By on January 11, 2017

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

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

2018 Lexus LS500 at NAIAS

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

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

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”

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

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.

2018 Lexus LS500 at NAIAS

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.

1998 Lexus LS400

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108 Comments on “QOTD: What’s Your Take on this New ‘Sporty’ Lexus LS?...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Sporty? It looks like a Buick Lacrosse. The current one, with its harder edges and creases, looks way sportier. This looks like something left out in the sun

  • avatar
    dwford

    I guess in a world of cookie cutter German cars, Lexus thinks there’s an opportunity to stand out. Not sure this is it, though. Their recent designs all seem so close to being “right,” but only the NX seems to hit the mark.

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    If it is anything like the other predator grill versions, it won’t look anything like the photos in real life so I don’t know… They just really don’t photograph well.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    You know the current LS460 has had a toned-down Preditor maw for quite a while now, right?

    https://www.cars.com/research/lexus-ls_460-2015/

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      Still had a bumper crossing through it, so I don’t count that as having one. The outline of it was certainly there, though.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      “toned-down” nicely. This new one? Scary! As I said about the Camry redesign the other day the real problem is the grille is fake. For aero and MPG reasons I’m sure most of the grille is blocked. Thus its ugly and worthless.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        I’m still waiting to see this car in person, or at least see some pictures from a reasonable height perspective instead of 18″ off the ground, before freaking out about the looks of it. The IS pictures were nasty too, and I find that car very attractive in person.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    Lexus and Toyata are confused about good new design vs. new and strange. They are looking for a reaction, but the reaction is mainly not a positive with their design themes.

    For me the most beautiful new sedan is Caddy CT6. Sure it has some hard surfaces (namely the map pockets), the area around shift lever is cheap, and CUE remains a fiasco. But from a exterior design and proportions look, to me the Caddy CT6 is beautiful.

    So it comes down to whether you want great reliability (Lexus) vs. beautiful design (Caddy). Or if you want old money Mercedes Benz which remains the king. I am more of a guy who has to enjoy looking at his car in the garage, so I go for the Caddy, just wish one of these days they replace CUE.

    • 0 avatar
      romanjetfighter

      Like trolls on the internet, they just want a reaction. Not concerned with whether the comment is worth saying or not. Lexus wants to be heard, but does it have anything to say?

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Someone dares to admit his love for the CT6 in public? “CUE” DeadWeight in 3…2…1…

      • 0 avatar
        whitworth

        I think the CT6 was a home run in the styling department, probably my favorite looking “large car” but I sure as hell would not go near actually purchasing one because it has Allante reliability written all over it.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          I agree. Based in looks *alone,* I would most certainly choose the Caddy over the Lexi.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            The Caddy is not particularly special in the styling department but it certainly is not offensive. In my opinion, the Predator maw Lexus products are hideous. Worse, the LS is trying to be something it is not and its core customer base is likely to feel the same way. The Lexus flagship should be somewhat conservative; adding a bit of modern sporty appearance is ok, but this? Seriously? Toyota may have reliability down pat (and I am confident the ill fitting trim will not be standard equipment) but what the hell is going on with the design? Even the Prius looks stupid. They are getting priorities mixed up. A Prius that handles well but is more traditionally styled would be more desirable. The LS certainly could use a bit of tightening up suspension-wise, but quiet comfort should be the overall purpose of the design, not corner carving. Something tells me that it will still suck in the handling department and it might lose some of that beautiful LS ride. Not my cup of tea which is fine; this type of car is not my bag. But for those who were very happy with previous generations will likely be unhappy with this new design.

      • 0 avatar
        pmirp1

        Kyree, CT6 is a styling homerun according to most publications. I think problem is it’s not a real flagship. It is probably a better 5 series and E class competitor. I really don’t consider the Lexus LS a Mercedes S class competitor either.

        There are legit problems with CT6, some hard plastic. CUE. No V8. I have ridden in it in Atlanta and while our roads are not bad, I have to say ride is a perfect combination of nice handling and soft ride on our relatively good roads. Still I think it’s a hell of a car and a real step forward for Caddy if not a perfect home run.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I actually like the CT6 (shhh; don’t tell anyone). I was just poking a bit of good-natured fun at a member of our community who vehemently dislikes it is all. You’re right that it’s more of a LWB mid-sized sedan (a CTS-L of sorts) than a flagship sedan. It would compete handily with Infiniti’s Q70L if that car didn’t look and feel like yesterdecade’s leftovers. There’s also the not-a-flagship Acura RLX…as well as the car to which my money would go, the Volvo S90, which is about $10K cheaper in any comparable guise.

