Lexus’ F Sport moniker makes its way to the company’s 2018 LS 500 sedan at the New York auto show this week. The F Sport LS doesn’t get the full F treatment — that’s reserved for its track-tuned cars like the RC F and GS F — but it does get the look and “carefully applied chassis tuning enhancements.”
As for the exterior, the 2018 LS F Sport gets a more intricate spindle grille using computer-aided design to achieve the texture and appearance. Designers adjusted 7,100 individual surfaces — way more than the basic LS, which has 5,000. It also gets new rocker panels, moldings, badges and wheels. The LS F Sport has new front seats, a new wheel, adaptive gauges inspired by the kickass LFA supercar, aluminum pedals and ultrasuede trim. A new color scheme, circuit red, is available exclusively on F Sport models.
That “carefully applied chassis tuning” includes Lexus’ latest advanced chassis control tech, called VDIM (vehicle dynamics integrated management), which manages braking, steering, powertrain and suspension. The system, Lexus says, enhances traction, agility and keeps the car flatter in corners. Twenty-inch wheels stick the car to the pavement while the optional F Sport Handling Package adds variable ratio steering, active rear steering and a sport-tuned air suspension.
Like the LS 500, the LS F Sport gets power from a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 making 415 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque along with a 10-speed automatic. That’s good for a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds in rear-wheel-drive guise.
The LS 500h will also get available F Sport upgrades. It uses an Atkinson-cycle V6 with two electric motors for a total system output of 354 hp. It can get to 60 in 5.2 seconds. The 2018 LS goes on sale near the end of 2017. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but for reference, the 2017 model started at about $73,000.