By: Roger Rivero
It is easy to know when a parent is proud of one of their children. Do not judge by the sticker on the back bumper of your car. You have to look into his eyes. The candor that a satisfied father shows for his child is impossible to hide. Toshio Asahi, chief engineer and several members of his team in charge of developing the new Lexus LS, are proud of the result of the fifth generation of this car. It could not be for less.
The LS is the “flagship” Lexus. The manufacturer would not be what it is today, except for this model, the first developed by Toyota luxury brand. It came under siege in December 1989, after about seven years of planning, under the absolute secrecy of a project called “F1.” The objective seemed too ambitious: to overcome the emblematic and established American and European sedans, in important lines such as aerodynamics, cabin tranquility, maximum speed and fuel efficiency. All delivered in a package with price tag below the competition. I imagine the tension in those days, pending the performance of the new creation. Early, the LS 400 will become an event. In a short time his sales surpassed those of Mercedes Benz, Jaguar and BMW. Lexus shifted from anxiety to astonishment. The creature had begun to walk with excellent pace.
The fifth generation of the LS presented to the press in San Francisco, is already a mocetón in the thirties, with experience, good musculature, and enough attractive to make appearances. It will be on sale at the beginning of next year, and as expected, we found enough surprises in the new car, to augur well a reception. The main one is its engine. For the first time Lexus leaves the 8-cylinder engines out of the LS. The initial anxiety was cleared, after a few minutes testing the car on the outskirts of the Californian city. The new 3.5-liter V-6 turbocharged twin engine fulfills its mission with elegance and without complaint. We also tested a hybrid version, with combined consumption of 28 miles.
The car, now in the new exclusive luxury vehicle platform (GA-L), is also wider. The space is remarkable in its interior, where the comfort is preeminent, especially in the seats. Installed inside the new Lexus LS, you discover that it is a well-designed and finished work. The level reached there is admirable, with details that you discover little by little, the more intimate with the car. The concept of Japanese hospitality is replicated with perfection. You feel welcome when you step into the LS, a car that by the general consensus of colleagues who attended your presentation, has the best interior finish of its class.
A car of these dimensions inspires the quiet and viscous ride. While there are versions of the LS where you can enjoy a true chauffeur experience, with reclining back seat and 5 massage programs, luxury sedan owners every day demand more agility and performance of this type of car. This is another aspect of the new LS 500. If required, it teaches athletics and dynamics in driving, especially in its F Sport version.
Toyota’s philosophy of slow but safe steps has been excellent. While some models like the Toyota Camry, have experienced periods of lethargy where the renewal to resemble being in long vacations, just at key moments, teach claw and glimpse to the future, as much in design as in technology. The new LS 500 is for testing, a button.
Mr. Asahi and his team can not hide their pride. With measured manners, slow talk, and the characteristic reserve of the Japanese, it may not be obvious at first glance, but when you look into their eyes, then it is not difficult to guess what they are thinking … We succeed!
Top Features of the 2018 Lexus LS 500
Engine V6 3.5L double turbo DOHC 24 valves.
10-speed automatic transmission.
Estimated consumption 18 miles per gallon in the city, 18 on the freeway.
Time from 0-60 miles 4.6-4.7 seconds (Estimated)
On sale since February 2018.
Price not available at the moment, but it is estimated to start close to $ 70,000