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

Rydo

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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.
I do admit that the car world unnecessarily gets caught up in a game of Top Trumps almost permanently. It’s that kind of mentality that has caused reviewers of the LC for instance to overlook its immense styling and glorious soundtrack in favour of saying its slower than x y and z. The problem with that mentality is that one will never be satisfied. It just hurts us all to think the LS isn’t the cream of the crop.
 

Gecko

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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.
Unfortunately, the LS has not proven to be that fast, and it’s confirmed by almost any media who have independently tested it. Most of the 0-60 times are 5.2 - 5.3 seconds, which is plenty brisk, but it’s not close to what Lexus claims and not even close to the V8 power of S560 or 750i. My point about the gearing is that for the entire first half second to second that you mash the throttle, the car doesn’t go anywhere or do anything. It’s all gearing and the acceleration lag is almost as bad as the old infamous ES 330/RX 330.

For passing power 60mph+, it’s extremely quick in my experience but off the line, the throttle response is all wrong and 0-60 in 4.6 seconds must have been obtained with a car that did not have final production gearing. I’ve driven four different LS 500s from 2018-2020 and all are just as laggy off the line, sadly. Thankfully for Lexus, the transmission gearing and pedal response are easy to fix - if they want to.
 
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Unfortunately, the LS has not proven to be that fast, and it’s confirmed by almost any media who have independently tested it. Most of the 0-60 times are 5.2 - 5.3 seconds, which is plenty brisk, but it’s not close to what Lexus claims and not even close to the V8 power of S560 or 750i. My point about the gearing is that for the entire first half second to second that you mash the throttle, the car doesn’t go anywhere or do anything. It’s all gearing and the acceleration lag is almost as bad as the old infamous ES 330/RX 330.

For passing power 60mph+, it’s extremely quick in my experience but off the line, the throttle response is all wrong and 0-60 in 4.6 seconds must have been obtained with a car that did not have final production gearing. I’ve driven four different LS 500s from 2018-2020 and all are just as laggy off the line, sadly. Thankfully for Lexus, the transmission gearing and pedal response are easy to fix - if they want to.
I would say gearing is responsible for a solid half-second increase sprint to 60 mph. The issue is that the meaty, juicy torque is not being used at its best unfortunately. Long gears neuters the torque massively.
 

ssun30

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Gearing and calibration are two different things. Actually the gearing on the 10AT is optimized exactly for 0-60mph with only one shift. It's a bit longer than the old 8AT which requires two shifts. Even though the 2nd gear may be a bit slower due to lower torque magnification, one shift to 60mph is almost always faster than two shifts because in the latter case the 3rd gear has an even lower torque magnification. That's why most high performance cars have longer 2nd to make it one shift to 100km/h. The LS500 AWD has a shorter final drive requiring two shifts and it makes it slower than the RWD despite having more traction off the line.

Turbocharged engines actually prefer long, widely spaced gears to utilize that wide power band (at least for road cars). Just look at the ZF8HP, the inter-gear ratios are higher than 1.3 which is quite wide and it works wonders on the B48/58. Shift at 6500rpm and falls to 5000rpm where the engine still makes peak power. From 0-250 km/h a 340i always accelerates at peak power like a BEV.

The real problem is the ECU is too hesitant to demand full boost on the turbo. Usually it's to reduce emissions because the transient stage is very fuel-rich (the engine needs to generate hot exhaust gas to spool up the turbo thus requesting a richer mixture and less EGR). It also temporarily creates high heat load on the turbocharger which potentially reduces reliability. Therefore most manufacturers have very different mapping for Eco/Normal mode and Sport mode. The very aggressive mapping in sport mode on the B48/58 is almost like a software-based anti-lag system. The negative effect is debated but I've seen discussions among powertrain calibration engineers (from BMW, PSA and GM) saying the extra fuel consumption and emissions is negligible over the lifetime of the vehicle. It seems that Lexus follows a different philosophy. The worst offender is the 8AR-FTS which is a brilliantly-engineered engine ruined by poor mapping.

My point about the gearing is that for the entire first half second to second that you mash the throttle, the car doesn’t go anywhere or do anything. It’s all gearing and the acceleration lag is almost as bad as the old infamous ES 330/RX 330.

