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2013 Lexus IS-F

Published July 19, 2012

A few years back Lexus finally decided to let their engineers and designers get out and play. And man did they have a good time. They result was the Lexus IS-F. And when it was released it was apparent they had far more of a competitive sport spirit than was suggested by their gorgeous but stodgy regular luxury lineup. The timing couldn’t be better because Lexus was getting the reputation of being remarkable only in its dullness. But Lexus decided to learn from the likes of BMW and chase the M3. Literally.

The Lexus IS-F has a huge 5 liter engine pushing out 416hp at 371lb-ft of torque. It’s a very fast Lexus and loads of fun to play with. And that is likely the first time you’ve ever seen the words ‘Lexus and ‘fun’ in the same sentence. Managing all that power is an eight-speed Sport Direct-Shift automatic transmission. Which may be a little much as it often seems to find it difficult to decide exactly what gear it should be in and shifts around more than a kindergarten kid with a bad case of mites. Located behind the steering wheel column are with paddle shifters and controls for Manual mode and a torque converter lock-up clutch for gears 2─8. For those not sure what to think of paddle shifters just remind yourself they’re what the Formula racers are equipped with. The IS-F will do more than keep pace with the BMW M3, with enough road the ISF can reach a top speed of 168mph. It won’t handle the same as the M3, which will pull ahead, but the BMW also won’t be able to leave the IS-F choking dust despite not being quite as composed.

The exterior design of the 2010 Lexus IS-F makes it an attractive car but slightly on the heavy side. And then there’s the fake exhaust pipes. Not sure what to say about that besides that its way lame Lexus. Way lame. Stop that please. All that fat meaty torque sits at the top end of the rev range, which means there is never much of a chance to really utilize that torque unless it’s on an open freeway like the Autobahn. Or across the plains of Canada’s Midwest. Or flying across the Utah salt plains. So it is possible to utilize them but it still seems like a bit of a misplaced application for all the torque. It’s a stiff ride and has all the aggressive enthusiasm and lack of grace of a young immature sports sedan.

It does so many things right but when put to the test the Lexus IS-F can’t help but reveal that it is still very much a new and experimental branch for Lexus. And for that effort the car gets extremely high marks. Because Lexus was definitely in need some young exciting blood in the family.

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Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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