Rejoice, Lexus fans. The Japanese marque has launched its new F Sport Performance line and the first model under it: The all-new V8-powered IS500 F Sport Performance.
If you’re one of those people who’ve always felt like the IS300 and IS350 needed more oomph, then check this out. The IS500’s naturally aspirated V8 generates 472hp at 7,100rpm and 535Nm of torque at 4,800rpm. That added power should more than make up for the added 65kg of curb weight.
The IS500’s engine is mated to an eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission. It allows selection between the ‘Sport S’ and ‘Sport S+’ drive modes that further enhance performance. The latter adjusts the electronic steering assist and damping force to deliver sportier handling to match the engine settings. A ‘Custom’ mode is also available—this allows multiple combinations for powertrain, chassis, and A/C settings.
With this setup, the IS500 can do 0-100mph (97kph) in 4.5sec. Fuel economy isn’t too shabby, either, as Lexus says the sedan can do about 10km/L on the highway.
The IS500 also gets a few design tweaks inside and out. There are black F Sport Performance badges on the sides and inside the cabin to distinguish it from the F models. The exclusive 19-inch split-10-spoke Enkei alloy wheels also come as standard.
There are also a host of added features available. There’s the updated Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 available, and this includes safety and driver-assist tech like a pre-collision system, automatic emergency braking, and all-speed dynamic radar cruise control.
There was a five-month interval between the new IS’s global debut and its official arrival here in the Philippines. So, does that mean we could be seeing the IS 500 F Sport Performance launched here in, say, July? Unfortunately, no.
Lexus says this sedan is “truly special exclusively for the North American market,” so it’s best if we don’t keep our hopes up. It would be a treat if Lexus Philippines made it happen and brought this V8-powered IS here, though, don’t you think?