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
RELEVANT LINKS BELOW

Here is the link to Lexus press release

http://pressroom.lexus.com/releases/lexus-reimagines-global-flagship-sedan-2018-ls.htm

Download Photos here
http://pressroom.lexus.com/album_display.cfm?album_id=1161&section_id=421

Lexus Website Updated with new pictures
http://www.lexus.com/concept/LS/#/

Joaquin Ruhi
Also worth checking out is the release on the Toyota Global Newsroom:

http://newsroom.toyota.co.jp/en/detail/14551928/

There are some differences versus the Lexus USA Newsroom release, including this passage missing from the American version:
S
Not sure how I feel bout the design. It looks good but it doesn't blow me away like the LC. Front end kinda reminds me of the ES. Can't wait to see more of the interior however its very impressive.

Aside from design, that TTV6 pumping 415hp is the best part of the car and I can't wait to see smaller and lighter applications of this motor!
B
Hate to say it, but this is what I see. It's a bigger.......




And the Buick has a MUCH nicer interior! It doesn't try too hard to be different, or stylish, just for the sake of doing it. Understated elegance.

I had VERY high expectations, and a turbo-six, no V8, and an unfocused styling approach was not what I wanted.
Lexus didn't not make a car that I want. This is not flagship style. This is a swing and a miss.
It's not the Mercedes SL, but this is an issue, a situation. They had a chance to really catch the Germans flat-footed in design, and they missed.

And what's up with the infotainment? The Mercedes brand is shaming Lexus. This is non-competitive in interior graphics and electronics. Hard to believe they had 8 years to plan for this and this is all they've come up with.
BD
I Love it! There were a plenty of "worlds firsts". Look at the new 24 inch HUD, the new Safety Systems and a gorgeous interior. I'm exciting to see the new LS in different colors and an Hybrid version of it.

Lexus has done a really good job!
C
Stunning!

I see a fusion of XJ and Tesla Model S in the overall shape and stance.





Maybach inspiration in the swooping dash and interior elements.



Excited to see the 24" HUD???!!! Any pics out there yet?
:yum:pray::thumbsup::D
B
corradoMR2
Stunning!

I see a fusion of XJ and Tesla Model S in the overall shape and stance.





Maybach inspiration in the swooping dash and interior elements.



Excited to see the 24" HUD???!!! Any pics out there yet?
:yum:pray::thumbsup::D

I think the XJ is what they were TRYING to do, but they failed.
BD
This is a really nice ES350L F-Sport
C
  • C
    CIF
  • January 9, 2017
I had very high expectations, and after years of waiting, so far they have not been met.

Initial impressions:

- No President Toyoda for the unveiling?
- Exterior looks good, but not great. IMO they could have done better with the rear end styling.
- V6 twin turbo as rumored with 10 speed AT. Good numbers on paper, but what about any other engine offerings? No more V8 then?
- electric wastegates on the new engine, awesome
- 28 way power driver's seat, that is excellent and world class
- ceiling speakers for the top end ML audio system, also world class
- world's largest HUD, nice
- dynamic navigation that updates maps in real time, sounds great on paper
- world's first active braking and pedestrian avoidance system with active steering, world class
- interior is still too early to judge overall. Very few details and pics released. Overall not a huge fan of the interior style, but will wait for more pictures and information before judging
- stitching on the inside of the instrument cluster, world class
- smart-key operated air suspension and seat bolstering adjustments when entering the car, a cool new feature

Overall some nice improvements and advancements, but IMHO, not enough for me to say "wow this exceeds the S Class" or "WOW this is the class leader now".

I was expecting more personally, in terms of "wow" features, and more world class features or world firsts. If this is it in terms of surprises and features, then I am underwhelmed and somewhat disappointed. If Lexus still has withheld a bunch of features or world firsts until later, then it's too early to judge.

“As such, this global pinnacle must go far beyond what the world expects from a luxury car.”

“We set previously unheard of targets and resolutely pushed ahead towards these ambitious goals,” said LS chief engineer, Asahi
I thought that perhaps my expectations were a tad too high, but then again it has been an 11 year wait for the new generation. Also with those above statements from the chief engineer, well that certainly raises expectations very high.

So the question then is; what targets? How exactly has new the LS gone far beyond what the world expects of a luxury car? Where are the details to back up such bold statements? These details certainly were not on the press conference reveal, and nor are these details in the press release as far as I can tell. We won't know for sure whether Lexus can back up such statements until we see the full in-depth technical documents and press release close to the car's release at the end of this year. For now, the reveal and initial press release are too light on details to back up such bold statements.
Excelent job from Lexus. The only two things I am little bit dissapointed are the back which reminds me Hyundai Genesis and the interior quite like a Mercedes S-class. These two things could be more original. Nevertheless, I am sure that it will be better in every aspect than new Audi A8.
Black Dynamite
Hate to say it, but this is what I see. It's a bigger.......

