By Arv Voss, Motor Matters

The redesigned 2013 Lexus LS sedan has over 3,000 improved parts and 15 all-new Lexus firsts, including the first ever LS F-Sport.

Lexus 2013 LS Series includes an offering of seven models: LS 460 in RWD and AWD; an extended wheelbase model, the LS 460 L, also in RWD or AWD configuration; there're also RWD and AWD models of the LS 460 F-Sport, and finally, the LS 600h L Hybrid, offered in long wheelbase and AWD only. 2013 pricing is estimated to start at $77,000.

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During the global launch of the 2013 Lexus LS 460 series, I was able to experience both the regular and long wheelbase versions as well as RWD and AWD models, an F-Sport model and finished off by testing the Lexus LS 600h Hybrid.

The driving performance capability has evolved considerably and is more refined with improved control, vehicle stability, ride comfort and quietness -- thanks to increased chassis rigidity and aerodynamic tuning. A new Drive Mode Select makes it easy to choose the desired chassis mode. Advanced safety technology comes in the form of available Advanced Pre-Collision System, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and improved Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Alert.

The LS 460 is built on a platform that delivers a pleasing, but delicate balance between ride comfort and responsive handling characteristics. The luxury sedan adapts readily to uneven road surfaces, thanks to an adaptable multi-link suspension system both fore and aft. The sumptuous sedan is loaded with both active and passive safety technologies that function as one entity, resulting in a more intelligent and protective vehicle.

Its ride height is reduced by 10mm, lowering the center of gravity. Both the front and rear bumpers serve up exclusive styling with the lower front bumper opening enlarged for enhanced cooling, and the grille sports a mesh pattern bordered by exclusive round LED fog lamps.

Power for the stately new LS 460 sedan series is provided by a 4.6-liter V-8 engine that is mated to an electronically controlled automatic eight-speed transmission. The high output engine now develops 386 horsepower (6-hp more over previous model) while generating 367 lb.-ft. of torque. The LS 460 is capable of traveling from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds with a top speed of 130 mph. Acceleration is not necessarily blistering, but is certainly satisfying in most driving scenarios.

There's a bold new exterior design that leads off with Lexus' signature spindle grille and an updated interior that serves up a bold new dashboard with specific trim accents, along with new LED lighting, Remote Touch Interface and a 12.3-inch multimedia display screen capable of presenting up to three informational displays simultaneously.

The full-size sedan displays complex lines and surface treatments, while exhibiting a greater prominence and increased athleticism. The spindle grille is flanked by side intakes with integrated fog lamps, more prominent fenders and topped by a restyled hood featuring a center bulge and emphasized side creases.

The interior fit and finish are superb and trim accents are available in Walnut, Matte finish Ashburl, aluminum (exclusive to F-Sport), Bamboo and Shimamoku (Japanese for striped wood). The analog clock comes with a GPS function and never has to be reset. A remote touch interface is used to select and program vehicle functions. There are a staggering number of available options for individual personalization of one's LS 460.

High-tech connectivity is courtesy of Lexus Enform, factory-ready for a variety of innovative SiriusXM services. The 2013 Lexus LS 460 series offers highly desirable luxury craft, along with numerous standard features that provide unparalleled comfort. All models are actually reasonably priced if one happens to fall into the higher earnings category.

2013 LEXUS LS 460

VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 5-passenger RWD full-size sedan

BASE PRICE____________________ TBA (Estimated: $77,000)

MOTOR TYPE___________________ 32-valve DOHC V-8 w/SFI

DISPLACEMENT_________________ 4.6-liter

HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 386 at 6400 rpm

TORQUE (lb.-ft.)________________ 367 at 4100 rpm

TRANSMISSION_________________ 8-speed automatic

OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 200.0 in.

TURNING CIRCLE (curb-to-curb) __36 ft.

CURB WEIGHT__________________ 4,365 lbs.

FUEL CAPACITY_________________ 22.2 gal.

EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 16 mpg city, 24 mpg highway

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