The all-new 2018 Lexus LS unveiled today will offer the industry’s first emergency brake and avoid feature of pedestrians at city speeds, in a unique system designed to also keep the luxury flagship sedan in the same lane.
The fifth generation LS receives a longer, lower and sleeker body on a new platform that dumps the current V8 engine for an all-new twin turbo 3.5-litre V6, making 415 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque, for an impressive gain over the V8 engine that’s now standard in the LS. Lexus promises uncompromising levels of smoothness by the smaller and presumably harder-working V6, helped along by a segment-first 10-speed automatic transmission.
The car actually does look like a sleek four-door coupe, which is not surprising since it’s built off an extended version of the swoopy Lexus LC coupe platform. Since the car is lower, for the first time it will offer an easy access mode that can raise the car up courtesy of the available air suspension, and flatten out the driver’s seat bolstering to aid in vehicle entry, before automatically returning to the driver’s preferred settings.
Of course, for a luxury brand that built its reputation around soothing comfort and quiet refinement, there are numerous new pampering touches inside. Shiatsu-massaging heated and cooled seats, with 28-way adjustable seats available meant to cater to any desired driving position. Similar comfort and adjustability will be available in the rear quad seat configuration, along with a raised Ottoman-style foot rest.
The interior ambient lighting system along the driver’s armrests are inspired by Japanese lanterns, with new wood accents and design flourishes that also summon traditional Japanese aesthetics, says the company.
The aforementioned brake-and-avoid system is officially called the Intuitive Pedestrian Detection with Active Steering system, which is part of Lexus’ Safety System+ that also incorporates a huge 24-inch head-up display (HUD), which flashes first as part of the emergency detection system before taking autonomous evasive action.
The 3,125 mm (123 inch) wheelbase is 35 mm longer than the current long-wheelbase LS, but engineers were still able to remove 200 pounds from the car’s platform and body. Combine those weight savings with the smaller and lighter V6 engine, and Lexus reports that not only will it hit a 4.5 second 0–96 km/h acceleration time, it will be impressively engaging to drive.
Canadians will be able to find out for themselves by the end of the year, with specific timing and pricing still unavailable..