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New 2018 Lexus LS goes on sale, priced from £72,595

The new Audi A8 and Mercedes S-Class rival is now on sale, with deliveries starting in early 2018

The fifth generation of the Lexus LS will cost from £72,595 when the new flagship saloon arrives in dealers in early 2018, the company has announced. 

The Japanese rival for the Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8 will be offered with only one powertrain in the UK – a 354bhp 3.5-litre V6 petrol-electric hybrid. It utilises the Lexus’s Multi-Stage Hybrid System and the 10-speed CVT gearbox that both made their debuts on the LC grand tourer.

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• Best hybrid cars on sale right now

Aside from the standard LS 500h, Luxury, F Sport and Premier are the other three trim levels on offer by Toyota’s luxury marque. The entry-level LS 500h sits on 20-inch alloy wheels and brings triple-LED headlights with automatic high beam, a 12.3-inch display screen with built-in Premium navigation and a 12-speaker audio system. As a safety feature, the standard LS is fitted with a 360-degree monitor with pedestrian alert.

The next trim level is Luxury at £79,995, or £82,595 for the four-wheel-drive model. Luxury trim offers four-zone climate control, 23-speaker surround sound audio and heated seats in the front and rear. Also on sale for £79,995 is the F Sport trim, which offers sport-focused features such as exclusive alloys, low-profile tyres and F Sport badging around the interior, along with an LFA-inspired digital instrument cluster. 

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Topping the range from £97,995 is Premier AWD, which gets heated rear seats with Shiatsu massage functions and 22-way adjustability. 

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All new LS models are fitted with Lexus Safety System+ driver assistance as standard. The autonomous driving assists include pre-collision safety, dynamic cruise control, lane-keep assist and traffic sign recognition. Premier trim is fitted with Lexus Safety System+A, which adds lane tracing assist, a “more sophisticated” pre-collision system and active steering assist with pedestrian detection.

Orders for the new LS luxury saloon are now being taken by Lexus, which plans to deliver its first models early next year.

New Lexus LS: details

Lexus's new flagship was revealed at the Detroit Motor Show earlier this year. The 2017 LS gets a new platform and uses the latest Lexus design language, formed into a large four-door grand tourer shape including a huge trademark spindle grille with over 5,000 surfaces.

The fastback, coupe shape is clearly influenced by the LF-FC Coupe concept car from 2015. The angular face is dominated by the grille, which boasts a unique mesh texture that appears to shape shift in different light. The angular front end contrasts with the swooping side profile, and over the rear wheels the broad shoulders of the concept translate into production form.

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In terms of dimensions it’s a bigger car all round, being longer than the previous LS at 5,235mm, lower at 1,450mm and wider at 1,900mm, including a wheelbase stretched to 3,125mm. 

The new design sits on top of a new platform, too. As expected, it gets an extended version of the new GA-L architecture underpinning the new LC coupe. It’s a lighter, stiffer platform, and combined with weight savings from new lightweight materials such as ultra-high-tensile steel and aluminium, the new LS is 90kg lighter than the older model, despite being a larger car.

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The new platform ought to be beneficial when it comes to how the car feels to drive on the road, as it places far more mass from the engine, plus the passengers, into a lower and more central position in the chassis.

New multi-link suspension front and rear is also present, making extensive use of aluminium to save weight. Lexus says the new system should introduce a more precise steering response. It’s mated to a new generation vehicle dynamics management setup for optimised ride comfort and traction, and rear-wheel steering is also a part of the package, for greater stability and agility.

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Complementing the revolution both on the surface and under the skin is a new cabin packed with equipment and technology and design tweaks. Ambient lighting inspired by Japanese lanterns greet passengers, and there’s a new selection of wood finishes for the re-designed cabin.

New 28-way adjustable front seats with cooling, heating and massage functions will be offered, and place driver and passenger in front of a flat, horizontal dashboard teeming with displays – a 12.3 inch navigation screen being the centrepiece, while a huge head-up-display will be an option.

In the back, optional rear seats with heating, cooling and massage functions will be available, while the rear seat luxury packages introduces rear seats that can recline up to 48 degrees.

New advanced safety features also make the cut as part of the Lexus Safety System+ suite, including a pedestrian detection and avoidance system with active steering. Lexus CoDrive also features, providing steering control up to whatever the driver requires and semi-autonomous capabilities on motorways.

Do you think that Lexus will be able to match the Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8 with the new LS? Let us know in the comments...

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