2018 Lexus LS 500h & Lexus LS+ Concept – Video
The model, which follows the world premiere of the twin-turbo gas V6-powered LS 500 at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, is a further manifestation of how Lexus has reimagined the luxury sedan, presenting bold design, enhanced performance and a sophisticated appeal to capture the imagination of forward-thinking customers.
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+ goes a bit further than current mainstream technology, though, and communicates with a data center, which allows it to update its software with new functions (think Tesla’s over-the-air updates). Its AI also learns from collected data to help inform its automated driving system about the roads and surrounding areas, making it safer and more precise.
In addition to the autonomous highway driving technology, the LS+ Concept offers a glimpse into the future of Lexus design. It features a version of the the automaker’s signature spindle grille, which incorporates a large grille shutter to help with cooling and aerodynamic efficiency. Its headlights and taillights incorporate laser lighting. It also replaces bulky side mirrors with slimmer, electric camera units.