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The idea that muscle cars are a uniquely American creation is a whole lot of automotive chauvinism. Taking a nice car, cramming a big honking engine under the hood, and not changing much else before sending it off to the amusement of the masses is an idea almost as old as the car itself.
And the latest muscle car doesn't come from Detroit or Germany, but from Japan. meet themLexus IS 500 F 2022 Sporty performance, just what you wouldn't expect from Toyota's luxury brand. see sinceLexusdiscontinued the IS F, fans demanded a revival of the first F car. Lexus gave us the face of the PredatorRC Fand the late GS F over the next few years, but what people really wanted, a new IS F, never came. And it's still not there, at least in name. Instead, the first V8 engineANDin almost a decadeis called F Sport PerformanceAnd it's more of a muscle car than a sports sedan.
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|quick stats||Lexus IS 500 F 2022 Sporty performance|
|Motor:||5,0 Liter V8|
|Exit:||472 hp / 395 pound-feet|
|0-60 MPH:||4.4 seconds|
|Maximum speed:||165 MPH (bisher)|
|$56,500 + $1,075 destination|
|Price as tested:||62.075 $|
The F Sport Performance marks Lexus' entry into the realm of performance hierarchies, serving as a competitor for both the Audi S and Mercedes-AMG's 53-series models - the full F vehicles will supersede the RS and AMG 63. But where are there big leaps in performance between aA4 Line S, likeS4, It is aRS4, the first F Sport performance car is just an incremental improvement in terms of performance over a standard F Sport, focusing entirely on straight-line speed and making little to no improvement in terms of handling or aesthetics. At the same time, this sports sedan is almost as fast as the Lexus RC F coupe. The result is a car with a very bewildering personality.
At the heart is another new member of Lexus' nice 5.0-liter V8 family. A direct descendant of the engine in the original IS F, the V8 in the new IS 500 delivers the same power as the RC F coupe — 472 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque, which is 161 hp and 115 lb-ft more than the original IS F She. can be found in an IS 350 F Sport. Consequently, straight-line speed improvements are dramatic, with Lexus leading a 4.4-second sprint to the 60, just two-tenths the RC Fs and 1.3 seconds faster than the IS 350.
The straight-line speed improvements are dramatic, with Lexus leading a 4.4-second sprint to 60 km/h.
When you pedal the IS 500, you'll wonder why bother with the $67,000 RC F. an urge to rev straight to the 7,300-rpm redline. Peak power occurs 200 rpm before that magic number, while peak torque hits 4,800 rpm.
You'll have to crank up the injectors on this engine to get it going, but the straight-line performance is exhilarating when the 5.0-litre is gathering steam. Maintaining revs in a car is always fun, but driving the IS 500 fast requires it. Throttle response in the most aggressive riding mode is excellent, with predictable cornering and a quick, assertive attitude on break-in.
Save more than $3.400on average outside the RRP* in a new oneLexus IS
The powertrain is very similar to the RC F (der, duh), but the IS is better in a few key respects. Lexus channels false engine noise into the IS 500's cabin, but realizing that less is more in this application, the Japanese brand has seemingly turned the volume down to the loudest setting compared to the last RC F we drove. The boost threshold is also less noticeable, so where the RC F's soundtrack dips at precise engine rpm, the IS 500's gig seems less based on rpm and more on throttle position.
And what is that noise. While the IS 500 lacks the visceral cortex of theLC-Grand-Tourer(which also uses a 5.0-litre version of the V8), particularly on full-throttle upshifts or mixed downshifts, the sound from under the hood and out the four tailpipes is the classic high-revving V8, with a rich timbre and height. Tunnels will become your new best friends in this car.
The powertrain is very similar to the RC F (der, duh), but the IS is better in a few key respects.
Credit also goes to the RC F's eight-speed automatic. It's smart in everyday traffic and able to find the right gear with little hunting, while the computers also seem aware of the limited torque and are always ready for a one or two lowering gears to go higher .the rotations.
Manual mode is fun and the steering wheel paddle shifters are the right size and shape, but the 8AT lacks the liveliness of the LC's 10-speed automatic and feels just average next to the BMW M340i's or Mercedes' eight-speed automatic. Benz AMG C43. nine-speed gearbox. Too often for a performance V8 sedan we leave the car in fully automatic mode and let the computers take care of things.
