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

Carmaker1

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I am under the general assumption a LC F, LS F and LX F are coming.... we are all curious whats going on with the "LQ" crossover flagship. I assume a LQ F would come.

But who knows at this point.

A LS F would make me drool tbh......
There is no Lexus LQ, because that wasn't a Lexus nameplate for trademark filing. It was a Toyota concept as mentioned by @CRSKTN in 2019.

I would buy an LX-F for use at a family home in West Africa. It could bear the climate and last long.

They have not registered such a trademark with any legal entities, that they are producing such a vehicle which needs its nameplate secured. No LS-F this generation unless launching 30 or more months at minimum from now, as LS will probably be redesigned in 2023-24 and a 1-2 year run isn't worth the investment.

LC will have an 8 to 10 year run I imagine, which allows for a 3-5 year LC-F run.

I have no idea is it coming or not, however so far I think that they will be using these F models as marketing for the brand and not as something they will make money on.

In that sense, LS-F seems reasonable bet.

In general their strategy is a lot more F in the future. Of various kinds... I saw an rumor of UX getting 270hp version of GR Yaris engine... which makes a lot of sense to me, where they have something akin to SQ3 and not RSQ3.
XF50 went into production in 2017, so it will likely not live beyond 2025. No trademarks for LS-F have been filed and that happens 2 to 3 years ahead of launch. Do that now and you're looking at a 2023 model at the very earliest.

Only one V8 LS mule was seen in 2017 and no more. It's likely not coming, as model run would be too short. Some improvements to the LS range definitely should come.

Something changed between 2017 and 2019 internally. As LC-F will come, but F sedans are seemingly dead.
 
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Levi

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No LS-F this generation unless launching 30 or more months at minimum from now, as LS will probably be redesigned in 2023-24 and a 1-2 year run isn't worth the investment.

Only one V8 LS mule was seen in 2017 and no more. It's likely not coming, as model run would be too short.
Unfortunately TMC is known recently (as opposed to 90s) all over for extremely long model runs instead of 5 years (not 7 like the rest), 10 years. The list is huge: Sequoia/Tundra, Landcruiser/LX, Prado/GX, Sienna, LS, GT86 (well it is a sports car). I do not list other BOFs, because such cars do have longer lifecycles. Hopefully (or not?) that will be the only time. Because it can hurt the company.
 
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Unfortunately TMC is known recently (as opposed to 90s) all over for extremely long model runs instead of 5 years (not 7 like the rest), 10 years. The list is huge: Sequoia/Tundra, Landcruiser/LX, Prado/GX, Sienna, LS, GT86 (well it is a sports car). I do not list other BOFs, because such cars do have longer lifecycles. Hopefully (or not?) that will be the only time. Because it can hurt the company.
In that case, TMC needs to do more frequent updates if they plan to keep a platform on sale that long. IMO, some of the updates they given certain vehicles were meh. It would've been nice for the 2020 GX to get an upgrade to the infotainment system but they didn't, probably because the full re-do is around the corner. OTOH, WTF is what I think when the 2020 RX got it, not to mention the other Toyota trucks.
 

Levi

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In that case, TMC needs to do more frequent updates if they plan to keep a platform on sale that long. IMO, some of the updates they given certain vehicles were meh. It would've been nice for the 2020 GX to get an upgrade to the infotainment system but they didn't, probably because the full re-do is around the corner. OTOH, WTF is what I think when the 2020 RX got it, not to mention the other Toyota trucks.
I think it is still is important to have "aspiring" versions of every model and set early high goals for updates. They should be significant even in the middle of the life-cycle.

I do think car buyers now inform themselves differently than before, and start by internet search. On Youtube there are a lot of now independent car reviewers (also female), which are more "average person" with knowledge rather than car geek/enthusiast and they have a significant influence (in terms of visibility too) on new car buyers. If a car at mid-life cycle does not appear to have any significant improvements, it will be regarded as old on the internet compared to the more recent not necessarily better offerings. Top range versions should not be disregarded, because most of the time these ones are reviewed and sway the buyers decision, even if at the end, once at the dealer the buyer will take an under powered engine without certain comfort/luxury/sport features.

Hyundai, under former BMW M head, is making N (performance) versions of every car. Unlike the Genesis brand, N is very successful so as N package for non N cars. It is ironic to have ES F-Sport, NX F-Sport and RX F-Sport when there are no ES F, NX F and RX F versions.
 
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Carmaker1

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Exactly. We were all lead to believe that as 5LS was signed off before LF-FC concept, and that LF-FC concept had a much higher reaction than that of the 5LS, that the 5LS would be refreshed quickly to take into account a lot more of the design language of the LF-FC.

What happened in reality was that they released that LS+, which looks worse than the 5LS IMO, and then it totally died a death very quickly in terms of buzz. It's like it never happened now. When the Mirai was shown, my jaw hit the floor, because in my view that was the LS+ but made production car and for Toyota. Bizarre.

