Car Reviews January 01, 2016 By Kevin C. Limjoco
2016 Lexus LS460 F-Sport
Often times, given our region’s cultural embrace of chauffeur-driven daily service, we forget that most people elsewhere in the world who buy luxury cars actually routinely drive them. So when Lexus introduced a very sporting version of the LS-model flagship a couple of years ago, it did not get the attention that it deserves outside of North America. So the question is: are Lexus customers really pining for a significantly more taut and aggressive version of the super plush LS? Apparently yes, and I get the allure. The updated Lexus LS460 F-Sport uses the short wheelbase chassis only to maximize the performance upgrades applied to a choice of either all-weather peace-of-mind AWD at the sacrifice of weight gain or in our Ultra White test unit a pure rear-wheel-drive for that bit more pace. The LS F-Sport has the usual yet still subtle distinguishing aesthetic nuances from the standard car, but it does have more character.
The LS460 F-Sport drives almost a half-inch lower than a standard LS and uses more aggressive bushings, additional bracing with thicker anti-roll bars, active Adaptive Variable recalibrated shocks/springs, and the more communicative Variable Gear-Ratio Steering (VGRS) system for livelier handling and more heightened driver interaction. The brake system is appropriately upgraded to harness the increased potential speed too with Brembo® opposed six-piston calipers in the front squeezing 14.8” ventilated discs (up from 13.1” and 4-pot calipers) and at the rear also opposed two-piston calipers on 13.1” ventilated discs (up from 12.4”). The wheels are 19 x 8.0” forged alloys on modestly sized 245/45R19 98Y Bridgestone Turanza ER33 summer performance tires. I expected a wider footprint tire at the rear considering the LS460 F-Sport has a mechanical TORSEN® limited-slip rear differential and an additional “Sport Plus” setting to the standard four drive modes.
Now with all these handling and braking performance upgrades, I did expect more power from the fairly healthy 4.6-liter V8 though. I expect that after the release of the all-new Lexus GS-F mid-size sedan that perhaps there will be a more potent 5.0-liter V8 applied to the LS F-Sport with even more power than 467 bhp strapped into the smaller car. The LS F-Sport chassis could easily accommodate it. And if Lexus genuinely wants to earn buyers seeking sporting premium full-size sedans who are predisposed to acquiring the cars from the Europeans, then it is a necessary application.
At the moment, I do think the Lexus LS460 F-Sport is the best in the model range combining all the best in the standard car with more charisma and driving enjoyment. However, it also exposes its limitations as an authentic sport sedan compared to its direct competition.
Specification – 2016 Lexus LS460 F-Sport
Engine: V8, 4608 cc, dohc 32V, VVT-iE, 8-speed AT
Max power: 386 bhp @ 6400 rpm
Max torque: 367 lb ft @ 4100 rpm
0-100 km/h (0-62mph): 5.6 sec.
Top Speed: 210 km/h (130 mph) Governed
Fuel Mileage: 16 mpg City / 24 mpg Highway
Price as tested: US$ 85,525.00
C! RATING 9.9/10
+The most nimble and energetic LS you can buy at the moment
-Do you need to have a sporting Lexus LS? A bit too grabby brakes