2017 NAIAS: This is the 2018 Lexus LS [video] image

The Japanese premium automaker’s flagship sedan has arrived in front of the worldwide audience of the 2017 North American International Auto Show.

The company’s flagship model is finally here after a long wait but customers don’t have to fear they would be left out – the top of the line sedan will reach more than 90 markets in the near future. The all-new, fifth generation has been developed o be “the brand’s latest global citizen.” The flagship has actually grown in size and now also uses the new GA-L platform that first debuted on the spectacular LC series coupe. Thanks to the new architecture, the LS is lower, wider and has a closer to the ground center of gravity. “Not only will the LS symbolize the Lexus brand, it will become the definitive new-generation luxury car embodying Japanese tradition and culture,” said Toshio Asahi, chief engineer for the new LS.

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The design is both familiar and new – the front end is showing its relationship with the LC coupe but the side profile is a big departure compared to the current version. It also adopts a Lexus-new a six-side window design, as well as 20-inch wheels with brilliant finish and a special hollow rim structure designed to reduce tire noise. This element is important for Lexus, with the exhaust delivering “a more authoritative tone” and an active noise-cancellation system in the cabin.

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Speaking of which, it’s packed with luxury features – including a premium audio system with 3D surround made by Mark Levinson, an infotainment system with a 12.3-inch wide navigation display, while Lexus also claims to have the biggest color head-up display in the world. Under the hood of the 2018 LS sits an all-new 3.5-liter, V6 biturbo engine, developing 415 horsepower (309 kilowatts) and 442 pound-feet (600 Newton meters) of torque, linked to a 10-speed automatic transmission, which should provide “instant acceleration and a constant buildup of torque toward the engine’s redline.” The zero to 60 mph (96 km/h) time should be of no more than 4.5 seconds. Buyers of the LS limousine will have to wait a little longer – with the company only saying it will take the orders starting with the final months of the year, so we could see deliveries coming well into 2018.