Lexus LS 460 Sport Review

By Jonathan Spira on 4 January 2011
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With its massive Brembo brakes, split spoke 19” wheels, and 360° body kit, the first thought that came to mind when I saw the Lexus LS460 Sport sitting in my driveway was “a wolf in Lexus’ clothing”.

The Lexus LS line was updated for the 2010 model year and all models received new bumpers, lamps, grills, wheels, and fascias.  The Sport, however, got a more aggressive textured grill, sporty ten-spoke 19” wheels, and a body kit that gives the car a low and assertive appearance.  All of this is rather discrete and allows the car to remain a stealth powerhouse

While all LS 460s received a refreshed interior that includes active front headrests, updated controls, and new dashboard accents, the Sport edition has exclusive black saddle leather seating with contrasting stiching and substantial side bolsters to hold driver and passenger in place.

The Sport receives the IS-F’s eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and its program is set for “fast.”

Passenger safety features include eight standard airbags (rear side air bags are optional), parking guidance handles troublesome parallel parking chores, HID headlights that follow your steering wheel into corners, and a combination of Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management, traction control, and multiple braking systems that keep the car going where the driver points it.

Inside, the new Enform telematics system provides drivers with operator-generated downloads of a destination, stolen vehicle recovery, automatic collision notification, and assistance in case of emergency.  My tests using Enform, primarily to have destinations downloaded to the car while I was driving, found it to be very useful. A new center stack features a larger LCD display, Bluetooth and USB connectivity(including Bluetooth audio), and voice command functionality for the optional navigation system.

The optional Mark Levinson sound system is excellent and comes with the luxury package, which also includes the hard disk navigation system, Enform, weather and traffic information, and the parking guidance feature.

Driving the Sport is unlike what one would expect from Lexus’ flagship sedan (and that’s not a bad thing, either).  The 380-hp 4.6-liter V-8 has direct and port fuel injection, intake and exhaust variable valve timing, a dual mode air-induction system, and an 11.8:1 compression ratio (!).  The AA80E Sport Direct Shift Control transmission transforms the normally unassuming V-8 into a beast that can go from zero to sixty mph in 5.4 seconds, with a top speed of 130 mph.  The manual paddle shifting is responsive and automatically blips the throttle when downshifting.

The sport suspension makes this LS firm and responsive but entirely composed.  Cornering and braking are not typical LS specialties but the Sport makes every drive fun and exciting.  The LS 460 Sport is a driver’s car with personality that looks for the twisties and is serious fun to drive.

–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.


2010 Lexus LS460 Sport
Base price/price-as-tested $64,680/$76,714
Drivetrain Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine 4.8-liter/380 hp/V-8
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Curb weight (lbs) 4350
Wheelbase (inches) 116.9
Length x width x height (inches) 199.2 x 73.8 x 57.5
0-62 mph (seconds) 5.4
City/highway fuel economy (mpg) 16/24

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