3 cool things on the all-new 2018 Lexus LS

2018 Lexus LS (Sinclair Broadcast Group / Jill Ciminillo)

I recently had the chance to check out the 2018 Lexus LS, and though the embargo on driving impressions hasn’t lifted, I can tell you about three cool features you’ll find on the all-new luxury sedan.

Rear seat massagers

The new LS has a pretty swanky Executive Package that includes things like a right-side seat that reclines up to 48 degrees and has a raised ottoman. But the real luxury is the “Relaxation Seat” with a warming and massage function. The occupant can select from three different programs – Refresh, Stretch and Simple – that target the upper body, lower body, shoulder and lumbar. The massage is achieved through air bladders that are integrated into the seatback and seat cushion and apply pressure and warmth to the targeted areas.

Japanese aesthetics interior inspiration

At a base level, the LS has been painstakingly designed inside and out. We’re talking hand-cut wood accents and a spindle grille design motif that spans the entire length of the vehicle. But some of the design elements on the Executive Package go above and beyond luxury standards. Think cut-glass ornamentation and hand-pleated upholstery.

The available glass ornamentation on the Executive Package takes inspiration from Japanese Kiriko glassware. While the traditional Kiriko patterns are hand carved, a Kiriko master worked with Lexus designers to duplicate the hand-carved appearance using a laser. The effect is stunning.

But the true eye catcher is the hand-pleated upholstery. The process took four years to develop. A single piece of cloth is folded like origami and can only be done by hand.

A pre-collision system with steering assist

Toyota Motor Sales as a company has put a huge emphasis on safety, making much of their high-level safety features standard across the Toyota and Lexus lineup. The 2018 LS comes standard with features such as adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure alert and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

However, the up-level Advanced Package offers a world-first feature: a pre-collision system that includes steering assist. So, if the vehicle detects a pedestrian or vehicle ahead that might cause an imminent collision, the system will not only brake but also steer around the obstacle if the car assesses it is safe to do so (i.e. there aren’t any on-coming traffic, guard rails or additional pedestrians). While I’ve seen this feature tested on other automakers’ products, this is the first time I’ve seen it put into a production vehicle.

The all-new 2018 LS is a pretty neat vehicle. Stay tuned next week for our full review where we talk about drive impressions.

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