          Also, the CT6 is set to get a 4.2-liter twin-turbo V8 later this year, in time for MY2018.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Every Cadillac that isn’t the XT5 and XTS needs a V8 bad.

      The 3.6L is fine but doesn’t have the refinement power to live at a price point above $45k.

      The 3.6T is powerful and responsive but drinks fuel to point that the Charger SRT and Camaro SS get same fuel economy rating as the CTS V-Sport and Camaro SS. It also sounds like a vacuum cleaner.

      The 3.0T fixes the fuel economy issue of the 3.6T and the output looks good on paper but the turbo lag and incompatibility with the 8A means that from a roll it isn’t any faster than a Maxima or 3.6L CT6.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        The new LGX is making 335 HP compare to Lexus V8 360 HP.

        The new TT V6 will out roll a NA V8 from highay speeds on up and just keep pulling away. For the RWD cars, V8 or V6 TT, fuel economy on the highway is similar. City is worse for a V8.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Anyways, I’m nowhere near the target demographic for this thing in either age or income, but I’d be happy to have one. It will be priced closer to the E-class/5-series/A6, all of which are most commonly found in plebian 4cyl spec, but be comparable to the big dogs. And it will last forever. And it won’t smell like cheap plastic, easy credit, and crap suspension tuning like a Korean car.

    And luxury car numbering has been broken for a long time now, can’t blame Lexus for jumping on that bandwagon.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      LC pricing (starting at $92k, $97k as most commonly equipped) suggests they’re going to hike the LS price meaningfully. I expect the base price to be just under $90k.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        Disagree. The LC is still V8-powered and likely to be a halo offering. I expect a base of around $75k-80k for the LS. And keep in mind, Lexus doesn’t rake you over the coals for options like zee Germans do.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The current LS460L starts at $78,820. The short-wheelbase car is going away, and the new LWB-only car will surely start at least in the 80s.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            I wasn’t aware of the SWB/LWB thing. Got it. But even at $80k, you’re undercutting an S550 by $20k before you add any options to either (and they shoot up a lot faster on the Merc) and you’re right around the cost of an E400 with just a few options.

          • 0 avatar
            whitworth

            “I wasn’t aware of the SWB/LWB thing. Got it. But even at $80k, you’re undercutting an S550 by $20k before you add any options to either (and they shoot up a lot faster on the Merc)”

            Indeed

            And you’d be amazed how many S class go to $120k pretty quickly with some pretty basic options.

            It definitely represents a big savings, but a lot of people once they hit that level don’t seem to care as much about a $30-$40k savings. They want what they want.

  • avatar
    mleclerc19xx

    Discloser: I own a 2015 IS F-Sport. I love the front end of the new LS. The rear, not so much. The V-6, even if it’s more powerful, is a let down. The flagship needs a V-8. They need to put the engine from the LC in there ASAP and bring down that turbo V-6 in the GS350 and IS350.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      I’m really surprised that it has the V6TT simply because the LC500/LC500h doesn’t share that powertrain at all. Lexus basically has 3 different powertrains for the flagship coupe and sedan: 5.0L V8, 3.5L V6 hybrid, 3.5L V6 twin turbo. That seems very un-Toyota.

      An IS-F with the V6TT would be excellent… though I’d rather have the glorious sounding 5.0 V8.

    • 0 avatar
      240SX_KAT

      And here I thought the only way to make this thing uglier is to put that grille on the back as well.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Point by point:

    1) Well, it had a Cylon maw before…now it’s Predator, with a certain whiff of S&M. I’m going with that being a downgrade, as I’m a big Battlestar Galactica fan.

    2) The profile says “Tesla Model S” to me. Not a bad thing. It’s the front end that’s unfortunate.

    3) Meh, no one’s lining up for the current V-8 model as it is.

    4) Lexus Continental! There, fixed it!

    5) Nothing new. They’ve been making a F-sport edition of the LS for several years now.

    6) Freakin’ disgraceful for a Lexus, but you gotta know these won’t leave the factory like that, lest someone have to commit ritual suicide to preserve his family’s honor.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    It is ok but there will be very expensive bumper cover replacement

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    A Sporty LS makes as much sense as a Cadillac Fleetwood GT or a Grosser Mercedes AMG.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Completely disagree. It’s great that Lexus is making the LS more sporty, but getting rid of the V8 is bit of a bummer. That’s the direction that market is going.

