Lexus LS: Fourth Generation

Interview with Lexus LS Interior Designer Junko Itou

“Lexus

Design Milk has an insightful interview with Lexus LS interior designer Junko Itou on the need to balance tradition with innovation inside the flagship sedan:

Design Milk: Is there any friction in the process of bridging tradition with the necessity of innovation?

Junko Itou: No. While I admit there is difficulty in simultaneously working between tradition and progress, I find the conflicting elements can ultimately create harmony. We believe that we are the brand who always overcomes these difficulties. It is Lexus. We believe the definition of luxury changes over time, and it is our mission to balance traditional and visionary luxury.

Design Milk: There seems to be a material narrative across every panel and surface inside your design – distinct yet coexisting harmoniously. What was the process in determining which materials to use and how to coordinate their coexistence without creating visual/tactile disharmony?

Junko Itou: We’ve been thinking how we can make things seem conflicting, yet compatible at a high level when choosing each material. Also, choosing materials in line with interior designer’s intention is paramount. To coordinate the coexistence of several materials, we began by formulating three concepts: Superior, Emotional, and Timeless.

Based on each of those themes, we selected color, material and finish as our focus. As the idea of the LS interior world became clear, we were able to coordinate the appropriate color, material and finish, even if it seemed difficult. Additionally, Takumi craftsmanship was necessary to complete it.

Comments
White brown combo is stunning


I spent some more time with it yesterday. Saw my first F-Sport in person. I can't get over how good the interior is. It is a real throwback to me to when I felt Lexus interiors were the best in the world. It is simply gorgeous and very well built. Sadly I do feel the rear is not as spacious as the last gen and with the panoramic roof my head hits the rear. I have no issues in the S-class or 7 series. The Panamera is tight so those coupe like looks hurt room.

Overall it is stunning, fell in love looking at the F-Sport.....
R
  • R
    RAL
  • February 1, 2018
Noble Brown interior ... wow!
2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport Drivers' Notes Review | Pretty but imperfect
An LC sedan this is not, but boy does it look good.



The ultimate Lexus, and the one that launched the brand, the LS was completely redesigned for the 2018 model year. It introduced an aggressive version of the famous (infamous?) "spindle" grille, a swoopy interior, and went to a completely V6-powered lineup, the fully gas-powered model featuring a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter engine. Not only that, but it adopted the platform of the stunning Lexus LC 500.

With all that in mind, the LS 500 sounds like it's got the potential to not only be a first-class luxury cruiser, but may have even gained some of the LC 500's sporting expertise. To find out, we spent some time in an all-wheel-drive model with the F Sport package, which adds a meaner-looking grille, sporty seats and the trick sliding gauge ring to remind us of the LFA supercar that first used such a cluster. The only thing it lacks is the handling upgrades exclusive to the rear-drive gas-only LS.

Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale: I love the Lexus LC 500, like, a lot. It was my favorite car I drove last year because it has the perfect combination of style, comfort and performance. So knowing that the LS has LC roots, I was excited to drive it, hoping it would basically be a four-door version of that car.

It certainly looks the part. Though not the gorgeous beast the LC is, it's still a looker. It's aggressive and intimidating, particularly with the black F Sport grille. And when you get in, you're greeted by hip-hugging leather seats and a flashy instrument cluster. Everything around you is leather, suede or metal in really interesting, unique shapes that make this Lexus feel like something different and special to most luxury cars. I particularly like the floating arm rest/grab handles in the doors.

But things fall apart with the driving experience. The twin-turbo V6, although plenty powerful, doesn't sound nearly as lovely as the growling V8 monster in the LC. It also has really sluggish throttle response, and the gearbox doesn't shift as quickly and crisply as in the LC, even in Sport+ mode. The steering refuses to tell you anything either, feels too light, and what weight exists feels very artificial. The ride quality also doesn't quite seem to know if it wants to be La-Z-Boy cushy or sports sedan firm. It's a shame, too, because there are brief moments in quick corners when the car starts to feel more confident — it's just let down most other places by other bits and pieces. But hey, at least it looks great.

Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: My, this is a beautiful car, especially on the inside. The design is bold, and unlike anything other brands are doing. It might not be everyone's cup of tea (just like that grille), but I find it to be excellently and elegantly executed. The floating armrests that Joel mentions are eye-catching and modern. The way the door trim panels look layered, almost as though they're being peeled away one by one, is something that seems straight out of an auto-show concept car, but it works here in this production model. I also love the lines that swoop all the way across the dash and appear mirrored in the stitching of the door trim.

