Ultimate Guide: 2018 LS


2018 Lexus LS hand-pleated leather panels

Forged from Passion

Chief Designer Koichi Suga was tasked with developing a concept for the next-generation LS flagship and after hundreds of sketches, Suga landed on an idea illustrating the wheels of the next-gen LS as fireballs.  This sketch led to a design theme, “Forged from Passion” which is also the title of the Lexus LS Reveal Video and the perfect overarching theme for the redesigned sedan that launched a brand back in 1989.  With the fifth-generation LS arriving at dealerships in just a few months time, we’ve compiled details and info on the new flagship and put together the ultimate guide to the 2018 Lexus LS.


The 2018 Lexus LS 500 will debut with a new twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine that was specifically designed for the new Lexus LS.  The new turbocharged V6 delivers 416 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, both an increase in power compared to the current model’s V8 output.  The new LS uses the same 10-speed direct-shift automatic transmission that’s on the new LC coupe and, despite having two additional gears, the new LS transmission weighs the same as the outgoing 8-speed gearbox.  The new LS shares the GA-L chassis as the LC coupe, we found out with the LC debut, and has taken full advantage of the lower profile and longer wheelbase to optimize driving position, vehicle dimensions and vehicle weight.  Compared to the current LS model, the new LS 500 is 0.6 inches lower overall, with the hood about 1.2-inches lower and the trunk 1.6 inches lower.  With the front tires moved forward and both the driving position and twin-turbo V6 engine moved rearward, the center of gravity sits at 1.2-inches higher than the LC coupe.


2018 Lexus LS layout


The spindle grille on the new Lexus LS has evolved beyond ornamentation and is at the very core of the flagship’s entire design.  Even the exterior lighting builds on the current trend of incorporating the Lexus L pattern as seen in both the front triple beam LED headlamps and rear taillights.


Triple Beam LED headlamps on 2018 LS


See the “L” pattern in the rear taillights?

The F SPORT package takes the spindle grille even further with its own exclusive front mesh grille design, along with black plating applied to grille frame, rocker molding accents, and trunk lip.


2018 Lexus LS  FSPORT

Notable Extras (re: awesome!)

We’ve recently learned that the 2018 LS 500 will be available with a new Panoramic Glass Roof and an available, foot-activated hands-free power trunk feature!  The Panoramic Roof will feature a front glass panel that extends out and slides to the rear.  The front and rear parts of the roof are painted black to match the glass and the rear glass panel is a couple inches wider for a more expansive view.


Panoramic View Glass Roof available on 2018 Lexus LS 500


Foot-activated, hands-free rear power trunk for 2018 Lexus LS


The Colors

The new LS will be available in 10 colors, with some of those color options only on non-F SPORT models while the Ultra White option is exclusive to the F SPORT package.


Exterior Colors for 2018 Lexus LS


Autumn Shimmer on 2018 Lexus LS


NEW Color:  Manganese Luster on 2018 Lexus LS


Ultra White is F SPORT Package Exclusive on 2018 LS


Matador Red Mica on 2018 Lexus LS


Liquid Platinum on 2018 LS

The Wheels

The 2018 LS will be available with five wheels – four are newly developed designs and one 20-inch forged wheel design is shared with the new Lexus LC coupe.  The Noise-Reduction Wheels are designed to suppress road noise and is accomplished using a hollow section in the rim that resonates with the air in the tires, causing friction and converting sound waves to heat, as reported by Lexus Enthusiast.  We’ve also learned that the new LS will have Run-Flat Tires as a standard feature and the LS models equipped with 19-inch wheels and 20-inch wheels will have all season tires.


5 Wheel Options for 2018 Lexus LS


The interior of the 2018 Lexus LS is a true showstopper.  Infused with the Omotenashi Japanese concept of hospitality, the seats are at the very heart of the LS interior.  Designed to mimic the comfort of a plush armchair with expansive armrests, the 28-way power front seats definitely deliver.  A recent Lexus Enthusiast article best explains the new seat design and function:


Seat Controls in 2018 Lexus LS

“As seen in the illustration, electric motors have been combined with a pneumatic system for control of the entire seat.  Basic adjustments are made using the usual side switches, but the seat can be fine-tuned using the multimedia display.

  • Side of seat control: Sliding, reclining, lifter and tilting, variable cushion length, lumbar support front and back movement, lumbar support up and down movement
  • Multimedia Display Seat Controls:  Lumbar support front and back movement, lumbar support up and down movement, headrest up and down movement, headrest front and back movement, back pelvis support, hip support, shoulder support, backside support, cushion side support, front refresh function

The front seats also allow for easy entry and exit, with an automatic raising and lowering of the seat.  The outside thigh bolster will even compress so as not to get in the way.  Beyond this excess customization, Lexus has taken the front seats one step further by adding an available massaging option:


Seat Massage in 2018 Lexus LS

To read the full analysis from Lexus Enthusiast click here.

The standard LS will have five interior colors to choose from as seen in the chart below:


2018 LS Interior Color Choices

The Executive Package (which warrants it’s own post… coming soon) will offer 3 interior colors, including an interior with black, hand-pleated leather door panels and Takumi laser-cut Kiriko glass.  The 2018 LS F SPORT will have 2 options: Black and Circuit Red.


Executive Model Interior Options


2018 LS F SPORT with Black interior

The Technology – Our Cliff’s Notes Version (yes, really)




It’s all about the details.  The new instrument panel on the 2018 LS, which is an 8-inch TFT LCD display, is surrounded by stitched leather whereas the F SPORT instrument panel looks almost identical to the LFA supercar.


