Having debuted the reinvented flagship sedan in 2018 – the all-new LS – Lexus is putting an exclamation point on this signature model with the new F Sport model. The LS F Sport moves the driving emotion needle even further with handling enhancements and a performance-infused design outside and in.
The original luxury disruptor when it debuted to launch the brand, the Lexus LS has for nearly three decades set benchmarks for powertrain smoothness, ride quietness, craftsmanship, attention to detail, and long-term quality. The 2019 LS offers the most dynamic driving experience in the model’s history; now it has been enhanced further with the new F Sport model.
Available with a petrol powertrain, the F Sport version imbues the LS with a more engaging driving spirit through carefully-applied chassis tuning and enhancements, while still emphasizing exceptional comfort. This is topped off with bespoke F Sport styling.
The fine skills of Takumi craftspeople (responsible for ensuring that the required excellent quality is achieved) contribute to the high quality of every Lexus vehicle, but in developing the new LS F Sport, Lexus has gone further to combine the traditions of Japanese culture and aesthetics with contemporary design and advanced technologies.
The Takumi craftsmanship combines the best traditions of Japanese culture and aesthetics with modern design and technologies. The luxury interior embraces the artform of Origami in the creation of exclusive ornamentation and hand-pleated door panels.
In summary, there are some noteworthy additions to the F Sport model in comparison to the LS 500 launched earlier this year. The additions are as follows:
Exclusive mesh design F- Sport spindle grille and design concept
- F Sport 20 inch wheels
- F Sport badge for disctintion
- Unique F Sport interior package
- steering wheel with F- Sport logo
- sports seats + F-Sport logo
- finished in 3-spoke leather, the gearshift design matches the steering wheel to create an exciting sports ambience
- Suede roof headlining
- Fabric Illumi door trim ornamentation
- Smooth leather seat cover material
- Resin side trim
- Aluminium door trim
- Simulated leather door arm rest
- Adjustable head rests
While the focus of the F Sport model is on driver dynamics, the LS 500 is more luxury-biased and includes features such as the vibrating seat massage function for the front and rear seats as well as front and rear seat ventilation among others.
F SPORT LOOK
Lexus designers didn’t hold back when giving the LS its coupe-like silhouette and dramatic rendition of the Lexus signature spindle grille that shows even greater intricacy in the design. Developing the F Sport grille took computer-aided design (CAD) operators some five months to achieve the desired texture and interaction with light. Even then, they adjusted 7,100 individual surfaces to achieve the desired look and texture (compared to 5,000 for the SE model’s grille). And when combined with the sporty enlarged side grille, the F Sport grille is functional as well, helping to maintain the vehicle’s cooling performance.
The special F Sport front grille, rocker panel, and trunk mouldings accentuate the sedan’s rakish profile, while F Sport badging on fenders and exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels complete the exterior transformation.
The LS is equipped as standard with a glass sunroof which opens externally. This allows for a design that is 30mm thinner than previously, preserving cabin headroom beneath the low roofline.
F SPORT INSIDE
As it did with the exterior, Lexus shifted the LS cabin into F Sport spec by applying trim and features exclusive to this version. A common thread through all LS models remains: Omotenashi, the concept of Japanese hospitality. Applied to the LS, it means taking care of the driver and passengers, anticipating their needs, attending to their comfort and helping to protect them from hazards – the F Sport adds a performance attitude to the mix.
The F Sport persona shines throughout the cabin, starting with the F Sport-exclusive front seats, which provides enhanced support for dynamic driving. A perforated-grill pattern on seating surfaces and unique scored aluminum trim elements add additional sporty flair.
The driver faces a special F Sport steering wheel as well as a speedometer and tachometer in a movable meter with a meter ring that slides to display information, a design adapted from the limited-production Lexus LFA supercar and a further expression of the car’s dynamic character. Attention to detail shows in the aluminum accelerator, brake and footrest pedals, as well as the F Sport perforated shift handle and footrest. Ultra-suede in the seats and headliner is the crowning touch. For those desiring the ultimate sporty look, a new Flare Red interior is available exclusively on F Sport models.
The LS F Sports provides a driver-focused cockpit and a front passenger seat area designed to gently envelop the occupant. Elements such as smooth leather, precise stitch-work and detailed metal and wood accents add to the welcoming ambiance with a range of textures and surfaces that are pleasing to the eye and touch.
The seats are upholstered in a smooth leather that is remarkably opulent and supple. The dashboard has a sweeping array of fixed, horizontal metal fins spanning its full width, neatly concealing the movable fins that direct airflow from the air conditioning vents. The information displays are positioned at a uniform height in a “seat-in-control” layout that allows the driver to view and operate all the systems without changing their body posture.
Three interior colours are available: White; Black, White and Grey as well as Flare Red. Futhermore, the LS F Sport comes standard with an Aluminium door trim and simulated leather door arm rest.
