2018 LS Master Thread (Debuts 1/9/17 8:30am -2017 NAIAS)

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meth.ix

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I don't think anyone has discussed this on any forums, but what are the possibilities of an ultra-luxury sedan? I mean like Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Maybach, etc. Mercedes has gotten into the game with the Mercedes-Maybach S600 and BMW is rumored to be creating a 9-Series based on their BMW Future Vision Luxury Concept. If Lexus was making a competitor, do you think that it should be a separate model from the LS, or do you think it should be part of the LS lineup like the Mercedes-Maybach S600? And what should it be called? XS? XLS?

And did anyone realize how short the LS is compared to it's competitors? It's wheelbase is 115 inches long, while the S-Class (which is apparently the main competitor to the LS) has a 119-inch wheelbase. The LWB version has a 124-inch wheelbase, beating the 121-inch wheelbase of the LS 600hL. The new 7-Series is only sold in LWB form in the States with a wheelbase length of 126 inches!!! I'm thankful that the LF-FC concpet had a longer wheelbase than the outgoing LS, but we will need to wait and see if that will make it's way onto the 5LS.

The main thing about the LF-FC was the Hydrogen Fuel-Cell thing right? Well I was researching the competition when I came across the BMW Hydrogen 7. It was a 760i limited to 100 copies that had the regular 6.0L V12 engine modified to also allow combustion of hydrogen. Engines that can combust two types of fuel is called a bivalent engine. So this is not actually a Hydrogen Fuel Cell, since it is not electric. It's also not technically a Hybrid since it is not using electricity to power the car in any way. It is a car that can be filled up with gasoline when wanted, but can also be filled up with Hydrogen, which does not release any emmissions. If you are running hydrogen only, you can go 100km with 50 liters of hydrogen. But there were a few flaws. All the hydrogen slowly vaporizes completely in 10 days. Also, there were only 5 stations in the world that could fill the car up with Hydrogen. I just thought I should share this on the forum since it is a use of Hydrogen in a full-size luxury car, and it also shows that there are alternatives to using Hydrogen as an alternative to gasoline. I don't think that there will be a fully electric Fuel Cell LS in a LONG time, so I think first Lexus should use the Hydrogen Fuel-Cell technology with a gasoline engine instead of putting an electric motor alongside a gasoline engine to make (I think) the first Hydrogen Fuel Cell Hybrid. This would create a new hybrid engine that could be applied to the whole Lexus "h" lineup.
 
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Ian Schmidt

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And did anyone realize how short the LS is compared to it's competitors?
In today's SUV craze where you never know what's gonna be boxing in your parking spot, I often find the LS's relative shortness to be a serious benefit. They can make the LWB version as long as they want, but I'm good with something at or near the existing length for the standard.
 

CIF

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I don't think anyone has discussed this on any forums, but what are the possibilities of an ultra-luxury sedan? I mean like Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Maybach, etc. Mercedes has gotten into the game with the Mercedes-Maybach S600 and BMW is rumored to be creating a 9-Series based on their BMW Future Vision Luxury Concept. If Lexus was making a competitor, do you think that it should be a separate model from the LS, or do you think it should be part of the LS lineup like the Mercedes-Maybach S600? And what should it be called? XS? XLS?
Actually, this has been discussed a number of times on the forums here at TLE.
 

CIF

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Whoooops...:blush::blush::blush:
Yeah; in terms of possibilities, who knows except Lexus. Overall though it would be a logical step up for the LS to go further upmarket. Would it be a completely new model? Not sure, if such a thing did happen I would lean toward the idea of Lexus keeping it an LS model, but really this is just pure conjecture at this point.
 

Gecko

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I don't think anyone has discussed this on any forums, but what are the possibilities of an ultra-luxury sedan? I mean like Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Maybach, etc. Mercedes has gotten into the game with the Mercedes-Maybach S600 and BMW is rumored to be creating a 9-Series based on their BMW Future Vision Luxury Concept. If Lexus was making a competitor, do you think that it should be a separate model from the LS, or do you think it should be part of the LS lineup like the Mercedes-Maybach S600? And what should it be called? XS? XLS?
Lexus won't do that. This has been brought up before and they feel that they can do whatever they need to do in that market with LS.

After all, with the sedan market in decline, and the super luxury sedan being such a microscopic share of that... why bother? Lexus has much bigger priorities.
 
