2018 Lexus LS 500h Drive, Interior, & Walkaround – Video
The car’s design successfully brings together the virtues of a long-wheelbase four-door sedan with a low, coupe-like profile, positioning the LS perfectly across the growing sedan and coupe segments.
The cabin has benefited from an equally new approach, focusing on “progressive comfort,” interpreting Japanese aesthetics and craftsmanship traditions in the context of an advanced, luxurious and innovative vehicle interior such as the unique door trim ornamentation. Notably, the LS 500 was honored at the NAIAS with the EyesOn Design Award for Design Excellence – Interior Design.
Conceived as the new global pinnacle of the Lexus brand, the LS goes beyond what the world expects from a luxury car. Chief Engineer Toshio Asahi explained: “Developing such a flagship model required a massive paradigm shift. Rather than being bound by the conventions that had defined luxury cars in the past, we aimed to create a car with innovative, emotional and sensual appeal that would draw customers’ eyes away from other luxury cars and provide entirely new values.”
The LS 500h is equipped with the new Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System, which provides enhanced responsiveness and linear acceleration, particularly when accelerating from a full stop. The powertrain features a 3.5-liter V6 Dual VVT-i V6 gasoline engine and two electric motors, together delivering maximum system power of 354 hp.
The LS 500h is built on the new Lexus Global Architecture – Luxury (GA-L) platform, which is shared with the all-new LC. This platform ensures a low center of gravity and optimum weight distribution, contributing to the car’s essential stability and handling agility, which in turn deliver increased driver rewards. The fundamental high rigidity of the chassis allows the new multi-link suspension to be tuned to achieve enhanced handling performance and the supreme comfort for which the LS is renowned. The car’s dynamic performance also benefits from the coordination of braking, steering and stability systems through Lexus Dynamic Handling.
Advanced technologies are further used to deliver impressive safety performance. The LS 500h’s available Advanced Safety Package features the world’s first Intuitive Pedestrian Detection system with Active Steering within the lane.
Omotenashi, expressing the unique sense of Japanese hospitality, defines the LS 500h’s whisper-quiet and luxurious interior. Supreme comfort is provided by front and rear seats with multiple power adjustment, heating, cooling, and massage functions. There is also an optional rear seat arrangement that includes an extending leg ottoman and the most generous leg room of any LS generation. At 123 inches, the wheelbase of the new LS is in fact 1.3-inches longer than on the current long wheelbase LS 600h L.
Lexus Takumi craftsmanship also contributes to the special quality of the LS 500h’s cabin, in luxurious new trims, materials and detailing, including a new pleating treatment and Kiriko glasswork on the inner door panels.
Creating a new standard of flagship luxury is not simply a matter of adding more features. Inspired by the omotenashi principle, Lexus sought to instill the new LS cabin with luxury that welcomes and envelops the occupants while treating the driver like a partner.
“I suggest that you simply open the door and experience that immediate, intuitive sense that you’re looking at an interior that is unlike any luxury car before,” said chief designer Suga.
New seating designs, including available 28-way power front seats that feature heating, cooling and massage, exemplify this approach. The organically shaped dash design clusters information displays at uniform height to support the “seat-in-control” layout that emphasizes the driver’s ability to operate all systems without the need to change posture.
While making the new LS even more of a driver’s car, Lexus also lavished attention to the rear seat, developing a design that creates seamless, enveloping continuity between the trim and seatbacks for passenger egress.
Options for heating, cooling and massage make the rear seat a welcoming environment. The available power front and rear seat with Shiatsu massage and a raised ottoman, part of a wider rear seat luxury package, offers the most legroom of any previous-generation LS. In addition, the seat behind the front passenger in this optional package can be reclined up to 48 degrees, and can be raised up to 24 degrees to help assist the rear-seat passenger in exiting the vehicle.
Because the new LS is lower than previous versions, Lexus, for the first time, equipped the available air suspension with an access function. Activated by unlocking the car with the smart key, access mode automatically raises the vehicle and opens the seat bolsters to welcome drivers behind the wheel.
Lighting and attention to detail express a unique aesthetic in the LS. A new approach to creating trim elements again turned to Japanese culture, combining traditional Japanese aesthetic with advanced manufacturing techniques. This is reflected in signature touches, such as beautiful interior ambient lighting inspired by Japanese lanterns and armrests that appear to float next to the door panel.
Inspired by Shimamoku wood patterns, the new forms that combine the artistic combination of natural woodwork and application of Japan’s sophisticated sliced wood and laser cutting manufacturing technologies can be seen in the new LS. New patterns include Art Wood Organic, Art Wood Herringbone, and Gray Sapele Wood with Aluminum. Compared to the straight-grain Shimamoku pattern, the new LS cross-grain is a larger pattern featuring bolder contrasts between light and dark, giving the wood a more vibrant appearance.