2013 Lexus LS460, LS460 F-Sport and LS600h: Motoramic Drives
I have a heavy right foot, and my fair share of speeding tickets to prove it. A number of my acquaintances' have even had to do the online driving course by way of punishment for their lead legs. If you fit in this category, fear not, because during a recent trip through the redwoods of California, I developed a solution: Buy a Lexus LS.
This is not to say the new 2013 Lexus LS lineup is slow. Rather the entire model range has a way of gently suggesting you drive like the gentleman that you are. If you attempt to depress the accelerator too aggressively, the car responds by insinuating, "Are you sure you want to do that?" It proposes you rethink the decision, by reinforcing that going 45 mph will get you there in plenty of time and comfortably so. And it becomes impossible to resist the car's suggestive charm.
The LS Series is Lexus' flagship lineup, but needed a full refresh to stay competitive. Lexus cars' have always been luxurious, precise and sleep-inducing, as sporting as your grandfather's rocking chair, which is why the average LS buyer is 62 years old. Lexus has vowed that the new LS Series shall not be your grandpa's Lexus, by offering a driving experience powerful enough to correspond with its notorious attention to detail.
While not a clean-sheet update, Lexus says 3,000 of the 6,000 parts in the LS series -- regular and long wheelbase, F-Sport edition and hybrid -- have been redone. The exterior makeover is prominent and provides all models with a more modern and aggressive pose - most noticeably with the new spindle grille. The rear end is more muscular and the interior has been refined with a cleaner, more efficient center console - equipped with a 12.3-inch multimedia display and haptic joystick controller knob. A beautiful new wood finish joins the collection, named Shimamoku. It's a work of art created over 38 days with 67 different processes. In general, I'm not a fan of wood in cars, but this level of craftsmanship is truly stunning.
Let's start at the top with the LS600h, where the 5-liter V8 paired with a hybrid system advertises 438 hp and 385 ft.-lbs of torque. The 600h L boasts massaging rear seats and about every toy one could dream up. But what's most impressive is that with this car Lexus have inadvertently invented the world's first time travel machine. Sit behind the wheel of the preposterously large sedan for too long and you are immediately teleported forward in time to the age of 70. I dawdled along fighting the urge to plot a route for Florida and eat dinner at 5 p.m.
But before things went too far, and I began searching the Pandora app on the multimedia system for Pat Boone, I switched to the LS 460 F-Sport. This machine has paddle shifts meshed to its 8-speed automatic transmission and even a Torsen limited-slip differential, good for a 0-to-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds. I soon realized this Lexus was good only for putting the "sport" in "sport coat."