Lexus IS-F--D&M Motorsports Test Drive Review with Chris Moran
A sweet IS-F, amplified by Magnaflow Exhaust...what an awesome car! Presented by D&M Motorsports, hosted by Chris Moran
Why the letter "F" in the new V-8-powered, 416-horsepower Lexus IS F? Simple: Toyota's luxury brand and the letter F have a long history. In the mid-1980s, the Lexus luxury division was then just a classified notepad document codenamed "Circle F." The first Lexus LS400 of 1989 was known internally as the "F1" or "Flagship." And the stylized Fs on the 2008 IS F are drawn, it's said, to mimic a few hairpin turns of Toyota's Higashi-Fuji test track.
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This first F (there'll be more Lexus models with the F treatment soon, most likely) is a V-8-powered sledgehammer that rockets to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds—fleeter by 0.1 second than the new M3—has a 172-mph speed governor, and generates 0.92 g on the skidpad. It also keeps us grinning through hard track laps, even though the frequent fill-ups of premium were inhaled by street driving at the rate of 16 mpg. We'll have to wait until March, 2008, when the IS F goes on sale at an expected price around $59,000 to see how many buyers are interested in a wicked-performing Lexus.
Developed in cooperation with Yamaha, the IS F's engine, or the 2UR-GSE as Toyota calls the 416-hp variant of the 389-hp 5.0-liter V-8 found in the LS600h hybrid, sans hybrid gear, is peakier, actually losing 17 pound-feet of torque on the operating table as the changes pushed the horsepower and torque peak higher up the revs. Solid lifters and titanium intake valves with 10 percent more lift reside in new higher-flow cylinder heads. At full throttle above 3400 rpm, a barn door in the box snaps open with vacuum released from a small reservoir, and the unleashed induction noise is raw and thrilling.
Polished paddles put your fingers in charge when you wish it. And they'll be busy, the swift-revving engine and ratio-stuffed, eight-speed automatic gearbox bringing forth the redline cutoff with annoying frequency. With all that engine fettling, the warning beep reminding you to upshift at 6400 rpm and the cut-out at 6800 rpm feel a bit low. The new 414-hp BMW M3's engine screams all the way to 8400 rpm.
Despite the bling of braided-aluminum trim on the doors and shifter console, temperance rules indoors. Blue-lit gauges and blue seat stitching, alloy pedals, a digital gear-position display, and the subtle F logo on the wheel are the differentiators that drivers see. The base car's rear bench is divided in the IS F into two non-folding buckets with a ski pass-through.
At leisure speeds, the air is hushed, Lexus-like, with just a distant snort from the engine and the extra thrum of the fat summer Michelins disturbing the peace. Given the low profile of the rubber mounted to the 19-inch forged aluminum rims, the ride is tightly controlled but commendably mellow. The ride-and-handling balance is perhaps the IS F's biggest achievement. It makes allowances for road fissures and drops the body into holes with cushioned lurches.
It also permits the 3800-pound car some restrained roll through the esses but not enough to wither confidence. The IS F's steering rack accurately puts tires where they're needed and provides talk-back, albeit faint, on how things are holding. And hold they do, with excellent grip.
The all-important sport button also perks up throttle response and relaxes the stability-control system to allow some controlled tail-out action. Lexus also allows you to shut the system completely off, but the shutdown can only be called for while at full stop. Brembo-sourced front calipers on broad cross-drilled rotors deliver solid braking but with a soft pedal.
The muted interior, the slightly watery controls, the heavy price tag; the IS F is at core a Lexus with extra muscle, not as raw as the BMW M3 or Mercedes C63 AMG. The next steps for F may decide if the performance sub-brand thrives or is only a brief experiment
2014 Lexus IS Review and Track Test (IS 250, IS 350 and F-Sport models)
Every car company hates the BMW 3-Series. It's always the benchmark, always the sales champion, always the golden boy. BMW shifted nearly 100,000 3-Series models in America last year and they did so not by being "the best" luxury sedan, but by pandering to the shopping public's desires. Buyers have shown they want a comfy ride with a luxury logo on the front, they want good fuel economy and they want to hear journalists say how well the car handles on a track. The average buyer will never be on a track, but it's critical to know your car belongs there. The old IS was a good car on the track, but its demure looks sold more on Lexus' reliability and dealer reputation than the car's track diaries. As we know from Volvo and Lexus' sales numbers in this segment, two things don't move metal: reliability and safety. For 2014 Lexus went back to the drawing board completely redesigning the IS sedan to be their most dynamic sedan ever. Does it have what it takes to take on the Germans and Infiniti's new Q50? Join us as we head to Austin to look at the all-new 2014 Lexus IS 250, Lexus IS 350, Lexus IS 250 F-Sport and Lexus IS 350 F-Sport.
Music by Kevin MacLeod
Lexus IS-F 1/4 Mile Drag Race- Sept. 2011
1/4 Mile Drag Race at Bristol Motor Speedway in my 2008 Lexus IS-F. Modifications include DIY stock muffler delete pipes and 18" M/T drag radials on Lexus IS 250 wheels.
2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport at MIS (Evaluation Course) - WINDING ROAD POV Test Drive
Lexus brings the new IS to Michigan International Speedway and we take you for a ride around the evaluation course in the new 2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport.
Read our thoughts on the 2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport here: http://www.windingroad.com/articles/reviews/driven-2014-lexus-is350-f-sport/
Watch our POV Test Drive on the 2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport here: http://youtu.be/1P0niN45XT8
For the best video experience, we recommend wearing a good set of headphones. The audio in this video was recorded with binaural microphones that, when played back through headphones, give the feel of 3D sound. Trick stuff.
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WINDING ROAD RACING is here, carrying the gear you need to go faster.
Lexus IS-F with Nitrous - Drag strip
2008 Lexus IS-F with Nitrous - Drag strip
Stock rims and tires (Pilot Sport PS2); spare in car. JIC Magic Coilovers w/ ~2 inch drop. Jet Black Motorsports Custom NOS install
No original sound due to obnoxious commentary from the peanut gallery.
Drag Race: 2012 Lexus LFA vs 2010 Nissan GT-R
We pit Lexus' first-ever supercar -- the $400,000 Lexus LFA -- against our long-term Nissan GT-R to find out which one is the king of the JDMs.
Read the full story here: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/1008_2012_lexus_lfa_2010_nissan_gtr_comparison/index.html
Shot by: Jim Gleason
Edited by: Jim Gleason
Acura Legend Turbo vs. Lexus IS-F
I own both cars. I am piloting the Legend, struggling to keep traction, while my friend did his best to run the ISF he's never raced before today. Best time for each cars are a 12.1@124 (Legend) 12.2@117 (ISF)