The new Lexus IS-F
By Stu Wright
The high performance Lexus IS-F arrived at my house just before the Fourth of July, and I immediately grabbed it for a trip to Denny’s in Ft. Collins for lunch with my wife. When you fire it up with the push button starter, the big V-8 rumbles to life and reminds you that this is a compact car with Lexus’ biggest V-8 stuffed under the hood. It’s a 5.0-liter, dual overhead cam, 32 valve masterpiece with 416 horsepower. And it’s coupled to an eight speed, sport-direct shift automatic transmission that is as smooth as silk.
When I pulled onto I-25 and stomped on the accelerator, I was somewhat startled at the sound emanating from under the hood. This Lexus V-8 features a dual air intake system that kicks open a secondary inlet (at 3,600 rpm) to give the big engine an extra gulp of air for enhanced acceleration. And what a sound! Plus, the four-tip, low restriction, semi-dual exhaust system really howls, as well. Advertised zero to 60 mph time is under five seconds, and I am willing to take their word for that. Also advertised is a top speed of 170 mph and I am willing to, well, you know….
This particular model was “Obsidian Black” outside with a vermilion and black leather interior. I found myself pretty well surrounded by the front buckets (it has four in the cabin), and lots of adjustments are on hand. “F” logos are stitched in several places on the seating, as well as outside on the car. I think it stands for the Fuji Speedway in Japan, where extensive performance testing of the Lexus IS-F took place. The ride is definitely performance related and if you want a smooth ride in this car, find a smooth road to drive it on. But with the snappy eight-speed automatic and the rowdy V-8, just cruising around is a kick in the pants.
The console and dashboard feature some aluminized composite trim and cool, blue ambient lighting with blue needles. The car I had in my possession featured the $3,925.00 optional hard-drive-based navigation system and Mark Levinson, 14-speaker surround sound stereo system. The navigation screen reveals a color picture of your rear view, and the steering wheel is a handsome two-toned leather (again, vermilion and black) with both radio and transmission controls. Counting the aforementioned stereo, navigation, and freight, the Lexus carried a sticker price of $64,900.00. This is a compact automobile, so interior space comes at a premium for four people. The trunk is smallish, as well, but the IS-F is designed to be a genuine hot-rod for the high-end auto enthusiast. That could be me, so I would certainly love to have one.
After lunch, Ruth and I headed down I-25 to do some shopping at Flatiron Crossing in Broomfield. I found myself hoping for yet another red light along the way so that I could run through the gears on the Lexus. Lots of motorists were admiring the car with it’s 19 inch gray/black alloy wheels, big air vents jutting out from the fenders, and upper and lower mesh grills. The big vents are ostensibly for the purpose of letting hot air get away from the big V-8. On the trunk is a spoiler and in black the car is a particularly attractive mode of transportation. At the end of the day it was a pleasure to rumble into the garage stall.
2010 Lexus IS-F 4-door sedan, rear wheel drive, MSRP – $64,906.00
Wt. 3,780# Length 183.5” WB 107.4” Gas tank 16.9 gal. Turning circle 33.5’
Has Brembo-sourced disc brakes, limited slip differential, and economy
rating of 16 mpg in town and 23 mpg on the highway
Positives include raw power, sporty ride, and head-turning styling.
Negatives include small back seat, sporty ride, and no std. transmission availability.
- Back seat of the IS-F
The exhaust and rear bumper of the Lexus IS-F
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