In 1989, Lexus introduced its flagship sedan to the world, dubbed LS. Over the past 25 years the luxury division of Toyota Motor Sales has tweaked and honed this impressive alternate choice to the German hierarchy into its current form of the LS 460, and offers it in standard, long wheelbase, hybrid and, as we tested, F Sport forms.
Lexus introduced the latest generation LS in the fall of 2012 as a MY2013 vehicle and at the same time brought its F Sport variant to the land yacht. What this means is that in addition to being the quietest, smoothest, best driving and most technologically advanced LS to date it also can be finely tuned to tackle some of the slightly more challenging drive routes you encounter on your travels.
The new LS offers selectable driving modes that include ECO (snooze), Normal, Sport and Sport Plus. This latter setting – definitely our favorite – dials up the throttle response, suspension damping and gear selection points for a more spirited driving experience.
The F Sport package adds more aggressive styling, slightly lower suspension, lower rear bumper, all aluminum interior trim, Torsen limited slip differential, larger Brembo front brake calipers and F Sport paddle shifters. Add to this unique 19-inch split-10-spoke forged alloy wheels with summer tires and a host of F Sport styling upgrades inside and out.
Lexus also threw in the F Sport comfort package that saw climate-control front seating, power rear sunshade and one-touch power trunklid. For entertainment, this LS tester included the awesome Mark Levinson sound system that brings the orchestra with you around every twist and turn.
Technology enhancements come in the form of blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, advanced pre-collision alert with pedestrian detection, and collision avoidance assist (which brakes the car below 24 mph if the driver doesn’t).
Inside we find a new interior set off by a standard 12.3-inch monitor screen capable of displaying multiple information windows, a three-spoke steering wheel that is slightly smaller in diameter for sportier feel, and a new automatic climate control system that senses body temperatures in each position to work with the heat/air system for maximum individual comfort.
The LS 460 is powered by the 386hp 4.6-liter V-8 backed by a slick eight-speed automatic gearbox but sadly there is no power increase when ordering the F Sport package for the big car. Despite that, the standard engine is quite enough to get the mother ship going and does it very lovingly.
Pricing for the 2014 Lexus LS 460 begins at $72,140 with this loaded F Sport tester arriving at $86,580. Fuel economy is rated at 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.
The Lexus LS 460 F Sport is not intended to compete against the likes of the M Series from BMW or AMG rides from Mercedes but it does manage to provide an alternative to the sport package variants of the flagship sedans from each of those German rivals.