► New Lexus LS 500 F Sport
► 415bhp 3.5-litre V6 turbo
► New York auto show debutant
Lexus has chosen the 2017 New York International Auto Show to show the new LS 500 F Sport for the first time.
It's a go-faster, more dynamic version of the latest LS limousine that was unveiled at the Detroit show in January 2017. Lexus claims it ‘delivers the most engaging driving experience of any LS yet.’ Which, if we were to be cruel, isn’t necessarily setting the bar high, but nonetheless sounds promising.
What separates the F Sport version from the regular Lexus LS?
For F Sport, think along the lines of BMW's M Sport or Audi's S Line and you're not a million miles off.
It features a gently be-muscled body kit, larger 20-inch alloy wheels (with giant 275/40 tyres at the rear) and generously sized brakes, with six-piston calipers at the front and four-pots at the rear. Lexus claims its designers spent five months perfecting the design of the typically intricate ‘spindle’ grille surfaces in CAD, with the F Sport grille featuring 7000 individual surfaces to the regular LS’s mere 5000. Better not prang it.
Sportier-looking seats and steering wheel feature inside, along with plenty of aluminium trim and a digital instrument cluster designed to echo that of the Lexus LFA supercar.
So it’s mostly just a cosmetic job, then?
There’s a dizzying array of chassis tech fitted to the F Sport too, with four-wheel steering and active dampers to quell pitch and roll, together with a complex stability control system and variable-ratio power steering.
The LS will be available in F Sport trim with either a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain (in the LS500h) or straight petrol power (in the LS500).
The LS500 employs a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 with 415bhp and an automatic transmission with no fewer than 10 gears to make the most of its 443lb ft torque output. It’s claimed to reach 62mph in 4.5sec.
The hybrid LS500h adds two electric motors to the 3.5 V6, and can cruise at up to 87mph with the engine shut down. It reaches 62mph in 5.4sec.
The LS follows the LC coupe by borrowing the new global Lexus GA-L architecture, which allegedly brings a newfound dynamic prowess.
A fun-to-drive Lexus? Sounds like the goalposts are moving...
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