The way the controls are incorporated into the design is interesting, as well. They're different than a lot of cars — especially the haptic touchpad infotainment interface — but they're worth getting used to for the unique look they afford. I dig the twist/push controls for drive modes and traction control located up on the sides of the instrument cluster. The tiny metal dots below the HVAC controls are useful, attractive and out of the way. I'd have never thought up a design like this in a million years, but I'm glad someone did.

While I agree with Joel's assessment of the drive experience (if you want a great twin-turbo V6, check out the Cadillac XTS V-Sport we drove recently), I honestly don't care that it's not an exciting car to drive, despite the engine under the hood. It creates a comfortable space that'll cruise comfortably and quickly to your destination. In style, no less. I just plopped it in Eco Mode, fired up the cruise control, and enjoyed my surroundings.

Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2018/02/02/2018-lexus-ls-500-f-sport-review/#slide-7230941


I suppose this is the first F Sport review I've read. A little disappointing to read their comments about the transmission, steering and throttle response, but nice to hear universal praise for how the car looks inside and out.
Well they were expecting LC500 like ride quality and driving dynamics, it shouldn't come as a surprise they didn't like it. Though it makes one wonder why the engineers didn't fully optimize the transmission and engine mapping to give it more responsiveness. Also the comment on the suspension not being decisive between soft and firm suggests insufficient effort into the tuning as well. It's active suspension, after all, which should mean it knows how to behave depending on road condition.

Seems there are still some low-hanging fruits with the F-Sport models. It won't bode well for them if the packages don't deliver, especially when they preclude other luxury packages.
ssun30
Well they were expecting LC500 like ride quality and driving dynamics, it shouldn't come as a surprise they didn't like it. Though it makes one wonder why the engineers didn't fully optimize the transmission and engine mapping to give it more responsiveness. Also the comment on the suspension not being decisive between soft and firm suggests insufficient effort into the tuning as well. It's active suspension, after all, which should mean it knows how to behave depending on road condition.
Lazy throttle response + bad transmission mapping is going to make many people feel like they're getting "less engine" with this TT V6 than they were with the V8, let alone the apprehension about downsizing in the first place. Hopefully this was a preproduction car and Lexus has made some tweaks for production.
It just needs a nice V-8 with over 500hp and some more fine tuning.....F-Sport adds a flair of sport, they are not F cars... hopefully a potential LS F fixes these items....

It looks amazing in red..
F
really digging the herringbone woodtrim.
Bravo Lexus. Amazing job. I could say, you may have just reignited the luxury flagship segment. More so, you may have just have reignited the brand again. I really feel like this car, exudes 1989 Lexus excellence again. My god. :heart_eyes:
Gecko
Lazy throttle response + bad transmission mapping is going to make many people feel like they're getting "less engine" with this TT V6 than they were with the V8, let alone the apprehension about downsizing in the first place. Hopefully this was a preproduction car and Lexus has made some tweaks for production.
i wonder whats the difference between it and the car in MT comparo, that was certainly fast enough and actually fastest on track.
If anyone is curious, it seems that Lexus sponsored another AMCI test between the LS 500 F Sport and the S560 AMG. Scroll down here for the video:

http://www.lexus.com/models/LS
Needs more engine variants
The 5.0l in the LC500 and be named LS550
The V8 hybrid as the NG LS600h
The V8 TT as LS-F
C
  • C
    CIF
  • February 3, 2018
Gecko
Lazy throttle response + bad transmission mapping is going to make many people feel like they're getting "less engine" with this TT V6 than they were with the V8, let alone the apprehension about downsizing in the first place. Hopefully this was a preproduction car and Lexus has made some tweaks for production.
Yeah, this is pretty disappointing to keep hearing. This is not the first review/preview to complain about poor transmission/engine response and inconsistent ride quality in the new LS. Given how long we waited for a new LS, and given how the 5LS was delayed for quite a bit, it's mind boggling that seemingly Lexus did a poor job in tuning the powertrain and suspension on the new LS.
Gecko
If anyone is curious, it seems that Lexus sponsored another AMCI test between the LS 500 F Sport and the S560 AMG. Scroll down here for the video:

http://www.lexus.com/models/LS
seems to show same things as MT did about the handling, ie best in class.
CIF
Yeah, this is pretty disappointing to keep hearing. This is not the first review/preview to complain about poor transmission/engine response and inconsistent ride quality in the new LS. Given how long we waited for a new LS, and given how the 5LS was delayed for quite a bit, it's mind boggling that seemingly Lexus did a poor job in tuning the powertrain and suspension on the new LS.
they made it the sportiest car, i guess that was their idea... from that MT comparo:

