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Detroit debut for 2018 Lexus LS

By raccars Published


New luxury Lexus with hydrogen fuel cell power could be available before 2020 after show debut.

Lexus has released the first official picture of its new flagship LS saloon in readiness for its big reveal at next month’s Detroit Motor Show. The Lexus rival to the Mercedes S-Class and the BMW 7 Series will return to its roots for its debut as the original LS was first released at the 1989 Detroit show, marking the birth of Lexus. The Toyota-owned brand name has now become synonymous with the use of pioneering hybrid drive trains and for shunning diesel power completely.

A ‘dynamic’ and ‘visionary’ Lexus

The Lexus has been spotted out testing but Lexus has now confirmed that the first weeks of 2017 will see the car’s first official appearance. It is underpinned by the Lexus GA-L architecture which has already featured in the design for the new LC 500h and the LS’ makers claim that it features ‘visionary technology’. Lexus also says that its new platform will allow the flagship saloon to offer a ‘more dynamic’ experience for the driver.

The official image released reveals vital components of the new car, including the drive train and suspension and offers a look at the LS’s front end, which seems to be inspired by the LX. The Lexus LS features a big spindle grille, large alloys and sharp bumpers. Spy shots taken previously have also hinted at new tailgate and headlight designs.

The only official preview of the LS came in the form of the LF-FC concept which was shown off at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show but the shoulder line does not look to be as dramatic on the production model, although gaps in its camouflage have allowed for the spotting of a noticeable kink.

In general terms, the LS will display a rather more modern look as a result of the latest design language from Lexus which should help it to hold its own in the style stakes in comparison with the likes of the recently-refreshed IS and GS models.

Taking on Mercedes and BMW

It seems that Lexus is aiming for the LS to match or beat the BMW 7 Series in terms of technology and comfort levels. This is why it is expected that the new model will debut some new driver assistance and autonomous driving technology, in addition to offering performance and efficiency improvements.

Another major feature of the new Lexus could well be the use of hydrogen fuel cell technology. Early this year, the brand said that it was going to be launching a luxury car using hydrogen fuel cell power before 2020. This was previewed in the form of the LF-FC concept, which is being linked extensively with the LS.

Before this happens, however, buyers can expect to choose from a familiar variety of V8 and V6 petrol units and hybrids. It is thought that the new Lexus LS will offer the same drive train options as the LC500 Coupe, meaning a choice of a 5.0-litre V8 and a hybrid 3.5-litre V6 set-up.

The history of the Lexus LS

The LS 400 was the first model ever developed by Toyota’s luxury division. The second generation made its debut in November 1994 and the LS 430 made its first appearance in January 2000. The LS 460 and LS 460 L followed in 2006 and debuted automatic parking and the first eight-speed automatic transmission in a production car.

Development of the first Lexus LS, which stands for Luxury Sedan or Saloon, started in 1983 under the mysterious title of the F1 project. It is believed the half-decade design process cost more than $1 billion US.

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