Following Geneva’s debut of the hybridized 2018 Lexus LS 500h, this year’s New York auto show brings the all-new LS 500 F Sport. The new performance-oriented trim includes F Sport aesthetic touches and a new handling package for Lexus’ halo sedan.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the full-bore LS F we’ve wanted for years. Without the handling package, this is simply an aesthetic kit that weaves touches from the hardcore F lineup. Each LS 500 F Sport is outfitted with a more aggressive variant of Lexus’ signature spindle grille, incorporating adjustments to a claimed 7,100 individual surfaces to acquire the desired appearance. The upgraded front fascia complements a set of new rocker panels, trunk moldings, and 20-inch wheels.
Inside, each F Sport packs an “exclusive” front seat, bolstered for a snugness. Like other F Sport models, the driver interacts with a more aggressive steering wheel and configurable gauge cluster that changes appearance based on drive setting.
Those 20-inch wheels hide bigger six-piston brakes in the front and four-pistons in the rear. Spring for the new F Sport handling package for the rear-wheel-drive LS, and the big-body sedan hunkers down with adaptive steering, active rear steering, active stabilizer, and a performance air suspension.
Power remains the same for both the LS 500 and LS 500h F Sport. The non-hybrid model packs the new 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine, pushing out 415 hp and an impressive 442 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 still arrives in a scant 4.5 seconds, thanks to a new lightning-fast 10-speed automatic transmission sourced from the new LC coupe.
The LS 500h retains the same powertrain as well. The hybridized 3.5-liter V-6 combines with two electric motors for a combined output of 354 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 is a claimed 5.2 seconds for the rear-wheel-drive hybrid.
The new 2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport package is available in either rear- or all-wheel-drive trim for both the regular and hybrid variants.