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New York show: Lexus reveals LS F Sport trim

Good Sport: The Lexus LS F Sport is offered in two variants, a twin-turbo V6 LS500 and V6-hybrid LS500h.

Flagship Lexus sedan to get petrol and hybrid powertrains options in F Sport trim


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13 Apr 2017

LEXUS has continued the gradual reveal of its next-gen LS flagship upper large sedan, showing off the F Sport trim of its LS500 and LS500h variants at the New York motor show ahead of an Australian debut in the first quarter of next year.

The F Sport trim differentiates itself from the rest of the range with slightly sportier styling and tweaked chassis control technology to give it a more dynamic edge over the more comfort-focused variants.

Exterior styling touches include a revised version of the car’s imposing ‘spindle’ front grille, with a more intricate cross-section design on the large grille and small faux side intakes, plus black rocker panels and boot mouldings, F Sport badging on the wings, and 20-inch alloy wheels.

Two exterior colours will also be available exclusively with the F Sport – White Nova and Heat Blue.

On the inside, the F Sport also gets a number of differentiating features such as a unique front seat design with suede trim and a perforated pattern, scored aluminium trim, F Sport steering wheel and perforated gear shift knob, instrumentation derived from the LFA supercar, aluminium pedals and footrest, and an optional red interior finish.

Vehicle dynamics are handled by Lexus’ Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system, which collaborates with braking, steering, powertrain and suspension to generate the best possible ride comfort, traction and handling.

The Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system is also available, which incorporates four-wheel steering for greater handling and steering response, while sport-tuned air suspension gives the F Sport an edge around corners.

Wrapped around the LS F Sport’s 20-inch wheels are 245/45 front and 275/40 rear tyres, while stopping power comes courtesy of six-piston front and four-piston rear callipers.

Two powertrain options will be offered with the F Sport trim, consisting of a twin-turbo V6 and hybrid V6 powertrain, replacing the aspirated V8 and hybrid V8 variants in the outgoing model.

The 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 produces 310kW/600Nm – up 25kW/107Nm over the 4.6-litre V8 – teamed to a 10-speed automatic transmission, which helps the LS500 from standstill to 100km.h in 4.5 seconds.

The LS500 is the first luxury sedan to use a ten-speed transmission, and a more sporty driving experience is possible with selectable driving modes consisting of Normal, Sport S or Sport S+ mode.

A 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine and twin electric motors are employed to power the LS500h variant, which produces a combined output of 264kW/350Nm – well down on the outgoing LS600h which used a 5.0-litre V8 hybrid system to produce 290kW/520Nm.

0-100km/h takes 5.4 seconds in the LS500h, which uses a four-stage shifting function that is capable of simulating the driving experience of a ten-speed transmission.

Lexus will hope that the new LS can stimulate extra sales for the upper large luxury sedan, after recording just 20 sales in 2016, placing it well behind rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (312 sales), the BMW 7 Series (293) and Maserati Quattroporte (63).

Only three examples of the LS have left Australian showrooms in the first quarter of this year.

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