The one that got away:
The 2013 Lexus LS460 F-Sport Road Test
By Joshua Stone
I didn’t really know what to make of the 2013 Lexus LS460 F-Sport at first. The LS series of cars have been among the best luxury vehicles around since their introduction in 1989. Reliability and comfort are really second to none. I was wondering how far Lexus went with the F-Sport package: would it be too plush? Would it ruin a fantastic luxury car? Is it just a fancy trim package? In a word: no. Lexus made what could be the most perfect luxury sports car I’ve driven.
To begin with, the Lexus has a gorgeous and well made interior, that is quiet at all times. The wonderful symphony of the 4.6 liter V8 is audible but never intrusive. The cabin is extremely comfortable, with quality materials and an obsessive attention to detail and craftsmanship. An alcantara headliner graces the roof of the car and looks (and feels) great. The gauges are easily readable, and all controls are within easy reach. The mammoth 12.3″ widescreen display gives enough dash real estate as to always let you know what’s going on with the car. The Mark Levinson audio system is truly incredible- one of the best I’ve ever heard. It has 19 speakers (yes, 19 of them), 450 watts of power, and is clear, crisp, and sounds great at every volume level. The perforated leather F-sport seats are comfortable and supportive without being too aggressively bolstered, and include both heat and cooling functions as well. All in all, the interior is just a fantastic place to spend time. Road trip, around town, or even spirited driving is always easy and fun with the F-sport.
The handling of the car is great, the suspension is a great blend of sport and comfort. It handles expansion joints, rutted roads, and inclement weather with ease. The exclusive F-Sport 19″ BBS wheels house massive six-piston 14.8″ front brakes. They stop the car amazing well. Add to that the Variable Gear Ratio steering box. On paper, I wouldn’t expect to like it, but in reality this is the sweetest steering of any luxury car around. It’s very communicative but not so much as to ruin the comfortable nature of the big Lexus. Highway performance is stellar, the car just revs all day long at any highway speed. Passing power is there in spades. The car also has what I feel is a must on a performance car- a REAL limited slip differential. The traction control is fully defeatable, and the car is amazingly well balanced when letting the tail slide a little, or a lot. The limited slip means this car is very responsive and turns sharply everywhere. It really is that good for this class of car.
All in all, Lexus has done something incredible. While not the fastest car in the segment, the Lexus LS460 F-Sport is an ideal blend of sport, refinement, and performance. It really is a perfect sporty daily driver. After putting quite a few miles on the LS460 F-Sport, I was very sad to see it go. It really is one of my favorite cars so far, both to drive, and to take people in. It’s also one of the few cars my wife and I both loved equally. If it seems like I was blown away, it’s because I was. The next time you see an F-Sport car, you can be assured that it isn’t just another fancy appearance package. The LS460 F-Sport is a car that I really didn’t want to give back. For now, it’s the one that got away.