2018 Lexus LS: Once Again at the Top of Its Class?

It’s possible that Lexus will never be able to make as big a splash as it did when the first LS400 made its debut at the 1989 Detroit auto show. Sure, the new LC coupeis ridiculously cool, and the RX crossover sells in big numbers, but no other vehicle in Lexus’s history has been as much a signal of intent as that original LS was. That’s the true power of a flagship, and Lexus is looking to recapture some of that same enthralling aura with the all-new 2018 Lexus LS500 sedan, debuting nearly three decades later.

To re-establish the LS’s credentials in the segment it once upended, Lexus is making this fifth-generation luxury sedan larger, more powerful, and more stylish than ever before. The front end, with its prominent spindle grille and sharply angled front headlights, is mostly in keeping with Lexus’s current design language. But beyond that, the designers have taken a few more liberties with the car’s profile, introducing a flowing character line along the side and softer, more rounded forms around the rear fenders; they’re refreshing changes from the sharper, creased aesthetic found across the rest of the Lexus lineup. The LS also is breaking tradition from its typically upright, conventional three-box shape with more rakish rear glass and a D-pillar that curves dramatically downward, both of which suggest that Lexus is keen to draw comparisons with cars such as the Audi A7 and the Porsche Panamera.

One Size Fits All

Underneath the dramatic new sheetmetal is a version of the same Global Architecture-Luxury (GA-L) platform used in the LC, although the wheelbase is stretched by 10 inches for duty in the four-door. Lexus no longer is offering a choice between standard- and long-wheelbase versions, instead going with a single size to better align the LS with its German rivals in the U.S. market (the Audi A8, the Mercedes-Benz S-class and the BMW 7-series are sold here only in long-wheelbase form). The new LS’s overall length is up by one inch over the outgoing long-wheelbase LS, which puts the new car in the same size neighborhood as the Benz and the BMW. And the car is lower and wider now, which is said to impart it with a lower center of gravity for improved handling and responses.

The same front and rear multilink suspension setup that imbues the LC with spirited handling is employed in the LS, as is a rear-wheel-steering system. Air springs are optional; cars so equipped have an access mode that automatically raises the sedan for easier entry and exit.

All-New Powertrain

For now, Lexus is showing only the LS500 model, which uses an all-new, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected 3.5-liter V-6. Output is 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, numbers that put this six-cylinder somewhat in the hunt with competitors’ V-8s, including the 449-hp Mercedes-Benz S550 and the 445-hp BMW 750i. It mates with an Aisin-supplied 10-speed automatic transmission, with rear-wheel drive standard and all-wheel drive optional. A claimed zero-to-60-mph time of 4.5 seconds for the rear-drive model is impressive, no surprise given the new engine’s 29-hp and 75-lb-ft boost over the rear-drive version of the outgoing LS460 with its 4.6-liter V-8.

A hybrid model could join the lineup later on; although Lexus isn’t releasing any details yet, it likely will use the same multi-stage hybrid setup from the LC500h. There’s also no mention of an F Sport trim level for the new LS, although we suspect it will be added sooner rather than later.

Plush, Posh, and Premium

Lexus built its reputation largely on impeccable assembly quality inside and out, and the new LS looks to carry that torch. Plush, buttery-smooth leather pervades the cabin, and a beautifully sculpted dashboard design is more daring than anything you’ll find in the current Lexus showroom. Customers can choose among several different types of wood trim, and ambient lighting is said to be inspired by Japanese lanterns. Each door panel is artfully crafted, too, incorporating a gorgeous wood inlay, a highly detailed speaker grille, and an armrest that appears to be floating. All in all, the new LS appears to rival the wow factor of the latest Mercedes-Benz S-class’s interior, at least based on first impressions.

A large, 12.3-inch central display screen is controlled by a new version of Lexus’s remote touch interface, with a new, supposedly more smartphone-like operation that should improve on the clunkiness of the current mouse-like pad. As in the LC, twist knobs to select the drive mode and stability-control setting are mounted on top of the gauge pod, a nod to Lexus’s LFA supercar.

