Phil's Morning Drive | The 2018 Lexus LS has a Surprise For Rear Seat Passengers
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The 2018 Lexus LS has a Surprise For Rear Seat Passengers

The 2018 Lexus LS has a Surprise For Rear Seat Passengers

After recent changes among the German flagship sedans, it is Lexus’ turn to make some changes of their own with their new 2018 LS. With all the constant chatter about SUVs ruling the day, companies like Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi are really upping the luxury sedan game by focusing on two key areas: tech and rear seat comfort/amenities. Much technology has been added to help the driver with blind spots, highway driving and self-parking, but I want to focus more on the comfort in the rear of the cabin because some of these features are getting pretty crazy. (See also: Audi’s heated/massaging foot rest.)

The new LS has some unique features that will have you saying to your spouse, “No, you drive!” Let’s start with the seats. As you can see, they have a welcoming and comfortable look, even before you sit down. Options like seat heating and massage seem old hat in 2017, so Lexus is upping the ante by giving you the optional Executive Package.

“The available power front and rear seat with Shiatsu massage and a raised ottoman, part of the Executive Package, offers more legroom than any previous-generation LS (3.4 in. more than the outgoing model). In addition, the seat behind the front passenger in this optional package can be reclined up to 48 degrees (largest angle in the segment), and can be raised up to 24 degrees to assist the rear-seat passenger exiting the vehicle.”

You can also add the Relaxation Seats.

“Available rear ‘Relaxation Seats’ with a warming function use air bladders integrated into the seatback and seat cushion. These are inflated to strategically apply pressure to the occupant’s body, while also applying warmth to the shoulder and lower back areas. The occupant can select from three full-body programs (‘Refresh,’ ‘Stretch’ and ‘Simple’) and four that target specific areas (‘Upper Body,’ ‘Lower Body,’ ‘Shoulder,’ and ‘Lumbar’).”

Both of these features offer a distinctive experience for passengers. Additionally, the LS promises to be quite the drivers’ car thanks to a new engine. Lexus has done away with the V8 in favor of a twin turbo V6 that produces 416 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. That’s a 30 hp increase compared with last year’s V8. For better handling and plenty of sporty add ons, you can choose the F Sport version which also gives the car a more aggressive look.

Lexus will also offer an LS500h Hybrid model. Hybrids have been in their lineup for a long time now but I’m not sure why they aren’t offering this as a plug-in hybrid. The fuel economy is 25 city and 33 highway, which isn’t bad for a car of this size. However, BMW is offering a plug-in hybrid 7-Series that can achieve 27 MPG without the electric component, or 64 MPG E if you use the electric only mode.

The LS has always been more understated luxury sedan compared to the German versions. With these new features available for passengers it promises to be a healthy contender. It goes on sale this coming February and will start around $75,000.

 

Photos/Video Courtesy: Lexus

Phil’s Morning Drive, a web series about cars, is now streaming on Amazon and YouTube. You can also follow this blog on Apple News.

 

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