- Competes with: BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class
- Looks like: The LS gets the spindle grille and LED headlamp treatment, along with an aggressive-looking F Sport model
- Drivetrain: 4.6-liter V-8 and eight-speed automatic (460 and 460 L) and 5.0-liter V-8 and an electric motor (600h L hybrid)
- Hits dealerships: LS 460 and 460 L go on sale in October, F Sport in November and LS 600h L in December
Lexus' flagship sedan gets fresh styling, a revised interior and more safety features for 2013. The 2013 Lexus LS lineup will include a first-ever F Sport model. It joins LS 460, the long-wheelbase 460 L and the hybrid 600h L.
Outside, the sedan looks pretty familiar, though it now wears the brand's new spindle grille and gets LED headlamps. The LEDs carryover inside, too, with an all-LED interior lighting system. A revised instrument panel makes room for the new standard 12.3-inch navigation screen. It's still controlled with Lexus' mouse-like knob, though Lexus says the LS uses the next generation of the system. The Lexus Enform application arsenal is added to the media system with apps such as Pandora, Bing, Yelp and more.
Under the hood, the 386-horsepower 4.6-liter V-8 and eight-speed automatic return for the 460 and 460 L; the hybrid is again powered by a 5.0-liter V-8 and an electric motor. Newly standard is Drive Mode Select, which allows the driver to choose from three settings: Eco, Normal and Sport. Vehicles equipped with the available air suspension add Comfort and Sport S+ modes. For 2013, suspension tuning and increased body rigidity should enhance stability, Lexus says.
A new safety feature for 2013 is the Blind Spot Monitor. Lexus says it uses rear millimeter-wave radar to monitor blind spots at speeds above 10 mph. Rear Cross Traffic Alert uses similar technology to warn the driver if a vehicle is coming while backing out of a parking spot.
The F Sport model rides on a lowered, sport-tuned suspension, Brembo six-piston caliper brakes and 19-inch forged wheels. It stands out from the pack with a unique front end with a mesh grille, larger cooling openings, black grille surround and round fog lamps. More chrome on the rear bumper and F Sport badging further distinguish it from the LS lineup. Inside, the F Sport gets unique seats with larger bolsters, a leather steering wheel with paddle shifters and aluminum trim.
All models will go on sale this fall and winter, starting with the 460 and 460 L in October. Stay tuned for pricing.