2013 Lexus LS Preview: F Sport Joins The Ranks

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Luxury gets a new flavor tonight with the unveiling of the 2013 Lexus LS 460 F Sport, the sporty and aggressively styled take on Lexus' executive-class sedan.

Wearing the new "spindle grille" design prominently, the LS 460 F Sport promises not just a meaner, leaner look, but also a more sharply tuned driving experience. Whether it will deliver remains for the test driving, but given the success of the recently unveiled 2013 Lexus GS, our hopes, if not our expectations, are high.

From a live presentation in San Francisco, with designers Simon Doonan and Johnathan Adler on hand, Lexus revealed the 2013 Lexus LS 460, LS 460 L, and LS 460 F Sport. While Lexus says each model gets a full restyle inside and out, along with a total of 3,000 new parts, it's not clear from the spec sheets that much has changed. Consider it a mild refresh more than an all-new LS.

Cutting to the chase, the new model--some would say the only truly new model--on tonight's menu: the F Sport. Sadly, Lexus didn't do anything but show the vehicle in its very brief online presentation. Most of the specifications, pricing, and all other information will have to wait until closer to the car's retail sales launch this fall.

From the spec sheet released alongside the unveiling, we can glean that the LS F Sport package will be available on both rear- and all-wheel drive LS 460 models, but it will weigh 132 pounds more than its rear-drive counterpart and 66 pounds more than the all-wheel drive LS 460. It appears the F Sport will share its 386-hp (or 360-hp with AWD) engine and eight-speed automatic transmission with the standard LS range. What little Lexus did reveal is listed below.

F Sport-specific equipment:

  •  19-inch forged alloy wheels
  •  Aluminum pedals
  •  Brembo brakes
  •  F SPORT door scuff plates
  •  Limited Slip Differential (RWD only)
  •  Paddle shifters
  •  Sport-tuned air suspension
  •  Sports seats
  •  Unique interior

The more run-of-the-mill models, the LS 460, and LS 460 L, as well as the hybrid LS 600h L, receive a full information push--though the information is less than surprising: all three keep the exact same powertrains they've had for the previous model run. The LS 460's 4.6-liter V-8 retains all of its key dimensions and statistics, though it gets a 6 horseower increase in rear-wheel drive format to 386 horsepower, and a three-horsepower rise in all-wheel drive models for a total of 360 horsepower. Zero to 60 mph times remain unchanged, clocking in at a rather quick 5.4 seconds for the rear-drive models and 5.9 seconds with all-wheel drive.

The LS 600h L's larger 5.0-liter V-8 remains completely unchanged, as does the hybrid drive system linked to it, enabling a total combined output of 438 horsepower. Acceleration from a stop to 60 mph remains unchanged at 5.5 seconds, as do gas mileage ratings of 19 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined.

Inside, new high-tech elements have been added, including updates to the infotainment and navigation system, Lexus' Enform telematics, and more, but we'll have to wait for further details closer to the car's launch in a few months time for the specifics.

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