2018 Lexus LS has a livelier look and new twin-turbo V6

When considering that the Lexus LC 500 made it to production virtually unchanged from concept form, it was reasonable to think that the LS would similarly follow suit. Especially when the LS shares the LC's GA-L platform. Unfortunately, it didn't pan out that way.

It is possible to spot cues inspired by the LF-FC concept, such as the lower contour of the windows, the crease in the metal leading up to the rear wheel, and of course the lights and spindle grille. But they're overshadowed by the fact that this LS has a significant amount more girth.

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Just because it doesn't live up to the concept doesn't mean it's a bad looking car. It's far more interesting to look at than the dated, upright LS currently on dealer lots. It also sits quite low and the wheels and tires fill the wells nicely, which gives it a road-hugging stance. There are some nifty design details, too, such as the glass that is completely flush with the pillars.

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As already mentioned, the new body is wrapped around a stretched version of the LC's platform, and it also uses its 10-speed automatic. Surprisingly, though, the LS doesn't use the LC's powertrain. Under the hood is a completely new twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that pumps out 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. That puts it down on power, but ahead in torque compared with the LC's V8. It's also significantly more than the previous LS' V8, and Lexus predicts it will be capable of a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds with rear-wheel drive. A Lexus PR representative also said the LS is only being released with the V6. We doubt it would be hard to drop one in later though if Lexus saw demand.

Inside, the LS is more interesting than the outside would suggest. The dash is clearly inspired by the LC 500, utilizing a similar gauge pod with traction control and drive mode selectors protruding from each side. The dash is also dominated by a wide, dark section that houses the 12.3-inch infotainment display. Just below that, is an attractive strip of slats that follow the contours of the dash and house the air vents. Back seat passengers also will have a pleasant environment thanks to the fact that the LS will only be available in a long wheelbase form, so leg room will never be in short supply. They also will have access to available reclining seats, ottoman, and Shiatsu massage functionality. According to a spokesman, the Japanese-style of massage function is a first for the LS. At the time of writing, Lexus did not provide any on-sale date or pricing information.

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