Spied: 2018 Lexus LS

Lexus is working on a new flagship sedan.

Lexus' next-generation LS flagship sedan has broken cover while undergoing hot weather testing. The new Lexus LS will likely debut for the 2018 model year.

The LS seen here is an early prototype, but some of its design cues can be seen protruding from its thick camouflage. It looks as though the new LS will take most of its design inspiration from the LF-LC concept, including the latest interpretation of Lexus' spindle front grille. It also appears as though the next-generation LS will feature a sleeker roofline.

Design cues are a little more hidden out back, where the LS sports a pair of temporary taillights inspired by the finned cars of the 1950s. However, we can make out some pronounced curving the LS' trunk lid, further suggesting the next-generation of Lexus' flagship will sport more emotional styling.

Most LS models will continue to be motivated by a V8 engine, but we hear Lexus is also developing a hydrogen drivetrain for its Mercedes S-Class rival. Borrowing tech from the Toyota Mirai, the hydrogen-powered LS would probably take the place of the current LS600h hybrid. The hydrogen LS would trail the standard car by at least a year or two.

The next LS promises to be packed with technology, including semi-autonomous driving features.

The 2018 Lexus LS could make its world debut in early 2017 before going on sale later in the year.

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