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meth.ix

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Lexus won't do that. This has been brought up before and they feel that they can do whatever they need to do in that market with LS.

After all, with the segment market in decline, and the super luxury sedan being such a microscopic share of that... why bother? Lexus has much bigger priorities.
True, I guess that Lexus should wait until the lineup is more improved. What happened to Lexus's economy after the LFA could happen again.
 

Ian Schmidt

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In this market it would probably make more sense to have a super-lux version of the LX, like the special-edition stuff Land Rover's doing.
 

maiaramdan

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Lexus won't do that. This has been brought up before and they feel that they can do whatever they need to do in that market with LS.

After all, with the segment market in decline, and the super luxury sedan being such a microscopic share of that... why bother? Lexus has much bigger priorities.

plus
there's a real true competitor already for Toyota in this segment "CENTURY"
yes it's old , but i heard rumors the next generation due within 2 or 3 years
 

meth.ix

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In this market it would probably make more sense to have a super-lux version of the LX, like the special-edition stuff Land Rover's doing.
And the XC90 Excellence Edition, and the upcoming Mercedes-Maybach GLS and the Bentley Bentayga.
 
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CIF

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Lexus won't do that. This has been brought up before and they feel that they can do whatever they need to do in that market with LS.

After all, with the sedan market in decline, and the super luxury sedan being such a microscopic share of that... why bother? Lexus has much bigger priorities.
Yeah if they do it, I'd have to think it would simply be a "super LS" sub-model in the LS line. Also while that market is an extremely small niche, on the other hand profit margins in that market are tremendous. As a fan, it would just be super cool to see a "super LS" debut.

plus
there's a real true competitor already for Toyota in this segment "CENTURY"
yes it's old , but i heard rumors the next generation due within 2 or 3 years
The Century for decades, has been almost exclusively a Japan market-only product. Outside of Japan and I believe maybe a couple of neighboring Asian markets, the Century has never been sold anywhere else. With a rumored next-generation Century said to be coming, I don't see any of this changing. However rumors also say the next-gen Century shares some technology and features with the coming 5LS.

Overall, my point is that the Century never has been, and likely never will be a worldwide product, which disqualifies it from being a true competitor in the ultra luxury sedan segment. The only realistic possibility would be seeing a "super LS" debut within the 5LS range.
 
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krew

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I truly pray and hope this is not the case. If Lexus goes with a performance-first direction for the LS, that would be a disastrous decision IMHO. The LS is the LAST model you should be going with a performance-first approach. Lexus in such a case would lose the majority of LS customers, I can guarantee you that. The attraction of new performance-minded customers would not be enough to offset this.
Well, I think it's arguable that Lexus is already losing LS customers. ;-)

Even so, I may be overstating the performance angle -- my personal feeling is that the next-gen LS will be "funner to drive", but will still retain the characteristics of a flagship sedan. The repeated comparison I've heard is the Panamera, though I would expect a little more technology/functionality with the LS.

The LS is a direct competitor to the S Class (mainly in North America historically) not because of any price comparisons, but because of pure merit. At this market segment level, price is not a big concern to many buyers. The merit of the vehicle itself however is obviously a factor. The reason no other non-European competitor has ever directly competed with the S Class is because all other would-be competitors never had as much merit as the LS has possessed.
As a result, I've seen some seriously ritzy neighborhoods (something like 7 of the top 10 richest zip codes in the US are around DC) and from what I've seen, the money-no-object people always, *always* buy the Benz (or in some cases the Maybach, but let's not go there). The LS/A8/7 play much more up in the Baltimore suburbs where people are upper-middle-class but not super-rich.
Cross-shopping is a weird thing. There's nearly a $20k price difference between the LS 460L and the MB S550, which is significant no matter the (mass-market volume) segment. I think @Ian Schmidt gets it right, in that the LS/A8/7 are upper-middle-class but not super-rich. The S-Class is generic in many ways, but the current model is dominant and Mercedes has a luxury heritage that no other mass-market brand can compete with.

That said, the LS/A8/7 can certainly compete with the S-Class on merit -- too bad this segment is shrinking, it's my favorite area to watch.
 

