By on January 9, 2017

2018 Lexus LS at NAIAS Front 3/4, Image: © 2017 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

It wasn’t long ago that Lexus could reliably sell 20,000-plus LS sedans in the U.S. each year. Certainly, the model’s pre-recession sales performance fell under the heading of “reliable,” with over 35,000 sold in 2007.

Ever since great economic upheaval sent American buyers fleeing in increasing numbers into the arms of crossovers and SUV, the Lexus sedan that created tsunami-like ripples through the luxury car field in 1990 has seen its customer base erode. Just 5,514 U.S. buyers saw fit to take an LS home in 2016.

Could a redesign bordering on the radical be the medicine the LS so desperately needs?

2018 Lexus LS at NAIAS Rear 3/4, Image: © 2017 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Unveiled this morning at the North American International Auto Show, the fifth-generation LS adopts Toyota’s new global GA-L platform and dumps the staid styling of years past. Through these changes, Lexus hopes to cast the LS as an involved motoring experience, not a detached Interstate cruiser.

Traditional buyers might not take note of the platform’s role underneath the wild (for Lexus) LC 500, but this longer variant — the brand’s stiffest — lends the full-size sedan some performance credentials. It also helps the LS lose about 200 pounds. Hopefully, the generously improved handling characteristics touted by Lexus come to pass.

While a taught platform and competent road manners can do wonders for a car’s reputation, it seldom lures buyers off the street. For 2018, the LS says goodbye to its formal, upright greenhouse, preferring to draw attention to itself through its coupe-like roofline, aggressive side sculpting, and even more pronounced corporate mouth. Yes, the LS — once the go-to ride for savvy retirees — goes all-in with the automaker’s signature spindle grille. Open wide.

2018 Lexus LS at NAIAS Front, Image: © 2017 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

If the vehicle looks like it took the old Detroit adage of “lower, longer, wider” to heart, it has. The upcoming LS sports a wheelbase 1.3 inches longer than its long-wheelbase predecessor, while riding 0.6 inches lower. Hood and trunk elevation sinks 1.2 and 1.6 inches. Overall, the new LS stretches 1.1 inches longer than the lengthiest of the current generation.

Lexus also saw fit to bring power levels up to something more fitting of the platform. In another abandonment of tradition, the LS loses its signature V8 for 2018, preferring a new tailor-made twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6. That mill cranks out 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque — a power bump of 29 hp and 75 lb-ft over the outgoing 4.6-liter V8. Tasked with putting that power down is a 10-speed automatic transmission featuring pared-down shift times.

Lower, lighter, stiffer, and now more powerful, the new LS reportedly sprints to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds. Of course, occupants might not care about the model’s newfound muscularity, preferring instead to recline their rear seat 48 degrees, turn on the Shiatsu massage function, and rest those tired feet atop the raised ottoman. The silence should be more deafening than before, thanks to boosted sound insulation. Yes, even a modest wheelbase stretch can work wonders for cabin environment.

On the technology front, the LS gains a 12.3-inch wide navigation display, optional 24-inch heads-up display, and the ability to brake or swerve to avoid pedestrians while under its own control (thanks to the automaker’s Lexus Advanced Safety Package). That grab-bag of driver assists includes Intuitive Pedestrian Detection with Active Steering. After hopefully dodging the elderly lady or careless child, the system should return the vehicle to its designated lane.

The planted, wide-mouthed 2018 Lexus LS should appear on U.S. dealer lots in the fall of 2017.

[Image: © 2017 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars]

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136 Comments on “NAIAS 2017: Look Over Here, Please, We Beg You! Lexus Hopes 2018 LS Returns Flagship to Relevance...”


  • avatar

    That is f**king disgusting.

    Your LS buyer doesn’t WANT to be looked at, which is why he leased an LS in the first place.

    Seriously terrible. God.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      True, and I’m not fond of this car’s looks either, but then again…given how poorly the LS sells, there may not be much of a “please don’t look at me” market to begin with, you know?

