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Lexus LS -2013 onwards

The alternative German luxury car still isn’t a strong choice – but F-Sport gets close

Summary

What - Lexus LS 2013
Date - November 2012
Where - Nice, France
Price - From (£71,995-£99,495), Rs 64 lakhs to Rs 88.7 lakhs
Available - January 2013

Better-looking LS looks best in F-Sport guise, which is the best LS you can buy. But key rivals are still better.

We like - More characterful looks that F-Sport enhances well, return of LS 460, supreme refinement and interior comfort, F-Sport dynamics

We don't like - Very thirsty, no diesel, standard car too soft, German rivals are all more desirable.


The new LS is more striking than its predecessor thanks to one key addition - the Lexus spindle grille. But every part other than the roof and doors has actually changed, and the overall effect is more distinctive than the soft-shape old car, although it's still hardly standout.

In a real break from tradition, Lexus also now sells the LS in lowered, sharpened and sported F-Sport guise, costing (£74,495) Rs 66.4 lakhs. This looks great and is potentially the choice LS for driving-focused Brits - if the upgrades have gone far enough. So, have they?

Ah, it's good to have a regular petrol LS back. The 4.6-litre V8 engine is, of course, brilliantly smooth and quiet, but there's also just enough throb finding its way through to make it feel luxuriously special. Press on harder and the growl's edge hardens further; it's a rich treat to use.

It's quick enough, but it needs revving to give its best - those used to the turbodiesels of the competition will be aware of how power builds with revs or gearbox downshifts. The latter is no hardship as the eight-speed auto is responsive and, particularly on upshifts, quite fantastically smooth.