Introducing the All-New 2018 Lexus LS 500 & LS 500h

mikeavelli

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I finally got to spend extensive time in a near loaded LS F-Sport.....Many of you know I had the previous generation LS F-Sport modified. Initially I was okay with it but after a few and a few hundred miles it made more sense to me and I really started to like it.

I think to this day Gecko hit the nail on the head that this is what the next gen GS should have been. It drives like no LS before it, very much like a GS. You wouldn't notice too much in normal and cruising around. Its when you modify the Sport settings and with the optional Performance pack (active sway bars and rear steering) it turns into something when you hustle it. It drives like a smaller car, not like most in class. I just love the interior..........

Full review to come.
 

Ian Schmidt

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Honestly, I find it quite a bit of fun even in my non-F model in Normal mode. It drives much smaller than it has any right to. And I have the "unusual premature tire wear" (dealer's words, not mine) to prove it 😆
 

Carmaker1

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So where is the LS-F? Poorer selling Audi (VAG) had no hesitation to develop and now debut a new high performance S8, so I'm not sure what Toyota has planned, so far for Lexus.

There is no LS-F trademark yet, despite this "sportier" shift for their LS flagship. I would have expected to know something by now semi-officially like with the LC-F.

When the XJR575 and Panamera Turbo (and higher) already exist, I would hope Lexus would try to get on with it, after already alienating many traditional LS buyers by targeting them and not the S-Class (W222 was being benchmarked until 2014ish).

Or was the idea to position the LS where the GS...? Anyway, they need to put their money where their mouth is and develop a halo model in a timely fashion. You are supposed to develop a high performance model as soon as design work is done for the main body (2014), not when the whole program concludes (2017) and then spend another 4 years.

BMW M models would never come out quickly enough, if the M Division waited until the first new generation models were done with engineering and rolling off assembly. It takes 3-4 years to do a well executed performance variant, so you get those responsible involved from half to 3/4s of the way during general development.

Waiting until mid-cycle is poor planning and product cadence. Not to mention a decade since this TMG 650 would've been conjured up.

 
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bogglo

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So where is the LS-F? Poorer selling Audi (VAG) had no hesitation to develop and now debut a new high performance S8, so I'm not sure what Toyota has planned, so far for Lexus.

There is no LS-F trademark yet, despite this "sportier" shift for their LS flagship. I would have expected to know something by now semi-officially like with the LC-F.

When the XJR575 and Panamera Turbo (and higher) already exist, I would hope Lexus would try to get on with it, after already alienating many traditional LS buyers by targeting them and not the S-Class (W222 was being benchmarked until 2014ish).

Or was the idea to position the LS where the GS...? Anyway, they need to put their money where their mouth is and develop a halo model in a timely fashion. You are supposed to develop a high performance model as soon as design work is done for the main body (2014), not when the whole program concludes (2017) and then spend another 4 years.

BMW M models would never come out quickly enough, if the M Division waited until the first new generation models were done with engineering and rolling off assembly. It takes 3-4 years to do a well executed performance variant, so you get those responsible involved from half to 3/4s of the way during general development.

Waiting until mid-cycle is poor planning and product cadence. Not to mention a decade since this TMG 650 would've been conjured up.

Have you heard anything about the LC-F? word is possible debut of year end.
 

Gecko

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I didn't realize that "LS F" wasn't even trademarked yet. I wonder if the project is still greenlit for production?
 

maiaramdan

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Last time anyone mentioned anything about the V8TT was not more than couple months and was regarding the LC
 

Carmaker1

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Have you heard anything about the LC-F? word is possible debut of year end.
Heard? Oh LOL...I've told myself now, that I will wait for an OEM to be official to some degree, before I am confident about anything. I knew the convertible was coming and yes, so is the LC-F. As for debut date, I need more sources to be confident. Tokyo is possible and very likely, since there is no more winter NAIAS.

