QOTD: What's Your Take on This New 'Sporty' Lexus LS?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd what s your take on this new sporty lexus ls

On Monday at NAIAS, something interesting happened at the corner of Predator Maw and Sporty Junction: Lexus revealed a new 2018 LS500.

As a fan of the LS model since inception, I was interested. And as far as I can tell, this is the first LS that breaks with a few traditions dating back to its introduction for model year 1990. In no particular order, I’m going to come up with a list, and I’m going to create this list without any judgment, contrary to normal lists around here or created by anyone with real opinions. (Hey, I could end up on the front page of a major search engine’s automotive page!)

With calm, collected thought, I’ll run through them quickly before I get to our Question Of The Day. Come along.

Now I’m not a Sajeev, so don’t expect a thoughtful Vellum Venom on which I spent 20 hours.

1. There is now a Predator maw on the LS

Well this was really inevitable, wasn’t it? The somewhat aged LS was the last styling holdout in the Lexus lineup, resisting the Predator like it was hidden in the jungle, covered with mud.

Don’t get me wrong — I knew the LS couldn’t stay the same forever, and it was time for a change. Just maybe not this particular change. Who knows? Maybe we can count on Arnold to come along and take this one out eventually.

2. The three box design is gone, replaced with a sloping rear … thing

Certainly, it’s not the back seat passengers which matter in a large luxury sedan. What matters is a fast and sporty side profile, angling down toward a little trunk aperture, like on a Buick Lacrosse. Though there is more space for passengers in this somewhat larger car, the headroom of the upright roof will not return. In fact, I speculate this will be the last generation of LS “sedan,” as next time we’ll be looking at a liftback a la the Porsche Panamera or Tesla Model S. Won’t that be fun?

Putting that down in the old virtual ink now, so I can be right in 2025. I like to plan ahead.

3. The engine has cylinders of less than eight

Your buttery smooth displacement of olde will be replaced with a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 for 2018. While this isn’t exactly unknown territory for other automakers, I had hoped for better from Lexus. Enjoy your V8 LS while you can — soon your engine will be the same displacement as the Camry for sale down the street. And hey, this leads me nicely into the next awesome change.

4. The Lexus naming convention is now broken

Your 3.5TT LS must not bear a gleaming badge reading “LS350” like some plebe long wheelbase ES. No-no, this flagship will say LS500 on the back. It must be too much to ask to keep all those logical numbering ideals, I suppose.

5. The LS is now attempting “sport”

Just look at the low profile tires, flares all over, dark wheels, and all the various trim pieces that say, “This goes fast, and it’s for young people!” It’s ridiculous and unnecessary on this sort of car, I say.

Now maybe there will be a regular version with normal bright work, but I wouldn’t bet on it. The display model at NAIAS does not have any F badging. This might just be what you get.

6. Whoever put the display model together wasn’t trying very hard

Look at the following picture.

Do you think Lexus of old would have displayed its flagship model with terrible trim fitment? That’s not even close to aligning, and it makes me sad. Of course, this is a pre-production model and not a definite indicator of finalized product, but either someone was rushing or didn’t give a crap — or perhaps both.

So there it is, on display: Lexus LS trim fitment that’s similar to a Ford Edge.

Tell me B&B, does this new LS turn you on, or make you want to flip it off? I’ll be out on the lawn thinking of LS-past while I wait for your opinions.

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2 of 108 comments
  • Chan Chan on Jan 12, 2017

    Continue the Lexus theme: Predator grille and Samurai-slash light bars Try to be trendy: Tesla Model S window line (but the window has to roll all the way down! Make the opening pane smaller!) Continue copying the Germans: Downsize, turbocharge and copy their "naturally aspirated displacement equivalent" marketing. Basically, nothing original here, just more LS.

  • Buickman Buickman on Jan 12, 2017

    undoubtedly one of the ugliest front ends I have ever seen.

  • Tassos And all 3 were ordered by Fisker's mother. Seriously, given Fisker's terrible record of Failure in the past, only an utter loser, (for example, VGhost or Art Vandelay?), looking for a BEV terrible enough to be a proper replacement of his 11 mile range Fiat 500E, would order one of these. (apart from Fisker's mother)
  • Tassos And all 3 of them were ordered by Fisker's mother.Seriously, after Fisker's DISMAL record of UTTER FAILURE in the past, only a GOD DAMNED MORON would order this one.
  • RHD Any truth to the unconfirmed rumor that the new, larger model will be called the bZ6X? We could surmise that with a generous back seat it certainly should be!
  • Damon Thomas Adding to the POSITIVES... It's a pretty fun car to mod
  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.https://www.lhd.com.au/lhd-insights/australian-road-death-statistics/