New Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance set for US – Lexus to re-enter the sporty compact sedan war with its own twist
How does a naturally aspirated v8 with 472 hp sound? Compared to BMWs 420 hp v8 m3, the new IS 500 sounds like a brawler. Although, it won’t do any fighting on European soil.
Wearing the F Sport Performance badge, which sounds as complicated as a surgery tool, the v8, rear wheel drive powered Lexus seems to be a true sports sedan. However, as have been seen from Lexus currently, their focus have gone more towards a refined, yet fast, driving experience. The v8 is a big one of 5.0 L, meaning properly grunty, but a character that may not be as inspiring as a higher comped, smaller displacement alternative.
It weighs 1765 kg, which is similar to the new BMW M3, and combine that with a similar amount of horsepower, there is no question what the competition is. 0-100 km/h is done in 4.5 seconds, which actually seems quite slow, but I think I am starting to miss the point. With more and more cars getting smaller engines with turbocharges, the IS 500 is one of the few giving a soundtrack that is as important as the driving experience. Clinging on to old habits, or giving the true enjoyment of actually enjoying a car? The answer is becoming more blurred as time goes on.
The classic performance upgrades also include Yamaha developed rear dampers and larger brakes with improved cooling. The IS 500 comes as standard with the optional dynamic handling package adds adaptive variable suspension and a limited slip differential.
This is the savior, at least for the very few. The horsepower war and focus on 0-100 km/h and lap times has forced the majority of the performance car industry to become in some ways unambiguous. How do you define driving enjoyment? Driving the fastest car? The car that feels like a race car, or even sounds like a race car? The answers are as many as there are people in the world. Lexus is going their own way and I like it. It is just unfortunate that the IS 500 won´t come to Europe.