• 2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport: More Powerful and More Luxurious Than Ever [Review]


    2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport
    [Photo: Arv Voss]

    LS 500 Design Elements

    The newest LS 500 F Sport sedan is longer, lower and wider than the model it replaces, and it’s more handsome as well. It is based on Lexus’ premium GA-L rear-wheel drive platform that first appeared on the 2018 LC 500. That offers this generation LS a more dynamic driving experience without compromising comfort.

    Visually the new Lexus LS 500 F Sport blends bold expressive lines with a coupe-like profile. The design leads off with a bolder spindle grille, flanked by LED projector headlamps and lower air intakes. The grille features a progressively graduated mesh pattern, enlarged from top to bottom, with a bright surround trim. The headlamp assemblies form light rows that point to the grille. Blacked-out “B” and “C” pillars display the Lexus’ latest design formula.

    There are short front and rear overhangs and pronounced wheel well arches that seem to hug the wheels and tires, with a rising lower rocker character line in between. The low, dramatically sculpted hood rises to meet the sharply angled windshield that melds into the gracefully arched and sloping cabin roof that meets the short rear deck with its integrated spoiler effect. The headlights and taillights are literally works of art that work themselves into the elegant body styling. Finishing off the rear are the dual bright exhaust outlets.

    2018 LS 500 F Sport
    [Photo: Lexus]

    COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

    Once inside, the interior welcomes and envelops the occupants, showcasing craftsmanship, comfort and cutting-edge design. The interior ambient lighting is inspired by Japanese lanterns while the wood patterns feature bold contrasts between light and dark. That gives the wood a more vibrant look. An extra 3.4 inches of legroom over the previous LS enhances the comfort factor.

     Advanced Safety Features and Driver Support are provided by the Lexus Safety System+, which comes standard on every LS. It includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Intelligent High Beam headlamps, Lane Departure Alert, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Keep Assist. Going even further, that system adds Pedestrian Alert, Active Steering Assist and Front Cross Traffic Alert. Connectivity and Infotainment are provided through the Lexus Enform.

    My pre-production LS 500 F Sport sedan came with an Atomic Silver exterior finish. Lexus sets the base price at an agreeable $81,000. However, there are a couple caveats. With packaged options, the total before taxes came to $91,695. Individual Individual option pricing was not available at time of writing. Known options included the F Sport Package and the Luxury and Convenience package. The estimated actual cost, once you’re able to factor in all the options, could possibly reach $100,000 plus.

    2018 LS 500 F Sport
    [Photo: Lexus]

    PERFORMANCE

    Power comes from from a 3.5-liter, twin turbocharged V6 engine. A downsized powerplant on the V8s of old, it puts out 416 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. That power is routed through a ten-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode and paddle shifters. Both horsepower and torque represent significant gains over the outgoing LS model’s naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V8. Those models produced 386 horsepower and 367 lb-ft of torque.

    The 2018 Lexus LS 500 RWD definitely rates flagship status with its sophisticated and elegant design appeal. In terms of its performance attributes, the turbocharged V6 power is unquestionably more than adequate. The engine delivers a pleasingly raucous note and blips the throttle during downshifts when in Sport Plus mode. You may enjoy the automatic mode for a more relaxing and smooth sojourn. Or, when the mood strikes, you can get your adrenaline pumping by manually selecting gears in the Sport Plus mode and nailing the throttle.

    The driving dynamics are superb. The car provides a solid, planted feel, with spot-on steering responsiveness and exceptional grip. Yet, even when you’re engaged in more spirited driving, the adaptive suspension keeps a comfortable, supportive ride.

    TFLCAR’S TAKE

     The 2018 model Lexus LS 500 luxury performance sedan provides a worthwhile alternative to the European luxury sedan elite. To see more luxurious surprises the LS 500 serves up, watch Roman’s video review below. Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow on YouTube for more news, views, and luxury sedan reviews!

    SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport

    On Sale: Now
    Base MSRP: $81,000
    Price as Tested: $91,695* (Individual option pricing not available; estimated price $100,000+)
    Engine: 3.5-liter DOHC twin-turbocharged V6
    Drivetrain (Layout): Longitudinally mounted front engine, rear-wheel drive
    Horsepower: 416 hp @ 6,000 RPM
    Torque: 442 lb-ft @ 1,600 – 4,800 RPM
    Transmission: 10-speed automatic w/ manual mode, paddle shifters
    0-60 Acceleration: 4.6 seconds
    Top Speed: 136 MPH
    Suspension: Front: Adaptive Variable Suspension; independent, double-joint multilink w/ coil springs, electronically-controlled shock absorbers

    Rear: Adaptive Variable Suspension; independent multilink w/ coil springs, electronically-controlled shock absorbers, stabilizer bar

    Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs w/ four-channel ABS, EBD, BA
    Tires: Front: Bridgestone Turanza T005 P245/45 R20

    Rear: Bridgestone Turanza T005 P275/40 R20

    Fuel capacity: 21.7 gallons
    Fuel economy (EPA): 19 City/30 Highway MPG
    Drag Coefficient: 0.28

    Dimensions:

    Wheelbase: 123.0 inches
    Length:  206.1 inches
    Width: 74.8 inches
    Height:  57.5 inches
    Turning Circle: 36.8 feet
    Curb Weight: 4,707 pounds

    Arv Voss
    Arv Voss
    Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring journalist and member and past officer of several noted automotive journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.
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