Lexus planning to take on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with a sporty LS460

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

In a move that many say Lexus should have done earlier is its introduction of its first sport package on the LS 460. The sport package is intended to rival the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The flagship LS, redesigned for the 2007 model year, had been getting quite old and Lexus wants to attract the younger BMW and Mercedes-Benz owners.

The sport package, which is available only on the base rear-drive 2010 model, costs $71,755, including shipping, a $6,200 premium over the $65,555 base price. In addition, the LS 460 will be the only Lexus with paddle shifters.

Its other features include a heated leather steering wheel, 19-inch wheels and summer tires, front Brembo brakes, sport-tuned air suspension, a lower body kit with sport grille and sport seats. The sport trim actually has the same 4.6-liter, 380-hp engine, but to give it a throatier sound, its software on the eight-speed automatic has been tweaked like that of the IS-F sports sedan.

Ben Mitchell, corporate product planning manager for Lexus, said that the company wants to "get some European conquests -- particularly the S class."

The typical LS owner is said to be aged near 60. With these modifications, Lexus hopes to attract those in the upper 40s to low 50s. The 5.5-liter engine under the hood of the Mercedes S550 generates an output of 382 hp.. It sells for $92,475, including shipping. Through October, LS sales were down 53 percent to 8,192 units while S-class sales totaled 8,920, a 43 percent drop. [via autonews]

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