Track Tested: 2010 Lexus LS 460 Sport vs. 2009 BMW 750i Sport

Track Tested: 2010 Lexus LS 460 Sport vs. 2009 BMW 750i Sport

2010 Lexus LS 460 Sport vs. 2009 BMW 750i Sport tests hundreds of vehicles a year, but not every vehicle gets a full write-up. The numbers still tell a story, though, so we present "Track Tested." It's a quick rundown of all the data we collected at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

Lexus is offering a Sport package on the 2010 Lexus LS 460, and with a price tag of $6,185 on that option group, there needs to be some substance in it. At first glance, it looks good. You get a retuned suspension with air springs (instead of the coil springs ordinarily standard on the short-wheelbase, rear-drive model) and 19-inch Dunlop summer tires. Behind the Sport package's forged alloy wheels, Brembo six-piston fixed front calipers are visible. Engine tuning doesn't change; the LS 460 Sport has the same 380-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8 as other LS sedans.

Other obvious visual cues associated with the Sport package treatment include the blacked-out grille and extended front spoiler and rocker panels. Inside, you'll find paddle shifters, a heated steering wheels and seats with extra lateral bolstering. Our LS 460 Sport test car also had the Luxury Value Edition ($2,780) and Comfort packages ($2,035).

This all sounds nice, but the real test for any luxury sedan with "Sport" appended to its name is to face the king among kings, the BMW 7 Series. We just so happen to have tested a 2009 BMW 750i with the Sport package (the same car we have in our long-term fleet, actually), so we've published their results side by side. Does the Lexus have what it takes to hang with the Bimmer through the slalom? You'll find out after the jump.

  LS 460 Sport 750i Sport
0 - 30 (sec): 2.6 2.0
0 - 45 (sec): 4.3 3.6
0 - 60 (sec): 6.4 5.2
0 - 75 (sec): 9.1 7.6
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 14.5 @ 98.8 13.5 @ 103.7
0-60 With 1 Foot of Rollout (sec): 6.1 4.9
30 - 0 (ft): 29 28
60 - 0 (ft): 113 112
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.81 0.84
Slalom (mph): 61.7 66.0

Vehicle: 2010 Lexus LS 460 Sport
Odometer: 585
Date: 11/24/09
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Price: $76,915

Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 8-speed automatic
Engine Type: 90-degree V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 4,608/281
Redline (rpm): 6,600
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 380 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 367 lb.-ft. @ 4,100 rpm
Brake Type (front): Ventilated disc with six-piston fixed caliper (part of sport package)
Brake Type (rear): Ventilated disc with two-piston fixed caliper
Steering System: Electric-assist power rack-and-pinion steering
Suspension Type (front): Independent, multilink, air springs (part of Sport package), stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent, multilink, air springs (part of Sport package), stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 245/45R19
Tire Size (rear): 245/45R19
Tire Brand: Dunlop
Tire Model: SP Sport Maxx
Tire Type: Asymmetrical, directional summer tires
Wheel size: 19-by-8 inches
Wheel material (front/rear): Aluminum
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,522

Test Results:
0-30 (sec): 2.6
0-45 (sec): 4.3
0-60 (sec): 6.4
0-75 (sec): 9.1
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 14.5 @ 98.8
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.1
30-0 (ft): 29
60-0 (ft): 118
Braking Rating: Good
Slalom (mph): 62.6 (61.7 stability control on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.80 (0.81 stability control on)
Handling Rating: Good
Db @ Idle: 39.2
Db @ Full Throttle: 65.3
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 58.2

Acceleration Comments: Very little technique to improve acceleration times. Doesn't really respond to brake torque... just wood it and go. "ECT Power" mode does little to improve times, either. Shifts in "D" come at redline. Minimal wheelspin.

Braking Comments: Brake response feels somewhat isolated from pedal input. Distances, however, are respectable for this 4,500-pound machine.

Handling Comments: Skid pad: Remarkable balance and feedback at the limit. You can easily drive with throttle despite low limits and relatively slow responses. Slalom: Surprisingly, turning stability control off actually means "off." Not much to be gained in doing so in slalom, however. Rear loses grip first, and this is a big car to slide at 65 mph.

Vehicle: 2010 BMW 750i Sport
Odometer: 1,702
Date: 3/3/09
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Price: $89,870

Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed automatic
Engine Type: Twin-scroll turbocharged direct-injected 90-degree V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 4,395/268
Redline (rpm): 6,800
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 400 @ 5,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 450 @ 1,800
Brake Type (front): 15.6-inch ventilated disc with 4-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 15.2-inch ventilated disc with 2-piston sliding calipers
Steering System: Speed-proportional, driver-selectable hydraulic-assist rack-and-pinion power steering
Suspension Type (front): Independent, double-wishbone, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent, multilink, coil springs stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 245/45R19 98Y
Tire Size (rear): 275/40R19 101Y
Tire Brand: Goodyear
Tire Model: Excellence
Tire Type: All-season
Wheel size: 19-by-9.5 inches front -- 19-by-11 inches rear
Wheel material (front/rear): Aluminum
Curb Weight As Tested (lb): 4,599

Test Results:
0-30 (sec): 2.0
0-45 (sec): 3.6
0-60 (sec): 5.2
0-75 (sec): 7.6
1/4-mile (sec @ mph): 13.5 @ 103.7
0-60 with 1-ft rollout (sec.): 4.9
30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 112
Braking Rating: Excellent
Slalom (mph): SC Off: 66.0 mph; SC On: 64.4 mph
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): SC Off: 0.84 g; SC On: 0.83 g
Handling Rating: Excellent
Db @ idle: 41.1
Db @ full throttle: 73.6
Db @ 70 mph cruise: 66.7

Acceleration Comments: Smooth, effortless acceleration. Even when trying to launch hard, the 750 eases out of the hole to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. Long gearing with ultra-smooth engine makes acceleration deceptive.

Braking Comments: Turns out even a 4,600-pound BMW stops like a 3 Series. No drama, no fade. Just a solid, consistent pedal every stop.

Handling Comments: On the skid pad, it rotates around the nose on throttle. Impressive balance and communication for a car this large. Stability control has excellent calibration. This car shrinks around its driver in the slalom, and its electronic performance enhancers (powertrain and chassis) actually work despite confusing interface.

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