New Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance to rival BMW M3 in US – Autocar

Lexus will take on the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63 in the United States with a new V8 version of itsIS saloon— the first vehicle to use F Sport Performance badging.

The IS 500 F Sport Performance is said to “up the sports sedan formula to eleven” however, like all other versions of the recently revitalized saloon, will not be sold in the UK.

The powertrain is familiar, however, being raised from the RC F coupé that was on sale here until last year and associated to the somewhat downtuned system available in the LC 500 grand tourer.

The brand-new sports saloon will be one of just a handful of brand-new vehicles offered with a naturally aspirated V8. Sending Out 466bhp and 395lb ft to the rear axle through a Sport Direct Shifteight-speed automated gearbox, the 5.0-litre system endows the range-topper with a considerable efficiency increase over the 3.5-litre V6-powered IS 350.

The IS 500 weighs simply 62kg more than the six-cylinder model, at 1765kg, so the 149bhp power walking provides a 0-60mph time of simply 4.5 sec– a 1.2 sec enhancement. Fuel economy, as is to be anticipated, takes a hit, though: down from a claimed 28mpg average to an approximated 24mpg.

Lexus is keen to stress the character of the motor as much as its efficiency capability, explaining the quad-exhaust system’s soundtrack as “relentless” and “throaty” and likening it to the noise of the RC F.

The IS 500 F Sport Performance can be driven in two preconfigured modes: Sport S and Sport S +, which improves engine action and tweaks the steering and suspension for “sportier handling to match the updated powertrain settings”. A versatile Custom Mode offers various mixes of qualities from the car’s Normal, Eco and Sport settings.

The brand-new IS is said to signal a shift in focus for Lexus engineers to “elevating automobiles to a new requirement of performance and handling”. The supreme objective, it states, “is to deliver a brand-new generation of Lexus automobiles that is more balanced, improved in control, and positive than ever previously”.

In line with that ambition, the IS 500 comes as standard with a Dynamic Handling Package that brings adaptive variable suspension and a limited-slip differential for improved grip during cornering. Additional tweaks over the IS 350 consist of the addition of Yamaha-developed rear dampers, which are claimed to improve low-speed refinement and high-speed stability, and bigger brakes with improved cooling.

The IS 500 can be informed apart from the IS 350 primarily by its raised bonnet, extended front bumper (made necessary by the larger powerplant), bespoke 19in lightweight alloy wheels and unique rear bumper style with twin-stacked exhaust exits at each side. The brand-new F Sport Performance badging is painted black, instead of silver.

The interior is similarly defined from the basic automobile with special badging throughout and a bespoke start-up animation for the infotainment screen.

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The new sports saloon will be one of simply a handful of new vehicles offered with a naturally aspirated V8. The IS 500 F Sport Performance can be driven in two preconfigured modes: Sport S and Sport S +, which enhances engine response and modifies the steering and suspension for “sportier handling to match the updated powertrain settings”. The new IS is stated to signify a shift in focus for Lexus engineers to “raising lorries to a brand-new requirement of efficiency and handling”. The IS 500 can be informed apart from the IS 350 mostly by its raised bonnet, extended front bumper (made necessary by the bigger powerplant), bespoke 19in lightweight alloy wheels and unique rear bumper style with twin-stacked exhaust exits at each side.

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