Not only is the rear- or all-wheel-drive sedan loaded
with a host of upgrade trim, safety and sound equipment, it also has a
powertrain built for a racetrack.
A 3.5-liter turbocharged
416-horsepower V6 engine will race from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds
while mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. This is remarkable as the
LS500 weighs more than 4,500 pounds and is not a lightweight two-door speedster
weighing 1,000 pounds less. The three LS500 models (base, F Sport, hybrid)
share the same powerplant.
If in the market for an LS500,
why not go for the F Sport. A base LS500 costs about $75,000. Add $6,000 to the
price and one drives home in the rear-wheel-drive (all-wheel-drive costs another
$2,800) F Sport edition. The F Sport has notable additions.
are slightly different from the other LS500 models as the F Sport has
mesh inserts alongside the Lexus iconic spindle grille, a rear
diffuser and lower door trim. Besides the usual calf-leather interior the F
Sport adds an ultra-suede headliner, 28-way power adjustable front seats,
embossed headrests, aluminum pedals and genuine wood cabin trim. The interior
flows in waves from dashboard to door panels. One detail that deserves special
mention is the door handles. They are designed in sculptured metal.
wheels (dark silver, 10-spoke, machine-finished) are 19-inch and normally are
controlled by brakes with four calipers for the ventilated 14-inch discs in
front and the 13.1-inch ones at the rear. The F Sport has six calipers for the
larger 15.7 ventilated discs in front and four calipers for the 14.1 ventilated
discs at the rear. This is stopping power. During a recent test week in the F
Sport the brakes were put to the test. In an emergency braking situation, the
brake pedal was pressed hard and the machine's electronics took over and
brought this beast of a sedan to a stop almost immediately and in a straight
Besides an electronic four-channel antilock
braking system, safety includes brakeforce distribution and brake assist. If
the electronics detect an imminent crash, braking is done automatically.
less costly vehicles, single calipers control the discs.
list of safety features is extensive and includes 10 airbags, cyclist and
pedestrian detection, road sign and road speed information, automatic high
beams, LED headlights and taillamps and parking assist from a 360-degree camera
The multilink independent variable suspension system
has forged aluminum components front and rear. Coil springs and shock absorbers
react electronically to road conditions in nanoseconds. If the sound system is
off, sitting in the cabin and driving this vehicle is a quiet business. Engine
and road noise, even from loud and boisterous 18-wheelers, will not intrude.
CarPlay and Amazon Alexa are new for Lexus in 2019. The sound
system takes time to understand. New owners might require several
days or weeks to master the system. It is operated by a touch pad on the center
console between the front seats and not on a touchscreen. The touchy touchpad
takes getting used to. The 12-speaker system, which has voice control, serves
AM-FM-satellite radio, compact disc player, two USB ports and one auxiliary
Navigation is on a 12.3-inch screen, larger than the
eight or nine inchers on less expensive vehicles. Power governs heated and
cooled front seats, exterior heated mirrors, tilt and telescoping steering
wheel, door locks, express windows, trunk (open, close) and moonroof (tilt and
Besides the basic (four years or 50,000 miles) and
powertrain (six years or 70,000 miles) powertrain warranties, Lexus provides
free scheduled maintenance visits for owners of the LS500. One visit is before
six months or 5,000 miles and the second visit is before a year or 10,000
miles. Roadside assistance is provided for 48 months or an unlimited distance.