Updated: Jun 4, 2022
The spiritual successor to the Lexus IS-F has returned with the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance. Lexus has shoehorned the 2UR-GSE V8 found in the original IS-F, RC-F, LC500, and recently departed GS-F into the engine bay of the newly restyled IS model that fights off rumors of the demise of all sport sedans. Generating 472 horsepower and 395 lb.-ft. of torque, the naturally aspirated power plant delivers in both performance and sound as the rumble from the dual stacked exhaust tips have become a cult favorite amongst car enthusiasts. Although gaining 143lbs in the upgrade to two extra cylinders, the recently redesigned sedan will surely move it's 3,891lbs faster than the reported 4.5 seconds to 60 MPH, with other performance stats to prove it is a serious driver's car.
What would an upgrade under the hood be without some supporting aesthetic features to differentiate the standard IS lineup with the range topping IS 500 F Sport Performance? The quad exhaust tips were already mentioned but upfront it's evident that space was made between the shock towers as an aggressive bulge raises the hood 2 inches to match the widened bumpers and fenders. All around the IS 500 F Sport Performance features dark chrome accents and black badging to set itself apart from your standard F Sport model, but what really shines are the new 19 inch 10 spoke Enkei wheels designed specifically for this model. The Enkei wheels not only add to the outstanding looks of the V8 IS, but they also shave a pound at each front corner and two pounds at each corner in the rear to save some unsprung weight.
The updated looks carry over inside the cockpit as well, while we already know how beautiful the setup is in the just revised IS F Sport, the IS 500 F Sport Performance kicks it up just a tiny bit with a black F Sport badge on the steering wheel and door sill scuff plates. In the footwell you'll also find the standard F Sport pedals on the accelerator, brake, and footrest. Finally, the cluster receives a specific startup animation as the V8 roars to life before it sets out to perform at its best.
The latest IS lineup revealed what Lexus is calling their "Driving Signature", a series of engineering initiatives to create a more confident, balanced, and better handling sedan compared to the past and the current competition. Looking to connect the driver to the vehicle, the IS500 F Sport Performance comes standard with Dynamic Handling Package which is an option on other models. The Dynamic Handling Package becoming a standard feature means that Adaptive Variable Suspension and a Torsen Limited Slip Differential supports the increased power output to keep pace with the road ahead. Yamaha has also lent a hand to the latest and greatest IS, they will provide a rear performance damper which reduces structural distortion under high load, increased comfort at low speeds and over bumpy roads, and stability at high speeds. Braking has also been upgraded, 14 inch two piece aluminum rotors can be found up front while 12.7 inch rear rotors come standard, making for better brake cooling ability which is important in any car with sporting intentions. A plethora of safety features will also come standard as they do on other IS model with the Lexus Safety System +2.5, this will keep both occupants, other drivers, and pedestrians safer than ever before with smart technology.
Expect sales to start later this year in the Fall as this North America exclusive is sure to impress both the press and fans of fun cars alike. Lexus has taken a serious stand on delivering performance along with luxury, comfort, and a relatively affordable price compared to the competition. Let's see how well this just announced car does against it's rivals!
(Photos Courtesy of Lexus)