Since its inception the Lexus LS has been the Tom Hanks of luxury flagships — delivering a polished yet predictable performance that consciously avoids pushing the envelope. In the recent years, Lexus has slowly changed that conservative approach for its top-tier sedan, taking small steps like having fully defeatable stability control. And while the company isn't going to reinvent the LS 460, the 2013 model promises to be more enthusiast-friendly — all the while retaining the hushed comfort of its predecessors.
"We have to be sure we remain Lexus at all times," says Mark Templin, general manager at Lexus. "We don't sacrifice the great ride, but we're going to give customers a car that's more engaging in driving feel."
Just how engaging? According to Templin, the base model will be more aggressively tuned than the previous generation's Sport trim. The F Sport version, which comes with forged 19-inch wheels, a Torsen limited-slip differential and Brembo six-pot calipers up front, will go even further.
"The F Sport is very different from what we've had before," added Templin.
That shift is apparent in the newly revealed sheet metal, with a gaping-maw grill that seemingly takes cues from Audi. The side and rear changes are more subtle, but nonetheless help infuse much-needed presence and personality into the LS.
Specs-wise, Lexus has yet to reveal details; the weight will be "pretty close" to the previous generation, and Templin promises that the LS see a small bump in power while retaining the same fuel economy. Can it deliver against the likes of Audi and BMW? Motoramic will be driving the Lexus LS in the coming week, so stay tuned for driving impressions.