After debuting the 2018 Lexus LS 500 in Detroit followed by its hybrid twin LS 500h at Geneva, the sequel was all too clear. We have all been anticipating the automaker to release the next model in the lineup, i.e. a performance-oriented version of the LS sedan. Therefore, during this year’s New York Auto show, Lexus released the 2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport. However, I must say I am a bit disappointed for expecting too much from the new sedan. I expected Lexus to bring in the full performance kit from the LS F that we have all been craving for. However, Lexus has only added F Sport visual touches as well as a handling package to the standard sedan.
2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport Exterior
The most noticeable new feature on the model is the new F Sport grille. Lexus says that its designers took a whole 5 months to create its design. The grille adds a visual touch to the front fascia while still enhancing its cooling capacity. It has 7,100 surfaces compared to standard models’ 5,000 surfaces.
The sedan also features special moldings for its trunk as well as some unique rocker panels. The fenders flaunt exclusive F SPORT badges. The performance-oriented sedan rolls on 20-inch alloy wheels dressed in 245/45 tires for the front wheels and 275/40 for the rear wheels. RWD models will feature summer tires. The model has 6-piston calipers at the front and 4-piston units at the rear.
The exterior profile is finished off with an Ultra White paint-job.
The cabin has also received an F Sport treatment. To start with, the seats have been bolstered for enhanced support during spirited driving. The seats feature a perforated grille design on the seating surfaces. The cabin is designed with the Omotenashi philosophy, this is a concept of Japanese philosophy that involves taking care of the driver as well as passengers by anticipating their needs, ensuring they are comfortable as well as protecting them from any hazard. The cabin also features some unique brushed aluminum elements that enhance its sportiness. To set it apart from standard models, it has the exclusive Circuit Red interior.
The driver will enjoy the aggressive F Sport steering wheel as well as the configurable cluster. The cluster display changes based on the drive selected. This design is borrowed from the LFA supercar. Other upgrades include aluminum brake, accelerator and footrest pedals and an F Sport perforated shifter.
Engine and performance
Under the hood of the 2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport is a new twin-turbocharged 3.5 L V-6 engine that produces 415 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with a new 10-speed transmission system borrowed from the LC Coupe. Buyers will have an option for either RWD or AWD. The engine powers the sedan to reach a 60 mph speed in only 4.5 seconds.
The hybrid F Sport is powered by the same 3.5 L, V-6 that combines with two electric motors to produce 354 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. This setup propels the model to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds. The engine will also mate to the new 10-speed transmission system and will feature both RWD and AWD.
The F Sport also features a Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management, a system that enhances control of the vehicle’s subsystems such as steering, braking power-train and suspension. This improves ride comfort, boosts traction and improves safety as well as handling agility.
There is also an option for an F Sport Handling Package that adds Active Stabilizer, a sport-tuned air suspension with rapid height adjustment and the Lexus Dynamic Handling. This package enables the model to respond like a sports coupe. Unfortunately, this package is not offered on the hybrid version.
Price and release date
The 2018 LS 500 F Sport made a debut at this year’s New York Motor Show. Lexus is still keeping details about its price close to its chest. It will go on sale in the second half of 2017. I think its price will change only slightly to enable the model to compete competitively.