Without question, Lexus’ upcoming LS 460 F Sport is clearly out of reach for many of us—but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream, right? Better not because it’s f’in bad-ass. Back with a sporty vengeance, the LS’ new design steps out of its typical, mature look, taking on the clean, modern, mono-spec’ish cues that nearly all of the Lexus family has taken on in recent years, and yet, this is far from being the brand’s (more affordable) flagship. No, it offers everything you’d expect from a high class vehicle and also infuses, should you choose (and yes, the F Sport is the ideal trim), the F Sport touch that seems to magically make Lexus’ cars all the more better and exciting to drive.
The LS models of years past were always smooth, comfortable and could be driven “drive slow homie”-like, the stuff ballers naturally gravitate toward and only few dared to modify, which is probably why you don’t see too many of them except in select VIP circles of Japan and the States. It’s the ultimate cruiser, really. But that didn’t mean it was gutless—in fact, it was far from it as the last generation LS 460 happened to pack a mean punch in the sack with a beast of a V8 engine, known as the 1UR-FSE, the basis for which the IS F’s 2UR-GSE was developed from. The 1UR-FSE comes back in the 2013 model, delivering the same awesome 386hp along with plenty of torque, a total of 367lb-ft. Speaking specifically to the F Sport edition, however, this LS just feels…better, as if you were driving the smaller GS (almost).
Essentially, the F Sport package adds that much needed touch of refinement that enthusiasts like us crave, and are most likely used to, especially if coming from other platforms that were modified along the way. It takes the basic formula all standard LS 460s come with but improves on areas such as suspension, braking and on the RWD model, welcomes a Torsen limited-slip differential. The sport-tuned air suspension is what helps drive everything home, though; lowered 10mm (or 0.4-inches), switching over to Sport S or S+ mode (air suspension only) gives you a stiffer ride that’s instantaneously noticeable, which helps to make it feel more like a smaller, sportier car rather than a boat-like behemoth. Translation: handling kicks ass. A F Sport-equipped LS also comes with a—wait for it—F Sport transmission, where you can select either a Manual or D range configuration—if you’re the type who likes to do the gear shifting yourself, the shifter paddles can be used on the steering wheel for ultra-quick upshifts (0.3-second shifts) and downshifts (0.2-seconds). Basically, you can drive either mildly-mannered or as if nobody else on the road matters except for you—your choice. Other F Sport delights are special 19" forged alloys, beefy 6-piston Brembo front calipers with 14.8" rotors, sport seats/pedals and interior trim—and if you like mashing the gas, then you’ll probably like the F Sport Intake Sound Generator, a piece that takes the air moving through the intake tube and amplifies the vibration of the intake pulse to raise the “sound” while accelerating in the mid-high rpm range.
A stellar package right from the factory, but what could you envision as far as modifications go? Previous LS saw the likes of many body kits and large wheel packages, and at least the F Sport model gives you performance where it counts. The tradition of VIP will most likely live on quite strong for years to come, so expect to see great things for the LS 460 as we find them.
That New Car Smell
The Sticker Pricing TBA
Engine 4.6L 1UR-FSE V8
The Power 386hp at 6,400rpm (AWD: 360hp at 6,400rpm); 367lb-ft at 4,100rpm (AWD: 347lb-ft at 4,100rpm)
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel-drive or Front engine, all-wheel-drive
Transmission 8-speed sequential shift automatic
Footwork & Chassis Air suspension available for RWD and AWD
Brakes 6-piston Brembo calipers (front) with 2-piston calipers (rear); ABS; Electronically Controlled Brakes (ECB)—all systems integrated with Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) System
At the Pump (city/hwy/combined mpg) 16/24/19; AWD: 16/23/18
The Competition Mercedes Benz S Class, Audi A8, BMW 7 series
Deep Thoughts Lexus sets the bar high again with its latest LS 460, but having the F Sport package as an option makes it all the more exciting. Now, where do we get the money for one of these?