The Lexus LS is the OG Lexus, the big S-Class fighting sedan that put Toyota’s luxury brand on the map way back in 1989. Now it’s back for its fifth generation, and while it remains conservatively handsome, it has the biggest change yet: there’s no V8 this time, but rather a twin-turbo V6.
Also, it drives around pedestrians if any of those dare to step in front of it.
First, the car itself. It rides on the new global modular platform used by the Lexus LC500 coupe, except longer here. Lexus says it’s lighter and stiffer than the last LS, as well as lower and wider with a new air suspension that lowers when you step inside. Neat!
Now the big surprise: the LS has always used a V8 as its sole powerplant. Now the car uses an all-new 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, which Lexus says delivers V8 power and acceleration. It’s rated at 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, and it supposedly sends the car from zero to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. A 10-speed auto is the only transmission option.
Remember all those years when people dinged Acura for not offering a V8 in its cars? It seems the days of big V8 engines in our large luxury sedans really may be coming to an end. Lexus makes no mention of a V8 option, now or at a later date. Will buyers be okay with that?
At the very least, pedestrians will. Lexus announced a first-ever new safety system that detects humans in front of it. If a collision is imminent, a warning will light up on the display, and then the car will automatically brake and steer away from the person while staying in its lane, Lexus says.
I think I have an idea for a new Jalopnik video soon.
In addition to the tech, the interior is all new and promises the world’s largest color display, an executive package with tablet-like controls in the back, and seats that give you a Shiatsu massage.
Pricing has not been announced but the car goes on sale at the end of this year. Besides the V8 question, there’s also the question of whether buyers will be down with this thing at all; sedan sales, even those of high-end luxury sedans, are in the toilet as customers migrate to bigger SUVs and crossovers. The all-new 7 Series hasn’t done BMW any favors at all. Can the LS weather the sedanocalypse?