That's true.

As to the new LS, I like the low hood line and the front in general, but it goes downhill for me as you move back. The rear half of the car to me is an Infiniti Q70 (greenhouse/D-pillar) and Kia Optima (long side marker taillights) mashup that doesn't work particularly well.
R
  • R
    RAL
  • January 9, 2017
After 11 years I had high expectations. I was elated upon the reveal of the concept. And now, I regret to say I feel somewhat underwhelmed. As in most cases, pictures cannot convey the "presence" this car will likely exude.
The interior definitely rewards further study. I love how clean and modern looking it is, and the little details that start to pop out as you look at it more (like the camouflaged vents) are great.

Also, using the air suspension to raise the car for entry/exit is genius and potentially blunts one of the advantages of a CUV.
mikeavelli
Here is the link to Lexus press release

http://pressroom.lexus.com/releases/lexus-reimagines-global-flagship-sedan-2018-ls.htm

Download Photos here
http://pressroom.lexus.com/album_display.cfm?album_id=1161&section_id=421
Also worth checking out is the release on the Toyota Global Newsroom:

http://newsroom.toyota.co.jp/en/detail/14551928/

There are some differences versus the Lexus USA Newsroom release, including this passage missing from the American version:

The New Colors of Progress
The all-new Lexus LS upholds yet another brand tradition, that of innovative paint finishes and techniques. Designers developed two new colors specifically to showcase the bodylines (availability will vary by market). Manganese Luster adds a highly reflective layer of paint on a base coat with muted brightness as a way of highlighting the shine and expressing a dramatic play of bright and dark, light and shadow. Sonic Agate is a passionate red, but with a deep, rich tone that also expresses dignity and prestige.
C
Black Dynamite
I think the XJ is what they were TRYING to do, but they failed.
BD
I see what you mean about the resemblance to the Lacrosse, from the front 1/4 view looking at the rear. In fact, it also popped in my head even before your post and so did the Altima to some degree (belt line crease, front fender curve, etc) if we really want to start tearing it apart, but nowadays, which 3-box cars don't have some resemblance or styling cues to one another? However, with this said, I do wish the styling was less "bloaty" from the front 1/4 view at the rear and more edgy like the LF-FC.

View attachment 2039



Rear styling aside, in this segment, I feel the LS so far has not disappointed at least on paper. I especially have high hopes for a best-in-class luxurious yet sporty ride, and that INTERIOR!!! Nothing I've seen mass-produced is as stunning. Dying to see the 24" HUD. The future is here!
Interior is dope..can't wait to see more colors..

View attachment 2040

This is my favorite angle thus far

View attachment 2041
Maybe my expectations were too higher because of the awesome LC 500.
Maybe my expectations were too high because Lexus had a decade to get this LS right.
I'm sure it will drive nice and be reliable. But that is not nearly enough to be competitive in this market. Styling is so key here (just look at the picture of the Tesla above) and there is not much of it in this new LS. I think BD comment above hit the nail on the head.
As a Lexus fan I feel let down. I have had two LS's and I'm not even remotely interested in this current offering.
:-(
Here is a picture that gives us a little hint of the new infotainment design. I haven't seen the infotainment on the new LC yet and i don't know if its different from it or not. But in my opinion it looks not to bad at all. Hopefully we have not to wait too long for more information.

At the moment it's too early to judge the car.
I think it looks great especially the interior and with the V6 turbo thank god it's faster than the old LS. Any guess how much slower AWD is? I know with the current LS it's a large gap. Lastly, I know a lot are expecting it to destroy everything like the LC did but the LC is a coupe. Much easier to make it look sexy and unique. The LS is a very large sedan and harder to truly be unique. The LS is much better than the old one and should stay that way for years to come. We have a fuel cell and an F hopefully coming soon!
I will be honest in saying that I didn't instantly love the design of this car like I did with the 4LS... When I saw the LS 460 11 years ago, I was instantly taken with the design. This one is growing on me and takes some further study. I have a feeling that you're going to have to see this car in person to appreciate all of the curves/angles/details. The more that I look at high res pics, the more I like the car, but there is a lot of "design" to take in at first glance.

