2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport Preview
Competes with: BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Looks like: The 2018 LS 500, only angrier
Drivetrain: A 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V-6 mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, or a 3.5-liter direct-injected V-6 hybrid engine with two electric motors powered by a lithium-ion battery pack and mated to a continuously variable transmission and a four-speed automatic transmission; both the gas and hybrid version are available in rear- or all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: TBA
Following the debuts earlier this year of the redesigned 2018 Lexus LS 500 flagship sedan and its hybrid variant in Detroit and Geneva, respectively, visitors to the 2017 New York International Auto Show will witness the arrival of the high-performance 2018 LS 500 F Sport.
More 2017 New York Auto Show Coverage
Unlike its maximum-track-tuned F siblings, the GS F and RC F, Toyota's luxury division notes, the LS 500 F Sport aims for "more engaging driving spirit through carefully applied chassis tuning and enhancements, while still emphasizing exceptional comfort."
The F Sport version doesn't stray far from the look of the regular LS 500, with its sleek, coupelike silhouette. Much of its distinction is concentrated in the grille, which the automaker describes as a more dramatic version of the brand's signature spindle grille showing enhanced intricacy thanks to the efforts of computer-aided design that took a purported five months to get just right in terms of texture and interaction with the light.
The aggressive look isn't just for the cool factor, though. The front grille combines with the enlarged side grilles to improve the sedan's cooling performance, Lexus says. Other performance cues include a special rocker panel, trunk moldings accentuating its rakish profile, F Sport badging on the fenders, exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels and the available Ultra White paint color offered only on the F Sport.
Lexus says the cabin design employs the concept of Japanese hospitality known as Omotenashi. The F Sport-exclusive front seats are said to enhance support for dynamic driving, while a perforated-grill pattern on the seats and model-specific scored aluminum trim elements add a sporty flair.
Other interior track-themed flourishes include an F Sport steering wheel; a speedometer and tachometer in a movable meter with a ring that slides to display information; an aluminum accelerator, brake and footrest pedals; a perforated F Sport shift handle footrest; suede-like seat trim and headliner, and the available Circuit Red interior theme only offered on F Sport models.
Under the Hood
The gas-only model is powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V-6 that makes 415 horsepower and 442 pounds-feet of torque distributed to either the rear or all four wheels via a Lexus-first 10-speed automatic transmission. The rear-wheel-drive version sprints from zero-to-60 mph in 4.5 seconds. The F Sport can be driven in Normal, Sport S or Sport Plus modes.
The hybrid model, meanwhile, is pushed by the combined forces of a 3.5-liter V-6 and a pair of electric motors powered by a lightweight lithium-ion battery pack for a combined output of 354 hp. The system is mated to two gear setups: a continuously variable transmission and a four-speed automatic transmission, which Lexus says alters output in multiple stages to utilize the V-6 across the entire speed range. The hybrid gets up to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, which Lexus notes is on par with the outgoing LS 460's V-8.
No word on pricing or fuel economy yet. Cars.com will be on the floor of the New York auto show this week to bring you comprehensive coverage.