8-inch TFT LCD Multi-Information Display on 2018 LS


F SPORT Multi-Information Display on 2018 Lexus LS

The 2018 LS will be built with the 12.3-inch high-resolution screen as a standard feature and for the first time in a Lexus, a 4G LTE Data Communications Module (DCM) has been installed for data transmission which allows for dynamic map updates – real-time map updates downloaded from the cloud, dynamic routing and “one box POI” – Points of Interest can now be found through more casual voice recognition for the approximately 14 million POIs on board and 20 million in the cloud.


Standard 12.3-inch Navigation and Multimedia Display in 2018 LS

The 2018 LS will also feature the new Lexus Enform, now complimentary for 10 years, even over different owner changes and offer a Wi-Fi Hotspot, which allows for five devices to use a shared data plan via Lexus Enform.


Lexus Enform Complimentary for First 10 Years on 2018 Lexus LS

The new Heads Up Display, which is the currently the largest in the premium large sedan class, measures 24-inches by 6-inches.  The HUD image appears to be projected 9 feet, 10-inches ahead of the driver which reduces the need to change focus between the display and objects in front of the vehicle.  The new TFT backlight optical lens has a max brightness of 13K candela per square meter which is 2K more than the current RX HUD.


Dynamic and LARGE: new HUD in Lexus LS

The LS Climate Control System is just as impressive as the rest of the new systems and features an infrared matrix sensor system to accurately determine the heated and cooling requirements within the cabin, allowing for finer control of the interior temp.  The sensors have also grown in number with LS temp sensors increasing from 6 to 16, providing a more detailed mapping of the interior which enables the AC to self-adjust for heat caused by uneven sunlight and chill from shadows.  This new system, coupled with Climate Concierge, guarantees to deliver the desired temperature for you and all of your occupants.


LS Climate Concierge and Climate Control System

The Sound Systems offered on the 2018 Lexus LS goes beyond imagination and the optional Mark Levinson 3D QLI Reference Surround Sound System with 7.1 channels and 23 speakers in 16 locations throughout the cabin (including 2 speakers in the ceiling) produce the equivalent of 2400 watts.  The Mark Levinson system is the world’s first automotive use of Quantum Logic Immersion, which digitally separates audio into individual streams – vocals, instruments, and spatial sound information.  These streams are then remixed throughout the LS to match the original arrangement of the musicians on stage or in the studio, placing each sound in the area you would expect to hear it in a LIVE performance. One word: WOW.


Mark Levinson 23 Speaker Sound System in 2018 Lexus LS

As with other Lexus models, the 2018 LS will come with standard Lexus Safety System+, but it is the first Lexus to also offer a more advanced suite of systems on top of LSS+ called Lexus Safety System+ Advanced (we’ve talked about this new system in an earlier post).


Lexus Safety System+ compared to Lexus Safety System+ Advanced (LSS+AP)

According to Lexus Enthusiast, the advanced system relies on an extended suite of cameras and sensors as you can see below:


LSS+ AP with an extended suite of cameras and sensors























There are quite a few Lexus and world first technologies including an updated version of the Pre-Collision System which adds Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking with Active Steer and Pedestrian Alert.


LSS+AP with Pre-Collision System and Pedestrian Detection and Alert

Front Cross Traffic Alert is also new for the 2018 LS and uses front side radar sensors to detect approaching vehicles and bikes that may cross the vehicle’s path.


2018 LS with advanced pedestrian safety features

The 2018 LS is also equipped with a Panoramic View Monitor, which displays the vehicle’s surroundings on the 12.3-inch display by using camera installed in the front, the left and the right outer mirrors and the rear:


Panoramic View Monitor in 2018 LS

There are a reported 5 different modes to choose from with the new Panoramic View Monitor including:

  • Panoramic and Wide Front View
  • Panoramic and Side Clearance View
  • Panoramic and Cornering View
  • See-Through View (a rotating eye-level view around the car, as if the LS was fully transparent)
  • Moving View (displays a rotating bird’s eye image)


Other advanced and notable tech and safety features include:

  • All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) with Full Speed Range
    • the first element of the new Lexus CoDrive system
  • New “Blinker-Linked” Control – when following a vehicle traveling slower than the set speed, signaling a lane change which will initiate acceleration to assist with passing and kicks in at 44 mph or greater (and will not kick in if there’s a car in the passing lane).
  • Lane Trace Assist – an upgraded version of Lane Keep Assist
  • Road Sign Assist – can detect road signs using the front camera, displaying on the MID and HUD
  • Parking Support Brake – helps navigate parking lots
  • Pop-up Hood (like the one on the LC)


new HUD on LS.PNG
HUD Display for Frontal Collision Warning 


LS Rear Braking Support.PNG
2018 LS features rear support braking with world-first Rear Camera Detection


LS Hud Lane Change Assist.PNG
2018 LS HUD showing Lane Change Assist


What’s even more exciting is the recent news that the 2018 LS will start around $75K.  This low price point for such an advanced and beautiful crafted luxury sedan is enough to send the luxury auto market into a tailspin – one that could be as powerful as industry disruption that took place with the original LS introduction to the market in 1989.

What are you most excited to see on the 2018 Lexus LS?  Share in the comments section below or email us at jbrennan@nplexusdominion.com.


The 2018 LS: Coming Soon










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