I have never considered the LS+ to be related to the GS, but thinking now, I agree there could be links there. At first, the 5LS was uniquely styled but when the ES launched, I was pretty deflated to see it was basically a 5LS without the mesh grill but remarkably similar in many other ways. It robbed some of the speciality of the 5LS. And now the GS is to follow in very similar footsteps too.

As for LF-1, I think I made comment on that over on its own thread. It's just another example of Lexus's absolutely murderously slow transition from concept to production. Someone made comment that the NX concept and production car were a little over a year apart. If we are lead to believe that Lexus has the production car 95% ready, shows the concept, and then produces what they had planned all along, then why on Earth are we 4 months into 2020 almost without even a hint of a production LF-1. Meanwhile, Audi Q8, refreshes to that hideous Benz offering and BMW X6 have all happened. It's just frustrating to see.
I don't think that it helped at the time of Tokyo 2017 that we all believed GS would be redesigned 18 months later in 2019 and therefore the LS update would also take after that design language in 2020-21 for more unity. I found it peculiar that the 7ES did not take after that LS+ design language, then remembered it had been signed off in early 2016 in regards to exterior design. It plainly borrowed from the incoming 5LS for conservative approach.

The first time I saw anything regarding that radical design language was in March 2016, in this below. It was so random, I almost wrote it off as scary looking and overwrought clickbait, yet so hot in F guise:

17-07-17-lexus-gs-f-next-gen.jpg

@mikeavelli hadn't seen the 2019 ES, but even already commented on it per some Lexus associates at Fuji, the very month suspension of GS development occurred. October 2016. 5LS was nearly 2 years into prototype testing, so done deal. LF - FC now 1 year old (2015 TMS), but origins 2 years old.

Then came LS+ in late 2017 and my jaw dropped bit. How in the hell did an UNOFFICIAL rendering drawn in early 2016 PREVIEW an official design released by Lexus nearly 2 YEARS later? Why did it exist? Why abandon LF-FC for this random show vehicle?

lexus-ls-concept-2017-tokyo-motor-show_100629246.jpg

Then this comes along another 2 years later and @Gecko saying it all. That's the 5GS LOL.

dims.jpeg

All absolutely just wild, how similar they are and look nothing else like any other Toyota product except the triangular elements of LC Coupe on the front end. It just said more than enough. Anyone who dismisses what @Gecko said, (which is none of us here), I really don't know what to tell you lol. That seems the case on many other websites.

The only new Lexus that comes close to this design language is the LF-1, yet Mirai wears it too. That's a Lexus y'all. Imagine if that also came in petrol grades. Avalon would be nearly redundant.

Back to LS, as during the design process for the 7ES, it was favored to make it look like a mini LS. I think I could provide some insight on that in another thread. The styling effort of 7ES from 2014 to 2016.

The LS will do what going forward? Take after the LF-FC to embellish the design more as extremely elegant, versus avant-garde? Become the flag bearer of the radical design language planned for 2020 GS and align with future LF-1? Or evolve existing XF50/5G LS cues with little to no difference?
 
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Will1991

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I don’t see it going away since it’s an important part of Lexus history and given we will have a Bentley SUV fighter, we might find future LS going also upmarket, going agains S-Class Maybach.
 

Rydo

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Yup. Not a huge surprise to see dealers in places taking it upon themselves to cater to local tastes with modifications.
Considering it was on an LS not long after they launched I doubt it was anyone but Lexus who made it. Looks very nice and finishes the trunk well.
 

CRSKTN

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Considering it was on an LS not long after they launched I doubt it was anyone but Lexus who made it. Looks very nice and finishes the trunk well.
Fair, but I remember here we had Acura dealers with paint matched beaks available very shortly after that TL redesign.

I've seem some dealers put together some very convincing packages/modified vehicles.
 

Gecko

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If Lexus does a 3 year refresh, 2020 as MY2021 should be our year for the LS, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they do. Anyone want to make any predictions or share any intel? I'm thinking we get:
  • Some stylistic tweaks that bring it closer to LF-FC visually
  • A powertrain update for the V6 (I read somewhere a while back there was a new tune with 435hp that was being prepped for the LF-1) and a possible new V8 LS 600
  • Revised LS 500h/600h with new TT V6 + Li-ion batteries for 450hp/500lb-ft of torque
  • LS fuel cell model
  • Reshaped rear seats/front seat backs for more rear room
  • Touch screen interface for infotainment + Android Auto
  • Small interior updates, perhaps to the tach/dash/steering wheel
  • New level of autonomous tech released
  • Some new wheel and color options
 

mikeavelli

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If Lexus does a 3 year refresh, 2020 as MY2021 should be our year for the LS, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they do. Anyone want to make any predictions or share any intel? I'm thinking we get:
  • Some stylistic tweaks that bring it closer to LF-FC visually
  • A powertrain update for the V6 (I read somewhere a while back there was a new tune with 435hp that was being prepped for the LF-1) and a possible new V8 LS 600
  • Revised LS 500h/600h with new TT V6 + Li-ion batteries for 450hp/500lb-ft of torque
  • LS fuel cell model
  • Reshaped rear seats/front seat backs for more rear room
  • Touch screen interface for infotainment + Android Auto
  • Small interior updates, perhaps to the tach/dash/steering wheel
  • New level of autonomous tech released
  • Some new wheel and color options
I just heard 2021 should have some solid updates.....
 

