The 2018 Lexus LS 500 Is Japanese Luxury Redefined

The fifth-generation Lexus LS was unveiled by Lexus Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur's St Regis yesterday. The principles of Lexus are enshrined in Omotenashi, the Japanese spirit of hospitality. The new LS blends a dynamic coupe-like exterior with the spaciousness of a prestige sedan, the new flagship sedan is the most powerful and advanced yet. Beyond just horsepower and torque, this Japanese flagship may be more than what you'd normally witness in the Mercedes S-Class, Audi A8 or even the BMW 7-Series. Just what makes us say so?

 

It’s Outstanding Exterior

Moving away from the more formal designs, the latest LS 500 takes on a more Sensual Aggressive appearance. A more dramatic and bolder look is fronted by a unique mesh grille that uses the signature spindle design. The Spindle Architecture is a 3D construction originating at the spindle grille while the ultra-compact 3-beam headlamps with Bi-LED beams provide stronger illumination. From the rear, the new LS gains 28 mm in overall length at a new 3.125 metres. Wheelbase is stretched 35 mm, overall width is increased by 1.9 metres, 25 mm more than the previous with a 15 mm lower roofline.

 

Stronger Structure

The all-new Global Architecture – Luxury (GA-L) vehicle platform is a new approach to engineering with materials and loads of the car's structure that lowers the centre of gravity by placing its mass in more centralised positions and lower in the chassis. What is seen under the bonnet is the new cast-aluminium suspension towers that support the upper spring seats and suspension mounts above each front wheel. The structure is 42 per cent lighter at the front; in the rear the aluminium structure has 1.5 times the rigidity of steel, yet with 50 per cent less weight.

 

Powertrain

The fifth-generation LS sees a 3.5-litre V6 engine specifically developed for this flagship sedan. It offers V8-level power performance in a more compact package with efficiency. Total output is 415 hp and 600 Nm of torque which is higher than the naturally aspirated 4.6-litre V8 engine in the previous model. Electric wastegates provides ultra-precise turbo boost control for seamless, lag-free power build-up. As a variation, a special version of Lexus’ D4S direct injection system with port injection was developed to improve injection control linked to turbocharger operation.

 

10-Speed Auto Transmission

Having debuted in the LC 500, the 10-speed automatic transmission is a torque converter automatic, with shift times that rival those of dual-clutch transmissions. The LS features paddle shifters, and artificial intelligence transmission logic (AI-Shift Control) that anticipates the driver’s input by monitoring acceleration, braking and lateral-g forces to execute very-quick shifts. 

 

Chassis

Much like the LC 500 coupe, the latest LS sits on the GA-L platform that is the stiffest in Lexus' history, enhancing overall handling and ride smoothness. 

 

The GA-L platform comes with Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) too. This system implements ABS, Traction Control (TRAC/TRC), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Electric Power Steering (EPS) to control basic longitudinal, lateral and vertical motion. For the rear, the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) provides superior ride and handling too.

 

Safety & Technological Systems

The LS has always been at the forefront of safety technologies. Briefly, there is the Lexus Safety System+ that is aimed at reducing traffic fatalities. Other standards include the Lexus Safety System+ a Pre-Collision system (PCS), Lane Departure Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, Adaptive High-Beam System and Lane Keep Assist. The Panoramic View Monitor and Blind Spot Monitor, gives extra assurance during parking and reversing. There are 12 SRS airbags, including side and seat cushion airbags at the rear.

 

Luxury Redefined

There's more exclusivity that Lexus offers for their customers this time around. An option to personalize the vehicle with Kiriko Cut Glass package is available, but costs RM 98,000. The Kiriko Cut Glass package consists of Kiriko cut glass door trim ornamentation and origami hand-folded pleats on the door trim, matched with either a Black or Crimson & Black interior. 

 

Trim & Colours

The colour options for the new LS is expansive and rich. With 11 exterior choices to choose from, you can choose either Black, Graphite Black Glass Flake, Deep Blue Mica, Red Mica Crystal Shine, Amber Crystal Shine, Sonic Quartz, Sonic Silver, Sonic Titanium, Sleek Ecru Metallic and the Manganese Luster and Sonic Agate are the two excitingly new colours offered. 

 

For the interior colours and trim, there will be six choices to settle on. The LS 500 Luxury can be crafted up with Black/Art Wood Organic and Noble Brown/Art Wood Herringbone if you wish. The LS 500 Executive and LS 500h Executive also gets the Black/Art Wood Organic upgrade. These two variants also have an alternative combination called Crimson & Black/Art Wood Herringbone. The LS' new interior spaciousness and luxury will be covered extensively in the following article.

Prices for the new LS are at RM 799,000 for the LS 500 Luxury, RM 999,000 for the LS 500 Executive and RM 1,459,000 for the LS 500h Executive.

 

Are we still waiting in the lanes for the new NX 300 & RX 350 L to arrive? Click this article for more!

The new LS deserves an Interior Of The Year Award. Click here to find out why.

 

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