Lexus LS500h 2018 review
New flagship saloon from Lexus provides a luxury interior to rival the best but comes up short due to its hybrid powertrain
Had you in 1989 asked the senior Lexus executive in the UK to predict annual sales of its flagship LS model five generations and 18 years later, he’d have come up with a number larger than 100.But that’s how many of these new LS500h Ewan Shepherd, the man who does that job today, reckons he’ll shift in 2018. To be fair, sales only start on 2 January and there will be an inevitable ramp up, but he says no more than 150 units will be coming this way even in a full year. In the same time, Mercedes-Benz will shift 2500 S-Classes.The LS has always struggled here, the best volumes hitting around 400 in 2007 just before the crash. The injuries have been self-inflicted in part – refusing to offer a diesel engine denied it the vast bulk of prospects – but it has also fallen victim to a nation of badge snobs that we are.This all-new LS does not seek to change its tune because it’s far more successful in less traditionalist markets, but it has been re-recorded and mixed with a decidedly more upbeat groove. Lower, wider and longer, the styling is far more adventurous – borderline funky, in fact – and comes with uncommon presence and an almost fanatical devotion to detail. That ‘spindle’ front grille has 5000 surfaces and took one stylist 14 weeks of solid work to design, after which I’m guessing he or she had to go and lie in darkened room for almost as long again.
Source: Autocar Online