2018 Lexus LS 500 First Drive: Continuing To Evolve Luxury

– San Francisco, California

While it’s true that buying tastes have shifted from sedans to SUVs, Lexus believes the time is right for the all-new LS to make a splash in the U.S. luxury-sedan market – in part because customers have waited so long for this car that they might have bought its rivals instead.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a new LS,” admits Brian Bolain, general manager for Lexus marketing. “We do expect to attract some people from other brands who may have drifted away while they were waiting for a new LS.”

When those customers come back to a Lexus showroom, they’ll find an LS that’s considerably prettier than the one before it. Designers attempted to produce a more coupe-like silhouette than the last three-box LS, making the rear window angle shallower and introducing a “sixth window” in the C-pillar. (That tiny window even gets teensy power sun shades on models so equipped.) It’s a more modern, graceful look for the LS that is prettier and less austere than the one before it.

2018 Lexus LS 500: First Drive
2018 Lexus LS 500: First Drive

The grille, by the way, consists of an incredible 5,000 surfaces, which Lexus says a designer spent six months crafting in CAD software.

Front and rear lighting elements employ L-shaped graphics, for Lexus; don’t call it a Nike swoosh. The nose has perhaps the second-best integration yet of the company’s big spindle grille, after the LC coupe. The grille, by the way, consists of an incredible 5,000 surfaces, which Lexus says a designer spent six months crafting in CAD softwa...