However, I am strictly focused on LS-F, because that has been expected well before the existence of an LF-LC was known. Ironically Lexus began the LF-LC in May 2010, which by October 2010 there were rumours of an LC600h. At the time, the TMG 650 was reaching the drawing board and became public knowledge in 2011.

If Audi can do it with poor A8 sales, why can't Lexus?
 
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Carmaker1

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I didn't realize that "LS F" wasn't even trademarked yet. I wonder if the project is still greenlit for production?
Same here, I haven't bothered checking, but I expect the media would be way ahead of me if I haven't. I understand they are about profits, but elevating the Lexus nameplate GLOBALLY is important.

I am happy the pre-TNGA AZ10 and AL20 are paying off (new XZ10 ES has not yet broken even), but I am worried that them covering 57 to 75% of sales puts Lexus somewhere between Acura and the rest of its peers.

I trust LS-F has been considered, but has that been dumped post-2018 and rethought in favour of an electrified variant instead? Who knows.
 
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CIF

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^^It's unfortunate many carmakers develop their cars for countries with good infrastructure so they lose an idea of how soft their ride needs to be to handle the failing roads in U.S. I never realized the 5LS has a considerably harder ride than the 4LS, feel sorry for you guys.
Thanks, I agree although I've never had any real driving time in a 4LS nor a 5LS up until now, so I can't personally comment.
I'd argue that if Akio read LE (and much moreso CL), the overwhelming message from people who don't like recent Lexus models comes across as "be more German", especially wrt powertrains. So he's bringing in a German powertrain (allegedly) and imitating the Germans' annoying option package hell with the F Sport models and trialling a version of the Germans' mega-lease things.

As far as the LS500, body rigidity is simply not a problem, and with it set to Comfort mode I don't find the ride significantly harsher than the 4LS. (And when I turn on the massage feature, I no longer notice the ride quality). When the tires need replacing I'm going to specify not run-flats and see if the ride improves further.
Opinions vary. I don't like some things about recent Lexus models exactly because Lexus is trying to be more sporty, or in other words, trying to be more German in a sense. As someone who has lost quite some passion with the Lexus brand due to recent decisions the brand has made in the last few years, my overwhelming message as a life-long Lexus fan would be for Lexus to go back to being more Lexus. I don't want more sport in the regular models. Save that strictly for F-Sport or F models. I want all regular Lexus models to have that pillow soft, super comfortable and super isolated ride and driving experience like Lexus models of old. Again, opinions will vary though.

I


I have now had my LS500(with air suspension) for 6 months. I can spend another page on some of it's shortcomings, but with regard to the ride, I feel that is a downgrade from my previous LS's(400, 430 and 430 post 2005).
Unfortunately it was delivered with the tyres inflated to 44PSI!! It wasn't till I questioned the dealer about the harsh ride that they told me this and deflated the pressures to 40PSI. This improved the ride somewhat, but once I deflated them to the recommended 36PSI, then I noticed even further improvement.
I have tried all the different ride modes including custom normal and now use it routinely in comfort mode which I find the best.
I surmise that it is the 20" wheels and run flat tyres that contribute to the harsh ride.The ride is nowhere as good as my 2006 LS430 especially on tram tracks and pot holes where the 430 would soak up with little feedback. The LS500 jolts to the point where your whole body undergoes a shock almost like being defibrillated!!!!

I guess it boils down to "THE LOOK" vs comfort. Like you I would happily have non run flats(But wait there is NO SPARE) and also would choose 19" wheels to further improve the ride.
Thanks for that reply, logically that makes sense to me.

^^ If you came directly from an LS430 to the LS500, that would be quite a jolt! The LS460 was a significant amount of the way there, so it seemed less of a jump to me. That's a good idea with the tire pressure, I should check where mine's at. I'm pretty sure it's below 40 though.
Ride quality and the driving experience is subjective to a degree, but that is honestly news to me. Although I do not have any real driving experience with the 4LS, an acquaintance of mine did own a 4LS and gave me great detail on his opinion of it. He said with the base tire/rim package and the base suspension, the 4LS was very close in comfort to the 3LS. So it's news to me to hear that the 4LS was significantly harsher/less comfortable than the 3LS. Saying this, what specific tire/rim package or trim are you referring to?

