It’s fair to say that few cars introduced in the last 25 years have had as big an impact on the global automotive landscape as the original Lexus LS 400. This highly refined luxury sedan was just as good as – or better than – the German competition, for a price that was thousands of dollars lower. Legend has it the LS prompted Mercedes-Benz to make changes to the design of the W140 S-Class, delaying its release by a year or so.
However, unlike the big Benz and its various AMG permutations over the years, Lexus has never really done a high performance LS. Yes, you can get an F Sport version of the current LS 460 with sportier suspension and steering tuning and subtle exterior tweaks, but it’s no more powerful than the regular LS 460. That’s rather disappointing, considering the brand makes the wild-child IS F V8 sport sedan and made the astonishing LFA supercar. But parent company Toyota’s European motorsports arm, Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) is at least offering a glimpse at how a hot LS might look – and perform.