“Not only will the LS symbolise the Lexus brand, it will become the definitive new generation luxury car, embodying Japanese tradition and culture. As such, this global pinnacle must go far beyond what the world expects from a luxury vehicle.”
Toshio Asahi, Chief Engineer
The original Lexus LS was the result of six years’ work by 1,400 engineers to build a luxury car that would rival the best in the world. This Project F1 delivered the first LS in 1989, launching the Lexus brand.
Almost 30 years later, the all-new, fifth-generation LS flagship saloon extends the boundaries of automotive luxury, drawing on the proud history of its predecessors while breaking new ground in design, technology and performance.
This is the first in a series of six articles that will cover many key aspects of the new model, from exterior and interior design to exhilarating performance, imaginative technology, Takumi craftsmanship and Omotenashi.
2018 Lexus LS: exterior design
“With my team, we wanted to produce something completely new, with unique proportions. Our goal was a car that was longer, lower and wider with a more powerful presence.”
Koichi Saga, Chief Designer
As the flagship of the range, the LS has always played a pivotal role in defining Lexus, embodying the brand’s image and what it stands for. With the new LS saloon, there was an opportunity to tear up the rulebook and create something with its own unique identity.
The low-slung, coupe-like silhouette eschews the established saloon car form, without compromising the interior spaciousness and comfort that are fundamental to a flagship luxury vehicle.
The designers were helped in their mission by the new Global Architecture-Luxury platform, which allows for a longer wheelbase, spacious interior and a lower, ground-hugging appearance.
There is incredible attention to detail in evidence throughout the car’s exterior, not least in the powerful interpretation of the spindle grille. This intricate design has 5,000 individual surfaces which took a highly-skilled CAD modeller six months to develop.
The grille is central to the new LS’s beautifully sculpted design, acting as the starting point for the lines that flow through the body and converge at the rear.
The front of the car is given even more presence by the slimline, triple bi-LED headlights, which are set in an L configuration that wraps around the front of the car.
A strong shoulder line running from front to rear emphasises the LS’s ground-hugging appearance and low centre of gravity, while the lines of the front and rear wings are slanted forward, hinting at the car’s dynamic qualities.
The shoulder line then flows through to the rear, linking to the LED headlights, which are instantly recognisable as belonging to a Lexus thanks to their strong ‘L’ motif. The shoulder line then folds down and back on itself, echoing the lines of the spindle grille at the front.
The Lexus LS is available with new alloy wheel designs and a choice of 12 different paint finishes. To find out more, click the following link to visit the Lexus.co.uk website.
See also: 2018 Lexus LS – interior design