I finally got to spend extensive time in a near loaded LS F-Sport.....Many of you know I had the previous generation LS F-Sport modified. Initially I was okay with it but after a few and a few hundred miles it made more sense to me and I really started to like it.

I think to this day Gecko hit the nail on the head that this is what the next gen GS should have been. It drives like no LS before it, very much like a GS. You wouldn't notice too much in normal and cruising around. Its when you modify the Sport settings and with the optional Performance pack (active sway bars and rear steering) it turns into something when you hustle it. It drives like a smaller car, not like most in class. I just love the interior..........

Full review to come.
Having seen enough 5LS models on the road and in person, I have come to the firm conclusion that the 5LS is a spiritual successor to the 4GS, not the 4LS. I strongly feel now that the 5LS lacks the flagship and elegant presence of previous LS generations. It also arguably lack the commitment to, and main priority of pure luxury like previous LS generations had. Reviews say it drives smaller than it is. In person, to me it looks smaller than it is. In person the presence it gives off to me is like that of a long-wheelbase GS, not an LS. It's well known now there was a lot of internal conflict at Lexus during the development of the 5LS, and it shows in the finished product. To me the 5LS just doesn't make much sense as an LS, but it makes a lot of sense if you think of it as a GS. Of course, the physical size and price are totally different than a GS, but I mean in a spiritual and symbolic sense.
 

mmcartalk

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CIF said:
I don't want more sport in the regular models. Save that strictly for F-Sport or F models. I want all regular Lexus models to have that pillow soft, super comfortable and super isolated ride and driving experience like Lexus models of old. Again, opinions will vary though.
Totally agree. 👍

Lexus, IMO, lost its footing a number of years ago. Like you, when I think of what a Lexus should be, this is what comes to mind..........

 

Will1991

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I do agree, Lexus should have gone for luxury and comfort for the LS, but we can't deny how gorgeous Lexus cars has become and how well this sporty side as suited some models (RC/IS for example).

Maybe, just a small change to the Lexus line up would do wonders, like downgrading this current LS to GS and do a LS more similar to what Toyota has done with the Century. With this and a proper product planing of course...
 

mediumhot

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Lexus had to get away from plush pillow luxury float yacht in order to play with the Germans. It's ironic that Germans for two generations so far have played the comfort game instead of sport, most evident in BMW 5 and 7 series. I think Audi is the benchmark in precision plush ride segment and Lexus is tad bit still on the softer side.
 

mmcartalk

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Lexus had to get away from plush pillow luxury float yacht in order to play with the Germans.
I disagree. With all due respect, no, Lexus didn't have to do it. There are already more than enough "German" sedans on the market. What's needed today is exactly what the LS used to be, and isn't any more....luxury, soft-riding land yachts. Outside of Genesis, they are becoming quite rare today....and the Buick Lacrosse, one of the last ones in the U.S. was just discontinued due to GM's stupidity. That plant shutdown (and others) was one of many factors that got the company into the present UAW strike.
 

Ian Schmidt

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He said with the base tire/rim package and the base suspension, the 4LS was very close in comfort to the 3LS. So it's news to me to hear that the 4LS was significantly harsher/less comfortable than the 3LS. Saying this, what specific tire/rim package or trim are you referring to?
This was with the factory 19" wheels and low-profile tires, which was the most common configuration on dealer lots in my experience (base was 18s). I don't think I've seen a 4LS in the wild with the base wheels.

To me the 5LS just doesn't make much sense as an LS, but it makes a lot of sense if you think of it as a GS. Of course, the physical size and price are totally different than a GS, but I mean in a spiritual and symbolic sense.
To me it seems like a lot of this sort of thing is a reaction to the demise of the GS. For current market conditions it would make more sense to make a GS-slot crossover as a little brother to the LQ.

