Automotive

Bold new Lexus flagship noses into Detroit

Bold new Lexus flagship noses ...
The new Lexus LS500 made its debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show
The new Lexus LS500 made its debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show
View 42 Images
The grille on the LS500 is going to turn some drivers off
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The grille on the LS500 is going to turn some drivers off
Lexus has refined its slashy headlamp design for the LS500
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Lexus has refined its slashy headlamp design for the LS500
The rear of the LS500 features similar shapes to the LC500, but the design has been toned down for life as a luxury limousine
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The rear of the LS500 features similar shapes to the LC500, but the design has been toned down for life as a luxury limousine
The rear of the LS500 is its most conventional angle
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The rear of the LS500 is its most conventional angle
Lexus will offer 19- or 20-inch wheels on the LS500
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Lexus will offer 19- or 20-inch wheels on the LS500
Rear seat passengers are well looked after in the LS500
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Rear seat passengers are well looked after in the LS500
The details in the LS500 are beautifully wrought
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The details in the LS500 are beautifully wrought
A new twin-turbo V6 powers the LS 
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A new twin-turbo V6 powers the LS 
The new Lexus LS500 made its debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show
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The new Lexus LS500 made its debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show
Behind the wheel of the Lexus LS500
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Behind the wheel of the Lexus LS500
The Lexus LS500 drew plenty of attention at the Detroit Auto Show
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The Lexus LS500 drew plenty of attention at the Detroit Auto Show
This is where the chauffeur goes in the Lexus LS500
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This is where the chauffeur goes in the Lexus LS500
No, it's not a vacuum cleaner, it's the front of the Lexus LS500
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No, it's not a vacuum cleaner, it's the front of the Lexus LS500
Let us know what you think of the LS500's styling in the comments
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Let us know what you think of the LS500's styling in the comments
The new Lexus LS500
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The new Lexus LS500
The new Lexus LS500
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The new Lexus LS500
Lexus has run with a more coupe-like profile for the LS500
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Lexus has run with a more coupe-like profile for the LS500
The LS500 is powered by a 415 hp twin-turbo V6
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The LS500 is powered by a 415 hp twin-turbo V6
Lexus continues to refine its edgy new design language
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Lexus continues to refine its edgy new design language
Behind the wheel of the Lexus LS500
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Behind the wheel of the Lexus LS500
A 12.3-inch display in the Lexus LS500
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A 12.3-inch display in the Lexus LS500
The grille on the LS500 is going to turn some drivers off
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The grille on the LS500 is going to turn some drivers off
Lexus has refined its slashy headlamp design for the LS500
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Lexus has refined its slashy headlamp design for the LS500
The rear of the LS500 features similar shapes to the LC500, but the design has been toned down for life as a luxury limousine
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The rear of the LS500 features similar shapes to the LC500, but the design has been toned down for life as a luxury limousine
The rear of the LS500 is its most conventional angle
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The rear of the LS500 is its most conventional angle
Lexus will offer 19- or 20-inch wheels on the LS500
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Lexus will offer 19- or 20-inch wheels on the LS500
Rear seat passengers are well looked after in the LS500
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Rear seat passengers are well looked after in the LS500
The details in the LS500 are beautifully wrought
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The details in the LS500 are beautifully wrought
A new twin-turbo V6 powers the LS 
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A new twin-turbo V6 powers the LS 
The new Lexus LS500 made its debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show
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The new Lexus LS500 made its debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show
Behind the wheel of the Lexus LS500
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Behind the wheel of the Lexus LS500
The Lexus LS500 drew plenty of attention at the Detroit Auto Show
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The Lexus LS500 drew plenty of attention at the Detroit Auto Show
This is where the chauffeur goes in the Lexus LS500
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This is where the chauffeur goes in the Lexus LS500
No, it's not a vacuum cleaner, it's the front of the Lexus LS500
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No, it's not a vacuum cleaner, it's the front of the Lexus LS500
Let us know what you think of the LS500's styling in the comments
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Let us know what you think of the LS500's styling in the comments
The new Lexus LS500
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The new Lexus LS500
The new Lexus LS500
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The new Lexus LS500
Lexus has run with a more coupe-like profile for the LS500
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Lexus has run with a more coupe-like profile for the LS500
The LS500 is powered by a 415 hp twin-turbo V6
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The LS500 is powered by a 415 hp twin-turbo V6
Lexus continues to refine its edgy new design language
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Lexus continues to refine its edgy new design language
Behind the wheel of the Lexus LS500
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Behind the wheel of the Lexus LS500
A 12.3-inch display in the Lexus LS500
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A 12.3-inch display in the Lexus LS500
View gallery - 42 images

Remember the Lexus LS? Don't be ashamed if you can't – it made its debut a decade ago, making it a veritable dinosaur compared to the newer, more technologically advanced BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class. At the 2017 Detroit Auto Show though, Lexus has finally released its new flagship and, as you can probably see, it's anything but forgettable.

