Does Lexus want to take on the S-Class AMG?
A new batch of spy photos shows that Lexus has a new variant of the LS under development in Europe. It sports an odd assortment of parts that make the model's identity somewhat mysterious.
Our spies think that Lexus might be developing a high-performance variant of the range-topping sedan, and there's reason to think that could be the case. The hottest version of the latest LS at the moment is the F Sport variant, which features available updates like new brake calipers, variable-ratio power steering, rear-wheel steering, revised tuning for the air suspension, and active anti-roll bars.
This test mule features similar front end and fascia as the F Sport, but there's a large chunk missing from the center of the grille, which suggests this vehicle might have a larger hunger for cool air. Our spies report that the engine on this model sounds louder than usual, too. There's also a tiny rear spoiler on the trunk.
Lexus reportedly intends to debut a hardcore F variant of the LC at the Tokyo Motor Show that would reportedly use a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 with around 600 horsepower (447 kW) and 470 pound-feet (637 Newton-meters) of torque. If the engineers can fit the mill into the LC, then it shouldn't be too hard to get into the LS.
There's a dark horse choice here, too. The rear bumper on this vehicle appears to be the same as the part on the hybrid. Plus, a trademark filing suggests that a fuel-cell-powered LS is on the way. It's conceivable that Lexus might be testing the FCEV. However, hydrogen-fueled model shouldn't be louder than the normal like the spies report.
The 2018 Lexus LS goes on sale late in 2017. The company hasn't yet disclosed a base price for them.