      “Expressive style” on a sedan is fine by me. I just with this car’s “expressive style” was better.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        I thought Lexus’ new look had more to do with selling cars in China anyway. The nouveau riche over there need to be looked at, and no one notices an Audi coming with length anymore.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          “I thought Lexus’ new look had more to do with selling cars in China anyway.”

          You raise an interesting point of significant psychophysiological interest:

          What are the perceptual ramifications of blood and brain toxins produced by long-term, gradual asphyxiation?

      • 0 avatar
        Hydromatic

        If you’re a person of means who doesn’t want to be looked at, wouldn’t you buy a GMC Yukon XL Denali? Not many people are gonna pay you notice even with GMC’s bling.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Akio needs some new designers to say the least.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    Great! Another useless four door coupe! And one that is sure to make you turn your head away unless you want to taste your lunch for the second time.

    • 0 avatar
      Jaeger

      Given that it’s longer than the old long wheelbase LS I very much doubt it will be useless in terms of passenger space and comfort. Goes without saying that those who barf when they see it won’t be buying one, but that ugly mug has been around for a while and hasn’t tanked Lexus sales to this point.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      “Great! Another useless four door coupe!”

      I don’t think so. It has a profound sedan shape; besides, nearly every sedan these days has a rakish C-pillar. And it looks pretty roomy, to me, because the roof is actually quite a bit longer than that of the old one.

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    I’ll never learn to love that predator face, but at least the car now presents a more cohesive design. Grafting the fang face to the old, upright and conservative body really did not work. This thing actually looks really good in profile – where not coincidentally, you can’t see its face.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    These people need to be stopped.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    I am NOT okay with this, and I HATE IT.

    Looks like the next generation LS will likely be liftback and more sporty, and they’ll pitch it as Panamera competitor. Calling it right now.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    I think the sculpting especially the sides will be quite something to look at out on the road or under lighting.

    The design is impossible to digest seeing it in the pics they way its presented here.

    • 0 avatar

      Know what CAN digest it? That gaping whale baleen mouth. Or at least ingest it…

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        It does seem like the last photo of the front is purposely low and really in front.

        So, I tried to reflect on what this would look like from some distance. I can’t get behind it, in that dark gray color with that front end you could make a horror movie. Some updated version of Christine or something.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Looks like the Predator with his helmet off. We all know what Dutch thought of his looks…
    .
    .

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      They benchmarked this:

      http://www.avpgalaxy.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/neca-14-predator-08.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Or this:
        http://imageprocessor.websimages.com/fit/1920×1920/www.pierre-drolet-sci-fi-museum.com/Cylon_Centurion_01.jpg

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Nice.

          http://www.nsxprime.com/forum/showthread.php/45044-Separated-at-Birth!/page2?p=1763251&viewfull=1#post1763251

          p.s. – F*ck you, Lexus, and all other manufacturers who replace 8 cylinder, smooth and proper engines with 6 or 4 cylinder ones, whether they have 1 or 40 turbochargers hanging off of them.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Hate the fours (specifically the way they sound) but there ain’t a thing wrong with a good turbo six. The power curve is better for this segment; the UR V8s are kind of peaky!

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The 3UR is peaky?

            It is also possible to make a 6.0L UR or a 6.25L V10 or a hybrid V8 or put a turbo on a V8.

            This is supposed to be the pride of the Toyota fleet in North America and will likely start at $80K. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to go a little more exotic than what you get in an Explorer Sport.

            Maybe this V6 will be all kinds of amazing or they’ll lower the starting price to $65K, but I won’t be holding my breath.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            If the 3UR made as much power for displacement as its 1UR/2UR siblings, it’d be peaky.

            And in fairness, the Explorer/Flex EcoBoosts have a pretty unique engine for the segment. Most ~$50K three-rows don’t have a turbo six.

