The new fifth-generation 2018 Lexus LS looks to maintain its strong presence in the large upscale sedan arena, bolstered by high standards of luxury, technology, and sophistication. The new LS gets a slick, coupe-like silhouette and rides on the company’s global rear-wheel-drive platform that first debuted on the LC 500 coupe.

The new LS is longer, lower, and reportedly 200 pounds lighter than the one it replaces. You can also get your LS in an extended version, should you be frequently transporting tall passengers or demand first-class accommodations.

The standard drivetrain is an all-new twin-turbo 415 horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 hooked up to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Some might argue that getting rid of the LS’s traditional V8 runs counter to what many vehicles in this segment offer, but Lexus claims that the new model can pull off a 0-60 mph sprint in just 4.5 seconds for the rear-wheel-drive version. (AWD will be offered.)

Lexus says that the new LS will have more engaging handling than the last model, aided by a lower center of gravity that places most of the mass, including the engine and the occupants, in a more centralized position and lower in the chassis. Compared to the previous LS, the new one is about .6 inches lower, while the hood and trunk are approximately 1.2 inches and 1.6 inches lower, respectively.

Other technological details include the LS’s Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system, which controls the car’s braking, steering, powertrain, and suspension systems in order to “enable exceptional ride comfort, enhanced traction and safety, and handling agility.” Another safety spin of the VDIM is that it’s capable of assisting stability when the car is traversing split-friction surfaces, such as dry pavement and ice.

2018 Lexus LS Luxury Sedan interior

Inside, the class-typical leather and wood details go without saying. Active noise control should help the LS maintain its grip as one of the quietest cars on the planet. Supposedly, the system can detect the sound of the engine intruding into the vehicle and can mitigate certain frequencies using “antiphase sound from the audio speakers.” And speaking of sound, the LS is still offering a premium 3D-surround Mark Levinson audio package along with a 12.3-inch-wide touch-screen navigation system that supports handwritten input. Also optional is a color head-up display (HUD).

You can choose 28-way power front seats that offer heating, cooling, and massage functions—about par for the course in the rarified class. Rear-seat passengers are also cosseted, with optional heating, cooling and massage benefits as well as a raised ottoman leg rest. The rear seat can also be reclined up to 48 degrees and raised up to 24 degrees to help getting in or out.

An air suspension is available and can automatically raise the vehicle and open the seat bolsters to help drivers get behind the wheel.

Naturally, the LS comes with a long list of standard safety gear (called Lexus Safety System +) and includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. Other available safety equipment includes pedestrian detection with active steering within the lane; if a pedestrian is detected in the lane ahead and a collision is imminent, the system is “designed to automatically brake and potentially steer around the person while staying in the lane.”

Launched 28 years ago, the original LS 400 was one of the main factors convincing many upscale buyers to consider the new start-up brand over a traditional BMW or Mercedes-Benz. Not only did this luxury model introduce new levels of comfort, refinement and quietness, it helped to raise standards for owner satisfaction, top-notch dealer service, and dependable reliability.

Speaking of dependable, some LS owners see their cars lasting an incredibly long time, especially in this case of a couple who saw their 1990 Lexus LS roll past 350,000 miles. 

The new LS goes on sale near the end of 2017. Pricing was not announced.

2018 Lexus LS Luxury Sedan rear