At the New York Auto Show, Lexus unveiled the performance minded edition of their flagship sedan in the new 2018 LS 500 F Sport.
To be available in both the LS 500 and LS 500h Hybrid, the new F Sport designation brings the styling and the handling of a sportier nature to the all-new Lexus top-of-the line flagship sedan that goes on sale later this year.
Styling of course is the first marker of this F Sport, with an entirely unique face sporting the F-Sport mesh grille work here with some 7,100 individual surfaces. That matters because the standard LS grill has only 5,000. Someone’s been counting.
All humor aside, the styling treatments continue down the sides with unique rocker trims that hang thicker and lower. At the rear, special touches adorn the trunk lid and 20-inch alloy wheels special to the F Sport set it apart visually more than anything else. Shown here is also the F Sport exclusive shade of Ultra White.
While the standard LS sedan cabin pampers with ornate woods and crystal glass details, the LS F Sport takes on a more businesslike aura. This starts with highly bolstered leather sport seats that feature a grille pattern perforated into the hides themselves.
A unique instrument cluster with the sliding ring design seen in other F models and F Sport steering wheel are given. Aluminum pedals are found below while dash and door trims, the console all get their own unique trim treatments. And if the dark black interior isn’t exciting enough you can option it in bright red.
Really giving the LS 500 and LS500h F Sport its teeth however is the handling upgrades. It all starts with a firmer tune to the springs and dampers themselves along with the more aggressive 245 and 275 section rubber for its 20-inch wheels. Larger front and rear brakes are standard as well.
But there’s more, on the LS 500 rear-wheel drive F Sport you can option a Handling Package that kicks up an extra notch with variable gear ratio steering and rear wheel steering. Also included are active stabilizers and a sport tuned adjustable air suspension with variable ride height.
Powering the F Sport models however remains the same engines found on the base LS sedans. These are the 415 horsepower 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission – available in either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Lexus says this is good for 0-60 in as little as 4.5 seconds.
For the first time you will also be able to get the F Sport in the LS 500h Hybrid. Here you have a combined system horsepower of 354 with its Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine and an all-new hybrid drive unit that is designed to feel much like the same 10-speed automatic found in the LS 500. For this one, Lexus says 0-60 in 5.2 seconds.
The 2018 Lexus LS 500 and LS 500h F Sport will go on sale later this year. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet but expect it to be a slight tick upward from the current 2017 model.