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2013 Lexus LS 460 Launch Review By John Heilig

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2013 Lexus LS 460

The Auto Page
By John Heilig
The Auto Channel

Specifications – 2013 Lexus LS

Model: 2013 Lexus LS 460
Engine: 4.6-liter V8
Horsepower/Torque: 386 up @ 6,400 rpm/367 lb.-ft. @ 4,100 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed sequential shift automatic
Wheelbase: 116.9 in. (LWB 121.7 in.)
Length x Width x Height: 200.0 (LWB 205.0) x 73.8 x58.1 in.
Tires: P235/50R18 (Full Size Spare)
Cargo: 18.0 cu. ft.
Economy: 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway/19 mpg combined
Fuel tank: 22.2 gal.
Curb wt: 4,233 lbs. (RWD)
Sticker: $70-75,000 to more than $100,000 for LS600h

The Bottom Line: The redesigned Lexus LS460 family isn't retro, but it does remind drivers of the original 400 LS. It has conservative style, a ton of power, and the eerie quietness of the original. Of course, the competition has also gotten quieter over the years, so the LS has gone the extra mile to maintain its edge.

I remember many years ago when I drove the original 1989 Lexus 400LS. This was a car that defined Lexus. It had power, conservative styling and incredibly silent operation. I remember a Lexus representative telling me that driving down he Jersey Turnpike was eerie because of the silence.

Well, the latest version of Lexus's flagship has that same quality. On the proper road, there's no road noise, no wind noise and certainly no engine noise.

The new LS 460 has more nine to keep quiet, too. The 4.6-liter V8 has more power than the original, yet it doesn't make any more noise. The engine is hooked to an 8-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly and makes any ride uneventful.

LS 460 is a generic term that represents a family of vehicles. They are the LS 460, the long wheelbase LS 460L, all-wheel drive versions of both, the sporty LS 460 F Sport and the long wheelbase version of the F Sport, and the hybrid LS 600h and 600h and 600hL. Each has its own unique features, but we'll concentrate on the LS 460 for now.

I found it incredible that the LS offered essentially zero feedback on very good roads. It was if we were gliding. There was some sense of tar strips to let you know they're there, but it wasn't annoying, as in some cars and trucks.

As befits a true luxury car, the front seats are comfortable and offer good support. In the sportier F Sport, the support is better with bigger bolsters to hold you in if you decide to get aggressive in corners.

The rear seats offer excellent leg room. There are fold down lighted vanity mirrors for the rear passengers as well as the front passengers. And the rear passengers get to enjoy heated seats, while the front seats are heated and cooled.

The fold-down armrest has the requisite cup holders plus audio and HVAC controls. In addition, the ear seats tilt a bit to provide more of a reclining position that resembles airplane coach seats.

The smart wheel in all versions but the F Sport is leather and wood, while the F Sport has an all-leather wheel. Actually, I found the leather-and-wood wheel to be slippery in the wood section.

One other small complaint had to do with the turn signal clicker. It was too quiet. I like a clicker you can hear, so I don't end up looking like a mindless old man who leaves the turn signal on for miles.

I like simple instrument panels that aren't too fussy. The LS complies. From the left, there is a small water temperature gauge, large tachometer, small information angel, large speedometer and small fuel gauge.

In the center of the dash is a clear navi screen that is devoted two-thirds to navigation and one-third to audio. And, surprisingly in such a high tech car, there are simple low tech HVAC system controls.

Push the start/stop button and everything starts working - the seats, the air conditioning, the audio, etc. The controller other center of the console can be adjusted as to the strength of the detents for the driver and/or passenger.

Among the styling changes are LED daytime running lights (there's a light tube in front), and LED tail lights.

I didn't get that many miles in the F Sport version, but the overriding impression was that I was in a luxury car that was just waiting to be unleashed.

The overall impression of the LS 460 in general was that it was a very comfortable driver, but one that wasn't too comfortable so that you would tend to fall asleep at the wheel.

(C) 2012 The Auto Page Syndicate