          • 0 avatar
            Hydromatic

            You want a smooth and proper engine?

            V12.

            V8s are for pikers and Americans in love with throaty NASCAR noises. /s

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Just give me the Crown Athlete!!!! That’s all I want. Put whatever badge you want on it. Just gimme!!!

    Yes, I know it’s a GS. But it isn’t.

  • avatar
    make_light

    It looks like an Altima with fussier/messier lines?
    I don’t hate it as much as say, the IS, but I just can’t get behind Lexus designs lately. The 2014 GS looked really good, until they butchered it’s face a couple years ago. I have liked Lexus interiors recently, but this one is kind of bizarre.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Jeebus.

    I hope this works for Lexus. Certainly they think it will. But wow. Ugly, wannabe “sporty”, “coupe-like profile”, no V8….

    What is the point anymore for this car?

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Why all the pictures from a crouch or laying on the ground? The Lexus predator grill doesn’t look great, but it looks terrible in pics such as the above that are designed to accentuate it, versus seeing it in person from a standing height or from seated in another car, where it doesn’t look nearly as bad.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    This tactic with the LC500 looks beautiful and from what I’ve read it is a lovely car to drive and be in. I don’t like that tactic here with the LS.

    I hope there’s a less agro version. The grill is a caricature, it has rubber band tires around blacked out wheels and what looks like an aftermarket body kit, and they are chasing handling and flashy styling over the tasteful, irrefutable avalanche of quality that put the LS name on the map. I don’t see this threatening the S-Class in the least.

    The twin turbo V6 looks potent and probably provides the effortless low end shove you’d want in a luxury sedan, but I’m a bit surprised no V8 is available at all.

    Curious to read dal’s impression of this.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      Dal has seen it and is currently having an angry nap, and will be around shortly.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I like it.

      I think this and the LC show where Lexus was trying to go with the shark mouth. It’s not conservative, but it’s cohesive and very Japanese.

      The most shocking thing is the six-window greenhouse. Lexus has never done that with an LS before and it’s a departure.

      The choice of turbo V6 is also a good one for this segment. The V8 in my existing LS is beautifully, buttery smooth but wants to be revved and just doesn’t have the low end that would be ideal in this segment. I’m kind of surprised that they didn’t also offer the V8 since the LC500 is on the same platform, but volume probably isn’t enough for three separate powertrains (once the inevitable LS500h shows up).

      Interior is a home run.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        I am squinting because I suspect a real Dal is not here…

        Ha, but I really didn’t expect you to like it.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Interesting. I also don’t see the V6 turbo as a demerit if it delivers the quoted performance with a level of refinement and reliability suitable for the LS. The LC500 platform also sounds like very good news.

        I’m hoping this auto show example is the flashiest of possibilities. If some trim levels have toned down wheels and a spindle grille a bit more reminiscent of the non-FSport Lexus IS it won’t be nearly as polarizing while still remaining a fairly striking sedan. I hope this and the LC500 do well.

      • 0 avatar
        SP

        I like it as well. The styling is a bit edgy for this segment, but hey, a car should have something special to induce someone to cough up over $80,000.

        The interior looks pretty good to me. A little bit goofy, but this is a high-tech Japanese luxury car we are talking about here. If it’s not a little goofy, what is it good for? I think the extra “character” helps people understand the brand.

        The turbo V6 should work great in this segment as well. Tons of torque, good for “wafting.”

  • avatar
    ItsJustaRide

    Hideously overwrought.

    Wow. Just wow.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    The front styling is ridiculous, along with the Mirai influence in the rear. The radical styling will drive even more buyers away from the brand. And, enough of the black alloy wheels already.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    And, a twin-turbo V6? I doubt we’ll hear of a million-mile LS again, as long as they’re running this powertrain.

    • 0 avatar
      whitworth

      Yea, but it gets 1 better mpg than if they used a V8!!