Lavishly appointed 28-way power front seats with a massage function are an option, and a rear-seat luxury package offers heating, cooling, and massage for passengers there. To ensure that the rakish roofline does not impede rear-seat headroom too much, the rear headliner is scooped out, and the sunroof slides up and out rather than retracting into the roof.

Curiously, Lexus is relatively mum on the LS’s semi-autonomous driving capability, saying only that the LS500 will offer the Lexus Safety System + array of features (adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, automated emergency braking, and automatic high-beams) along with an optional Advanced Safety package. The latter will include a new pedestrian-detection system that can brake and steer the car around a pedestrian.

With the size, the presence, and the lavish interior of a true flagship sedan, expect the 2018 LS’s price point to rise accordingly. It’s currently a bargain alternative to the Germans, with its starting MSRP of $73,495, but the new model’s starting cost should rise closer to six figures, as have the S550 (base price, $97,525) and the 750i (base price, $95,595). The LS500 will go on sale by the end of 2017.



EPA Fuel Economy Est – Hwy : MPG 23
Cruising Range – City : mi 355.20
EPA Fuel Economy Est – City : MPG 16
Fuel Economy Est-Combined : MPG 18
Cruising Range – Hwy : mi 510.60
EPA MPG Equivalent – City : N/A
EPA MPG Equivalent – Hwy : N/A
EPA MPG Equivalent – Combined : N/A
Battery Range : mi N/A

Fuel Tank

Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx : gal 22.2
Aux Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx : gal N/A

Cargo Area Dimensions

Trunk Volume : ft³ 18


Brake Type : N/A
Brake ABS System : 4-Wheel
Brake ABS System (Second Line) : N/A
Disc – Front (Yes or ) : Yes
Disc – Rear (Yes or ) : Yes
Front Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness : in 14.8
Rear Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness : in 13.1
Drum – Rear (Yes or ) :
Rear Drum Diam x Width : in


Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year : 9.8
EPA Greenhouse Gas Score : N/A


Drivetrain : All Wheel Drive
Trans Order Code :
Trans Type : 8
Trans Description Cont. : Automatic w/OD
Trans Description Cont. Again :
First Gear Ratio (:1) : 4.60
Second Gear Ratio (:1) : 2.72
Third Gear Ratio (:1) : 1.86
Fourth Gear Ratio (:1) : 1.46
Fifth Gear Ratio (:1) : 1.23
Sixth Gear Ratio (:1) : 1.00
Reverse Ratio (:1) : 2.18
Clutch Size : in N/A
Final Drive Axle Ratio (:1) : 3.13
Seventh Gear Ratio (:1) : 0.82
Eighth Gear Ratio (:1) : 0.69


EPA Classification : Mid-Size Cars

Interior Dimensions

Passenger Capacity : 5
Passenger Volume : ft³ N/A
Front Head Room : in 38
Front Leg Room : in 43.7
Front Shoulder Room : in 58.5
Front Hip Room : in 55.4
Second Head Room : in 38
Second Leg Room : in 35.8
Second Shoulder Room : in 56.9
Second Hip Room : in 55.5

Weight Information

Base Curb Weight : lbs 4717


Dead Weight Hitch – Max Trailer Wt. : lbs N/A
Dead Weight Hitch – Max Tongue Wt. : lbs N/A
Wt Distributing Hitch – Max Trailer Wt. : lbs N/A
Wt Distributing Hitch – Max Tongue Wt. : lbs N/A


Engine Order Code :
Engine Type : Premium Unleaded V-8
Displacement : 4.6 L/281
Fuel System : Port/Direct Injection
SAE Net Horsepower @ RPM : 360 @ 6400
SAE Net Torque @ RPM : 347 @ 4100


Cold Cranking Amps @ 0° F (Primary) : N/A
Maximum Alternator Capacity (amps) : 100

Cooling System

Total Cooling System Capacity : qts N/A


Suspension Type – Front : Multi-Link
Suspension Type – Rear : Multi-Link
Suspension Type – Front (Cont.) : Multi-Link
Suspension Type – Rear (Cont.) : Multi-Link
Shock Absorber Diameter – Front : mm N/A
Shock Absorber Diameter – Rear : mm N/A
Stabilizer Bar Diameter – Front : in N/A
Stabilizer Bar Diameter – Rear : in N/A


