With the redesign of its LS full-size sedan, Lexus brings its dramatic styling ethos to its flagship model, thereby ensuring it won’t go unnoticed, especially at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The new styling is a significant departure from the previous-generation car as well as competitors in the segment, which look relatively understated in comparison.
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Dominating the front end is a version of the brand’s spindle grille, which Lexus says has 5,000 different surfaces that have been adjusted by hand. The top of the grille leads into a long hood bordered by flared front fenders that flow into the front doors.
The LS 500 is only about a half-inch lower than its predecessor, but the new styling makes it look much lower and a new arcing roofline gives it the kind of coupe-like styling popularized by German luxury brands with models like the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and Audi A7. Unlike the A7, however, the LS 500 has a traditional trunk as opposed to a rear hatch.
The changes are just as significant inside. In place of a familiar instrument panel with analog gauges, there’s a single digital screen that shows most information, and to the right of that is a sweeping dashboard with upper and lower sections separated by a series of thin silver lines. The shapes are much more organic than before.
The LS 500 gets a new interface for its Remote Touch multimedia system. Instead of a mouselike controller on the center console, there’s a laptop-style trackpad. Lexus says this is a next-generation version of Remote Touch that’s designed to mimic the operation of a smartphone and recognize handwriting. We weren’t able to try it out on the show floor, but we’ll be interested to see how it performs; we’ve found previous versions of Lexus’ trackpad interface hard to use.