      Except for the S class, the LS competitors (Audi A8 and BMW 7) have turbo 6’s. The CT6 starts with a 4 banger, although they’re getting appropriately castigated for that.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Agreed 100%.

      “Sporty” and “big comfy sedan” don’t go together.

      There are sporty large cars, no doubt, but doesn’t Lexus already offer enough sporty models? Can’t they have one car that’s comfortable, has usable rear doors, and doesn’t look like its trying too hard to be something it isn’t?

      Evidently not.

      • 0 avatar
        Paragon

        John, I think you identified what I hadn’t yet adequately put into words as of yet. “Trying too hard” positively nails it. Like somebody who feels inadequate, and is thus always trying too hard. Toyota, along with Honda, generally has a most sterling reputation. Yet they know they are not always the most fun to hang around with. Despite the reputation, they’ve heard the comments behind their back and long to be desired for what they’re not. So, they’ve decided to “let their hair down,” and dress in a bit less formal attire so as not to appear so stiff and cold. But still it doesn’t really work.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Lexus has been making a LS F-sport for some time now, Dan.

      Apparently buyers are interested enough in it to more the model to a sportier side of the road.

      The current LS is big, comfy and V-8 powered. And it isn’t selling.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Lexus is bound to sell dozens of these a month – yay.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Love the dashboard and interior. Hate the no-V8. The predator is OK, no worse than Audi putting Ford truck front ends on their cars. But yeah, no V8 in a $100K flagship? I drive a 2000 GS400 and my plan is to replace it in a few years with an LS430/460, or even a creampuff LS400. The 1UZ-FE has completely spoiled me for anything less. I’d hoped the LFA’s lack of turbocharging would become a Lexus point of pride, but this and the NX show they’re willing to follow the pack (That NX turbo is terrible in a Lexus, would be great in a Corolla though).

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Styling: A plus for sales, regardless of what I think (and I generally like it OK, although the LC is better). People in this segment do not want cars that are so conservative anymore. The runaway bestseller is the S-Class, which has gotten radically more blingy with each of the last two generations. The more extroverted exterior and the more expensive-looking interior will be good things for the buyers, and will probably be enough to vault this LS past the 7-Series and A8 in the sales race.

    Turbo V6: An unqualified win. The current V8 is so smooth and sounds fantastic but doesn’t have the right power characteristics for this segment; it needs to rev too much. You want effortless power with smooth transitions and no audible revving, and a modern turbo is perfect for that.

    Name: Who cares. Engine displacement is a meaningless number anyway and the only reason we refer to it at all is because vehicle tax laws outside of the US make a big deal of it.

    “Sport”: We’ll see about the suspension tuning. I expect it will still be pretty cushy. Those tires aren’t promising but I’m sure there will be a -1 or -2 option. This looks to me like a “Sport Appearance Package” version, which was something the last LS had too between 2010 and 2012.

    Chrome trim issue: This looks like typical pre-production problems. If the production cars look this way then we can start saying Lexus is DOOMED.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      I call it the Lexus LS anyway, so perhaps we should just remove the complicated alphanumeric aspect and rename it the Ellesse?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      But: I won’t be buying a used one in a few years to replace my current LS, because LWB-only and a longer overall length literally means it won’t fit in my garage.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        SWB will run through MY15 won’t it?

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          It’s still available for 2017. But I doubt I’d replace my low-mile 2008 car with a 2013+ car. The facelift interior is nice but there just aren’t enough differences for the upgrade to be worth the cost. The next car won’t come for a while but it will be something different. Possibly not too much different, as a 2013-14 GS 450h with Luxury Package is an option.

    • 0 avatar
      akatsuki

      I own a GS350 and the sport+ suspension is probably the best tuning for a sports sedan out there today. So if they can bring that to the LS, that will be a win.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I’ll wait until I see it in person. Real world pictures and early reviews of the LC500 show good things, perhaps this will too.

    I’m not invested in the V8 >>>>>> turbo six war, but this has far more power than necessary and a turbo torque curve that will probably work well for scooting the car effortlessly at low rpm. I wonder how many real world buyers care about the cylinder count.