Ian Schmidt

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I think we're all looking forward to finding out exactly what the merits of the 5LS are going to be :)
 

CIF

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Well, I think it's arguable that Lexus is already losing LS customers. ;-)

Even so, I may be overstating the performance angle -- my personal feeling is that the next-gen LS will be "funner to drive", but will still retain the characteristics of a flagship sedan. The repeated comparison I've heard is the Panamera, though I would expect a little more technology/functionality with the LS.
Ah fair enough, I see your point. Well the Panamera comparison is an interesting one. From what I hear, the Panamera does not have a bad ride. The interior is quite functional, and fairly roomy due to the unique shape of the Panamera. The question is, if this comparison has credibility, is the comparison being drawn to the Panamera's styling, performance, or both?

That's also why I personally advocate for distinct choice. For example, a regular 5LS model for the pure luxury customers, an F-Sport model for those that want a balance of sport and luxury, *and* an all-out LS F model to compete with the S63, Panamera Turbo S, Quattroporte GTS.

There are still many opportunities for the LS line to expand and provide more choice, without alienating existing LS customers that much. I truly hope Lexus takes hold of such opportunities.

One of the key features of the new TNGA/GA-L modular platform is to facilitate more choice in terms of product lines, and more flexibility in terms of product lines. I hope that reflects in more actual choice and customization in production models.

Cross-shopping is a weird thing. There's nearly a $20k price difference between the LS 460L and the MB S550, which is significant no matter the (mass-market volume) segment. I think @Ian Schmidt gets it right, in that the LS/A8/7 are upper-middle-class but not super-rich. The S-Class is generic in many ways, but the current model is dominant and Mercedes has a luxury heritage that no other mass-market brand can compete with.

That said, the LS/A8/7 can certainly compete with the S-Class on merit -- too bad this segment is shrinking, it's my favorite area to watch.
The current LS certainly can't compete with the S Class directly, as it's too dated and way too old of a model. The 5LS, we can only hope. Historically though, the data is out there to show the LS and S-Class being cross-shopped, for those that wish to find it and see it. Further discussion I think would start to stray off-topic :).
 

meth.ix

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I truly pray and hope this is not the case. If Lexus goes with a performance-first direction for the LS, that would be a disastrous decision IMHO. The LS is the LAST model you should be going with a performance-first approach. Lexus in such a case would lose the majority of LS customers, I can guarantee you that. The attraction of new performance-minded customers would not be enough to offset this.

Lexus can certainly offer "on the side" performance like F-Sport models or a full LS F model, where a performance-first approach would make sense. Certainly not on the regular LS model.
I definitely agree with you. Remember in that old Top Gear review of the LS compared to its competitors and they put a glass of water on the engine and it barely moved? The 7-Series, S-Class and whatever the XJ predecessor was had much louder and rough-running engines. If Lexus goes performance-first, that well-known smooth-ride characteristic of the LS will disappear. Many people have said that Lexus has focused too much on exterior styling and performance and not enough on other important stuff like the interior, and I totally agree. Lexus needs to see what the main focus and priority for each car is. The main thing about the LS and all the other cars in its Full-Size Luxury Segment is interior comfort, not performance(even though that is important as well). So Lexus needs to leave performance to the F Sport and F vehicles. When you think of the LS you need to be able to think of “limo.” Since when did a limo need high cornering grip? We need to focus on rear-seat comfort and creating the sense in the car that we are “special.” Look at the S-Class interior, who wouldn't feel special sitting in this?

I`m not saying the LS is bad, but compared to its competitors, the LS really needs to catch up on technology and other things.
For example, the 7-Series Key has a touchscreen!

Lexus could easily beat it though by putting Enform onto their key. Sorry I covered a range of topics here, but I just want to say that Lexus should put Luxury in front of Performance, especially with a prestige flagship car like the LS.
 

CIF

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S Class comparison is obvious, but I loathe to even talk about the new 7 Series. To me personally, it's an embarrassment to the prestige luxury sedan market. Too many gimmicks like touchscreen keyfob, goofy marketing names like carbon core stamped in or on the car, and gesture control, and not enough useful or new features like the S Class has. The new 7 so far seems to be a sales dud, and that's where I stop talking about this, since this topic is about the LS.
 

Ian Schmidt

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BMW's so close, and yet so far. Make my iPhone the key fob, and you'll have sold me a car with a useful feature.
 
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