      Totally worth it.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Maybe the “million mile LS” phenomenon is the reason why they don’t sell many new ones. The current model is a notable dog sales-wise.

      Just sayin’.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      We’ll see. The LS460’s engine had some issues out of the gate, and the LS400 / LS430 are remembered as pretty bullet proof but they need maintenance to go the distance – most people chose to replace the harmonic balance every other timing belt change and if it fails it can easily total the car, an engine swap isn’t cheap and the cars aren’t worth much. And the ones with the VVT-i heads are relatively sensitive to changing the oil reasonably often.

      It’s not like a GM smallblock or 3800 where you can flip the coin on the engine going 300k on pretty minimal maintenance.

  • avatar
    ajla

    No V8?!?!

    I’m going to go cry in my car.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Lexus designers are worse than Kia or even Chinese companies when it comes to copying:

    http://www.avpgalaxy.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/neca-14-predator-08.jpg

  • avatar
    TonyP

    “blah blah, grill sucks, blah blah”

    Aside from that, I don’t mind it. As a two time LS owner, I’m indifferent to it, bordering on liking it. Losing the V8 as has been an LS flagship staple for 28 years is strange but it’s the sign of the times.

  • avatar
    GS 455

    Oh dear.

  • avatar
    319583076

    I’ll be satisfied when this current styling trend culminates in automotive front ends aping the size and styling characteristics of GE locomotives. Until then…keep dreaming, boys.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    I feel that it is just simply not possible to make this car a car other than for old men. (Discerning buyers like those of this commentariat aren’t enough to change this).

    So the question becomes: will these changes return the LS to relevance for old men? I think not, but old men do respond to traits typically associated with youth, such as ‘sportiness’ (handling) and ‘aggressiveness’ (the design), so we’ll see.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Bloomin’ hideous. I wouldn’t buy one and if someone gave it to me I would trailer it to a nearby competing dealership and trade it for something much nicer looking.

    If you ask me, they whole reason they’re not selling is because of that “Predator” face.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    Nobody wants a sportier LS, Lexus had its greatest success when they launched this platform and made it comfortable and quiet after the Germans insisted everyone in America wanted something made for the Autobahn.

    Americans bought the Lexus in droves.

    Car companies need to stop listening to auto writers about what customers actually want. It’s not a polarizing, stiff and sporty 4 door sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Agree, Whitworth.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      All true, but then again, it’s not 1989 anymore, and no one’s buying the *current*, non-sporty, non-polarizing, non-stiff LS.

      I don’t like the looks either, but people are talking about the car. Now, how long has it been since anyone’s talked about the LS?

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The rock bottom price also greatly helped sales of the LS400.

      The reason why LS sales have tanked is due to Toyota letting the product get stale (despite a 2nd comprehensive MCR – which left the powertrain intact and severely underpowered next to the competition).

      While the LS500 should reverse the downward trend, don’t think sales will challenge the S Class (despite undercutting it in price).

      The front fascia is just way overwrought with the grill and headlight; just too bad the exterior didn’t follow more of the clean lines of the interior which looks like a nice place to be.

  • avatar
    Durask

    Looks OK design wise.

    I wish Lexus would start offering an AMG equivalent, then I’ll look at one.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    The grille is just too much. The rest of the car looks like some Nissan. I like the interior though. Its a shame because the car once advertised a certain dignified maturity, now its like the old guy trying too hard to appear young.

  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    they should lock all the designers in a room with the original LS.

    how did it come to this?

    Was Lexus not the choice for understated Luxury?

    Wow. This is terribly off the mark.

  • avatar
    ajla

    The B&B should be getting on the Continental and G90 bandwagon.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’m not even remotely on the Continental bandwagon after sitting in one. Not “special” enough inside, and given that it’s based on a Fusion, I’m guessing it’s nothing special to drive, either.

      It’s a looker, though. And the price is decent.

      It’s the car the MKS should have been…but I don’t find it to be a “gotta-have.”

