20-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, and optional handling package upgrade the newest LS.

The newest Lexus luxury saloon is getting sportier – or at least, getting the pretence and appearance of sportiness. The 2018 Lexus LS 500 and LS 500h are now adding an F Sport package that intends to amp up the cars’ design and handling.

As with other models, F Sport is the middle ground between regular Lexus cars and the full-fledged F models (RC F, GS F, rumored LC F). To start with, the F Sport treatment involves a new spindle grille design that Lexus says (somehow) took five months of CAD work to design. New side skirts, wing badging, 20-inch wheels, and bodyside mouldings further the transformation. And to stand out more, F Sport buyers can elect an exclusive Ultra White paint scheme.

On the inside, the Lexus LS F Sport receives new bolstered front seats, various aluminium trim pieces, a new F Sport steering wheel, and a new instrument cluster with a moving dial (like on the old LFA supercar). There is also aluminium trim for the pedals, plus a suede headliner, leather-wrapped shifter, and a Circuit Red interior trim option.

2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport
2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport
2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport
2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport

Thanks to the addition of the aforementioned 20-inch rolling stock, Lexus engineers were able to fit larger brakes for the F Sport model, with six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers. Rear-drive LS 500 models can also be equipped with a new Handling package. It includes variable-ratio steering, rear-wheel steering, “sport-tuned” air suspension, and the company’s Active Stabiliser anti-roll-bar system. With that package, Lexus boldly claims the LS, “responds more like a sports coupe through curves”.

In the 2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport, power comes from the LS’s usual 3.5-litre biturbocharged V6, with 415 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque available. A 10-speed automatic transmission allows rear-wheel-drive versions to reach 60 miles per hour in just 4.5 seconds. The hybrid, meanwhile makes a 3.5-litre V6 with two electric motors to produce a combined 354 hp, enabling a 5.2-second sprint to 60 mph for the rear-wheel-drive version.

So, faster looks, but no faster on the road. But if BMW can get away with it for its M Sport models, why not Lexus?

Source: Lexus

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