Lexus LS F Sport revealed ahead of New York auto show

Luxury saloon gets a sporty trim option in F Sport form; V6 turbo and hybrid models available

Lexus will unveil an F Sport variant of its new LS at the New York auto show. In common with other F Sport models throughout the Lexus range, the LS gets a host of unique features to differentiate it from regular models, including changes to the styling, interior and chassis.

Available on both the petrol-powered LS 500 and the LS 500h petrol-electric hybrid, the F Sport trim level features a more aggressive interpretation of the company's now-familiar spindle grille, painted in black and featuring 7000 individual facets in its mesh-like structure.

> 2017 Lexus LS - Striking luxury flagship makes Detroit debut

Larger side intakes aid cooling and there are also changes to both the side skirts and boot mouldings. 20-inch alloy wheels are standard, while F Sport models tout two new colour choices for the LS range, White Nova and Heat Blue.

The LS's high-tech cabin also benefits from the F Sport treatment, with a new front seat design, aluminium trim elements, an F Sport steering wheel and a different look to the digital instruments that takes inspiration from one of the first cars to boast such technology: the LFA supercar. Here too there's a unique colour on offer - red - which might be worth plumping for to avoid the otherwise uniform use of black leather and suede-like materials.

Changes to the chassis are of most interest. The latest iteration of Lexus's Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) is used to coordinate the functions of the traction and stability control systems, the electric variable-ratio steering, ABS, and other systems. Among those systems is Lexus Dynamic Handling four-wheel steering, as found in the GS F and GS F Sport, while the air suspension has apparently been tuned for a sportier feel.

Engines are as-per the standard LS. The first powerplant (the LS 500) is a 415bhp, 443lb ft 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol, while the other is a 354bhp V6 hybrid, badged LS 500h. The former has been developed specifically for the LS and nudges out the old V8 with 'V8-level performance' (unusually, a unit still available in the LC 500 coupe), sending its power through a new 10-speed automatic gearbox.

> Click here for our drive of the Lexus LC 500

The hybrid packs a 3.5-litre petrol V6 and a pair of electric motors, which juggle power through a "Multi Stage Hybrid Transmission". Technically this takes the form of a four-speed CVT, but it can simulate up to ten ratios for a more natural feel. It'll do up to 87mph on electric power alone. The turbocharged petrol is the quicker of the pair, reaching 62mph in 4.5 seconds from rest - nine tenths ahead of the hybrid.

Pricing, release dates and full specification information are yet to be revealed.


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