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SPORTING LARGE

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Mon, Mar 15, 2010

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

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By Harold Osmer I sure do like driving a big sedan. Generally speaking, big sedans have room enough for four full-sized people, engine torque enough to scoot the additional weight, and are quiet enough for pleasant conversation at road speed. Lexus sedans fit this description well and the top-of-the-line 2010 LS460 is their headliner. Ours came in a classic dark metalflake color, declaring with stunning clarity that this is a serious sedan. The Sport Package boasts exterior trim and grille treatments, 19-inch alloy wheels, sport front seats, sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, and black/saddle interior trim. “Sport” is the recurring word here and Lexus engineers have added the Sport option for 2010 to attract buyers looking for a large sedan with some life to it.

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Along with the visible goodies, the Lexus LS460 Sport option ($2035) includes a Brembo® six-piston aluminum caliper system gripping 14.8-inch cross-drilled rotors in the front with two-piston calipers matched to 13.1-inch cross-drilled rotors on the rear. ABS, ventilation, and Electronically Controlled Braking are standard. The combined system works very well. Nothing inspires driver confidence more than knowing a car will stop on command. One compromise on large sedans is a lack of road feel and overly soft suspension. The LS460 Sport suffers no such malady. Body lean and feedback issues are addressed with a stiffer shock and spring package than the standard sedan. A console-mounted switch allows drivers to select suspension settings between Sport, Standard, and Comfort modes. Differences between the settings are quick and noticeable. I am not a fan of all-electronic controls in cars. Old fashioned? Perhaps. But I felt that the LS460’s systems were second guessing me at various times. Early braking, delayed acceleration, and traction control warning signals kept cropping up. After awhile it became a game (let’s see how long I can keep the yellow light on!). Mere half-seconds seemed much longer in certain conditions. The LS460 remained stable and controllable at all times and Lexus owners tell me they prefer the onboard systems handling some decisions. Fair enough.

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On the power front, Lexus LS460’s 4.6 liter V8 delivers an adequate 380 horsepower with 367 lb-ft of torque. Transferred to the rear wheels via an electronically controlled 8-speed transmission, the Lexus LS460 gets from 0-60 MPH in a respectable 5.4 seconds. You can shift manually via the paddle shifters or on the stick, but after a turn or two with the Lexus system, why bother? Eight gears provide maximum flexibility for power application under a host of driver inputs (more/less torque, more/less fuel economy, etc.). Speaking of engine management systems, Lexus employs variable valve timing and electronic intake valve timing to optimize valve timing over the rpm range. Results are higher power, more efficiency, and cleaner operation over more conditions. EPA rated as 16/24 MPG, our test car produced 17.2 MPG during our flogging/testing. The Lexus LS460 Sport is smooth, responsive, and comfortable. The LS460 Sport is a solid choice for a person in need of a large sedan with some spirit. For more information about Lexus products, go to lexus.com

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SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2010 Lexus LS460 Sport Price: Base $64,680, as tested $76,915 options include: Luxury Value Edition ($2,780); Sport Package ($6,185); Comfort Package ($2,035) EPA mileage estimates City/ Highway: 16/24 Engine type: 4.6L V8 4 Cam 32-valve, Electronically Controlled Intake Valves Timing Horsepower: [email protected] rpm Torque: 367 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm Performance: 0-60 mph 5.4 seconds top speed 130 mph (electronically limited) Drive configuration: Front engine / rear wheel drive Transmission type: 8-speed Sequential-shift Automatic, Electronically Controlled Transmission Suspension: * Sport-tuned, height-adjustable Adaptive Variable Air Suspension(AVS) with electronically modulated damping Wheels and tires: 19 x 8” 10-spoke alloy wheels 235/50 VR18 All-season - Full sized spare Brakes: Four-wheel power-assisted disc brakes with Electonic Controlled Braking (ECB), four-sensor, four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist Front Brembo® 13.1-inch Vented Disc Rear Brembo 12.3-inch Vented Disc Overall length/wheelbase: 199.2 inches/116.9 inches Overall width: 73.8 inches Overall height: 58.1 inches 4 Year/50,000 mile Bumper to Bumper 6 Year/70,000 mile Powertrain 6 Year, unlimited mileage corrosion perforation

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