Published on February 23rd, 2021 | by Subhash Nair0
Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance: V8-Powered Compact Exec
Lexus take the engine from an LC 500 and plonk it in their smallest sedan to create the IS 500 F Sport.
V8 engines are some of the most beautifully-balanced, best sounding, free-revving powerplants on the planet, but their days are numbered. In fact, most premium car brands have already started to shy away from naturally-aspirated V8s, instead, downsizing capacity and using turbocharging to pick up the slack. We’ve seen this time and time again, and it’s kind of… boring.
Well just like how Lexus showed the luxury world what it was missing when it debuted with the first LS, they’ve now got something special for the world of enthusiasts: the IS 500 F Sport Performance.
The IS 500 F Sport Performance is exactly what it sounds like – the latest IS sedan with a 5-litre V8 under the hood and some F Sport appointments. Let’s go through some of those aspects in greater detail.
The Latest IS model
Lexus gave us a new IS last year. It was somewhere between a full model change and a major facelift, with every panel being reworked, but the fundamental chassis being brought forward with major modifications.
The modifications were made to create a new, distinct Lexus Driving Signature that was more balanced, refined in control and confident. This is carried into the IS 500 model, but with further refinements.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s also worth noting that the new IS also came with the latest advanced driver assist systems. Here’s a summary of the features.
- Lexus Safety System+ 2.5
- Pre-Collision System
- Forward Collision Warning
- Automatic Emergency Braking
- Pedestrian and Bicyclist Detection with improved camera and radar
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
- Lane Tracing Assist
- Intelligent High Beams
- Road Sign Assist
- Multi-information Display
Under the hood of this compact executive lies the same engine that’s found in models like the RC F and LC 500. This 5.0L V8 is naturally-aspirated and produces 472hp at 7100rpm and 536Nm at 4800rpm. Compared to the IS 350 F Sport, the IS 500 F Sport weighs just 65kg more. Given they had to redesign and raise the hood to accommodate this huge motor, that’s not too big a difference in weight.
The engine sends power to the rear wheels via an 8-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic. It has multiple drive modes, including Sport S and Sport S+, the latter of which adjusts the amount of EPS steering assist and damping force. A quad exhaust system with dual-stacked tail pipes helps to bring the best sounds out of the engine.
0-100km/h is dispatched in just 4.5 seconds and the IS 500 F Sport gets about 9.8L/100km on the highway.
The F Sport appointments in here range from the aforementioned quad exhausts, to more aesthetic concerns.
Here they are in brief:
- Standard Adaptive Variable Suspension
- Standard Torsen® limited-slip differential (LSD)
- Yamaha® rear performance damper
- Additional aerodynamic brake cooling
- Larger 14″ two-piece aluminium front brake rotors and 12.7-inch rear rotors
- the hood has been raised nearly 2 inches with sculpted centre character lines
- the front bumper and fenders have been lengthened
- exclusive, lightened 19-inch split-10-spoke Enkei alloy wheels
- revised lower rear diffuser accent
- dark chrome window trim
- black IS F Sport rear lip spoiler
- black F Sport badging on the sides
- black F SPORT Performance badging on steering wheel
- black F SPORT Performance badging on door sill scuff plates
- F SPORT accelerator pedal, brake pedal and footrest
- Unique startup animation on the combination instrument cluster
The last of these appointments heralds something bigger for the Lexus brand. With this new model comes a new ‘F Sport Performance’ line of products. It begins with this IS 500 F Sport Performance and will soon grow to include other Lexus models.