When the Lexus LS was introduced in 1989, the car established a new paradigm for prestige automobiles. Naturally, it was quiet, smooth, comfortable, and exceptionally well appointed. But it was also thousands of dollars cheaper than competing models from Mercedes-Benz and BMW. While its pricing has pretty well achieved parity these days, the new 2013 Lexus LS has been reinvigorated to help keep it on top of the heap.
First of all, a sport-oriented version of the car, the LS 460 F-Sport, has also been added lineup to broaden its appeal to performance-oriented luxury sedan intenders. Available in six different configurations (counting the all-wheel drive iterations); the LS 460, long wheelbase LS 460 L, and LS 600h L hybrid models have been infused with a number of refinements designed to make them quieter, better handling, and even more comfortable.
Power comes from a 386-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8 generating 367 ft.-lbs. of torque. Rear drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission are standard. All-wheel drive is available for both the standard and long wheelbase models—although power output is reduced to 360 hp/347 ft.-lbs. for AWD versions. The AWD-only hybrid LS 600h L makes 438 horsepower.
The suspension system was revised to provided a better ride, steering calibration was reworked to improve feel and responsiveness, brakes were improved, and the body was reinforced to improve stability. The shock absorbers communicate with one another and respond individually to provide the smoothest ride possible. Hollow chamber wheels permit the air from the tires to pass through the wheels to provide more displacement over bumps to help quiet the ride. With Pre Collision Safety and Collision Avoidance assist the LS will stop itself at speeds under 24 miles per hour if a collision is imminent. Smart cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and smart headlamps are also fitted.
The Lexus Climate Concierge permits individual heating and cooling of the four primary seating positions—including the seats themselves. The reclining right rear seat of the long wheelbase model’s executive package gets an extendable footrest, infotainment system controls, a Blu-ray DVD player, and Shiatsu massage.
The LS 460 F-Sport packs Brembo brakes, aggressively bolstered seats, a sport-tuned air suspension system, and 19-inch forged alloy wheels.
Pricing starts at $71,990 for the rear-drive LS 460, the long wheelbase all-wheel drive hybrid LS 600h L starts at $119,910.