Lexus’ Smooth Upgrade

Reinvigorating the LS both inside and out

BY MICHAEL FRANK — Winter 2018

or 2018, the Lexus LS gets longer, faster, safer, quieter, and looks sharper, too. Purists might bemoan the loss of the outgoing LS’ V-8, but you won’t care. The new 416-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V-6 launches the car with serious attitude, especially when equipped with optional all-wheel drive, and the 10-speed transmission delivers power with locomotivelike smoothness. Engineers shed about 42 percent of the front suspension weight, so the car handles like a tauter machine.

But, like its predecessor, the 2018 LS has been crafted for luxury buyers who want serenity more than pure sports-car style. To that end, we found the interior to have the most refreshing revamp. Every seat feels ultrasupportive, so much so that we wanted to drive the LS even more — after six hours behind the wheel. Designers have reworked the cabin with a subtle, Japanese-inspired theme; door panels resemble a blend of origami paper and intricately woven kimonos.

Cruise along in this car and you’ll experience the excellent balance struck between a confident driving manner, with immediate power, and a ride that soaks up bumps and corners smoothly, yet never feels lock-kneed and stiff. Want to be energized? Just crank up the super-crisp 23-speaker, 2,400-watt Mark Levinson sound system. From $75,000.


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