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Lexus LS+ Concept Previews Brand's Future

Lexus LS+ Concept Previews Brand's Future

It hasn’t been long since the fifth-generation Lexus LS was revealed, but the brand is already showing off a concept version with the LS+ Concept in Tokyo.

There’s no questioning that the brand’s latest flagship sedan served as the donor car for the LS+ Concept; it generally shares its overall look and feel with it. That said, Lexus has made the LS+ live up to the “+” in its name; this car is wider and longer than the production car. Additionally, it is previewing the next iteration of Lexus’ L-finesse design language.

L-finesse has clearly been amplified on this concept versus the production LS. The spindle grille is far more dramatic and polarizing than the already-daring version on the real-deal. Lexus has also borrowed a new Audi design cue by adding a wrap-around taillight treatment in the back, which is sort of interesting. The dramatic front and rear clips bookend a design that has a far more dramatic stance than the LS, but that’s sort of expected with a concept car.

Previewing Lexus’ future design strategy is not the only point of this concept. The LS+ is also packing a ton of new technology, including what Lexus is calling Highway Teammate. Aptly named, the system essentially allows the LS+ to drive itself on highways, including lane-changing, off-ramps and exits and speed adjustments.

Unlike similar systems, Lexus’ version here is utilizing artificial intelligence to make decisions. The AI system pulls data points from a suite of on-car cameras and sensors, then converges it with meta data pulled from external sources, such as highway information.

Frankly, Highway Teammate sounds a lot like Cadillac’s SuperCruise technology. The interested part of this is that Lexus says most of the technology in the LS+ won’t appear on dealership lots until about 2020; you can buy a Cadillac CT6 with SuperCruise now.

Given the new LS is facing some stiff competition with the refreshed 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8, the LS+ Concept is likely an attempt for Lexus to get its own self-driving technology in the headlines.

It’s probably a safe bet we’ll see Highway Teammate show up in a production LS during the car’s next refresh, which is likely to happen around the 2020 timeframe.





 

About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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 Latest Forum Messages
  1. 2b2
    seriously 'no-offense', Tone, but

    also-seriously, imho you (& many others) are going 'design-bland'
    resist

    Resist

    RESIST
    unfortunately I have not YET found a 12-step program for this maladie
    Tone
    It's funny how familiarity impacts one's sense of a design. When Lexus introduced this design language, I found it a bit grotesque. It has since grown on me. Waiting to cross the street today, an IS350 went by and I was struck by how much more dynamic and athletic it looks compared to other compact sedans. It's aging well to my eyes -- a mark of a good design. Or maybe a reflection of how boring small sports sedans have become from a design perspective!
    Andrew_L
    arutherford
    What is the point of showing a concept of a car that we have already seen design wise...


    Maybe to showcase the evolution of the design for other models? Not sure.
    2b2
    arutherford
    What is the point of showing a concept of a car that we have already seen design wise...


    to prove they could still make it WORSE...

    ...so we'd better do whatever they say Or ELSE
    arutherford
    What is the point of showing a concept of a car that we have already seen design wise...
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