2013 Lexus LS First Impressions

2013 Lexus LS F SPORT

The 2013 Lexus LS debuted earlier this week in San Francisco, and while I did post live updates from the event, I also want to share some photos and early impressions of the new Lexus flagship sedan.

There were three LS vehicles on display — let’s start with the center of attraction, a Liquid Platinum LS F SPORT:

2013 Lexus LS F SPORT in Liquid Platinum

A packed party is hardly the best time for critical automotive analysis, but there were a few design elements that immediately grabbed my attention — let’s start with the massive mesh spindle grille:

Lexus LS Mesh Spindle Grille

The LS F SPORT may be the most aggressive Lexus grille ever, but it’s also perfectly balanced and full of style — easily the best interpretation of the spindle grille yet.

The headlights deserve a closer look as well:

2013 Lexus LS F SPORT Headlights

Without question, the new LS has the most intricate headlights I’ve ever seen — the level of detail is astonishing, looking more like the revealed inner workings of some future laser gun.

Also really liked the deep front fenders:

2013 Lexus LS Front Fender

The fender now breaks and builds like a wave, and add a muscular, chiseled appearance. It may be a stretch, but these folds remind me of the LF-LC concept.

Central to the LS launch event were photos of four celebrity couples posing alongside a LS F SPORT — taken by photographer Ellen von Unwerth, here are the photos in full:

(The couples, in order: Devon Aoki and James Bailey, Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler, Jason Schwartzman and Brady Cunningham, & Jaime King and Kyle Newman.)

Parked outside on the balcony was an Ultra White LS 460 F SPORT, and it was the best looking LS there:

2013 Lexus LS 460 F SPORT Ultra White

Exclusive to the LS F SPORT, the Ultra White exterior is ultra bright, and makes the mesh grille stand out even more — definitely a bold color.

Finally, there was a Liquid Platinum LS 600hL, which I sat in briefly:

2013 Lexus LS 600hL Interior

My time inside was limited to less than five minutes, but I can say the new Lexus interior design language works well in the LS. I was especially impressed with the materials — everything had a buttery soft texture, and felt much more luxurious than the current model.

Also had a chance to play with the all-LED headlights and taillights:

2013 Lexus LS Headlights

All in all, it was a very fun night in San Francisco. My initial impressions of the 2013 LS were extremely positive. While related to the current model, the new LS stands as a major evolutionary change — the exterior now has a multi-faceted, sharpened appearance that bumps up the presence of the vehicle significantly, and the interior adds an additional layer of luxury onto functional & modern design first seen in the GS.

Of course, there’s only so much you can learn about a car at a party, but let’s open it up — any questions about the new LS exterior or interior? Leave a comment and I’ll do my best to find an answer.

Special thanks to Lexus, who arranged my flight and accommodations for this trip.