NYIAS 2017: 2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport Adds 'Driving Emotion' (But No Extra Power) To Buttoned-Down Big Sedan

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
nyias 2017 2018 lexus ls 500 f sport adds driving emotion but no extra power to

Back in the day, a properly large luxury sedan was just that — large and luxurious. No sporting pretensions were found, as any special package simply piled on the brougham.

However, Lexus has said no to a padded roof or opera lights for its newest full-size package, as it’s given the F Sport treatment to the new LS 500. Available for the twin-turbo V6 and V6 hybrid powertrains, the F Sport package adds a dash of sporting pretense to an otherwise posh sedan.

As Lexus hinted last week, the 2018 Lexus LS F Sport adds unique styling cues and improved handling over the standard LS sedan, with a unique grille being the most noticeable outward change.

Newly sculpted rocker panels and trunk moldings highlight the dynamic styling, as do the unique 20-inch alloy wheels with staggered widths. Lexus further adds an F Sport-exclusive “Ultra White” paint hue if so desired.

The interior follows with sporty accents throughout. The front seats have more supportive bolstering for negotiating the parking lot at the tennis club at speed, and are trimmed in Ultrasuede for a soft touch — as is the headliner.

The throttle, brake and dead pedals are aluminum — because racecar — and the steering wheel is of a racier design than the standard model. Lexus also offers an optional Circuit Red interior on these F Sport models.

Drivers who opt for a rear-wheel drive LS F Sport rather than the optional all-wheel drive will see fair-weather benefits from high-performance summer tires fitted to the 20-inch wheels, and buyer’s can choose the optional F Sport Handling package that adds a sport-tuned air suspension, an active stabilizer, variable steering ratios, and active rear steering.

Both the 415 horsepower, twin-turbo V6 engine and the 354 hp, hybrid V6 engines carry over unchanged from the standard LS 500, as do the options of rear- or all-wheel drive. Lexus has not yet released pricing details.

[Images: Lexus]

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5 of 23 comments
  • Bee Bee on Apr 12, 2017

    That shot with the pedals, particularly the hood release lever is ghastly. That panel could be shared with a 1998 Corolla.

    • See 2 previous
    • OldManPants OldManPants on Apr 12, 2017

      @Bee Maybe really swanky cars just have a discreet little lever tucked up under there that anyone with any business popping the hood already knows where to find.

  • Brock_Landers Brock_Landers on Apr 13, 2017

    New LS rides on the same platform with LC. Read and watch the reviews. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ci_ESngxFEY The F-Sport LS will handle better than any AMG or S/RS or M sedan. Panamera will be its closest rival.

  • Stuki Moi If government officials, and voters, could, like, read and, like, count and, like, stuff: They'd take the opportunity to replace fixed license numbers, with random publicly available keys derived from a non-public private key known only to them and the vehicle's owner. The plate's displayed number would be undecipherable to every slimeball out there with a plate reader who is selling people's whereabouts and movements, since it would change every day/hour/minute. Yet any cop with a proper warrant and a plate scanner, could decipher it just as easily as today.
  • Dukeisduke Is this the one that doesn't have a back window? Like a commercial van?
  • MaintenanceCosts My rant seems to have disappeared, but suffice it to say I agree with 28 that this is a vehicle about which EVERYTHING is wrong.
  • SCE to AUX Welcome to the most complicated vehicle you can buy, with shocking depreciation built into every one.And that tail - oh, my.
  • FreedMike Can these plates be reprogrammed on demand to flash messages at other drivers? If so, I'd like to flash "Is your insurance paid up?" to tailgaters.