A mid-life refresh is coming soon.
The fifth-generation Lexus LS has been around since 2018 and very soon it'll be receiving a mid-life update. Already a very stylish-looking luxury flagship sedan, we don't expect the Japanese automaker's design department to make any dramatic changes. However, big changes are afoot under the skin.
According to Japanese language website Mag-X, not only will the updated LS receive some autonomous technology that we already knew was in the works, but also a new engine option: a V8 hybrid. Currently, there is no V8 option, which was an interesting decision given that every previous generation LS had one available. Today's Lexus LS is powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with 415 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque while the LS 500h has a 3.5-liter V6 paired to a hybrid system. The V8's return is therefore a pretty big deal.
As to which V8 is in the cards, sources claim there's a chance it'll be an updated version of the 5.0-liter V8 hybrid from the fourth-generation LS, specifically the LS600h, which produced a total combined output of 439 hp. If this is indeed the engine, there's a high likelihood the nickel-metal hydride battery packs will be swapped out in favor of more advanced and more environmentally friendly lithium-ion batteries.
It's also possible Lexus could be working on a new V8 hybrid altogether, though this is probably the less likely option due to the high costs involved. Rumor also has it a four-cylinder engine option is also in the pipeline, but the chances it'll be offered in North America are low.
Large luxury sedan flagships don't have four pots typically found in less expensive vehicles, at least in America. Another reason why the Lexus LS could see the V8 option return is because of the Lexus GS being discontinued. Up until now, the GS had been the brand's only V8-powered sedan in the lineup and Lexus still needs to have at least one vehicle with eight-cylinders to keep up with rivals.
Also, a recently leaked document indicated Lexus only plans to sell V8-powered vehicles that cost at least $90,000. The LS fits into that category, along with the LC grand tourer.