Lexus has finally revealed the secret V8 car it is working on. However, this time it is not called ISF. It was completely new in 2022 and is now called the IS 500 F Sport.
There’s a problem with that name, but I’ll explain it a little later. But if you can believe the specs, it will certainly be a performer.
Coming this fall, the IS500 will not use turbos or superchargers like other car makers. Everything is natural in Lexus. The naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 produces 472 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque. Please note that this is the same V8 that the RC F and LC Coupe are obliged to do.
That power is delivered to the rear wheels via the same 8-speed automatic that is found on basic IS models. But don’t worry, it’s tuned for performance. Lexus claims 0-60 hours in 4.5 seconds. It gets 24mpg on the highway.
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The changes below it are a bit more advanced and are shared with IS350 F Sport components such as limited slip differentials and adaptive dampers. These are combined with standard dynamic handling packages that make this fun on winding roads. That strange, but you would think Lexus would have worked harder on engineering model-specific performance merchandise for the IS500 instead of sharing them with more basic models. The only performance-enhancing parts that look like exclusive to the IS500 are its large brakes (14-inch front, 12.7-inch rear) and 19-inch Enkei wheels. Lexus says these wheels are lighter than those of the 350F Sport.
Image: Lexus Image: Lexus
It’s easy to see the difference between the outer IS500 and IS350. The inflated hood, Enkei wheels, rear spoiler and diffuser are model-specific. And nodding in the past, Lexus returned the ISFs quad exhaust. But I still don’t know if they are actually connected to something.
Internally, the difference is subtle. The IS500 features a digital instrument cluster, reinforced sports seats, aluminum pedals and a steering wheel with a small F-sport badge. There are no special trims, contrasting stitches or anything else special. Just looking at the interior doesn’t tell you that this is a performance model.The price has not been announced yet
It’s a welcome addition, but it’s a problem with both the name and the F brand, especially with the V8. This model consolidates that F as a stand-alone performance brand is not really Lexus’s. F was born as a performance answer to M, AMG and more. Except that nothing is worth mentioning.
The IS F became a hot topic and then disappeared. The RCF was an outdated performer (not very performer at the time of his debut), and the GSF was almost forgotten. Since then, the brand has been an all-show no-go trim on all Lexus line models.
This new name for IS means that there is a standard IS500 and this model is the F Sport version of that model. If F doesn’t matter, Lexus should come out and say that. Otherwise, this IS500 should be interesting. In particular, it could be one of the last new V8 models before heading into the future of EVs.
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