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Continental?? Have you seen it’s hind quarters? The rest of the car looks great, but holy shoot did they screw up the rear end.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    The Genesis G90 just started looking alot better.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      Wonder how long before that 5.0 goes away in the Genesis.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        WAG post:

        I think the 5.0L is gone from the K900000 and Genesis brand by MY2020. The Genesis brand manager is already on record saying he doesn’t see a future for the Tau. I’ve seen rumors about a Turbo or Hybrid V8 on the G90 in the future though.

        The Q70 replacement (if it even gets replaced) will almost certainly drop the V8. The SS has no replacement. The 5.7L “Hemi” is toast in a few years and the 300 is likely going FWD if it gets another generation.

        It’s conceivable that by 2021 the GS-F will be the only naturally-aspirated V8 sedan in existence for the NA market. The next Charger is supposed to go on the Alfa platform around 2020 and I guess it is possible it will offer the 6.4L on some trim level although I’m actually expecting it to be turbo-4, turbo-6, and supercharged V8.

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          I could see the Q70 sticking around, but as a very compromised thing, where it can be sold as a Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and also an Infiniti.

          You think they’ll drop the 5.6 from the Patrol pretty soon as well, then?

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Nah, I think BOF SUVs and trucks will keep their V8s for awhile (like 2025 at least). Although Ford might drop the V8 in the F-150 and I don’t think it will be the volume offering on the next Ram 1500.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I like the side profile (they ripped off a Tesla Model S, so what’s not to like?). But that front end treatment is unforgivable.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    What is a taught platform?

    What has it been taught?

    Who taught it what?

    Really guys, while taut and taught are homonyms, someone should be checking spelling and application, even if it came to you that way.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    ‘dat maw

    Was the world asking for a XL version of the Lexus GS? Apparently so.

    Remember the days when car models within the same family actually looked different? Pepperidge Farm remembers!

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    The only good news would be this motor as an option in the next GS.

  • avatar

    On the internet we are all perfect drivers, but how is that maw gonna look in a world where parallel parking “is a thing” , and people DO park by ear ? The guy ahead of you with an old Suburban and no back up cam could be a worst case scenario.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I have stated many times I will reserve judgement on looks of a car until I can see one in person. Vehicles like the Lexus IS and the Chevy Impala (the new one) showed up poorly in photographs, but looked fantastic in person.

    I sure hope the LS isn’t as butt ugly in person as it appears in photos – the entire front clip to the a-pillar has……………………a lot going on.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I know styling is subjective, but are there really people out there who like Lexus grills?

  • avatar
    Von

    On a more practical note, anyone had experience cleaning the predator grill after a long road trip?

    And please don’t tell me LS owners never wash their own cars, someone still has to and I want to hear if their experience is along the lines of what I expect or if they were pleasantly surprised.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      My Lexus doesn’t have a predator grille but the old Lexus grilles are made of the same stuff.

      Bugs and debris are easy to get out; just hit it with warm high-pressure (for a carwash) water from a variety of angles.

      It’s much harder to deal with road grime that accumulates over time. To keep it shiny, maybe once a year you’ll need to go to town with a rag and some concentrated soap. Yes, that’ll be a pain. with this many holes.

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      IS owner here (and yes, I wash my own cars) – The predator grilles are “high gloss” plastic, so stuff doesn’t stick to them very easily. Now, I have had some massive bugs get stuck _inside_ the holes, but they’re easy to get out.

  • avatar
    iMatt

    Kudos to Lexus for having the gonads to make something as controversial as this. Say what you will about these cars, but the IS, ES, GS and now LS certainly have their own style, contrasted to the exact opposite dilemma Lexus had barely 10 years ago.

    The comments remind me of the recent Maxima unveiling…. the predictable hysterics and hissy fits were the result.

