Remember that lightly boring luxury car company Lexus? Well the Japanese brand isn't just through the looking glass, it's smashed it to pieces with the unveiling of its stunning LS flagship sedan.
Lexus finally pulled the covers of its new LS sedan at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, revealing a car it claims will redefine the luxury sedan segment when it arrives in Australia, and one that is very un-Lexus.
Just look at it. The all-new LS is a shiny sea of powerful lines, 20-inch 'flame-inspired' alloys and a dominant grille that’s made up of 5,000 individual surfaces.
Then there’s the engine. The sleek four-door coupe, which will arrive in Australia in the first quarter of 2018, is packing an all-new 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 generating 310kW and a whopping 600Nm, sent to the rear wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Lexus claims the new engine has been designed to offer the power and performance of a V8 without the heavy fuel use, and the numbers paint a pretty picture on paper, with the LS capable of clipping 100km/h in just 4.5sec. Expect a hybrid option, specifically the V6 from the GS 450h, to appear shortly.
Promising a performance focus that’s been missing from Lexus’ luxury fleet, the new LS has dropped 90kg thanks to the use of lightweight materials, while the new platform (an extended version of the one used for the LC Coupe) shifts the engine and passengers towards the middle of the car, lowering the centre of gravity. The LS will arrive in long-wheelbase form only, stretching over 5.2m in length, 1.4m in height and 1.9m in width.
It also arrives equipped with the brand’s most advanced 'dynamic management' system, which adjusts braking, steering, acceleration and suspension to counteract body roll. Lexus promises it will deliver a smoother ride and, crucially, better cornering dynamics. Optional on the new LS is a Dynamic Handling System which includes active stabiliser bars and independent rear steering.
There is still a market for this type of vehicle, and it's still well appreciated.
Inside, expect a redesigned interior set-up, while the rear seats have been designed to melt into the door trim to envelop backseat riders. An optional 'ottoman' allows the seat behind the driver to be reclined to 48 degrees.
A 12.3-inch multimedia screen dominates the dash area, while a Japanese lantern-influenced lighting system and a new armrest design that appears to float in the door panel, along with natural wood highlights, add to the premium feel.
Finally, a new air suspension system will automatically raise the car, and open the seat bolsters, to make it easier to climb in and out of.
“LS was the vehicle we started with, and it set a new standard in the luxury car market and really put Lexus on the map,” he said.
“This fifth generation is going to reset the benchmarks in terms of style, luxury and technology."
“There is still a market for this type of vehicle, and it's still well appreciated. And I'm very confident this vehicle will be very competitive.”