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2018 Lexus LS Saloon is a Smooth Operator

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Like your super-size luxury saloons to be a little more edgy on the design front? Want to stand out in the be-suited corporate crowd? Or maybe you simply yearn for something a bit less, well, German? If that’s the case, Lexus may well just have the answer to your prayers. Behold the all-new, fifth-generation LS sedan, unveiled at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Hailing from the same platform that underpins the rip-roaring LC 500, the rear wheel drive 2018 Lexus LS is a touch longer than the outgoing model and has a slightly lower centre of gravity than before. The LS also borrows a couple more tricks from the Japanese marque’s gorgeous new sports coupe, not least the same twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine that provides the petrol power on board the LC 500h. We expect this 415bhp, 442 lb-ft power plant to propel the not modestly sized new LS saloon from a standing start to 60mph in a spritely 4.5 seconds, making it a far more efficient performer than the current version’s V8 unit.

Conducting the tune in the engine room is another handy hand-me-down from that landmark LC coupe. The 10-speed automatic gearbox, the first of its kind deployed in a premium limo of this ilk, boasts shift times comparable with those of a dual-clutch transmission. Paddle shift is an option here although Lexus expects its advanced electronic shift system, which chooses the optimum gear by monitoring acceleration, to be a bigger seller.

Let’s be honest, big luxury saloons such as the 2018 LS focus their attention less on the driver and more on the passenger seated astern. Accordingly, back seat amenities are numerous. Myriad settings for heating, cooling and massage complement a sliding panoramic ‘moonroof’ in the rear of the cabin, which Lexus assures will offer more legroom than ever before. Active noise control keeps the atmosphere inside suitably serene whilst an optional 3D surround audio system with in-ceiling speakers is on hand to break the silence whenever the mood takes you.

Comfort taking precedence, designers have fine-tuned the LS saloon’s suspension, breaking and independent front and rear steering  to deliver the smoothest of smooth rides.

Lexus’ familiar spindle grille returns relatively unaltered and a total of five wheel trim designs, in 19 and 20-inch guise, complete the super slick exterior styling.

Following its debut in Detroit, the new Lexus LS saloon will go on sale stateside towards the end of 2017. European order books look set to open soon afterwards.

Take a look at the release video below to see the new LS in action

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