    The current generation is fairly conservative and selling poorly. So that picture of the conservative white LS of yore? If THAT had landed at the auto show yesterday, I’m guessing you could kiss the LS goodbye.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Let’s start with the good news:
    – Toyota has a turbo-charged six. Great – this needs to go into the GS and IS ASAP. And then to nearly every Toyota truck and SUV.
    – The interior looks nice

    However:
    – The flagship needs to be a V8 to compete with the Germans.
    – The exterior design could hardly be mistaken for “timeless elegance”
    – Heads need to roll over the assembly quality on the display model.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    This thing has morphed into a monstrous atrocity. What the hell is Toyota doing?

  • avatar
    spookiness

    Exterior: Do not like.
    Interior: Like.

  • avatar

    I like it, because this is the way that all sedans need to go (re: sporty).

    Kudos to Lexus for doing something different this time.

  • avatar
    arach

    I’m more Ferrari Owner than Lexus buyer (I do own a ferrari and have never even wanted a lexus).

    I’ve always disliked lexus. Not that I have a PROBLEM with the brand, but they were so lame I never had any interest, because once again, I’m more flash than subtle luxury. Lexus barely stood out from toyota, and certainly didn’t seem worthy of my hard earned cash.

    This is the first Lexus that has caught my attention. I’m not sure if I’d buy it (Toyota is looking too much like lexus now AND I’m more maserati (Used to own a quattroporte) than Lexus)…

    But this is the first flagship lexus to me that actually looked and felt like a flagship worthy of owning. Probably not in the market for one, but its finally in the ballpark.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    I really like it and cant wait to see it in person.

    I think it has a wonderful organic shape that will have definite presence as it rolls down the road.

    I especially love the side profile and front fender/hood curvature. Just delicious.

    • 0 avatar
      Rochester

      Hello, minority opinion.

      The people impressed by clown cars with expensive price tags are not actually enthusiastic about cars, nor are they enthusiastic about design. They just like shiny things.

  • avatar
    ajla

    No V8 is weak. If they want to make the turbo-6 standard for the no-rev oldsters and the V8 optional on an F-Sport trim or something then whatever. But to do no V8 at all sucks.

    The only company that doesn’t offer a V8 on their largest RWD-based sedan is Cadillac. And you don’t want to be Cadillac.

    FWIW, I actually like the styling. It is suitably disdainful and angry.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    The grill is awful. And people forget that many states require a front license plate, which is really going to look weird on top of that grill.

    Also, the complex drive train (10 speed, twin turbo) means the era of a Lexus flagship going hundreds of thousands of miles with minimal service is probably over.

    You’d be amazed how many people buy Lexus for their reliability reputation over cars they emotionally would prefer from European makes.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Compared a LS timing belt and water pump every 100,000 miles to the tune of $500.00 or a turbo rebuild every 300,000 for $50.00 x 2? I’d Mich rather have the latter and keep the turbocharged torque.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        “Compared a LS timing belt and water pump every 100,000 miles to the tune of $500.00”

        You need to nearly triple that figure for a correct dollar amount.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Sedans in the $100,000 snack bracket must provide exclusivity, stateliness, and elicit admiration. The LS 500 relative to the Mercedes S550’s timeless styling is faddish. It will go splat in the marketplace!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I wrote it yesterday and I’ll write it again.

    Some vehicles just don’t photograph well and look much better in person. Three examples that come to mind are the Buick Cascada, the Lexus IS (pretty darn sexy in person – horrid in pictures) and the Epsilon II Chevrolet Impala. So I will reserve full judgement until I can see one in person.

    With that said, the front clip from the a-pillars forward has….a lot going on. That grille looks absolutely nightmarish to clean after driving on a bug filled highway. It is long so maybe headroom won’t be compromised as much as that sloping rear roof implies it will.

    I’ve written for almost a decade now in the B&B, Toyota is slowly, surely, inch by inch, losing its way. They haven’t reached a critical crossroads like Honda has with Acura, but slowly, surely, inch by inch…

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    IMHO Lexus should go the final step their (young ?) stylists crave and make their car’s entire front end a grill, chop its roof, up wheel size and lower tire profile. Good luck finding a place it will actually be remotely practical to drive.

    FYI Toyota’s upcoming Camry has inherited most of this model’s front grill.

  • avatar
    scottcom36

    I’m looking forward to cars reaching “maximum ugly” in hopes that they might then start to go back the other way. This car might be it.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      In 2003 if you had told people, “in 15 years the Pontiac Aztek will look normal,” you’d be locked into an insane asylum.

      People’s Exhibit A: Nissan Juke
      People’s Exhibit B: Acura ZDK
      People’s Exhibit C: Lexus GX 470
      People’s Exhibit D: 2017 Toyota Prius

      • 0 avatar

        You don’t even have to go that far.

