Sleek, sexy and stylish, the 2018 Lexus LS promises to drop jaws and turn heads in ways never done before by the previous generation. Considered the crown jewel of the “L” halo vehicles, this luxury sedan sits atop of the brand’s lineup along with the Lexus LX and the all-new Lexus LC. And competes with such cars as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Jaguar XJ, Infiniti Q70, Audi A8 and BMW 7-Series.
The business end boasts an aggressive, yet elegant rendition of the spindle grille mesh, surrounded by arching shoulders, and slit-like 3-projector lamps with an L-shaped LED daytime running lights. The fastback roof-style gives the LS a coupe-like silhouette for a sporty feel enhanced by rear fenders that flare away. The Global Architecture for luxury (GA-L) platform offers a low profile amped by a front to rear shoulder line that gives the vehicle an even bolder appearance.
Once you open the door and step inside, you’ll find all manner of tasty treats. The cabin is designed to envelop driver and passenger with luxury befitting the opulent exterior, intricate ornamentations including Shimamoku wood patterns, Kiriko Cut glass, and ventilated leather seats offered in a number of hues can be heated and cooled and include an available 28-way power adjustment and massage.
There’s a generous helping of legroom around the back and also available are rear seats with options for heating and three full-body or target area massage all controlled by a touchpad located on the center armrest. The Executive Package also affords the passenger side rear seat to recline up to 48 degrees, a raised ottoman, and a 24-degree lift assists for egress.
Further technology features include the next-generation Remote Touch Interface, which supports handwritten input, 12.3-inch wide navigation display, and an optional 24-inch color head-up display that projects multiple information to the driver. Lexus’ Safety System+ — which include front Pre-Collision System (PCS) that detects vehicles and pedestrians (but not animals. Sorry, Fido), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Land-Keep Assist and Lane Departure Alert — is further boosted by the available Advanced Package that adds Intelligent High Beam, Front Cross-Traffic Alert, Road Sign Assist, Pedestrian Alert, lateral side PCS, Active Steering Assist, and Lane Trace Assist.
On the road, the LS didn’t disappoint by offering a nice balance of comfort and performance. There are 416 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque on tap with the all-new twin-turbo V6 that’s paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The 500h has 354 horses — a total system output of the internal combustion engine combined with the electric traction system. Zero to 60 times is 4.6 seconds for the RWD gas version, and 5.1 seconds for the hybrid variant. Fuel economy is rated at 25 city/33 highway/28 combined for the 500 and 25 city/33 highway/ 28 combined for the 500h. Choosing from Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport S or Sport S+ drive modes customizes both versions’ powertrain response and feel.
The ride is extremely quiet and isolated from shocks and bumps without the boat-ride feel all thanks to the cast-aluminum front and rear suspension towers. Not missing an opportunity to add fun for the driver, Lexus developed an all-new multilink front suspension with double ball joints for the upper and lower control arms to send quicker feedback to the steering and increase wheel control. The available F-Sport trim for the LC 500 further sharpens the suspension and response.
There’s a lot to like about the 2018 Lexus 500 and 500h. This 5th generation rides and performs better than ever and destined to bring continued success to the Lexus. Not just because current Lexus clients are loyal to the brand, but the new model will easily attract new buyers thanks to the new sleek styling of the exterior and interior, technology and driving experience, and competitive pricing that begins at $75,000.