New Lexus LS will be pricier but still undercut rivals

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2018 Lexus LS

2018 Lexus LS

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Lexus is introducing a significantly improved LS for 2018.

The car has been designed from the ground up around a lightweight platform shared with the LC coupe, and it features two new powertrains, one of which is a hybrid.

There will be a premium for all this, with Automotive News (subscription required) reporting that the starting price on the 2018 LS will be about $76,000. The final number will be confirmed closer to the start of sales in February 2018.

2018 Lexus LS

2018 Lexus LS

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The new starting price is slightly above the 2017 model’s $73,515 sticker, but is still well below the starting prices asked by German rivals for their respective full-size sedans. BMW’s 7-Series starts at $84,095 while the Mercedes-Benz S-Class starts at $97,525. It should be noted the Mercedes comes with a V-8 in base form while the BMW and Lexus come with 6-cylinder engines. (All prices mentioned include destination.)

This makes the LS a bit of a bargain in its class as the design and quality this time around looks to be a much better match with the Germans than the previous-generation car. Just some of the luxuries on offer include one of the largest color head-up displays in the segment, active steering that can avoid a pedestrian ahead, and even a special access mode that lowers the car and opens up the seat bolsters for easy ingress.

The standard powertrain in the 2018 LS is a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 producing 415 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. The engine is found in the LS 500 model where it is mated to a 10-speed automatic and drives the rear wheels. All-wheel drive is available.

2018 Lexus LS 500h

2018 Lexus LS 500h

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Also available is an LS 500h model. This one is powered by a 354-hp hybrid setup combining a 3.5-liter V-6 with an E-CVT and a 4-speed automatic transmission. Lexus says the setup provides the sportier feeling of having a multi-speed transmission.

The LS 500 is the quicker of the two, needing just 4.5 seconds to hit 60 mph. The LS 500h isn’t far behind, needing 5.2 seconds to achieve the same feat.

An F-Sport package is available and in addition to some sportier touches the package includes an available Handling package that adds 4-wheel steering and sport-tuned adjustable air suspension.

 
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