Lexus stunned the motoring world in January this year when it unveiled the fifth generation of its Lexus LS flagship sedan (2018 model year) at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show. Around nine months forward, Lexus is unveiling a more futuristic yet achievable concept version of the LS luxury sedan – laden with a wide array of technological elements – at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show in Japan.
Introducing the Lexus LS+ Concept, a study of flagship’s future form as loaded with state-of-the-art technologies. As Lexus sees the new LS+ Concept, this study was developed to symbolize its vision for the future, especially when it is fitted with automated driving technologies that the luxury carmaker plans to apply in its flagship sedan by the end of the decade (2020).
In terms of design, the LS+ Concept is derived from the latest generation of the Lexus LS flagship sedan, particularly with regards to its shape. However, compared to the 2018 LS sedan, the LS+ Concept comes with a more futuristic front and rear ends. After all, the LS+ Concept provides a glimpse into the new design direction of the next generation of Lexus vehicles, as derived from the brand’s L-finesse*3 design philosophy.
The new LS+ Concept features an evolved version of the luxury brand’s signature grille -- with a new spindle mesh design – that is found on the fifth-gen Lexus LS. The grille shutter of the LS+ Concept is larger than on the new-gen LS sedan, contributing to the study’s improved aerodynamic and cooling performance. This evolved grille is flanked by futuristic high-tech headlights that partly employ laser technology for superior road illumination. The new Lexus LS+ Concept also features rear combination lamps. Riding on large 22-inch elegant wheels, the LS+ Concept doesn’t have conventional side mirrors. Instead, a very sleek protrusion can be found on its place, accommodating a camera that sends images viewable through a screen inside the vehicle.
The LS+ moniker of this concept may refer to the fact it is loaded with technologies that can’t be found in the fifth-gen LS sedan. Among these technologies is the ability to be operated automatically. It features the so-called "Highway Teammate" automated driving technologies that Lexus plans to implement by 2020. Following appropriate detection, recognition and judgment, onboard systems on the LS+ Concept could respond to actual traffic conditions to automatically change or keep lanes, merge with traffic or main distance from other vehicles on the road.
Interestingly, Lexus designed the systems in the LS+ Concept to be updated through the air by communicating with the carmaker’s data center, allowing the flagship sedan to integrate new functions. Moreover, the AI of the LS+ Concept has the ability to learn through new data, like information on roads and surrounding areas.