The current fourth-generation model has been kept relatively fresh with a series of updates since its 2006 debut, including a facelift in 2012 that brought the big limousine’s look in-line with the company’s new styling language.
According to British website Autocar, Lexus could be preparing to reveal a replacement model at October’s Tokyo motor show. But, with the US market playing a significant part in the brand’s success, an LA Auto Show debut later in November could also be on the cards.
Speaking with Autocar, Lexus Europe chief Alain Uyttenhoven said that buyers can expect a “more emotional” look for the new LS, focused more on building the brand’s image rather than contributing significant sales volume directly.
“We’re not chasing market share so we need to make cars that people notice, cars that polarise opinion so that people love them or don’t like them,” he said. “We also need to trade on Japanese differentiation, design and attention to detail.”
A coupe-like profile is believed to have been ruled out, however, with space and comfort still the driving motivation in designing the LS.
“You have to understand how our customers use these cars. In the US, if they want to carry things, they also have a pick-up and in China most of them are driven, while they sit in the back,” Uyttenhoven said.
Likewise, a focus on power and fuel efficiency will feature. The flagship LS is expected to be driven again by a hybrid V8 powertrain, but reports suggest the top model’s power figures could top 398kW - making it a match for the 390kW Mercedes S 600.
A hero model tuned by the Lexus F division (perhaps inspired by the LS TMG Sports 650) could also bring an AMG rival to the party, rivalling the 430kW S 63 (above).
Watch for more details on the new Lexus LS to surface in the weeks and months ahead.