2.28.2018

More Motivation: The 2018 Lexus LS 500 F SPORT

Front 3/4 view of 2018 Lexus LS 500 F SPORT
The 2018 Lexus LS 500 F SPORT.
It was a few days into the week that I had the all-new 2018 Lexus LS 500 F SPORT.  Mrs. TireKicker and I were walking back to the car in a parking lot, and about 50 paces away, I saw the entire car from the side for the first time.

"Damn", I said, "that is just gorgeous."   And Mrs. TireKicker agreed.

It is the second time in three months that Lexus has grabbed both of us by our sense of aesthetics.  Regular readers will recall our Thanksgiving week trip to Los Angeles in the 2018 Lexus LC 500h hybrid coupe...which we still want, $101,385 price tag be damned.   That review was entitled "Motivation", since I'd need (using my dad's formula of never buying a car that costs more than half your annual salary) to make $202,770 a year (minimum) to buy one.



Rear 3/4 view of 2018 Lexus LS 500 F SPORT
2018 Lexus LS 500 F SPORT.
And the headline for this review is "More Motivation", because...you guessed it.  I now want two Lexuses...the coupe and the sedan.

By luxury car standards, the 2018 Lexus LS 500 F SPORT is, as big Lexuses have been since the beginning, reasonably priced.  The base price for the new LS 500 is $75,000.  In rear wheel drive F SPORT trim like our tester, it's $81,000. There's also an all-wheel drive version that starts at $84,220. You can't get Mercedes S-Classes or BMW 7-Series for that little money.  Base price for the Benz is $89,900, and the least-expensive 7-Series is $83,100.

Still, I only know one guy who went to the Lexus dealer and came home with two new cars.  It was 16 years ago.  One was the then-new LS, which he bought on my recommendation after two decades of owning Benz S-Classes, and the other was the then-new SC, which he bought on a whim for his wife when he saw it on the showroom floor.  He used to joke that I cost him $130,000, and I'd remind him that I only suggested $70,000 of that purchase and that, with a net worth well into nine figures, this was lunch money for him.

So what would this run me, you ask?  Well, we're at $81,000 base for the 2018 Lexus LS 500 F SPORT with all-wheel drive.  The F SPORT package brings with it a special F SPORT grille, aluminum gas and brake pedal, suede headliner, door scuff plate, an exclusive F SPORT moving gauge, and F SPORT seat and power cushion extender.

Under the hood, it's the same as non-F SPORT LS 500s, with a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 replacing the previous generation's V8, making 416 horsepower with 442 pounds per foot of torque, mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission and getting an EPA estimate of 18 miles per gallon city and 27 highway.   Power is smooth, way more than adequate and effortless.  You won't miss the V8.

Our tester had the Circuit Red leather with Naguri aluminum trim, a no-cost option that absolutely brightens up the interior::

Interior view of 2018 Lexus LS 500 F SPORT
2018 Lexus LS 500 F SPORT interior.
Our tester also had a panoramic glass roof ($1,000), and the Mark Levinson 23-speaker, 2,400 watt (you read that right) QLI reference surround sound audio system ($1,940 and worth it).

With $995 delivery processing and handling fee, that gets us to $84,935. which means, according to my dad's formula, I'd need to be clearing $169,870 to afford it.  Add that to the $202,770 I'd need to justify the LC 500h, and my new goal is $372,640 a year.

Gotta go.  Lotta work to do.

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