For passing power 60mph+, it’s extremely quick in my experience but off the line, the throttle response is all wrong and 0-60 in 4.6 seconds must have been obtained with a car that did not have final production gearing. I’ve driven four different LS 500s from 2018-2020 and all are just as laggy off the line, sadly. Thankfully for Lexus, the transmission gearing and pedal response are easy to fix - if they want to.
This seems to be agreed by OVTune's initial examination of the V35A-FTS mapping. The focus is on smoothness and passing power instead of outright acceleration at WOT. It's not exactly like the 8AR which is lazy both off the line and when passing.
 

Ian Schmidt

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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.
I've driven my LS500 at triple-digit MPH and it feels effortless, as you'd expect for a car in that class.

The gearing is clearly oriented towards smoothness. At a minimum the F-Sport should have sportier gearing and there need to be a lot more options in general. It's flat-out stupid that you can't get an F-Sport with the luxury package.
 

Sebass

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I've driven my LS500 at triple-digit MPH and it feels effortless, as you'd expect for a car in that class.

The gearing is clearly oriented towards smoothness. At a minimum, the F-Sport should have sportier gearing and there need to be a lot more options in general. It's flat-out stupid that you can't get an F-Sport with the luxury package.
That is my biggest issue with the LS 500 F sport, despite the fact that you don't really get any more performance, you lose massive amounts of luxury compared to the normal 500. The most obvious is as you mention, the fact that you can't get the Luxury or Executive packages on the F Sport. This completely ruins what the LS is supposed to be, a big luxurious sedan packed full of tech and luxury features that make it just as good if not better to sit in the back than the front. Opting for the F sport package on the LS will make you lose any opportunity to get the amazing center console in the Luxury and executive package LS.
This results in, (for rear passengers):
- loss of heated or cooled seats
- loss of massaging seats,
- loss of ability to control lights and most of the blinds
- loss of most of the blinds at all in the rear
- loss of the ability to recline seats (I am pretty sure)
- loss of that sick center armrest
- loss of the ability to adjust your seat pretty much at all
- loss of ability to adjust rear seat temperature in any way
- loss of ability to change the radio station or the source.

But Hey! at least if you go for the F Sport, your car will look real frisky!
 

Levi

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What does the F Sport add? Rather than adding power it sheds weight by not having every not necessary feature, which is a good thing for something intended to be sportier. It would be ironic for the sportiest version to be the most heavy. I can understand someone might want one other option, but at Lexus that is from a production perspective not possible.
 

Sebass

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What does the F Sport add? Rather than adding power it sheds weight by not having every not necessary feature, which is a good thing for something intended to be sportier. It would be ironic for the sportiest version to be the most heavy. I can understand someone might want one other option, but at Lexus that is from a production perspective not possible.
The F sport package adds more sporty exterior styling, sportier rims, it has a differently tuned suspension system, larger brakes, you get the LFA styled gauge cluster, F Sport performance seats, F sport steering wheel, and other F sport interior details.
If you get a rear-wheel-drive LS F sport, you have the ability to go for the Performance Package, which adds rear-wheel steering, and Active Stabilizers.
You said that not having all the luxury features makes the car lighter and that that is a good thing. However, the F sport models do not weigh a single ounce lighter than the non-F Sport cars and if you really don't mind losing all those luxuries for going for the F Sport package, then you may as well save a couple thousand dollars and go for the GS F, and get a much faster and lighter car.
Frankly, if the reason why Lexus doesn't let you get the Luxury and Executive packages on the LS F sport is because they would add weight, I think that is a pretty lame excuse. The LS is not a race car or some light sports car, so even if all the lost features I mentioned would have added 100+ lbs, who cares? I guarantee no one would notice the difference. The LS isn't a type of car that is going to be lapped hour after hour on the Nurburgring and therefore doesn't really need to lose those small amounts of weight for the most minute differences in performance.
I am certainly not opposed to a high-performance LS and would love to see an LS F. However if Lexus makes it, they better not take away all the Luxury amenities and features. If they do, then they ruin the point of the LS.
I would love to be chauffeured by some race car driver, (let's say Lewis Hamilton or hell, even Akio Toyoda), around the Nurburgring in an LS F, with them giving the car full beans. Meanwhile, I would be in the back with the seat fully reclined, the heated seat on, AC blowing on my face, and getting a massage. 😆
 
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