    More relevant, this segment hasn’t had the same bold push since the Banglebutt 7 Series. Look at what immediately followed that unveil! Modern BMW’s only push to reinvent itself has been by introducing oddly proportioned CUVs. The Mercedes S-Class looks like a polished suppository, the C-Class looks like it was designed by the same team that did the Sebring and Audi will always be Audi, safe and staid.

    I can’t tell the difference between any of the cars in the entire Infiniti lineup, let alone understand their naming scheme. Even Jaguars seem to just blend in nowadays with nothing that can even compare to the old XJ on offer.

    At the very least, nobody will mistake a Lexus for something else. Nobody can accuse Lexus of stealing each and every body panel from a different manufacturer and nobody can no longer accuse Lexus of being boring.

  • avatar
    iMatt

    I like the Lexus grill btw, it evokes the “Art and Science” motive more than Cadillac’s marketing team ever could.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Truly futuristic; timely with new Star Wars release, too – separated at birth:

      http://www.nsxprime.com/forum/showthread.php/45044-Separated-at-Birth!/page2?p=1763251&viewfull=1#post1763251

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “it evokes the “Art and Science” motive”

      Only for those who’ve followed their inner calling into professional torture. Should sell well in the Middle East.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    When I were a sprout we had Tri-5 Chevy’s and the generation of Fords culminating in the 50’s Crown Vic: rounded, gently strong, protecting and nurturing archetypes all over their designs. Imprinting on those lasted for life.

    Now little kids get to see something that wants to stab their eyes out before dicing them with razor mesh.

  • avatar

    In the interests of titling and registering, if I drive a Camry through a chain link fence and it wraps itself around the front end, do I now own an ES350?

  • avatar
    cartunez

    Why in the hell is Lexus trying to kill the LS. First they adopt that dumbass trackpad starting in 2013 and now this turbo 6 shit.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Frankly, I’m mostly offended by the number no longer corresponding to displacement.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Hmm. This is the first LS that doesn’t very obviously target the Germans. (Gen 1 and 2 were carefully aimed at the S-Class, Gen 3 and the Gen 3 2013 redux seem to be in the spirit of the 7-Series). And, unlike almost every other large executive car, well, other than the Panamera, this one has a sports car platform beneath it.

    It looks like Lexus is trying to go a different route with this new one.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “In another abandonment of tradition, the LS loses its signature V8 for 2018, preferring a new tailor-made twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6. That mill cranks out 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque — a power bump of 29 hp and 75 lb-ft over the outgoing 4.6-liter V8. Tasked with putting that power down is a 10-speed automatic transmission featuring pared-down shift times.”

    A new competitor of CT6 in the race to the junkyard.

  • avatar
    tekdemon

    Seems like people really like to dump on the ever larger Lexus and Toyota grilles but I’m going to defend it, because it’s authentic to the brand. Toyota started off as a fabric manufacturer with looms to weave thread into fabric, and these grilles very clearly show where they came from. And as much as people like to whine on the internet about these grilles, the RX is selling better than ever before with a jumbo version of this grille so people who actually spend money on new luxury vehicles clearly like it. Those are really the only opinions that matter at the end of the day, no matter how much random internet commentators like to rag on Lexus and Toyota about these grilles.

    If you don’t like it there are plenty of other cars to buy, why is there a need to go crap all over Lexus for taking a chance on a grille that’s both bold and harkens back to Toyota’s foundation?

  • avatar
    whitworth

    Regarding the Lexus look, I’m in the minority in that I don’t hate the Predator grills and in some models actually like it, but on this specific model, it’s way over the top and should be toned down.

    Flagship luxury cars in general should have a more conservative styling as it tends to age better.

  • avatar
    John

    Makes the Civic Coupe look like an exercise in simplicity and good taste.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    The adjective that comes to mind when I look at these photos is “baroque.” Which I don’t view as a compliment, although I’m a fan of true baroque architecture and music. Like the Acura “beak,” it’s over-wrought styling to my eye. The thing about visual design of anything — a car, a chair, a building — is that the more elements the designer tries to incorporate into the thing, the more skill is demanded from the designer. This design is very “busy” and the designers aren’t that skilled.