Front Tire Order Code :
Rear Tire Order Code :
Spare Tire Order Code :
Front Tire Size : P245/45VR19
Rear Tire Size : P245/45VR19
Spare Tire Size : Full-Size


Front Wheel Size : in 19 X 8
Rear Wheel Size : in 19 X 8
Spare Wheel Size : in Full-Size
Front Wheel Material : Forged Aluminum
Rear Wheel Material : Forged Aluminum
Spare Wheel Material : Aluminum


Steering Type : Rack-Pinion
Steering Ratio (:1), Overall : N/A
Lock to Lock Turns (Steering) : N/A
Turning Diameter – Curb to Curb : ft 38
Turning Diameter – Wall to Wall : ft N/A

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase : in 116.9
Length, Overall : in 200
Width, Max w/o mirrors : in 73.8
Height, Overall : in 57.3
Track Width, Front : in 63.6
Track Width, Rear : in 63.6
Min Ground Clearance : in 4.7
Liftover Height : in N/A



Engine: 4.6L V8 32V DOHC VVT-iE -inc: electrically controlled intake
Transmission: 8-Speed Sequential Shift Automatic
Transmission w/Driver Selectable Mode
Full-Time All-Wheel Drive
Limited Slip Differential
3.13 Axle Ratio
55-Amp/Hr Maintenance-Free Battery
100 Amp Alternator
5680# Gvwr
Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
Electric Power-Assist Steering
22.2 Gal. Fuel Tank
Dual Stainless Steel Exhaust w/Chrome Tailpipe Finisher
Permanent Locking Hubs
Multi-Link Front Suspension
Multi-Link Rear Suspension
Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front And Rear Vented Discs, Brake Assist, Hill Hold Control and Electric Parking Brake


Wheels: 19″ x 8J Forged Alloy
Tires: P245/45R19 AS
Aluminum Spare Wheel
Full-Size Spare Tire Mounted Inside Under Cargo
Clearcoat Paint
Express Open/Close Sliding And Tilting Glass 1st Row Sunroof w/Sunshade
Body-Colored Front Bumper
Body-Colored Rear Bumper
Body-Colored Bodyside Moldings and Chrome Bodyside Insert
Chrome Side Windows Trim, Body-Colored Front Windshield Trim and Body-Colored Rear Window Trim
Chrome Door Handles
Body-Colored Power w/Tilt Down Heated Auto Dimming Side Mirrors w/Power Folding and Turn Signal Indicator
Fixed Rear Window w/Defroster
Light Tinted Glass
Front Windshield -inc: Sun Visor Strip
Speed Sensitive Rain Detecting Variable Intermittent Wipers w/Heated Wiper Park
Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
Chrome Grille
Front License Plate Bracket
Trunk Rear Cargo Access
Front Fog Lamps
Perimeter/Approach Lights
LED Brakelights
Fully Automatic Projector Beam High Intensity Low/High Beam Daytime Running Auto-Leveling Directionally Adaptive Headlamps w/Washer and Delay-Off
Door Auto-Latch
Laminated Glass