The new LS500 is a new car from the ground up, running on a longer version of the architecture debuted on the equally eye-catching LC500 Coupe. In spite of a 1.3-inch longer wheelbase, the new platform is more than 200 lb (91 kg) lighter than the one it replaces, thanks to plenty of aluminum and ultra high-tensile sheet steel. Lexus also says the new underpinnings place more of the car's mass down low. Combined with a lighter engine sitting over the front axle, that should make for a limousine willing to indulge keen drivers (or chauffeurs).

Speaking of the engine, Lexus has poured considerable time and effort into making its new twin-turbo V6 powerful, efficient and smooth enough to make drivers forget the old model had a good old-fashioned bent-eight. It makes 415 hp (309 kW) of power and 599 Nm of torque, enough to top 60 mph (98 km/h) in 4.5 seconds in rear-wheel drive models.

Let us know what you think of the LS500's styling in the comments
Let us know what you think of the LS500's styling in the comments

It's hooked up to the same ten-speed automatic gearbox found in the LC500, which runs with tightly stacked low gears for quick acceleration, and ultra-tall top gears for serene, efficient highway cruising. At least, that's the way it works in theory – whether it can match the best dual-clutch 'boxes at speed remains to be seen.

Okay, we can ignore it no more: it's time to talk about the exterior. Seemingly desperate to distance itself from the same-same Germans, Lexus has adopted a styling language best described as bold. Although it's not conventionally handsome like a 7 Series or S-Class, the LS500 certainly has more presence than both combined, thanks to its enormous grille and edgy two-piece headlights. Not everyone is going to like it – we're still not sure how to feel, and that's after a proper poke around in Detroit – but if being seen is the goal, the Lexus fits the bill perfectly.

Move past the polarising exterior, and you'll find one of the nicest interiors this side of a Maybach. The optional front seats can be adjusted in 28 different ways, and that's before you start playing around with heating, cooling and massage functions. What's more, rear seat passengers are treated to thrones that recline to 48 degrees. When it comes time to exit the car, they can be raised up to 24 degrees for an easier, more dignified exit – a touch likely to be appreciated by pampered kids on the school run and pampered starlets on the red carpet.

The rear of the LS500 is its most conventional angle
The rear of the LS500 is its most conventional angle

On the tech front, the driver is treated to a full-color head-up display measuring in at a whopping 24 inches, and infotainment is handled by the console-mounted 12.3-inch display. Unfortunately, it's still controlled by the same fiddly mouse-style pointer as the rest of the Lexus range.

There's no word on pricing yet, but we now know pricing for the LC500 will kick off at US$92,000. Given the extra seats, doors and luxury on offer in the LS500, you can expect a healthy sticker increase on that figure when the car goes on sale.

Stay tuned for all the action from the floor of the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, where New Atlas is on the ground.

Source: Lexus

View gallery - 42 images
7 comments
Rann Xeroxx
IMHO Lexus are god awful looking cars, just ugly.
StevenR01
What isn't boring is ugly. That grill - ewwwww.
Eddy
Cannot understand the stylists thinking with these gaping void fronts filled with expensive tizzy chrome. Apart from looking awful they look like towbar bait to me if parallel parking.
KaiserPingo
Just absolutely ugly, and a messy design outside and especially inside. Clashing colours and shapes.
Looks unfinished and "homemade".
keith14
The only thing that spoils the looks is the grill. Everything else the designers have come up with makes the new Lexus look cool. Whatever were they thinking when they let a mad professor loose to design that awful looking grill. Overall it's a 8/10 from me.
CliveVreeswijk
Glad to see I'm not the only one that hates the grill!...Get With the program Toyota...any automotive engineer/designer with any sense knows that most of the air required for cooling does NOT come from the grill but the chin spoiler, if ya don't believe me, try taking it off and see what happens. Took us a while to figure out why a car was overheating once at a dealership, until I noticed the spoiler was missing, asked the owner, he removed it because of a rough cottage road! Big grills went out with the 60's
jjsmail
Toyota needs to find some new stylists for the fronts of their cars! Damn plug-ugly. It doesn't matter how nice the car is, I could not bring myself to drive a car that looks like that. In addition, those un-protected grilles are going to look terrible after even a few times parked on the street in any big city where they park by ear.