    For the same dollars, I’d buy the S-Class even before I started comparing an inherently rough V-6 with the non-linear throttle response of turbocharging to a normally aspirated 6 or V-8. If the 4.6 liter doesn’t produce enough torque, Toyota has a 5 liter on the shelf. Is it the weight of the larger engine that concerns Toyota? Or is it a fear of cylinder deactivation which, in my personal experience does a remarkable job of taming the thirst of large displacement engines and in a much smoother and more linear way than any forced induction engine I’ve driven or owned. And I’ve never driven transmissions with more than 6 gears that didn’t seem unduly “busy” even assuming that they got the shifts right. The chances that the computer will, under all driving circumstances, smoothly manage the combination of gear selection, throttle opening and turbo boost in response to pedal pressure with the kind of consistency that a luxury car buyer should expect strikes me as pretty low, even from Toyota.
    There’s a reason that luxury car makers, from time immemorial, have fitted them with large displacement engines: they give the driver a feeling of effortlessness even if not whiplash-inducing acceleration. And I guess I’m alone in thinking that 0-60 acceleration of less than 6 seconds in this type of car is just silly. The typical driver of this type of car would probably blanch when subjected to 0-60 acceleration of under 5 seconds in this car, and properly so. It’s massive and it’s big. It’s not a “sports car”; it’s not even a “sports sedan.”

    And, please, along with recognizing the difference between “taught” (as in “schooled”) and taut (as in “under tension”) can we please banish the auto journalist’s cliche of describing horsepower output as being “pumped out” or “churned” or, worse still “churned out”? These descriptions have lost their novelty. Better to settle for the pedestrian “produces.” It gets the job done, unobtrusively.

    End of rant.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    I’ll have to take another look at the Genesis G-90 and the Cadillac CT6. Maybe they aren’t so bad after all.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The only, sole, singular thing better about the CT6 versus this is the grill.

      There’s no comparison otherwise between the quality, durability, interior materials and fit/finish, exterior materials, ride quality, interior noise levels, assembly quality, dealership experience, service and warranty service, etc., when comparing this to the Clack-I-Lack CT6.

      I realize my reputation for being hard on Cadillac (completely justifiably so; I’ve been proven correct in terms of owners/buyers’ experiences, credible quality & reliability surveys, depreciation/residual value figures, etc., from the utter fail is the ATS to the CTS, and I’ll be vindicated on the CT6, also) will cause some to reflexively claim that I’m somehow wrong, but go and check out a CT6, and if you really want to #DareGreatly, test drive the CT6 along with both the G90 and LS.

      Even GM fanboy forums are already full of serious, voluminous complaints about the CT6’s unjustifiably harsh ride (even with MRC), lack of reliability (transmission failures such as lockout in 4th gear and breakage in reverse), cheap interior materials made of hard, scratch-prone plastics, poorly trimmed leather, cheap switchgear (the start/stop button,for example, is the exact same one in the Malibu and Cruze), atrocious body panel fit, unrefined 2.0T and 3.6 liter engines, cheap Chinese-made and often mismatched alloy wheels, and weird drivetrain vibrations and noises (must be that “exotic and weight-shaving” adhesive/carbon fiber/aluminum/unobtanium easy bake melted-together chassis).

      The CT6 is going to dive faster in YoY sales than even the ATS or 3rd gen CTS, which will be quite a feat.

      It will also prove to be a NIGHTMARE to repair to true spec in the event of even minor accidents.

      I would not be surprised if fewer than 6,000 CT6s or even 5,000 CT6s end up selling to retail users in MY 2017 and 2018 (maybe including fleet sales), and the vehicle has a 65% depreciation curve over the first 3 years of ownership.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Last I checked it was not nose diving on the block DW, but the model year is still young…

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Give it time.

