The new Lexus LS luxury saloon has been unveiled at the Detroit motor show with the Japanese manufacturer boldly stating that it expects the fifth-generation car to “reset the luxury benchmark in the same way the original LS did in 1989”.
The new LS, a rival to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, is based upon a version of the GA-L platform which underpins the well-received LC500. In the LS, however, the wheelbase has been extended from 2870mm to 3125mm. The new saloon is front-engined and rear-wheel drive, with four-wheel drive available as an option.
The new Lexus LS is 5235mm long, 1450mm high and 1900mm wide. Compared to the current LS, the new model sits about 15mm lower, while the bonnet and boot are 30 and 41mm lower respectively, with Lexus’s designers striving for a ‘four-door coupé’ silhouette.
Lexus has put an emphasis on driver engagement. It claims the LS is endowed with “precise handling and direct steering” thanks to its lighter platform, a new engine mounted lower in the car’s nose and enhanced body rigidity.
A new 3.5-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 engine “with the performance of rivals’ V8 engines” has been developed for the LS. It produces maximum power of 409bhp and 442lb ft of torque, channeled through a ten-speed torque-converter automatic transmission, as also used in the LC500. The rear-wheel-drive LS is capable of accelerating from 0-60mph in 4.5sec; Lexus hasn’t revealed the performance of the four-wheel-drive variant.