It takes considerable inspiration from some of Lexus' recent concept cars, including the LF-LC of 2015, and sits longer and lower than the LS it replaces. It is the first model on the new Lexus "Global Architecture - Luxury" platform (GA-L), designed for new generations of front engine/rear-wheel drive Lexus models.
"Not only will the LS symbolize the Lexus brand, it will become the definitive new-generation luxury vehicle embodying Japanese tradition and culture". "More than any other model, it embodies the history and image of Lexus and serves as a symbol for everything the brand stands for". Lexus also envisages that some LS customers will want to be driven, so the rear seats have optional cooling and heating functions too, as well as a Shiatsu massage feature and an Ottoman leg rest in cars specified with the Rear Seat Luxury package. With a projected 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds, the LS should feel as fast as it is good-looking.
Inside, the LS features organic shapes influenced by Japanese wood working patterns.
The 2018 Lexus LC will start at $92,975 when it goes on sale this May. Wood, metal, and leather combine to create an upscale environment, and ambient lighting adds a touch of class at night. The highly efficient new unit is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, tuned to deliver "instant acceleration and a constant buildup of torque toward the engine's redline". Weight has been reduced by more than 90kg compared to the current LS, thanks to the use of high-tensile steel and aluminium. The new saloon is front-engined and rear-wheel drive, with four-wheel drive available as an option. It'll be available as a rear-wheel-drive auto too, and uses a ten-speed automatic gearbox. There are Normal, Sport, and Sport+ modes with shifter paddles to tailor your driving experience the way you like it. Lexus tells us the transmission is a torque-converter automatic with shift times "that rival those of dual-clutch transmissions".
"Optional equipment on the base LC 500 and LC 500h models includes 20" and 21" forged wheels, Mark Levinson audio system, Limited Slip Differential (LSD), Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), Intuitive Park Assist (IPA), Heads-Up Display (HUD) and Cold Area Package, which includes heated steering wheel and windshield de-icer.
Options will include a 3D Mark Levinson sound system with in-ceiling speakers; a color head-up display that Lexus says is the largest on the market; air suspension with an access mode that lowers the auto and opens the seat bolsters; 28-way power adjustable front seats with heating, cooling, and massage functions; a right side rear seat ottoman with a reclining seat, and 20-inch wheels. Also standard are active noise cancellation and leather upholstery.
Among the key new safety features is a pedestrian detection system that can automatically brake and potentially steer around the person while staying in the lane. Not sure how you see the road beyond the display but we'll test it once the 2018 LS hits the road, expected in late 2017.
All we know so far is that it will go on sale in the USA at the end of 2017, so we'll have to wait for news on a United Kingdom release date and pricing.