In Depth

Lexus takes the wraps off its LS 500 F Sport

High-performance luxury saloon gets a ten-speed gearbox and a sporty interior

Lexus has kicked off proceedings at the New York Motor Show by unveiling its high-performance LS 500 F Sport.

Based on this year's LS luxury saloon, the F Sport will be powered by a new twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 engine that produces 409bhp and 442lb-ft of torque. The motor is coupled to a ten-speed automatic gearbox, allowing the F Sport to go from zero to 60mph in 4.5secs.

It will also be available in plugin-hybrid LS 500h form, says AutoExpress, which uses a 349bhp 3.5-litre V6 and two electric motors. Hybrid models come paired with a four-speed automatic gearbox that can mimic a ten-speed transmission in manual mode for a more engaging driving experience.

Lexus will equip all variants of the F Sport with its "Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management chassis control system", which the magazine says alters the characteristics of the chassis and power management. 

Inside, the F Sport benefits from redesigned front seats and "aluminium trim elements", says Evo. It also has a sports steering wheel and "a different look to the digital instruments that takes inspiration from one of the first cars to boast such technology – the LFA supercar". 

Exterior tweaks include "a more aggressive interpretation of the company's now-familiar spindle grille", the magazine says, which has been coated in a black paint and incorporates "7000 individual facets in its mesh-like structure".

Prices for the LS 500 F Sport have yet to be released, but expect it to cost more than the existing model's £99,995 price tag. 

The New York Motor Show runs from 14 to 23 April.

Lexus to debut high-performance LS F Sport at New York

5 April

Lexus is gearing-up to unveil a high-performance variant of its LS 500 saloon at the New York Motor Show this month.

Dubbed the LS 500 F Sport, the long-wheelbase executive saloon will be built on the entry-level's GA-L platform, which is also the foundation of the company's LC 500 sports car due to reach the market this year.

The F Sport will "inherit the same 409bhp 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol or 345bhp V6 hybrid engine options as the standard cars", says Evo, while the stiffer architecture of the base model should maintain "the exceptional ride comfort one would expect from a high end Lexus".

According to AutoExpress, much like other F Sport models in the range, the high-performance LS 500 "will cut a more aggressive, sportier look than other cars in the LS range with new alloy wheels and more muscular bodywork".

It could also continue the performance theme inside, adds the magazine, "with sports seats and new eye-catching new instrumentation behind a sports steering wheel".

While it won't rival saloons with "stonking" performance, says Cnet, "it should stand on its own as the most fun LS model yet unveiled."

There's no details on prices or performance figures yet, but Lexus will confirm specifications when the LS 500 F Sport debuts at the New York Motor Show, which runs from 14 to 23 April.

Lexus 2017 LS: Prices, specs and release date

16 January

Lexus has taken the wraps off its rival to the Mercedes S-Class saloon and BMW 7-Series, the Lexus LS, at the Detroit Motor Show.

Along with a brand new design featuring an intricate new grille, the flagship comes with an array of driving technology, including an autonomous emergency brake and automatic steering that can avoid pedestrians who stray into the road.

The interior has also been significantly redesigned, with a host of wood panelling and metal highlights giving a more premium feel. Buyers will also be able to monitor the car in several ways thanks to a 12ins display and digital dashboard.

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Here are all the details.

Design

Outside, Lexus has introduced a radical new design to the LS incorporating a highly detailed grille comprising of "thousands of individual surfaces", it says. The car also features a coupe silhouette, similar to the Porsche Panamera, which is particularly noticeable in the sloping rear window.

Offered only in long-wheelbase form, the 2017 LS is lower, wider and longer than the outgoing model, offering more room inside and improving the handling dynamics. Buyers who find the ride height too low can equip an optional air-suspension pack that raises the vehicle when the doors are opened.

The cabin appears to incorporate several design queues from German rivals, including a long and sleek dashboard from the Mercedes S-Class and the BMW 7-Series steering wheel from a. As well as the plentiful supply of wood and leather Lexus owners expect, there is also a 12.3ins screen display located above the centre console and a digital dashboard.

Performance

At the heart of the saloon is a bespoke 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 engine which delivers around 415bhp and 445lb-ft of torque to the rear-wheels. It is coupled to a ten-speed automatic gearbox, which powers the all-wheel drive model to 0-62mph in 4.5secs.

Underneath, the LS is built around Lexus's GA-L lightweight architecture, which the Japanese firm also used for its LC500 GT car. There are also stiff aluminium suspension towers and special braces in the engine compartment, stiffening the car and providing better feedback between the wheels and the driver.

Additionally, Lexus has introduced a new multilink suspension system, says AutoExpress, designed to "introduce a more precise steering response" and to optimise "ride comfort and traction", with rear-wheel steering providing "greater stability and agility".

Prices and release

Prices have not yet been revealed, but expect the 2017 LS to cost more than the current model's £99,995. Sales will begin towards the end of 2017, says CarBuyer, although orders may open earlier in the year.

Lexus debuts 2017 LS luxury salooon at Detroit Motor Show 

10 January

Lexus has unveiled its new flagship LS luxury saloon, its rival to the likes of the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class. 

At the heart of the saloon is a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 exclusively designed engine which delivers around 415bhp and 445lb-ft of torque to the rear-wheels. It is coupled to a ten-speed automatic gearbox, which helps the all-wheel drive variant do 0-62mph in 4.5secs. 

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Outside, the LS features a radical design incorporating a highly detailed grille comprising of "thousands of individual surfaces", Lexus said, unveiling the car at the Detroit Motor Show. It's also lower, wider and longer than the outgoing model, offering more legroom for occupants and improving the handling dynamics. 

The chassis has undergone some considerable weight saving, shaving 198lbs off the current model thanks to a new lightweight steel and aluminium GA-L platform, which is also used on the LC500 coupe. Buyers who find the ride height too low will be offered an optional air suspension pack that raises the vehicle when the doors are opened.

Inside the LS appears to take several design queues from its German rivals, including a long and sleek dashboard from the Mercedes S-Class. As well as the plentiful supply of wood and leather Lexus owners have come to expect, there is also a 12.3ins display situated above the centre console.

Safety equipment has been greatly improved, with an autonomous emergency brake and automatic steering around pedestrians who stray into the road, reports CarBuyer

Prices have not yet been revealed, but expect the LS to cost more than the current model's £99,995. Sales will begin towards the end of 2017, says Autocar, although orders may open earlier in the year.

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