2018 Lexus LS gets its hybrid on
The 2018 Lexus LS flagship sedan will soon enter showrooms in the US. To go with that, Lexus has detailed the hybrid model's specifications as well as some trim level and price point notes. The longer, lower new sedan is the pinnacle of the Lexus offerings and we've been waiting for it since the Detroit Auto Show.
The 2018 LS was debuted in Detroit back in January of 2017 and we loved its bold new design. There was a lot of buzz about the longer and lower sedan with its "Hey, look at me!" styling. Now we have some more details on the car.
The standard engine is an impressive intercooled, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected gasoline V6 that outputs 416 horsepower (310 kW) and 442 pound-feet (599 Nm) of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission translates that power to the rear wheels by default, with all-wheel drive available. Impressive as that is, the LS 500 model is just the first of three models available for the LS sedan.
The LS 500h (hybrid) has a 3.5-liter engine that is functionally the same V6 found in the LS 500 model, but drops the turbos and retools for a less performance-oriented Atkinson-cycle. This engine is also found in the LC 500h coupe, as are most of the hybrid parts attached to it. The D-4S direct fuel injection and lightweight valvetrain components allow the engine to rev up to 6,600 RPM and a longer torque plateau is made with the variable valve timing.
As with most Toyota hybrids, the electrification also uses two motors and a planetary continuously variable transmission (CVT). Added to the CVT, however, are four fixed gears as per an automatic transmission to improve gearing ranges and performance output.
The gears are added at the transmission's output point, where they change the RPM rate before going to the wheels. Up to 10 gear ratios are thus available to give the car optimum torque outputs throughout its range, giving it a wider speed range than previous hybrids from Lexus. Shifting is automated, but paddle shifters mounted to the steering column are standard for manual control.
The total system output of the engine and electric motors is 354 horsepower (264 kW), and Lexus estimates the LS 500h's 0-60 mph (0-92 km/h) time to be 5.1 seconds. Its estimated fuel economy is 25 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg combined (9.4/7.3/8.4 l/100km) with EPA numbers coming very soon.
The 2018 Lexus LS lineup will include the standard LS 500, the LS 500h, and the LS F Sport, which is chassis-tuned for performance and handling. The F Sport model will include exclusive interior color options, 20-inch alloy wheels, and tires sized specifically for the car's dynamics for maximum performance. Braking is similarly upgraded and a Performance Package option will add a Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) system, Active Rear Steering, and Active Stabilizer to up the ante.
The 2018 Lexus LS models will go on sale in the US in February 2018, with a list price starting at about $75,000. Our Detroit show gallery included pictures of both the LS 500 and the LS 500h.