Driven back to back with the BMW, Genesis, and Lincoln, the Lexus feels an order of magnitude sportier than the rest of the pack. The new V-6 maintains the Lexus tradition of buttery-smooth revs, with plenty of low-end torque, and the automatic happily shunts through its 10 cogs in the background. However, if you ask for moderate or more acceleration from the LS 500, the V-6 struggles to move the 5,103-pound sedan, and the transmission’s shifts get harsh.
So basically nice cruiser but gets harsher when driving fast? Also fastest car despite being heaviest and also stops the best, fastest on the track, and highest mpg?

Did they all drive different preproduction vehicles or just different expectations?
spwolf
lso fastest car despite being heaviest and also stops the best, fastest on the track, and highest mpg?

Did they all drive different preproduction vehicles or just different expectations?
They still said the engine struggles to accelerate when the drivers wants to go hard on the gas, i.e. laggy throttle response. Harsh transmission shifts is not a compliment.

I have a feeling that the 500h should be a better driving car. But it seems that no one has put the two against each other.
ssun30
They still said the engine struggles to accelerate when the drivers wants to go hard on the gas, i.e. laggy throttle response. Harsh transmission shifts is not a compliment.

I have a feeling that the 500h should be a better driving car. But it seems that no one has put the two against each other.
struggles means something like slow acceleration or strained acceleration (like noisy).

Europeans did not like 500h, so I doubt it will be sportier drive... both seem to be nice for cruising though.

In any case, when it comes to all the speed testings, including in-gear acceleration (which would show "sluggish" response), it is fastest car tested in MT comparo.

There are already people posting their experience on CL, seems good.
Lexus wouldn't be Lexus without some weird packaging logic :)

Interior upgrade package is a must but then there are some very exciting individual options that are not expensive like your choice of wood for only $800, panorama for only a grand, air suspension for only a $1,500, panoramic view monitor for $800. I find only ML and HUD unreasonably priced but I'm sure there will be few fans of it.

Luxury Package is not necessary at all, LSS+ A is pricey, Kiriko glass and door trim is like they played spin the wheel choose the deal and it stopped at $6,000 (very pricey considering you can't choose the interior color other than black), in other words Kiriko & Hand pleated package should have been an official premier of L-Select program in US where customers can mix and match any kind of interior color with any kind of veneer.

And then comes the F-Sport nonsense. You pay $6,000 for cosmetic differences and then you have to pay $10,000 for the actual driving improvements. All of that while being limited in uninspiring interior color options and veneer. Why Lexus can't offer a wood trim in their F-Sports?

Also how does new LS look without premium LED headlights?
Nice Super Bowl Ads!
Not sure I ever saw it listed here, but here is the LS 500 and LS 500h MPG:

LS 500 RWD:
19 city / 30 highway / 23 combined

LS 500 AWD:
18 / 27 / 21

LS 500h RWD:
25 / 33 / 28

LS 500h AWD:
23 / 31 / 26

For comparison's sake:

BMW 740i:
21 / 29 / 24

BMW 740i xDrive:
19 / 28 / 22

BMW 750i:
17 / 26 / 20

BMW 750i xDrive:
16 / 25 / 19

Mercedes S450:
19 / 28 / 22

Mercedes S450 4Matic:
18 / 28 / 22

Mercedes S560 4Matic:
17 / 27 / 21
Not sure I ever saw it listed here, but here is the LS 500 and LS 500h MPG:

LS 500 RWD:
19 city / 30 highway / 23 combined

LS 500 AWD:
18 / 27 / 21

LS 500h RWD:
25 / 33 / 28

LS 500h AWD:
23 / 31 / 26

For comparison's sake:

BMW 740i:
21 / 29 / 24

BMW 740i xDrive:
19 / 28 / 22

BMW 750i:
17 / 26 / 20

BMW 750i xDrive:
16 / 25 / 19

Mercedes S450:
19 / 28 / 22

Mercedes S450 4Matic:
18 / 28 / 22

Mercedes S560 4Matic:
17 / 27 / 21
Gecko
Not sure I ever saw it listed here, but here is the LS 500 and LS 500h MPG:

LS 500 RWD:
19 city / 30 highway / 23 combined

LS 500 AWD:
18 / 27 / 21

LS 500h RWD:
25 / 33 / 28

LS 500h AWD:
23 / 31 / 26

For comparison's sake:

BMW 740i:
21 / 29 / 24

BMW 740i xDrive:
19 / 28 / 22

BMW 750i:
17 / 26 / 20

BMW 750i xDrive:
16 / 25 / 19

Mercedes S450:
19 / 28 / 22

Mercedes S450 4Matic:
18 / 28 / 22

Mercedes S560 4Matic:
17 / 27 / 21
Looks like everybody's following Lexus' lead in avoiding the Gas Guzzler Tax. Generally, that would mean official U.S. EPA numbers no worse than 16 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined. It looks like BMW's 750i xDrive comes closest without veering into Guzzler territory. The Lexus LS 500's margin of avoidance of the Guzzler Tax (and its margin of improved fuel economy vs GS F's 5-liter V8) gives me hope that the rumored V8 LS F will itself somehow avoid the U.S. Guzzler Tax.
There is a nice video comparing the LS F Sport and the Mercedes S560AMG on http://www.lexus.com/models/LS. Just scroll half way down the page and you will find it. Very different results from the other reviews/opinions when comparing The S Class To the LS.
I would be very interested to see a comparison of:

LS 500 vs 740i vs S450 vs A8 3.0T

and

LS 500 vs 750i vs S560 vs A8 4.0TT

Regardless of what Lexus marketing says about the 3.5L TT V6 competing well with the German V8s, I have a sense that it really is more favorable with their 6-cylinder models. BMW's I6 is notoriously underrated and Audi's 3.0L V6 is newly updated. Mercedes' 3.0L V6 has been very potent in the C 43 and E 43 as well.

While the LS has a power advantage on paper, it's also a good bit heavier than its V6 rivals: Starting weight is 200lbs heavier than S450, 300lbs heavier than A8 and 500lbs heavier than 740i.

I was expecting this engine to end up somewhere between the German 6cyls and V8s, so I'm curious to see what real-world tests show. For the dealer and customer product tour, Lexus has been comparing the LS 500 with the 740i, S450 and A8 4.0. Interesting mix, IMO, since Lexus has made many comments about the engine being favorable against "V8 competitors" a la S560 and 750i.

Lexus quotes 0-60 in 4.6 seconds for the LS 500 RWD but most of the figures I have seen are in the low-to-mid 5 second range.

Perhaps more importantly, the early real-world reviews have mentioned that the engine is very smooth with regard to NVH, which is paramount to most LS buyers. I assume the reported issues with harsh transmission shifts and laggy power delivery might not be evident to many owners in the real world who aren't tracking or wringing out their vehicles.

I guess I'm just curious to see exactly how this engine stacks up: is it really a true "V8 replacement," does it ride the middle ground between TTV6s and V8s, or is it solidly in the arena of the German boosted 6 cylinders?

The Motor Trend comparo with the Genesis and 740e is not the measuring stick I'm looking for since that was a totally loaded car (rear seat exec package++) and it had AWD. I'm most interested to see the performance specs on a fairly optioned LS 500 RWD.
For what it's worth to anybody. There will be a V8 version in the LS via LS F, Upwards of 600HP and there will NOT be a GS model anymore in 2019.
I don't really care about MPG in a flagship (honestly my LS 460 F-Sport got 13 MPG average around town) in regards to a buying decision but I do care about it for long trips and not having to stop for gas....some nice numbers below..

LS 500 RWD has a 21.7 gallon tank so that is a 651 range maximum at 30 MPG on a road trip....

The LS 500h has a 22.2 gallon tank so at 33 MPG highway we are talking 732.6 miles maximum....

;The LS 500 RWD at its 23mpg average = a 5oo gallon tank. The LS 500h at a 28 MPG average= a 621.6 gallon tank.

I like those numbers.

M
Top