ssun30

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If Lexus does a 3 year refresh, 2020 as MY2021 should be our year for the LS, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they do. Anyone want to make any predictions or share any intel? I'm thinking we get:
  • Some stylistic tweaks that bring it closer to LF-FC visually
  • A powertrain update for the V6 (I read somewhere a while back there was a new tune with 435hp that was being prepped for the LF-1) and a possible new V8 LS 600
  • Revised LS 500h/600h with new TT V6 + Li-ion batteries for 450hp/500lb-ft of torque
  • LS fuel cell model
  • Reshaped rear seats/front seat backs for more rear room
  • Touch screen interface for infotainment + Android Auto
  • Small interior updates, perhaps to the tach/dash/steering wheel
  • New level of autonomous tech released
  • Some new wheel and color options
The W223 S-Class and G70 7/i7-series will have multiple performance models, plug-in hybrid and full electric variants that will greatly change the landscape of this segment. They are looking for a solution to the Model S problem. Lexus is not and is betting on the strategy of waiting for Tesla to die.

While your proposed powertrain updates are badly needed, they are not bold enough because they will only be competitive against the W222 and the G11. These 'updates' should be the 2017 baseline.

Unfortunately I just don't see how the 5LS can be updated to be relevant without completely reworking it. Its biggest problem is that it's 'morbidly obese'. The weight is just completely out of control making it hard to integrate any more electrification tech or even just bigger ICEs. The lightest G11 is only 75% the weight of the heaviest 5LS, that kind of disparity should never happen within the same segment (imagine a 2-ton Camry). A cutting edge full-size sedan weighs less than 2 tons even as a BEV. A comparable LS EV would weigh as much as a Tundra pickup truck. It will be inefficient and slow no matter how good Toyota's motors and PCUs are. And they probably realized a 200hp LS FC won't be popular at all.

While I agree the weight they put on the 5LS gives it the best ride quality and handling ever, there has to be a smarter way of doing it.

By 'rework' I mean an almost new GA-L chassis, engineered for lightweight, optimized for PHV/BEV/FCV compatibility, and repackaged to have similar interior space as its LWB competitors.

My prediction on the LS facelift is that it will be very competitive against yesteryear's competition at best. Unfortunately new generations of competitors are coming at roughly the same time. Unless the autonomous driving is so great I don't see 5LS out of its struggles.

P.S. I don't think the 5LS is a bad product because the interior craftsmanship is completely its own league. You are buying Bentley level of quality and finish at one third the price. If it was released three years earlier in 2015 and it will blow the W222 and G11 out of the water. But it doesn't exist in vacuum and just isn't the right car at the right time.
 
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Will1991

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Lexus keeps testing autonomous systems on the road:



My bet is, Lexus will soon unveil a production version of “Lexus TeamMate”.
I also believe this would be officially released at Tokyo Olympics with a LS facelift.
Given latest coments from Lexus President, this should be safe as hell and very cautious from day one to avoid PR problems similar to what Tesla has been through. And, with time, will be increasingly autonomous.
To finish, seeing this continuous investment at Lexus, having Lexus at the forefront of production ready autonomous systems, also means Toyota is looking to improve Lexus.
 

Gecko

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I know the LS is overweight, and gets terribly so with options, but it's not that much worse than competitors, and all are well over two tons:

LS 500: ~4,839lbs

Audi A8: 4,751lbs (-88lbs on LS)
BMW 740i: 4,244lbs (-595lbs on LS)
Gensis G90 3.3T: 4,735lbs (-104lbs on LS)
Mercedes S450: 4,553lbs (-286lbs on LS)
Tesla Model S: 4,941lbs (+102lbs on LS)
Lexus LS 460L: 4,486lbs (-353lbs on LS 500)

The 740i is a lightweight, comparatively, but the others are all in the same ballpark. +350lbs over the old LS 460L is sort of surprising... it's hard to fathom how GA-L is just so heavy even on the LC 500. I would like to see another application of the V35A-FTS to determine if that might be part of the problem... When you look at the numbers and performance of the LS' other gas-powered counterparts, it seems like the 3.5L TT is putting out more like 370hp or so, not 416... though part of that could always be the gearing (and I think the gearing is a huge problem on this powertrain).

