Detroit Auto Show: Lexus IS-F

And the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Lexus finally joins in on the super-fast luxury compact sedan craze that began with the German trio (BMW M3, Audi RS4 and Mercedes C-Class AMG) followed by the American loner, the Cadillac CTS-V. Dubbed IS-F, Lexus’s sport sedan wears a 400 Hp+ 5.0-litre V8 engine with power transmitted to the rear wheels via an eight-speed “direct sport-shift transmission”. Lexus claims that the IS-F can go from 0 to 60 mph in under 4.9 seconds. Not bad at all. If only its designers had avoided those “Pimp my Ride” exterior elements like the side air-vents and the “hunchback” styled hood…-Continued: Click “Read More…” below to see the official press release and a high-res gallery

PRESS RELEASE: Much of the development of the new IS-F took place at Fuji Speedway and the Higashi-Fuji Technical Center in Japan. The IS-F is based on the proven rear-wheel-drive Lexus IS, which is equipped with a double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension. As well as the IS performs, Lexus engineers demanded much more of the all-new IS-F. The result is a performance tuned 5.0-liter V8 engine, topped with specially engineered heads fed by a two-stage intake system, that produces 400-plus horsepower and more than 350 ft.-lbs. of torque. The all-new IS-F is equipped with engine-oil and transmission-fluid coolers for high-speed performance and a cylinder head-scavenging oil pump for high g-force driving.

The IS-F engine is mated to the world’s first eight-speed direct sport-shift transmission. A new torque-converter lock-up control was developed that allows for a direct, crisp gear change through the constant lock-up of the torque converter in second through eighth gears. In Drive mode, the IS-F transmission performs with great smoothness, and the torque converter allows for great launch ability for fast standing-start acceleration that will register a zero-to-60 time in less than 4.9 seconds.

This unique transmission also features an advanced Manual mode. A pair of paddles located within a fingertip’s reach behind the steering wheel enables the driver to make ultra-fast up-shift gear changes within a tenth of a second. Downshifts are accompanied by automated and incredibly precise throttle blips to match engine RPM to vehicle speed. The impressive acceleration achieved by the IS-F requires it be equipped with heavy-duty Brembo brakes designed to the specifications of the Lexus engineering team. Huge, 14.2-inch cross-drilled front discs are gripped by rigid, powerful six-piston aluminum calipers, while 13.6-inch rear cross-drilled discs feature two-piston calipers. High-friction brake pads are equipped on all four wheels. The brakes are finished with the Lexus name displayed on the calipers, a first for a Lexus production vehicle.

The IS-F features custom-designed 19-inch forged alloy wheels as standard. The wheels were built to Lexus specifications by BBS and are surrounded by high-performance sport tires. The attention to performance also extends to a modified suspension that lowers the entire car by more than a half-inch when compared to the base IS, and one full inch when compared to IS models equipped with 18-inch wheels. This specially modified suspension allows for an exciting and energetic drive, whether on a race track or the streets.

The IS-F features an all-new three-mode version of Lexus’ Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system. In addition to the Normal mode, the new VDIM features a Sport mode that allows the driver to push the car even further before its braking-, throttle- and steering-control systems kick in. The third VDIM system mode is Off, which allows the driver to push the IS-F to its ultimate level of handling performance.

The attention to performance is complemented by modified styling cues that differentiate the IS-F from the standard IS. Lexus engineers provided the IS-F with a dual-exhaust system and quad-tail pipes, wider front fenders, and a larger grille and rear spoiler. Both the hood and lower intake were enlarged to accommodate and cool the V8 engine.

Like the exterior, the interior of the IS-F receives unique styling with aluminized composite trim and special surface treatments. The instrument panel includes an oil-temperature gauge and shift indicator-lights, while the “F” logo is showcased on the steering wheel and rear-center console. In addition to the usual Lexus standards of comfort and convenience, the interior of the IS-F features specially shaped and trimmed seats, which hold the driver comfortably and securely in place. The special sport seats are available in black or a unique high-contrast white and black trim.

Lexus IS-F Preliminary Specifications

  • Powertrain
  • Engine: 5.0 Liter V8
  • Estimated Horsepower: More than 400
  • Estimated Torque: More than 350 lb.-ft.
  • Transmission: Eight-speed direct paddle sport shift gear box
  • Brakes
  • Large diameter cross-drilled discs
  • Front/Rear: 14.2 inches/13.6 inches
  • Opposed aluminum calipers
  • Front/Rear: Six piston/two piston
  • Wheels
  • Forged aluminum wheels
  • Front: 225/40R19 (19 x8)
  • Rear: 255/35R19 (19 x 9)
  • Performance
  • 0-60 MPH Acceleration: Under 4.9 seconds
  • Dimensions (inches)
  • Overall Length: 183.5
  • Overall Width: 71.5
  • Overall Height: 55.5
  • Wheelbase: 107.5

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