We sat down with the two guys behind the new LS and learned why this car is so unique.
It took Lexus nearly 15 years to design and engineer the all-new 2018 LS flagship sedan, a length of time somewhat unheard of in this industry today. But no matter, the years spent were well worth it, as evidenced by the final result. The new LS is absolutely stunning inside and out and the attention to detail is unlike anything you'd expect. Speaking with its chief designer and engineer, Koichi Suga and Toshio Asahi, respectively, at Detroit, we were told that there were four specific pillars that make the new LS what it is.
First off, "brave design" was essential and the challenge was to make sure the four-door coupe design also provided sufficient rear headroom and trunk space. Remember, the new LS has a conventional sedan trunk as opposed to a rear liftgate a la the Kia Stinger. Designing and engineering this trunk was a lot harder than you'd assume while also maintaining rear seat comfort. Lexus realized the car had to be more comfortable than the S-Class. The second pillar was "exhilarating performance." Dropping the previous generation's V8 in favor of the new 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 was a gutsy move, considering main rivals like the 7 Series and S-Class offer V8s.
Asahi-san is confident this new engine "exceeds the previous V8, provides a proper driving experience, while also taking into account environmental considerations." Lexus specifically targeted both the 7 Series and S-Class for performance. Another vital pillar was "imaginative technology;" it was vital for it to have advanced driver assist systems in order to meet the driving dynamics benchmark, the 7 Series. Lastly, the application of Japanese craftsmanship was vital. In case you didn't already know, Japan has a very special history of excellent craftsmanship in nearly everything, from making sushi to hand-built engines.
The new LS is certainly no exception, from the front grille design pattern, to the "floating armrests" and the specific stitch patterns that adorn the interior; the entire car is a work of fine Japanese art inside and out. So the question that remains is whether the new 2018 Lexus LS is a segment game changer. We'll have answer for you once we get some time behind the wheel in the near future.