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2013 Lexus LS: A little meaner, a lot prettier

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  July 31, 2012 01:23 PM

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The last Lexus model to receive the company’s new “spindle grill,” the flagship LS sedan takes a meaner face and actual performance upgrades for 2013.

We say “actual” because the LS has never hinted at purveying speed or enjoyment for the driver. It has always been a Japanese Mercedes S-Class, an ultra-quiet, tech-laden cocoon with some of the best customer service in the automotive industry. The refreshed 2013 LS gets quieter, of course, with aerodynamic tweaks and noise-reducing wheels with “resonator holes.” But a new F Sport model packs bolstered seats, paddle shifters, Brembo brakes, limited slip differential, and a lowered air suspension on summer tires. The F Sport, in addition to waking up the sleepy, conservative types who buy a big Lexus, is here to grab more share from the sportier Audi A8s and BMW 7-Series.

Inside, the big 12.3-inch LCD display that debuted in the midsize GS is also here, along with an optional wood package that looks dipped in golden honey (it’s apparently a mix of dark and light woods that takes Japanese craftsman 38 hours to put together).


Other new features include blind spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert and an auto-braking feature that stops the car under 24 mph should the driver not respond. Everything else – size, weight, engines, the six-figure hybrid model – carries over unchanged.

Pricing has not been announced, although we wouldn’t expect it to crest $70,000. The current LS 460 starts just over $68,000. Don’t worry about fuel economy. Even the hybrid – which we tested (and loved) in 2009 – makes no difference for a car this plush and heavy.


This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee
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