Published on April 14th, 2017 | by Subhash Nair0
Lexus LS 500 F Sport Revealed
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 2018 LS 500 will offer the most dynamic driving experience in the model’s history; now it has the possibility of being enhanced further with the new F SPORT model.
Within the Lexus lineup, the F models, including GS F and RC F, are the track-tuned maximum performance machines. The F SPORT versions, meanwhile, imbue the standard models with a more engaging driving spirit through carefully applied chassis tuning and enhancements, while still emphasising exceptional comfort. On the new LS, the F SPORT model will be available with gas and hybrid powertrains.
F SPORT LOOK
Lexus designers didn’t hold back when giving the LS 500 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 standard 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. And for those looking to really stand out, White Nova and Heat Blue are offered as F SPORT-exclusive exterior color.
F SPORT INSIDE
As it did with the exterior, Lexus shifted the LS 500 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 500, 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 seat, which provides enhanced support for dynamic driving. A perforated-grill pattern on seating surfaces and unique scored aluminium 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 intentions. Attention to detail shows in the aluminium accelerator, brake and footrest pedals, as well as the F SPORT perforated shift handle and footrest. Ultrasuede in the seats and headliner is the crowning touch. For those desiring the ultimate sporty look, a new Circuit Red interior is available exclusively on F SPORT models.
LS 500 CHASSIS DETAILS
2018 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.
In 2004, Lexus introduced the first integrated control system that combined the previously independent ABS, TRC, VSC and EPS, as well as other functions, into a single system.
In 2012, the brand adopted the four-wheel active steering integrated control system—known as Lexus Dynamic Handling, or LDH—from the GS for enhanced safety and driving performance that responds to the driver’s intention.
The new VDIM system implements cooperative control of all vehicle subsystems – 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 helps to enable exceptional ride comfort, enhanced traction and safety and handling agility, and allows for enriched flat vehicle posture during cornering as well as a more comfortable and stable ride overall.
The LS 500 is based on an extended version of the brand’s premium global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA–L) platform from the new Lexus LC 500 coupe. The stiffest platform that Lexus has ever developed, GA-L sets the stage for enhanced handling, ride smoothness and cabin quietness. The LS F SPORT capitalizes on the platform’s responsiveness and agility.
Equipping the LS 500 F SPORT with standard 20-inch wheels and 245/45RF20+ 275/40RF20 tires, along with larger front and rear brakes (6-piston calipers on front and 4 pistons on rear), unlocks more of the platform’s intrinsic performance capability. The LS 500 F SPORT (RWD gas model) is equipped with LDH (Variable Gear Ratio Steering and Dynamic Rear Steering), Active Stabiliser, and 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 curves, helping to underline what F SPORT stands for.
415-HORSEPOWER HEART WITH A 10-SPEED PARTNER
Lexus designed an all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine specifically for the new 2018 LS 500, using twin turbochargers developed through the company’s F1 technology. This new twin-turbo V6 offers V8-level performance – 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque – paired with the first-ever 10-speed automatic transmission in luxury sedan.
The engine yields a broad torque curve and, perfectly in tune with the F SPORT spirit, the new engine and transmission deliver instant acceleration and a constant buildup of torque toward the vehicle’s redline. The LS 500 is undeniably quick, with a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds (gas RWD). Electric wastegates are among the features that contribute to the engine’s rapid responses. The driver can tailor powertrain response and feel by choosing from Normal, Sport S or Sport S+ modes, and just enough of the exhaust note is heard to enhance the sporty feel.
F SPORT PERFORMANCE, HYBRID EFFICIENCY
The LS 500h F SPORT infuses high efficiency into the sporting formula. The new Multi Stage Hybrid System combines a naturally aspirated Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with two electric motor/generators and uses a compact, lightweight lithium-ion battery. The V6 engine uses D-4S direct fuel injection, and lightweight valvetrain components, with Dual VVT-i ensuring ample torque across the engine speed range. Combined system output is 354 hp.
The new system adapts the planetary-type continuously variable transmission from Lexus Hybrid Drive and also adds a unique four-speed automatic transmission. Working in concert, the two gearsets alter output in four stages to utilise the V6 engine across the entire speed range.
In manual mode, the two gearsets act together to provide the effect of 10 ratios, giving the LS 500h F SPORT an enhanced dynamic feel on the road and allowing the driver to shift through the ratios with paddle shifters. The Multi Stage Hybrid System allows for more electric assist at lower vehicle speeds, and it enables the LS 500h under certain conditions to operate with the gas engine off at speeds of up to 87 mph. What’s more, this system allows the RWD LS 500h to propel from 0-60 in 5.2 seconds – which is on par with the previous-generation V8-powered LS 460 and 3 /10th of a second faster than the AWD LS 600h.