Sporting luxury

The ever-evolving Lexus family has a new LS flagship in the form of the LS F Sport that features a host of chassis tuning tweaks to give it a dynamic edge on the road.

The newcomer gains an exclusive mesh design F- Sport spindle grille and design concept, F Sport 20-inch wheels, F Sport interior package, suede roof headlining, aluminium door trim and adjustable head rests among other items.

Lexus LS500 F-Sport_014

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).

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.

Lexus LS500 F-Sport_079

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.

For those desiring the ultimate sporty look, a new Flare Red interior is available exclusively on F Sport models.

Lexus LS500 F-Sport_092

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 coupé. The LS F Sport capitalises on the platform’s responsiveness and agility.

Equipping the LS F Sport with standard 20-inch wheels and 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.

This LS F Sport model features the latest generation of the brand’s chassis control technology, Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), which has been refined since its debut more than a decade ago.

Lexus LS500 F-Sport_082

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.

Kitted with the 3,5-litre V6 engine offering 310 kW and 600 Nm of torque at 6 000 r/min, 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 claimed 0 – 100 km/h acceleration time of 5 seconds.

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 uses a 10-speed automatic torque converter transmission with shift times that rival those of dual-clutch transmissions. The wide band width afforded by the 10 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 l/100 kilometres.

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 LS F Sport offers a comprehensive suite of driving technologies including a Pre-Crash System with Pedestrian Detection, Brake Assist, High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control that uses radar and camera technology to maintain a safe distance between it 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.

Lexus LS500 F-Sport_064

The LS F Sport also comes standard with 10 Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) crash bags, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Sport Monitor and LED Adaptive High-beam System (AHS).

The Lexus LS F Sport retails for R1 975 900. The LS has a 7-year/105 000 km Warranty and Full Maintenance Plan. The vehicle’s service intervals are at every 15 000 km, alternatively once a year.

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