Lexus IS F (2008–2012)

Model History

April 2008

Lexus IS F was launched in the UK

It's powered by a performance tuned 5.0-litre V8 engine. Featuring specially engineered heads fed by a two-stage intake system, it produces 400+ horsepower and more than 500Nm of torque. The IS F engine is mated to the world's first eight-speed automatic gearbox. A new torque-converter lock-up control was developed that allows for impressive acceleration and a direct, crisp gear change through the constant lock-up of the torque converter except in first gear. A 0-60mph time in less than 4.9 seconds is predicted.

In Drive mode, the IS F transmission performs with typical Lexus smoothness, but this unique transmission also features an advanced Manual mode operated via a pair of paddles located within a fingertip's reach behind the steering wheel. These enable the driver to make ultra-fast up-shifts within a tenth of a second. Downshifts are accompanied by automated and incredibly precise throttle blips to match engine RPM to vehicle speed.

The attention to performance extends to a modified suspension that lowers the entire car by an inch when compared to IS models equipped with 18-inch wheels. This specially modified suspension allows for an enthusiastic driving sensation. The IS-F also 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 gives the driver unassisted control to enjoy the IS-F to its ultimate level of handling performance.

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 wings with highly distinctive vents behind the front wheel, as well as a larger grille and rear spoiler. Both the bonnet and lower air intake were enlarged to accommodate and cool the V8 engine.

March 2010

Upgraded Lexus IS F gets a new limited slip differential. Fitted as standard, it gives the IS F significantly better traction and stability in high-speed cornering. The Torsen unit is robust enough to handle the 505Nm delivered by the IS F's 5.0-litre V8 engine, automatically directing drive torque to the rear wheel with the most grip. Out-and-out performance is unchanged, with the IS F capable of nought to 62mph acceleration in 4.8 seconds and a top speed (electronically limited) of 168mph.

In keeping with Lexus reputation for effective use of advanced technologies, the IS F is fitted with a new satellite navigation system, powered by a 40GB hard disc drive (HDD). It is one of the fastest-responding and most accurate guidance systems on the market, giving full-map coverage across Europe, with automatic links to local traffic information data to ensure efficient route planning. The HDD also provides an on-board "sound library" function, with 10GB of disc space available for owners to store tracks from CD - space enough for around 2,000 songs.

The IS F can be ordered with a new white leather interior in place of the standard black finish and with new mesh-design 19-inch alloy wheels instead of the standard 10-spoke design. Both are no-cost options.

September 2010

The IS F was revised for 2011 with some minor changes. The principal difference is that the 417bhp 5.0-litre V8 engine has been brought in line with Euro 5 emissions standards, a task accomplished without impacting on its performance. The IS F, equipped with an eight-speed Sport Direct Shift (SPDS) automatic transmission, maintains its 0 to 62mph acceleration time of 4.8 seconds and 168mph (electronically limited) top speed while CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are unaffected.

For 2010 the car's handling and stability were enhanced with the addition of a limited slip differential and in the latest raft of engineering adjustments, the front and rear coil springs and shock absorbers have been revised to improve ride comfort. The rear suspension geometry has also been tweaked to gain greater stability under higher loads when accelerating, braking and cornering. The result is all-round advances in damping control, cornering stability and steering response.

The IS F's high intensity discharge (HID) headlights are now paired with new LED daytime running lights, configured to echo Lexus's signature arrowhead styling motif. In the cabin the instrument binnacle has been redesigned, placing the tachometer and gear shift indicator in the centre of the display. New dark silver carbon fibre-style trim details have also been added. The 2011 IS F is on sale at £57,105 on the road.

What does a Lexus IS F (2008 – 2012) cost?