          During this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise, there was a rolling armada of 400 of them, mainly driven by GM current and retired employees. The early adoption sales will fade fast as the rag reviews and word-of-mouth about lack of quality and other problems spreads quickly.

          If you haven’t had a chance to sit in one, do so. I am pretty confident you’ll be shocked at the absolute cheapness of the interior. The LS iinterior feels 3x as expensive as the expensive yet CheapT6.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “I am pretty confident you’ll be shocked at the absolute cheapness of the interior. The LS interior feels 3x as expensive as the expensive yet CheapT6.”

            I agree. I’d take an LS over a Caddy anyday.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I haven’t even seen one up close yet, I’m guessing few of the 8,000 or so sales were to yinzers.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        When CT6 program cars start to become available in a couple of years, I’ll test drive one. Turbo V6 only, please.

        I’m sure it can’t match an LS for material quality but I’m curious to see if it’s anywhere near as bad as you claim. Based on the XTS, which isn’t bad at all (albeit in a lower price and expectations bracket) I’m skeptical. On the other hand, this is the company that makes the Escalade, with its Impala-grade leather.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      For a used buy, the Equus from pre-Genesis brand Genesis is looking like a better and better value.

      Bonus – it doesn’t look ridiculous.

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    Even the best photos cannot deliver the impression of standing by the car in real life. In reality this car is HUGE, wide and low. I feel it has similar “stance” or proportions as Panamera (which is Panamera’s strongest suite – its details look ugly, but it sits beautifully on wheels and has a muscular proportions). This car is bigger than Panamera, but has similar feel/presence to it.

    Few good pics taken by random Car and Driver Photographer:

    http://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/2018-Lexus-LS-104-876×535.jpg
    http://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/2018-Lexus-LS-103-876×535.jpg

    BTW! Lexus offical press/reveal studio-staged photos always massively suck(US and European too), I don’t know who is responsible for this in Lexus, but their photographers have no sense of style, angles, lenses used and they never capture the overall “feel” of the car, on contrary most of the the time they make even the coolest designs look weird.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      Your point is valid about car photos in general but give the photogs a break, especially in a show environment.

      They’re tasked to provide close-quarters pix of large objects with the surface contours of wet bread dough dropped from ceiling height onto a table (particularly this huge splotch of Lexus).

      Wide-angle or even ultrawide lenses are the only way to get an entire body into the frame and since you appear to know some photographic principles I needn’t say more.

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    Yes, I agree. But with Lexus the professional studio pictures are much worse than random show shots. Even in this article the two low light in the crowd front and rear 3/4 shots present the new LS much better than anything Lexus itself has produced in the studio. For example – what in the name of Lord is this strange wide angled one-eyed-machine cyclops weirdness?? Person who accepted this shot as official marketing material should be fired immediately :) http://content.presspage.com/uploads/1850/800_200b201b-ms-4-03-ms901-b-2.jpg

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    Honestly it isn’t that bad looking. But TTAC needs clicks, so they pick the views that most enhance the nose. Like you ever, ever look at a car from a bottom three-quarters view.

    The interior looks much better than current Lexuses, at least in the same ballpark for the Volvo and MB leaders.

    The reality is that they need a large luxury three row SUV that sits at the same level of this. They need a new LX that costs about $100K and has every single luxury thing they can think of. It doesn’t need the slightest bit of offroad credibility at all.

    Would I buy an LS? Yes.

    Would I lease one? No. I’d get an S-class instead.

    And that is the real difference. A lot of those german cars are leases. Wealthy people who want to buy and don’t want a hassle with their car ownership can buy this.

  • avatar
    GS 455

    In the last picture the guy crouching by the front is saying: 22 inch wheels on a Lexus LS? You gotta be f**king kidding.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    Maybe the aftermarket will come up with some more attractive front ends for Lexus buyers. I’ll be waiting for the next SEMA.


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