        Everyone always pulls the original ’01 Aztek – usually yellow – with its 15″ stealies and acres of plastic.

        Take an ’05 Aztek with its lip spoiler and monochrome scheme, choose maroon, white, or black, shod it with 17s from a Bonneville – or even 18s from a GP or Bonnie GXP.

        Now park it next to a Santa Fe Sport.

        GM was WAAAAY ahead of the curve on that one…

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Grandma had a silvery-gray Aztek from the end of production with a matching leather interior and alloy wheels.

          Not bad looking.

          She passed in March 2016 and my 18 year old cousin is driving it. Not embarrassed, just happy to have wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      Yes, Scott, “maximum ugly” – sad to say – seems like what Toyota and Company are about these days. That is truly an apt descriptor. Looks attract some people while they repel others. Should Toyota and Company begin to lose sales because of the current design language, we will be the first to say: I told you so.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    Also, not sure if this is the final production version, but those ground effects look really dated and tacky. They don’t blend in at all with the lines on the car.

    Very aftermarket looking, like when people would slap them on an old Mercedes to try and make it look like some sort of AMG.

  • avatar
    LuciferV8

    A huge car with a tiny engine is lame. A turbo can make up for displacement on paper, but ultimately a price is usually paid in terms of reliability.

    I’m not a big fan of the new design language, and the back end of this thing looks pretty ungainly. If it started at 50-60K, it would be a good proposition, but starting at 80K it looks overpriced with that motor.

    If they have to go make the thing sip gas for political reasons, they might as well bite the damn bullet and make it electric. It’s not like Toyota has no experience in this space.

  • avatar
    Rochester

    Lexus needs a new design theme. This thing they’ve been doing is just embarrassing. When someone’s first reaction to a design is to laugh out loud, that can’t be good for a “luxury” brand.

  • avatar
    gasser

    This new LS is about as sporting as a hippo in a tutu.
    Cars this size are not really sporting, horsepower notwithstanding.
    I’ve owned an LS 400 and 4 more Lexus models in the last 25 years. Not this time. The ugly front grilles have turned me off. The interiors are beautiful and I like the quiet, solidity and fluidity of the ride. The reliability of Lexus (and I mean all of the gadgets in the cars, not just the drive train) has been good.
    I just can’t go for any more of this alien front clip.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    The front end of this LS500 looks tacky and obnoxious. Hopefully it looks less embarrassing in person.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    I don’t mind the external design that bothers so many autojournos, but I drove a Lexus ES rental a few days ago and it did have a few fitment issues. The stitching in the steering wheel was digging into my fingers in an obnoxious way. The dash was sagging at 13k miles, letting me see the internal design under the windshield. Cap popped off the volume/power knob. It’s possible that Lexus is slipping in the trim department.

  • avatar
    Waftable Torque

    I like it. It’s much more in alignment with the ES body, and I’m not particularly disappointed by the missing V8. If anything, not having Apple CarPlay would prevent me from buying one.

    By 2021 my LS430 should just cross over 400,000km, by which every maintenance item (summer and winter tires, timing belt, rad/tranny/coolant fluids, 4 brakes) will converge simulaneously, securing the car to the junk heap rather than spending the $5k needed to keep a 19 year old car roadworthy. I can say I got my money’s worth. Then I’ll just drive my ES300 until it also gets to 400,000km.

    Truth be told, I’m more excited about the Lucid Air than any internal combustion engine based automobile. I’m inching my house towards Net Zero, and I’d like my future cars to be congruent on that front too.

  • avatar
    Igoaround940

    Hmm, and they called the Edsel ugly. If the horse collar grill on the Edsel reminded some people of a female body part, the Lexus grill looks vaguely like something one would put on it. C’mon, Toyota, can’t you do better styling?

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Flip it off.

  • avatar
    hgrunt

    Love it or hate it, this won’t be mistaken for anything else in the rear view mirror. It’s at least as bold as the S-Class on the inside, and far more distinctive on the outside.

  • avatar
    DudeMcLovin

    I can’t help but think catfish when I see this. In all fairness I’m no fan of Lexus vehicles but maybe it’s because they all look weird. I think the company just tries too hard. The styling is aggressive in all the wrong places. They have a long way to go to rival die Deutschen.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    The grille is a basketweave of deplorable.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    The Predator inspired front end on this thing is so ugly by comparison the Pontiac Aztec becomes beautiful by comparison. Calling the LS ugly is simply an understatement, it’s gone well beyond ugly.

