Detroit LIVE: Lexus unveils 2018 LS flagship sedan

New luxury flagship will go on sale at the end of 2017.

Lexus has formally unveiled its new LS flagship sedan in Detroit, promising to deliver it to showrooms by the end of 2017.

The 2018 Lexus LS is new from the ground up. It now rides on the company's new global large luxury car platform (GA-L) which debuted with the LC 500 coupe last year.

In the real world, the 2018 LS is lower and wider. It rides on a wheelbase that is 1.3 inches longer than the current long-wheelbase model's, but thanks to new lightweight materials (including aluminum), it is 200lbs lighter than the outgoing car.

It also boasts a new chassis control system dubbed VDIM (Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management) which can monitor and control just about every aspect of the sedan's ride and handling.

The powertrains are new too. Rather than relying on a V8 engine for motivation (as the LS has in the past), the new LS boasts a twin-turbocharged V6. This mill produces 415 horsepower and 442lb-ft of torque (both improvements over the old V8's output).

This new powerplant will be mated to an all-new, ten-speed automatic transmission. Lexus claims this combo will be enough to propel the new LS from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.

The new LS also falls more in line with the new Lexus styling direction, but also embraces the now-ubiquitous coupe-like trend for large luxury cars (hence the lower, wider stance and emphasis on an aggressive roof line).

Lexus even went so far as to modify the new sedan's moonroof mechanism to allow for increased headroom despite the lower overall height.

"Not only will the LS symbolize the Lexus brand, it will become the definitive new-generation luxury car embodying Japanese tradition and culture," said LS chief engineer Toshio Asahi, "As such, this global pinnacle must go far beyond what the world expects from a luxury car."

Live photos by Brian Williams.

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