Be glad the Lexus LS is not just another me too generic German saloon. It’s anything but bland, and for that Lexus should be commended.
The new LS has been in development for the past six years, a long time in industry terms. You might scoff at the aggression of the design and it not being to your taste (it certainly isn’t to mine), but it’s bold and shows the confidence running through Lexus at the moment.
With a normal car, you’d look to the immediate predecessor for where to improve when it came to the replacement. For the fifth-generation Lexus LS, Lexus looked at the 1989 original, the first model from the brand and still the one that it is best known for. It hopes the new model can have the same kind of impact on the company.
Company boss Akio Toyoda has made it a personal mission of his to turnaround the Lexus brand. The first model to come from his personal touch is the brilliant LC coupe. The LS is based on the same platform and is claimed to be cut from the same cloth.
Europe is not the target market for it, and it will still only ever sell in tiny numbers, unlike in the United States. Why we should be interested is the message it sends out: that Lexus wants to make its cars great to drive and standout with design, and become a proper alternative.
And Lexus should be just that: an alternative, and not a poor one at that. As the German brands grow ever larger and diverse into ever smaller niches, with often quite homogenised products, Lexus has sensed an opportunity to offer something truly different yet still credible. Good on ‘em.