  • avatar
    TonyP

    You can get a V8 in GS (mid sized luxury) but not the LS (full size flagship). Weird, wild stuff.

  • avatar

    All this talk about sport, sport, sport.

    What is the GS for?

  • avatar
    Paragon

    Let me point out that the ORIGINAL LS was a very tasteful and classy sedan. I always liked it and I still do. I’ll call the this latest version garish. Definitely NOT tasteful. Would appear that instead of trying to appeal to “old money,” this one is supposed to appeal to new money of a much younger demographic. Perhaps those wealthy young attention seekers in the music industry, or other wealthy attention seekers. In my opinion, the car manages to stand out in a not-so-good way. I’m speaking largely about the front end of this monstrosity, as the rear end seems basically OK. Lastly, LS500 sounds rather like what a NASCAR race sponsored by Lexus might be called. But, except for Toyota team owners or drivers, few in the NASCAR crowd would ever likely consider anything like this.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      While I’d want to see and drive a number of cars were I to be seriously considering a car in this price range, I’m pretty sure I’d go with the top Genesis over this latest LS. Toyota company styling seems to have jumped the shark. The latest Prius seems both weird and ugly from the rear at night. The reveal of the the NEW Camry in no way impresses me. I tend to prefer an understated elegance, or the bold and brash yet luxurious look of a Chrysler 300.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Toyota has taken a respected, very high quality model of understated elegance and fitted it with an ugly rear end, a monstrously hideous front end and a side profile shared by at least half a dozen other cars.
    They will sell only to people whose utter lack of taste and good judgement is equalled only by that of Toyota’s stylists.

  • avatar
    Eyeflyistheeye

    I swear, Lexus could cure cancer and give everyone a free chocolate bar and they’ll continue to get hated on here either that they’re too boring, a Mercedes knockoff or too weird. As an old-school Toyota guy, Lexus did a hell of a lot to make luxury cars from everyone better and more reliable.

    I’m glad Lincoln is getting their stuff together with the Continental and I think it’s better that they’re trying to build luxury before excitement. I can’t fault Cadillac’s engineering, but I fault them for trying to chase BMW with cars that are great except for their marketing and feeling of prestige and luxury. Johan’s stupidity and it makes it hard for me to root for them because of the sheer incompetence of him, Uwe and Melody.

    As for Lexus, at least they tried something different. Luxury doesn’t have to be stuffy and boring like an S-Class or Bentley, it can also be obnoxious and loud like a ’59 Cadillac or a 70’s Imperial. The real question is if Lexus can keep the reliability going. I don’t like how Toyota went from making “great” cars to “pretty good to very good cars” since they’ve lost their superior quality.

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    Corey – are you judging from the pictures or were you in Detroit? Btw Lexus official press/studio pictures suck massively.

    Few Car and Driver shots are quite nice and give a better and more accurate overall feel of the new LS.

    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

    It looks huge, wide and low. This car has PRESENCE. With suspension setup from LC it will drive well too (not like the current LS).

    Btw the current 4.6 V8 is totally characterless and torqueless (for such heavy car), dead quiet and boring too. You have to rev the hell out of it get all that mass moving. Twinturbo V6 with more character and loads of torque is exactly what a good handling LS needs.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      No one is saying they should use the same 4.6L from 2007.

      I was hoping for a new, higher-displacement V8 from the UR family or at the least the 5.0L that’s going into the LC (471hp and 398lb-ft).

      Or a turbo V8.

  • avatar
    incautious

    Fugly! The Chinese will love it.

  • avatar
    gkhize

    The front of that thing is simply awful. It somehow reminds me of the face paint of the Ultimate Warrior.

  • avatar
    mor2bz

    Ripoff.

    I had nightmares last night and now this.

    Why couldn’t they just make the old one and charge less?

    Will this one last a million miles?

    When Toyota drops the ball, I lose hope for all manufactured items.

    Rode in a LS400 once. I will always remember that.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Closeness is what the new Lexus Razor is all about. Choose from cord or rechargeable models, with 2000 blades, 100 closeness settings, and no gotchas. And for her, the Lexus Ladybug Razor complete with 69 grooming attachments. The Lexus Razor — perfect for everyone in the whole family!

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    I’m pretty confident that top of the line twin turbo V8 will follow after few years.

  • avatar
    Chan

    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.

  • avatar

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

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