The LS refresh is an opportunity for Lexus to redeem themselves and "right" a lot of the things that are wrong, but it's probably hard to justify that investment with such low sales volume. As I have always sad, I think the LS 500 is close to being right... there are just some details that are very important and need to be addressed. A new tune for the engine and regearing for the transmission could go a long way in addressing the performance. If they're able to introduce the new flagship hybrid powertrain (TT V6 + Li-Ion), I think that gives the LS an edge because nobody else does hybrids like Lexus. The rumor is 450hp and 500+lb-ft of torque. Imagine a road-going LF-FC with 500lb-ft of torque and 30mpg... nobody else offers anything similar to that.

The other things are personal for me, but I think they would help: The steering wheel and gauges need to be addressed... the gauges are too small and compact, and the steering wheel should be more unique from the rest of the lineup. The glass on the passenger side of the dash looks like a table separator at a Chinese buffet. The rear seats need to be reworked for more headroom. Touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto.

Those things plus new bumpers, wheels and colors would be an awesome package.
 
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I know the LS is overweight, and gets terribly so with options, but it's not that much worse than competitors, and all are well over two tons:

LS 500: ~4,839lbs

Audi A8: 4,751lbs (-88lbs on LS)
BMW 740i: 4,244lbs (-595lbs on LS)
Gensis G90 3.3T: 4,735lbs (-104lbs on LS)
Mercedes S450: 4,553lbs (-286lbs on LS)
Tesla Model S: 4,941lbs (+102lbs on LS)
Lexus LS 460L: 4,486lbs (-353lbs on LS 500)

The 740i is a lightweight, comparatively, but the others are all in the same ballpark. +350lbs over the old LS 460L is sort of surprising... it's hard to fathom how GA-L is just so heavy even on the LC 500. I would like to see another application of the V35A-FTS to determine if that might be part of the problem... When you look at the numbers and performance of the LS' other gas-powered counterparts, it seems like the 3.5L TT is putting out more like 370hp or so, not 416... though part of that could always be the gearing (and I think the gearing is a huge problem on this powertrain).

The LS refresh is an opportunity for Lexus to redeem themselves and "right" a lot of the things that are wrong, but it's probably hard to justify that investment with such low sales volume. As I have always sad, I think the LS 500 is close to being right... there are just some details that are very important and need to be addressed. A new tune for the engine and regearing for the transmission could go a long way in addressing the performance. If they're able to introduce the new flagship hybrid powertrain (TT V6 + Li-Ion), I think that gives the LS an edge because nobody else does hybrids like Lexus. The rumor is 450hp and 500+lb-ft of torque. Imagine a road-going LF-FC with 500lb-ft of torque and 30mpg... nobody else offers anything similar to that.

The other things are personal for me, but I think they would help: The steering wheel and gauges need to be addressed... the gauges are too small and compact, and the steering wheel should be more unique from the rest of the lineup. The glass on the passenger side of the dash looks like a table separator at a Chinese buffet. The rear seats need to be reworked for more headroom. Touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto.

Those things plus new bumpers, wheels and colors would be an awesome package.
Here's the thing, despite us all wanting V8's, the 5LS genuinely offers V8-level power. It's f*cking fast. It's also not that overweight for what it is. LOOK at how much it offers in terms of features and sheer luxury.

0-60 in 4.5 seconds is no slouch. The V35A-FTS is torquey as hell and has a WIDE powerband, and it effortlessly rides on that fat torque curve until redline. Gearing would help the LS have a faster acceleration off the line. In fact, faster gearing would make it way quicker. I don't know why Lexus doesn't make gears 1-7 super close and make gears 8-10 as cruising gears and gear it for fuel economy.

The LS500 is an order of magnitude faster, quicker, and handles better than the G90, A8, and the S450. I'd be more confident sitting behind the wheel of the LS and wipe the floor clean with the other 3 (though the S450 is amazing as a luxury car and it clearly resides in first place in the entire flagship luxury sedan segment). The only cars that would beat the LS is obviously the BMW (the B58 if not greatest, is one of the greatest inline-six engines of all time, also it allows you to build boost like crazy and launch hard) and the Tesla (instant torque from electric motors, duh). That's not bad in my opinion. We're going to get our V8 and our more powerful turbo-hybrid motors in the LS500 soon so I'm not worried one bit about this car.

Unfortunately due to the TNGA-L platform it is obviously heavy but as a result it's one of most stiffest Lexus' ever built and one of the best handling in its entire segment. There's a reason why I say the LS is one of the better Lexus' ever built and contrary to you guys I actually think it's in a fine position as it is. Let me clarify, I'm not worried about the LS500, but the LS in general needs more options as a whole. The car needs more variety in powertrains and interior color/design options.
 
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