Meet the Lexus LS, a full-size luxury car. Its predecessors came with V8 engines and were largely rear-wheel drive. The latest model, however, says goodbye to the V8 edition. Is the fifth-generation 2018 Lexus LS500 like the old LS cars we remember?
Let’s take a closer look.
V8 no more
Unlike its V8 predecessors, the new Lexus LS uses a V6 engine. The standard engine is the 24-valve V35A-FTS direct-injected, twin-turbocharged DOHC 3.4-liter V6. It’s tuned for torque production, and it cranks out 442 lb-ft from 1600 to 4800 rpm. Its 416-horsepower peak happens at 6000 rpm.
The new model is about 30hp higher compared to the previous LS460’s 4.6-liter V8. More importantly, it outperforms the V8’s 367 lb-ft of peak torque, whose torque peak was 4100 rpm. The turbo V6’s extra 75 lb-ft is greater in quantity and delivered over a lower, broader rev range.
Under the hood
The 500h’s hybrid power train is similar to that of the LC500h and uses a naturally aspirated Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6. It also has a shorter, 83-millimeter stroke. Lexus rates it at 295 horsepower before adding in the electric motors.
To Lexus, those electric motors are Motor Generator 1 and Motor Generator 2. Both are water-cooled, permanent-magnet units responsible for both propulsion and regenerative braking, and they’re powered by 84 lithium-ion cells. Combine them with the V6 engine and you get a system output of 354 horsepower.
The first thing we noticed when looking at the Lexus LS is its spindle grill, whose pattern is rather mesmerizing. The F Sport version of the LS comes with a different grill design but its just as detailed, but it doesn’t seem as visually interesting.
The spindle’s gaping gullet accentuates the car’s front, and there are many other interesting details in the styling. Combined with the side-view mirrors, the LS looks like a mix between a Maserati and Mercedes. It’s quite singular in that aspect.
That said, the best design is inside the car itself. The regular LS interior is trimmed with leather and wood like a conventional luxury car. The Executive interior looks a bit different.