The Lexus LS 460 F Sport is some serious hardware in the luxury segment. Not ultra performance like AMG, F Sport is more akin to the Sport package on Mercedes and the M Sport package on BMW’s.
Checking this option box gives you specifically 19” 10 spoke wheels, a lowered adaptive variable air suspension, stiffer roll bars, and large 14.8” Brembo front disc brakes with Lexus logos on them. Also included is a limited slip differential.
The front fascia gets a more aggressive lower flank, with the F-Sport grille and fenders get special badges. The look is subtly more sporting but not over the top. In fact unless someone was a Lexophile, its unlikely they would know the difference.
Functionality for the 8-speed transmission is enhanced with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, and a console mounted knob to adjust driving modes from ECO to Sport, and the top setting Sport +. The latter gives you the stiffest suspension setting, performance transmission shifting and tighter steering.
On the inside, the F-Sport gets a black leather trim package with Alcantara headliner and a special combination of patterned aluminum trims with piano black inlays. Seats get thicker side bolstering and embossed F-Sport logo head rests.
While I get the sporting nature of the F-Sport trim package, I found the L logo patterned aluminum and piano black plastic trim a little cheapish for a car costing north of $87,000. For this kind of money I’d prefer to see some genuine carbon fiber or a nice wood veneer.
The interior is otherwise comfortable with every conceivable comfort. Memory seats get you there every time you hop in, while the steering wheel and seat moves away upon exit to make your getaway easier. The new design for 2013 is more artful than the previous model and ergonomically laid out.
The Mark Levinson audio system and large screen navigation infotainment system is exquisite with its 19 speakers. The control puck on the console is among the most intuitive to use in any brand we have tested and we expect is patented for its brilliant design.
The ride is ultra quiet inside as you would expect from Lexus. The feel and touch of every surface is soft and luxurious, while giving the sensation of top notch build quality at all times. Even on the roughest of roads, the cabin remains a calm place.
Handling is an area where we found some juxtapositions however. The LS 460 by its nature is a tank, a large car with slower reflexes by virtue of physics. The F-Sport suspension on Sport + firms things up, but still remains a bit floaty on some roads.
Additionally, the dynamics of the suspension seem out of sync with the steering ratio and rate at which the car reacts to steering inputs. This is to say that while it is capable of grip, there seems to be a bit more tuning that could be done to make it all feel as one.
Braking too seems out of sync. The big Brembos are strong indeed, however tuned to grab tight quicker than you’d expect. It takes a few days of driving the LS 460 to learn to get a smooth operation on. That said, they work exceptionally well stopping the 4,365 lb LS.
Acceleration is strong and the 8-speed transmission does well to deliver the power down. The engine had a nice muscle car growl when pushed, but remains dignified and refined at all times. Its distant roar is much akin to a Chris Craft speed boat, as it should be.
With 386 horsepower the LS 460 is no sports car, but has been known to accelerate from 0-60 in mid 5 second range. It launches like a 747 jetliner gathering its speed smoothly and with resolve without a dramatic push in the back
All this power translates to thirst for fuel though, as we averaged about 17 mpg for the week in combined city highway driving. The EPA rates it at 16 mpg city, 24 mph highway, and 19 mpg combined.