By on April 5, 2017

Lexus 500 LS F-Sport

Lexus is giving its flagship sedan the F-Sport touch for the New York International Auto Show. While it isn’t likely to rival AMG’s super sedans in terms of power, Toyota’s premium brand is promising improved handling to go with a platform it claims is the “stiffest that Lexus has ever developed.”

The next-generation LS 500 premiered in Detroit back in January and was followed by the Lexus 500h hybrid in Geneva last month. Lexus is unlikely to unveil a tuned powerplant for the LS, but the F-Sport should be more than just a handling package and unique badging. 

Despite being a performance-oriented model, it should still closely resemble the other LS sedans — the teaser photo doesn’t suggest much in the way of unique styling, either. However, it would be surprising to see any F-Sport without a model-specific grille and a more sport influenced interior. The majority of Lexus’ go-fast lineup enjoys subtle enhancements like blacked out mirrors, aluminum pedals, and premium wheels.

There is also reason to believe this 500 LS will receive Active Sound Control, which beefs up  engine noise through some electronic trickery. It’s a pointless gimmick, but it is a fun one.

The LS 500’s GA-L platform has stretched the model’s wheelbase by 1.3 inches and allows a lower ride height than its predecessor. However, the updated car has done away with old 4.6-liter V8 in exchange for a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 making 415 horsepower — which is likely to remain unchanged for the F-Sport model. Handling and steering feedback will be a different story, though.

The automaker promises that 2018 F-Sport variants will exist for both standard and hybrid versions of the LS. Both will have a world debut at the New York International Auto Show on April 12th.

[Image: Lexus]

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8 Comments on “NYIAS 2017: Does the LS 500 Really Need an F-Sport Badge? Lexus Thinks So...”

  • avatar

    Can someone at the NYAIS walk away from the shrimp and cheese platters to ask Lexus why they won’t put the 5.0L in an F-version of the new LS?

  • avatar

    Because Cadillac has enjoyed so much success by abandoning the kinds of cars its buyers actually want and instead chasing German performance cars.

    Stands to reason Lexus needs to do the same.

    • 0 avatar

      Again, Cadillac sells more sedans in the mid/mid-upper price range than anyone else but MB and BMW (and far more than Lexus, Audi, Infiniti, Jaguar, etc.).

      The biggest issue, however, has been packaging based on the Alpha platform – which only allows for cramped rear passenger space compared to most of the competition.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    No one cares about the back badge. But, Lexus, please, please get rid of what has to be the mostest ugliest repulsiest, just plain awful front end. (Yup, them’s not real words, but ‘was fun typing them anyway.)

    I’d love to purchase one of your vehicles, but cannot even come close to that gaping maw.

  • avatar

    The last ES350, a 2015 one, I rode in was noticeable harsher over bumps and potholes than my 1500. Are the white hair crowd buying hard riding cars to feel “alive” or something?

  • avatar

    Lexus uses F-Sport as a bait and switch. In the GS they use it to avoid giving you the V8 unless you pay with blood to get the GS-F. As another poster said they need to stop chasing the Germans on model/trim proliferation and get back to being Lexus, which is quality first, quality last.

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