Spy Shots: Next-Generation Lexus LS Prototype Spotted in Death Valley

The next-generation Lexus LS prototype is back out on the road again, and this time it’s been spotted by Motor1 in Death Valley with a BMW 7-Series & Audi A8:

Lexus LS Next-Gen Competitors

While it’s no surprise to see the new flagship sedan being judged against its competitors, this scene is notable because of what’s missing: The Mercedes S-Class. The A8 & 7-series are much better driving cars, and this appears to be the direction Lexus is taking with the LS.

The other spy shots are the best quality images we’ve seen so far — let’s zoom in on the front end:

Lexus LS Front End

Parts of the grille have been cut away for reasons unknown, but what remains looks very much like an F SPORT version of the flagship. Moving on to the side profile, and we start to see just how different this next-generation model will be from the current LS:

The hood is long and sleek, and the C-pillar blends down to the edge of the trunk, giving the LS a fastback coupe-like appearance — this alone would suggest Lexus is bringing some much-needed focus to the sedan’s performance.

When will this prototype translate into a production model? Motor1 reports the following rumor:

Word on the street says Lexus will kick off production in Japan of its new crown jewel in May or June next year following an official reveal likely to occur in January at the North American International Auto Show. It will go on sale in the Land of the Rising Sun in the third quarter of 2017, while in United States it will be available towards the end of the year as 2018MY.