelbase choice. The car has a 1.3 inches longer wheelbase than the previous long wheelbase model. It is also 0.6 inches lower with a 1.2 inches lower hood and 1.6 inches lower trunk.
Also being nearly 3 inches longer than before, the result is a much better proportioned car. Lexus didn’t reveal the price so far, but it seems the new LS500 might start closer to $100,000 than ever before.
2018 Lexus LS500
Those looking for a car in this class usually tend to look at cars that stand out from the crowd. Luckily though the 2018 Lexus LS500 does just that. The car manages to stand out with a massive body that looks just right. Thanks to its low roof-line, raked roof, and really low hood, the result looks a lot like a four-door coupe.
In the front, we can see the usual Lexus spindle grille, but the car’s proportions make the grille look good for once. The rear has been carefully designed to offer a sportier, yet still classy, design which is more similar to that of the LC Coupe.
Inside the cabin
Instead of taking the easy route and give it the same interior as in the LC, Lexus went ahead and designed and all new cabin for the LS500. The interior is very nicely laid out with great materials and plenty of great features. The dashboard, seats, headlines and doors are all covered in leather while on the steering wheel and dashboard there are aluminum buttons.
Both the instrument cluster and infotainment screen have been wrapped in the real curved glass which does elevate the feel inside. The driving position is also quite low, and it seems Lexus is also focusing on offering a great driving experience.
Under the skin
The 2018 Lexus LS500 will hit the market as standard with the same independent suspension as in the LC. It will also receive a standard four-wheel steering which may be needed considering the massive size. These should allow it to be not just comfortable but also a blast to drive. Under the hood, Lexus ditched the usual 5-liter V8 engine. In its place, they installed a 3.5 liter twin-turbocharged and direct injected V6. The new engine can offer up to 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque.
Despite being down on power, the extra torque should make it much better to drive than before. A rear wheel drive system is standard, and so is the Aisin 10 speed automatic. In its base form, the LS500 will hit 60 MPH in 4.5 seconds and go up to a top speed north of 150 MPH. This is considerably better than before, and it should allow Lexus to shine.
A hybrid, the LS500h, is also going to become available later down the road. This will offer slightly less power but considerably better fuel efficiency than its gasoline-powered counterpart.