Having already debuted in regular LS 500 form at the Detroit Motor Show in January, Lexus’ large sedan flagship is once again set to roll under the spotlight at an American auto event – this time in performance-oriented F Sport form at New York.
The changes stick to the template established by existing F Sport variants of the Lexus IS, RC, NX and RX, with more aggressively-contoured body plastics, darker design elements, unique wheel designs and mild performance upgrades that leave powertrains untouched, but focus on chassis and suspension.
Available on both the twin-turbo six-cylinder LS 500 and the hybrid LS 500h, the F Sport treatment brings a black mesh grille, more prominent side vents in the front bumper, accent stripes along the side skirts and boot mouldings, along with 20-inch alloys in a dark silver finish, wearing 245-section tyres at the front and 275-section at the rear.
Inside, the F Sport features more deeply bolstered front seats for better support in hard cornering, perforated leather upholstery, unique aluminium trim and a reconfigurable instrument panel similar to that employed by the IS 350 F Sport. Alloy pedals and a dark ultrasuede headliner round out the rest of the interior changes.
Mechanically, the engine package on both LS 500 ad LS 500h remain untouched. That means 310kW of power and 600Nm of torque from the LS 500’s twin-turbo 3.5-litre petrol V6, and a 264kW output from the LS 500h’s 3.5-litre atmo V6 and electric motor combo.
Straight-line performance is nevertheless stout, with the LS 500 hitting 96km/h from standstill in a brisk 4.5 seconds.
Six-piston brake calipers up front and two-piston calipers at the rear bite down hard on large rotors, and the F Sport also gains a variable-ratio steering rack and rear steering to help enhance handling.
Expect to see the latest-generation Lexus LS launch in Australia around this time next year, with the F Sport variants likely arriving at the same time.
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