Lexus made a name making soft comfortable cars, so why is it taking a new direction?
The niche Lexus has carved out for itself one radically angled spindle grille at a time is that of a luxury brand that values sportiness and bold forward thinking more so than classiness, although one major styling exception to that rule has long been the LS. Its flagship sedan, an attempt at breaking the monopoly of BMW’s 7 Series and Mercedes’ S-Class, stands as one of the few polite and sophisticated Lexus designs, but that’s all about to go to hell once the fifth generation rolls out.
Come January, automakers will converge on Detroit for the North American International Auto Show, the venue where Lexus has chosen to debut its new LS. To coax us over to its booth during the show dates, Lexus has just released a teaser featuring a cutaway that displays a partial image of the front end and revealing some of the chassis components underneath. On the face, we can see that Lexus has ditched any ambition it once had to not offend. And why should the automaker be polite? It’s had its cash counters full ever since it went with radical designs and its NX crossover, the model that’s keeping the brand nipping at the heels of the Germans, may be one of the most outlandishly styled SUVs on the market.
Looks aside, Lexus is banking big on the bones of the LS, which is called the GA-L platform by L badge nerds. Other recipients of the platform include the LC coupe, which will give the automaker a sporty replacement for the RC coupe and, thanks to its smaller dimensions, should solve the current coupe’s weight problem. This should add up to a more dynamic experience in the LS, which is fitting because the automaker claims that its flagship will get a more coupe-like profile in its fifth rendition. This hint makes us think that the LC-FC concept could be coming to life. In either case, expect for a pleasant surprise come January with hydrogen fuel being an option for the LS.