LS CHASSIS DETAILS
The LS is based on an extended version of the brand’s premium global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA–L) platform from the new Lexus LC coupe. The GA-L platform sets the stage for enhanced handling, ride smoothness and cabin quietness. The LS F Sport capitalises on the platform’s responsiveness and agility.
Equipping the LS F Sport with standard 20-inch wheels and 245/45RF20+ 275/40RF20 tyres, along with larger front and rear brakes (6-piston callipers on front and 4 pistons on rear), unlocks more of the platform’s intrinsic performance capability. The LS F Sport is equipped with LDH (Variable Gear Ratio Steering) and has a sport-tuned air suspension with rapid-height function. The result is a full-size premium luxury sedan that responds more like a sports coupe through the curves, helping to underline what F Sport stands for.
This LS F Sport model features the latest generation of the brand’s advanced chassis control technology, Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), which has been refined since its debut more than a decade ago.
The new VDIM system implements co-operative control of all vehicle sub-systems – braking, steering, powertrain, and suspension – to control basic longitudinal, lateral and vertical motion as well as yaw, roll and pitch. Optimal control of these motions facilitates exceptional ride comfort, enhanced traction as well as safety and handling agility, and allows for enriched flat vehicle posture during cornering, while providing a more comfortable and stable ride overall.
TWIN-TURBO V6 AND 10-SPEED TRANSMISSION
The all-new 3.5-litre V6 engine has been designed specifically for the new LS, providing both high power and excellent fuel efficiency.
The engine is indicative of the more dynamic approach taken by Lexus, offering V8-level power without sacrificing fuel economy whilst minimising noise and vibration. The LS F Sport’s output figures are 310kW and 600Nm of torque at 6000rpm. The engine’s long stroke and optimised stroke-to-bore ratio contribute to high-speed combustion and the efficiency of the twin turbos, helping the LS post a projected 0 – 100 km/h acceleration time of 5 seconds.
Perhaps more critical is the way Lexus has tuned the engine and transmission to deliver instant acceleration and a constant build-up of torque towards the engine’s red line.
As with the LS 500, the driver is able to tailor powertrain response and feel by selecting Normal, Eco, Sport and Sport S+ drive modes, with just enough of the exhaust note being audible to enhance the sporty feel.
The LS marks the first use of a 10-speed automatic transmission in a luxury sedan, the system having made its debut in the new LC coupe. It is a torque converter automatic, yet with shift times that rival those of dual-clutch transmissions. The wide band width afforded by the ten closely-spaced ratios is ideal for all forms of driving, providing an optimal gear for all conditions.
Torque converter lock-up is activated in all ranges, except when starting off, to provide a direct feel, while at the same time supporting fuel efficiency. Top speed for the LS is electronically govenered to 250 km/h. Fuel consumption is listed as 9.5 litres per 100 kilometres.
The driver can execute shifts using paddle controls, but many will prefer to use the advanced electronic control system, which anticipates the driver’s input. The system chooses the ideal ratio by monitoring the acceleration, braking and lateral G-forces.
ADAPTIVE VARIABLE SUSPENSION
The LS F Sport is available with a new, more advanced Adaptive Variable Suspension (activated when in Sport S+ mode) that provides continuous adjustment of damping control for all four wheels in response to the way the car is being driven and road surface conditions. This continuously variable capability has increased the number of control levels from nine (in the previous LS’ system) to 650. The result is faster, seamless and more refined operation.
For example, when driving on uneven roads, the system can increase ride comfort without too great an increase in damping force. When the steering wheel is turned, however, damping force is automatically increased to suppress the effect of the car’s weight transfer and maintain a flat cornering attitude.
LEXUS SAFETY SYSTEM
The LS F Sport (same safety spec as the LS 500) offers a comprehensive suite of exclusive, semi-automated driving technologies honed on one of the most complex highway systems in the world, the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway.
The vehicle’s Pre-Crash System with Pedestrian Detection reduces the likelihood and severity of collisions by detecting imminent frontal impact and automatically preparing Brake Assist, reacting before the driver does – while the emergency brake signal acts, to prevent rear-end collisions.
The High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control uses advanced radar and camera technology to maintain a safe distance between your LS F Sport and the car in front– completely stopping, if necessary.
Lane Departure Alert with Lane Keep Assist, Steering Control and Steering Vibration keeps the LS F Sport in the correct lane, preventing unintentional drifting across road markings.
The LS F Sport also comes standard with 10 Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags which aim to keep the driver and passengers safe in the unfortunate event of an accident. Furthermore, the passenger seats will automatically begin to return to an upright position if an imminent collision is detected.
Additional safety features that come standard with the LS F Sport include; Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Sport Monitor and LED Adaptive High-beam System (AHS).
LEXUS LS F SPORT PRICES AND SERVICE INFORMATION
The Lexus LS F Sport retails for R1 975,900. The LS has best-in-class 7-year/105 000km Warranty and Full Maintenance Plan. The vehicle’s service intervals are at every 15 000km, alternatively once a year. The other model in the range is the luxury-focused LS 500 which retails for R2 151 100.