2016 Lexus LS bound for Tokyo show with 398kW V8 hybrid heart – report

2016 Lexus LS bound for Tokyo show with 398kW V8 hybrid heart – report

Lexus may at last be preparing to unveil an all-new generation of its big LS sedan, some 10 years into the life of its current flagship model.

The current fourth-generation model has been kept relatively fresh with a series of updates since its 2006 debut, including a facelift in 2012 that brought the big limousine’s look in-line with the company’s new styling language.

According to British website Autocar, Lexus could be preparing to reveal a replacement model at October’s Tokyo motor show. But, with the US market playing a significant part in the brand’s success, an LA Auto Show debut later in November could also be on the cards.

2013 Lexus LS 460 F Sport (pre-production model shown)

The report suggests that Lexus will continue the polarising design direction showcased with its latest models, including the new NX and RX SUVs, and the RC coupe.

Speaking with Autocar, Lexus Europe chief Alain Uyttenhoven said that buyers can expect a “more emotional” look for the new LS, focused more on building the brand’s image rather than contributing significant sales volume directly.

“We’re not chasing market share so we need to make cars that people notice, cars that polarise opinion so that people love them or don’t like them,” he said. “We also need to trade on Japanese differentiation, design and attention to detail.”

2013 Lexus LS 460 F Sport (pre-production model shown)

A coupe-like profile is believed to have been ruled out, however, with space and comfort still the driving motivation in designing the LS.

“You have to understand how our customers use these cars. In the US, if they want to carry things, they also have a pick-up and in China most of them are driven, while they sit in the back,” Uyttenhoven said.

As with the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series, technology is expected to be a top priority for the LS, introducing systems that will eventually filter down to more accessible Lexus models.

Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 2

Likewise, a focus on power and fuel efficiency will feature. The flagship LS is expected to be driven again by a hybrid V8 powertrain, but reports suggest the top model’s power figures could top 398kW – making it a match for the 390kW Mercedes S 600.

A hero model tuned by the Lexus F division (perhaps inspired by the LS TMG Sports 650) could also bring an AMG rival to the party, rivalling the 430kW S 63 (above).

Watch for more details on the new Lexus LS to surface in the weeks and months ahead.

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