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No more Lexus V8?

17 January 2017

Amidst the hype of Lexus unveiling its newest flagship sedan — the 2018 LS 500 — General Manager Jeff Bracken dropped a bombshell at the Detroit Auto Show on Janurary 9. The latest and greatest would not run an eight-banger under the hood, breaking a run that has extended the entirety of Lexus’s existence

The UZ family of engines are arguably the most famous V8 examples to come out of any Japanese manufacturer’s stable, serving up until 2006 before it was replaced by the UR family.

Although none of which will feature in the 2018 LS 500, it does pack a twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 that produces a hefty 415hp (309kW), and just shy of 600Nm of torque — sadly, the V8 option appears to have balanced its last wine-glass pyramid.

The change may be a bitter pill to swallow for some, as the V8 made up an essential piece of what made the LS what it was — the original being the most over-engineered car ever made by man, yet still absolutely rad — and the change could polarize the market.

In our opinion, the LS still looks pretty cool. We would have probably left the chromies-for-the-homies wheels in the cupboard, and the grille is a touch in-your-face, but it integrates the spindle design — honouring the spindles of thread used in the Toyoda looms that started the whole shebang — better than any other modern Lexus.

With such changes coming out of Toyota, it won’t be long until the rest of Japan follows suit. Will this really be the end of big V8-powered sedans?