But beyond the powertrain, the purpose of the F Sport Performance badge is difficult to understand. Aside from the 5.0-liter V8, the IS 500 is almost different from a regular IS 350. You get a Yamaha-sourced rear shock to reduce structural flex, slightly larger brake discs (14.0 in front / 12.7 inches rear vs. 13.2 inches front / 11.7 inches rear) for cornering with the extra ponies and a host of minor aerodynamic and aesthetic tweaks, none of which are important enough to detract from the overall driving experience.
Instead, you'll still find the same adaptive dampers, Torsen limited-slip differential, and staggered Bridgestone Potenza S001 tires sold on the IS 350 F Sport. While the IS 500's cornering ability is crisp and enjoyable with well-controlled body movements, it also feels like an IS 350 behind the wheel. It also suffers from that car's ailments, namely the overactive steering rack, which requires annoying little corrections at motorway speeds.
Inside the cabin, IS 350 owners will recognize the nice, supportive seats, as well as the steering wheel, paddle shifters, pedal covers and pretty much everything else. It's a good thing, but not what we expect given what a Mercedes C43 brings to a standard.C300.
live in a vacuum
When you start comparing the IS 500 to the competition, as we just did, the problems really start to show. Not because of the powertrain, of course. On paper, this is the most powerful vehicle in its class, surpassing its main competitors - the Mercedes-AMG C43,BMW M340i, and Audi S4 – between 87 and 123 hp. The Lexus also tops the C43's 384 lb-ft of torque with a best-in-class 395 lb-ft. But that power advantage never appears on the timer. With 4.4 seconds to 60 km/h, the IS 500 follows on from the BMW M340i and Audi S4 and is only a tenth ahead of the C43.
The bigger problem, from our point of view, is how the Germans feel in the corners, both in terms of IS and its basic models. The ultimate handling capability of a C43 or M340i goes far beyond that of an AMG-badged C300 or a 330i M-Sport. And the same hot Germans offer a more exciting cornering experience than the IS 350 F Sport or our IS 500 F Sport Performance.
Had Lexus focused on massaging the suspension to improve the use of the regular IS 350, the IS 500 would have been a much more exciting and compelling car. But by the looks of it, the transport suspension is the main contributor to that feel, like little more than an IS with a V8, rather than what the F Sport Performance name is meant to represent.
Keeping that unchanged suspension in mind is also the main reason we're struggling with the IS 500's price, which starts at $57,575 (including a $1,075 target charge). If you select the premium trim, which adds navigation, a Mark Levinson audio system, updated LED headlights, and a surround-view camera with front and rear parking sensors, the price jumps to $62,075. The benefit is that the IS 500 family is monospec aside from the finishes – choose a finish, choose a color and rejoice.
But when the competition - and not just Germany's cars - offer an overall more refreshing experience for similar money, it's easy to look beyond the IS500. The M340i is the most dynamic car in its class and its price of $55,695 (including $995 at destination) is $1,880 lower. It's a similar story with the Mercedes-AMG C43 and Audi S4, which offer four-wheel drive as standard and offer sharper reflections at their $57,550 and $51,545 prices. And even themCadillac CT4-V, a car we're reluctant to recommend for a variety of reasons, is grippier around corners and has a $12,000 lower starting price.
But when the competition - and not just Germany's cars - offer an overall more refreshing experience for similar money, it's easy to look beyond the IS500.(Video) 2022 Lexus IS 500 Review // Old School Cool
We can afford the competition's prices because they're big, complete upgrades. The $13,000 that separates the M340i from the 330i feels reasonable not only when driving forward, but when attacking a corner. You look at the C43 and you understand why it's $14,900 more expensive. It's similar with Audi and even Cadillac. But with $13,550 separating the IS 500 from a car that's nearly identical in everything except the way it accelerates and sounds, you feel like you're not getting everything the higher-end one is price suggests.
The IS 500 F Sport is frustratingly close to being a large sports sedan and catching up with Germany's mid-range performers. And while we're glad Lexus finally shoved a V8 engine under the hood of an IS again, we can only wonder what could have been. A tighter, more exciting suspension and some visual flair could have justified the IS 500's existence, while also raising a flag for the F Sport Performance range and leaving room for a potential IS F. Instead, we have a muscle car disguised as a sports sedan. The IS 500 sounds good and revs well, but it doesn't scratch the itch.
IS 500 F Sport Performance competitor reviews:
- Acura TLX Tipo S: 8,4/10
- Audi S4: not rated
- BMW M340i: not rated
- Cadillac CT4-V: Not rated
- Mercedes-AMG C43: Not rated