I disagree. With all due respect, no, Lexus didn't have to do it. There are already more than enough "German" sedans on the market. What's needed today is exactly what the LS used to be, and isn't any more....luxury, soft-riding land yachts.
The S-Class still exists, still is pretty plush, and still has that funeral parlor vibe that many buyers seem to like, you know 😎

And I'd argue that Lexus *did* have to do it. If you go strictly by what people complain about most on forums like this, the soft handling and general lack of power compared to AMG/M/Audi are the top concerns. TNGA fixed the handling, and if either Lexus or 3rd party tuning gets the software right I think the V35A can be quite competitive, but the plush ride got ejected.

That said, a soft ride *can* be brought back without backpedaling on the other improvements with a Mercedes-style adaptive air suspension. I would assume Lexus knows all this stuff and should be at least prototyping it for the refresh. Then again, last week's Lexus Advisory Board survey opened by asking if I towed things with my LS, which made my head explode.
 

mmcartalk

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The S-Class still exists, still is pretty plush, and still has that funeral parlor vibe that many buyers seem to like, you know 😎
Oh, no doubt, the S-Class is a benchmark of refinement and luxury / ride-comfort / handling. But it also costs significantly more than most of its competitors. It has also played second-fiddle, for a number of years, to the rival BMW 7-series as a "Driver's" machine, although less so recently as the dynamics of many BMW products have changed.

And I'd argue that Lexus *did* have to do it. If you go strictly by what people complain about most on forums like this, the soft handling and general lack of power compared to AMG/M/Audi are the top concerns. TNGA fixed the handling, and if either Lexus or 3rd party tuning gets the software right I think the V35A can be quite competitive, but the plush ride got ejected.
Yes, true, a fair number of those in forums do place handling over ride comfort, but the traditionalists and easy-riders like me are not as unusual on the forums as some think, and the actual world of vehicle sales itself is a lot larger than just forums...even big forums like CL.

That said, a soft ride *can* be brought back without backpedaling on the other improvements with a Mercedes-style adaptive air suspension.
Air suspensions can be unreliable, and the Mercedes units, of course, can make one re-mortgage their house if it breaks down outside of warranty coverage.

You're probably already aware of this (you seem to be someone who knows his stuff)👍....but the air-struts on the the former Lincoln Town Car were so unreliable that Ford offered customers a factory kit to toss them out once and for all and re-convert to a conventional suspension.

I would assume Lexus knows all this stuff and should be at least prototyping it for the refresh.
Never place much faith in auto-marketers. If it wasn't for them, I'd probably have considerably more hair on top of my head LOL.

Then again, last week's Lexus Advisory Board survey opened by asking if I towed things with my LS, which made my head explode.
Some people do use RWD sedans for light towing, but, of course, it is usually more safely done with traditional body-on-frame vehicles, which, today, are limited to a dwindling number of SUVs and pickup trucks.
 
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Ian Schmidt

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Air suspensions can be unreliable, and the Mercedes units, of course, can make one re-mortgage their house if it breaks down outside of warranty coverage.

You're probably already aware of this (you seem to be someone who knows his stuff)👍....but the air-struts on the the former Lincoln Town Car were so unreliable that Ford offered customers a factory kit to toss them out once and for all and re-convert to a conventional suspension.
I know. I kind of ascribe that partially to it being Ford though. 5LSes with the Luxury package have an air suspension, it just lacks the quick-adjust feature of Magic Body Control and competitors. Setting it to raise the car when parked for easier ingress/egress is nice, but having it actually smooth out the road would be nicer sometimes.

Some people do use RWD sedans for light towing, but, of course, it is usually more safely done with traditional body-on-frame vehicles, which, today, are limited to a dwindling number of SUVs and pickup trucks.
I know, it used to be somewhat common to tow things with RWD cars (my Dad towed a U-Haul behind a Ford station wagon when we moved once), but I don't think anyone ever did it with a flagship.
 
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