4LS was just a little simpler - and classically good looking.
It has the touchpad RTI, and cruise control on the steering wheel! (I know they did this on the LC too)
I am definitely out.
T
Enthusiast88
I have had two LS's and I'm not even remotely interested in this current offering.
:-(
Dude. This is a all new platform new powerful new technology new interiors new everything. This is new LS before you say your not interested sit in the car and drive the car. That seem like where Lexus put 100% of their efforts. With how good the GSF drive and how good the LC500 drives this new LS is sure to be a great car.
N
  • N
  • January 9, 2017
I kind of expected it to have incorporated at least some of hi-tech features presented in the LF-FC video -
C
  • C
    CIF
  • January 9, 2017
Upon further inspection of the limited number of interior pics:

- the horizontal lines that stretch across the dashboard with the enclosed vents, at first I thought had dark wood enclosed as well. Now upon close inspection, it seems there is no wood trim at all there. So overall, it looks like there is less wood trim in the 5LS interior than the 4LS interior. The LX dash also has more wood trim than the 5LS dash. It looks like Lexus has decided for new and future models, less wood trim is the way forward. Sorry Lexus, but that's not my idea of luxury.
- also it seems there is no seek knob for audio, only seek buttons. Only one knob is present, and that is the volume knob. A step back in functionality IMHO.
- the Lexus clock looks somewhat small and oddly placed to the left side of the screen. I am not a fan of this, as I far prefer the front and center placement of the clock like on the RX and LX interiors.
- the rear seat controls look to be touch screen controls. Not sure how well they will work in the real world. Will they still function in extreme heat or cold? What if rear seat passengers are wearing gloves?
T
Aggressive but at the same time very smooth and elegant. I think that color is the wrong color to debut a car in but overall i like the car very eye catching. I wonder if there will be a F-sport model? What I dont like right away are those wheels. A bit too busy for my taste a nice big 5, 6 spoke rim would look more sporty and better. The rims from the LC500 would have done wonders here
Great job Lexus. Stylish, interesting and sophisticated and yet consistent across different elements of exterior and interior.

It will be an enjoyable experience to discover things in the interior once LS hits the showroom.

The interior looks highly polished and refined and you can see a lot of efforts spent by Lexus team to take this to the higher level. Door panels are exquisite and visually appealing. The main swooping line is not the same as the one in Mercedes S class as Lexus actually blends the air vents on the swooping line. German and Japanese designers have different aesthetic tastes. Not to mention the new pattern/treatment of wood.

The only concern is the surface texture in the interior. It looks good on paper but I was a bit disappointed by the pre-production LC in the 2016' SEMA show. So I reserve my final judgement for the new 18' LS until I see and touch the interior in the showroom or car show.
On a positive note; how about the LC 500 starting out at $92k. I think Lexus is going to sell more of those than they are anticipating. I wonder if that new V6 will eventually make it into an entry level LC with a starting price under $90k. I am kind of excited to see where else they put that engine. Probably the same engine that's going in the Supra.
krew [​IMG]

There's a lot of detail in this official footage.
View the original article post
Enthusiast88
Maybe my expectations were too high because of the awesome LC 500.
This.

The LC is a beautiful, groundbreaking design, an original that doesn't beg comparisons to other GT coupe competitors. I guess I essentially expected the 5LS to be essentially a stretched, roomier 4-door LC, or at least something that would hew closer to the LF-LC concept. I didn't think it would turn out so derivative of 4 or 5 other sedans once you move past the front end.

The interior is nice, sure, but, again, I expected the dashboard to hew closer to LC. I'm just not feeling the horizontal chrome strips at the bottom of the dashboard that hide the air vents.

My third major disappointment is that Lexus has now officially joined the German badge inflation mania on its non-hybrid models. If the LC 500 has a proper 5-liter V8, why couldn't the LS 500 as well? I don't dispute the need for a twin-turbo V6, but it should've been offered as an alternative to the 5-liter V8, instead of as a replacement. In other words, offer an LS 500 V8 alongside an LS 350t V6 turbo. I'm also surprised (pleasantly, in this case) that the twin turbo V6 isn't a 3-liter, given the engine displacement taxation schemes so prevalent in a number of markets such as China, and how virtually all of Lexus' competitors have so heavily gravitated towards 3-liter turbo sixes.

Am also quite curious about a couple of questions unanswered by the Global and USA news releases (the European one wasn't up yet the last time I looked):

- Is this the sole wheelbase to be offered on LS? Or will an alternate wheelbase be unveiled at Geneva alongside the LS 500h? (Frankly, I haven't checked the wheelbase numbers on 5LS versus SWB and LWB 4LS)

- Is the 3.5 TT V6 the first in an all-new engine family? Or merely the newest member of the old GR V6 family?
Enthusiast88
On a positive note; how about the LC 500 starting out at $92k. I think Lexus is going to sell more of those than they are anticipating. I wonder if that new V6 will eventually make it into an entry level LC with a starting price under $90k. I am kind of excited to see where else they put that engine. Probably the same engine that's going in the Supra.
Yes, that was a very pleasant surprise. I'd been expecting something like a $99,998 base MSRP for LS 500 and for the LS 500h to start in the low 6 figures.

J
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