Lexus Unveils New 2013 LS Flagship


Updated flagship luxury sedan unveiled in San Francisco, including new F Sport model.

Long derided as bland in the styling department, Lexus has been undergoing something of a design revolution, and this represents its latest result. After much anticipation, Toyota's luxury division unveiled its new LS flagship range of sedans in San Francisco among much pomp, circumstance and fanfare. Facelifted to reflect its new design language - epitomized by the spindle grille shape - the LS range includes the LS 460, the long-wheelbase LS 460L, the LS 600hL hybrid limousine and, for the first time, the LS 460 F Sport.

Characterized by a more aggressive appearance and a sportier interior, the F Sport model is enhanced by a fresh aero kit, 19-inch alloys, more aggressively bolstered bucket seats, paddle shifters and aluminum pedals. While the engine carries over essentially unchanged, the F Sport does upgrade the air suspension for tighter handling, adds Brembo brakes for more stopping power and includes a Torsen limited-slip differential for better power delivery. LS 460 models (whether in base, long-wheelbase or F Sport trim) pack a 4.6-liter V8 driving 386 horsepower through an eight-speed automatic to either the rear wheels or all four.

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The LS 600hL, meanwhile, couples a 389hp 5.0-liter V8 to a 221hp electric motor, driving through a continuously-variable transmission to all four wheels. The updated LS was unveiled in concert with the "Laws of Attraction" exhibit in San Francisco with such notables as actor Jason Schwartzman and photog Ellen von Unwerth. "The 'Lexus Laws of Attraction' photography exhibition showcases Lexus' dedication to design," said Lexus VP Mark Templin. "Craftsmanship is at the core of the company's design philosophy, which is expressed in our new spindle grille and driver-focused interiors that integrate modern refinement and intuitive technologies."