Luxury, build quality, and reliability have traditionally been areas where Lexus has excelled. But under the leadership of President—and racing enthusiast—Akio Toyoda, the company has also focused on performance, and cars like the RC F, GS F, and LC 500 have shown it to be more than capable in that arena as well. So we weren’t surprised to learn the company’s new LS 500, while weighing over 4,700 pounds, will still make the trip from zero to 60 in a scant 4.6 seconds.
That said? We’re even more impressed with some of the flagship’s other attributes—notably, the breathtaking interior, which is the epitome of luxury. Because while much attention has been paid to its driving dynamics, the LS 500 looks more like a car you want to be driven in, not drive. In fact, there’s so much legroom, a long-wheelbase model was deemed unnecessary.
The cabin is simply awash in opulence, and draws from the Japanese concept of omotenashi, which is less about design, and more about customer service. To make sure we don’t muck it up, we’ll leave the definition to our friends over at Japan Today, who describe the philosophy like this:
“‘Omotenashi’ is hard to define, but Japanese use it to describe what they believe is their unique approach to hospitality. ‘Omotenashi’ involves the subjugation of self in service to a guest, without being “servile”. Anticipating needs is at the heart of the concept; and it is certainly fair to say that in Japan, acting on others’ needs without being asked to do so is at the height of savvy.”
So comparing the LC 500’s gorgeous environs to something from legendary luxury marques like Rolls-Royce would be doing its designers a disservice, as it’s unquestionably Japanese. Overall, there’s a sense of weightlessness in the soft-focus lighting, which underscores the intricate door panel armrests in subtle drop shadows, while highlighting the natural herringbone wood trim, origami-inspired patterns of the speaker covers, and stunning Kiriko-cut glass.
If you want to dial the rear-seat opulence up to 11 and—possibly enlightenment—we recommend opting for the Executive Package, which includes 22-way adjustable reclining seats, wrap-around headrests, and heated massage functions. Of course, as you drift off, the Mark Levinson 3D sound system—which has speakers in the leather-covered headliner—will provide a true audiophile-level experience.
The 2018 LC 500 will arrive at your local AutoNation-affiliated Lexus dealership early in 2018, so if you’re looking for the next level in Lexus luxury, you owe it to yourself to check it out.