Radio: AM/FM/HD Stereo w/CD Player -inc: MP3/WMA capability, 10 speakers including subwoofer, Automatic Sound Levelizer (ASL), Digital Sound Processor (DSP), HD Radio w/iTunes tagging, integrated SiriusXM satellite radio receiver, MP3 and USB/iPod audio input plugs, streaming audio via Bluetooth, back-up camera w/dynamic grid lines, Bluetooth hands free phone and automatic phonebook download capabilities, Siri Eyes Free mode w/select and play music from iTunes, call contacts, hear and compose text messages and emails, hear sports scores, stock and weather information, use maps and get directions (turn-by-turn navigation can be requested through Siri and Apple maps) map displayed on phone screen, perform POI searches, requested search information read back to driver over vehicle audio system, read calendar and notification information, add reminders, calendar appointments and notes, Lexus Enform App Suite (subscription free): Destination Search, Yelp, iHeartRadio, Facebook Places, Movietickets.com, OpenTable, Pandora, Slacker, Stocks, Fuel Prices, Sports and Lexus Enform Destination Services: Destination Assist, and eDestination (one-year trial subscription included, requires Lexus Enform Safety Connect), Lexus Navigation System, 3D maps, preset frequently used routes, ETA for routes w/calculations based on speed limit, current traffic and predictive traffic data based on Clear Channel Total Traffic Network in 15 minute increments, speed limit display on road traveled, traffic detour preview w/alternate route options, voice recognition w/1-shot address entry, steering wheel control of onboard/offboard voice recognition, voice recognition guidance volume level control and hint screens, radio cache for pausing live AM/FM radio and HD Radio, traffic and weather data provided via HD Radio
Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Steering Wheel Controls, Radio Data System, DVD-Audio and Internal Memory
178w Regular Amplifier
Graphic Equalizer
Window Grid Diversity Antenna
1 LCD Monitor In The Front
Turn-By-Turn Navigation Directions
Navtraffic Real-Time Traffic Display


Sport Front Seats
Front Seats w/Leatherette Back Material and Power 4-Way Driver Lumbar
14-Way Power Driver Seat -inc: Power Recline, Height Adjustment, Cushion Extension, Fore/Aft Movement, Cushion Tilt and Power 4-Way Lumbar Support
10-Way Power Passenger Seat -inc: Power Recline, Height Adjustment, Fore/Aft Movement, Cushion Tilt and Power 2-Way Lumbar Support
Bench Front Facing Rear Seat
Power Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
Power Rear Windows
Heated Leather/Genuine Wood Steering Wheel w/Auto Tilt-Away
Front Cupholder
Rear Cupholder
Rear Cigar Lighter(s)
Proximity Key For Doors And Push Button Start
Valet Function
Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, 4 Door Curb/Courtesy, Illuminated Entry, Illuminated Ignition Switch and Panic Button
Remote Releases -Inc: Power Cargo Access and Power Fuel
HomeLink Garage Door Transmitter
Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts, Headliner/Pillar Ducts and Console Ducts
Illuminated Locking Glove Box
Driver Foot Rest
Interior Trim -inc: Aluminum/Genuine Wood Instrument Panel Insert, Aluminum/Genuine Wood Door Panel Insert, Genuine Wood Console Insert, Chrome And Metal-Look Interior Accents
Full Cloth Headliner
Leatherette Door Trim Insert
Leather/Aluminum Gear Shift Knob
Day-Night Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination and Illuminated Rear Visor Mirror
Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage and 2 12V DC Power Outlets
Front And Rear Map Lights
Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
Carpet Floor Trim and Carpet Trunk Lid/Rear Cargo Door Trim
Trunk/Hatch Auto-Latch
Cargo Space Lights
FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate, Windows and Sunroof/Convertible Roof
Integrated Navigation System w/Voice Activation
Tracker System
Memory Settings -inc: Driver And Passenger Seats, Door Mirrors, Steering Wheel, Head Restraints and Seatbelts
Instrument Panel Covered Bin, Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
Power 1st Row Windows w/Front And Rear 1-Touch Up/Down
Delayed Accessory Power
Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
Systems Monitor
Trip Computer
Outside Temp Gauge
Analog Display
Driver And Passenger Heated-Cushion, Driver And Passenger Heated-Seatback
Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest w/Pass-Thru w/Storage
2 Seatback Storage Pockets
Power Anti-Whiplash w/Tilt Front Head Restraints and Manual w/Tilt Rear Head Restraints
Perimeter Alarm
Engine Immobilizer
2 12V DC Power Outlets
Air Filtration


Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
ABS And Driveline Traction Control
Side Impact Beams
Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
Safety Connect Emergency S.O.S
Front And Rear Parking Sensors
Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
Airbag Occupancy Sensor
Driver And Passenger Knee Airbag
Rear Child Safety Locks
First Aid Kit
Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners


The LS 460 is a blend of exhilarating performance and visionary innovation. Its powerful engine provides an unparalleled driving experience, while its technologically advanced features offer a host of modern conveniences..

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