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2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance: More Than Just One Trick

5 Things We Love and 3 Things We Hate About Lexus’s V8 Performance Sedan

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance hero
(photos/Danny Korecki)

The 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance is Lexus‘s V8 answer to the void left by the IS F no longer being in production.

More specifically, that answer comes to the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance via a 5.0-liter V8 engine. It has been around for a while but got some new enhancements to now kick out 472 hp and 395 lb.-ft. of torque. While we’ll get right back to the V8 again in the love/hate list below, we also found a number of other features we loved, and a few we hated, about Lexus’s latest performance sedan. Here’s what we found:

LOVE: NA V-8 Under the Hood

The IS 500 F Sport Performance comes packed with that IS F hand-me-down 5.0-liter V8. All other competitors have gone the way of turbochargers and ditching cylinders while Lexus has opted to give the people what they want –a V8. Not just a V8, but one that breathes air naturally —no turbos or superchargers.

LOVE: Auditory Bliss

Being one of the very few V8-powered Lexus vehicles that isn’t an SUV the engineers made sure the IS 500 sings all the right notes out the quad tailpipes when the skinny pedal is used judiciously. Sure, the Lexus LFA is definitely the best-sounding Lexus of all time, but the IS 500 F Sport Performance is definitely in the top 5 most angry-sounding in the brand’s history —dare I say Top 3?

LOVE: Quality Interior

Telling you that the interior of the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance is a shining feature probably deserves a “Duh,” but it is a feature we love nonetheless. Front and center it features the digital LFA-inspired 8-inch gauge cluster which has been around for a while, but it is unique and welcome every time we see it. It features F Sport heated/ventilated seats, an F Sport branded steering wheel, a Mark Levinson 17 speaker audio system, and a 10.3-inch infotainment screen with all the Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa integration you’ll ever need.

LOVE: Drive Modes That You Can Actually See & Feel

It is 2022. Every brand has vehicles that have some button or dial that allows you to switch between a normal mode, an eco mode, and maybe if you are lucky a sport mode. The problem with most is, press the button/toggle the dial —and what happened? Nothing? Not with the 2022 IS 500 F Sport Performance.

The vehicle features Eco, Normal, Custom, Sport S, and Sport S+ modes. For most of the drive modes, it is as their name suggests. Eco for a more fuel-efficient drive, normal is the most balanced day to day mode, custom allows you to switch up the features to your liking, but Sport S unlocks the full performance potential of the transmission and engine while Sport S+ also brings in the steering performance and stability of the vehicle alongside the transmission and engine.

Beyond the feeling of the IS 500 F Sport Performance, every drive mode changes the digital gauge cluster a bit from the subtle Eco/Normal modes to the full crisp colorful Sport S or Sport S+ modes.

LOVE: Planted Comfortable Ride

The 2022 IS 500 F Sport Performance is quite a hefty vehicle coming in a smidge under 4,000 lbs (3979). That weight in the right places combined with the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) provides a surprisingly comfortable ride for when cruising the town or putting the power down.

Remember, ticking that drive model dial into Sport S+ will further tighten up that ride in the performance department.

HATE: Fuel Economy

We really love that V8 under the hood, but we cannot help but tell you about how thirsty it is. The 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance achieves an EPA estimate of 17 city/25 highway for a combined 20 miles per gallon. With a heavy right foot, we of course saw lower than that in real-world testing. That V8 sounds nice but those sweet sweet sounds come at a price at the pump.

HATE: The Dreaded Lexus Touchpad

We aren’t sure we know anyone who has spoken positively about the touchpad in Lexus vehicles, yet here it still is. Luckily, the 10.3-inch infotainment display is a touch screen that will give you the ability to never use the pad in the IS 500.

HATE: It’s Not an IS F

If you cannot tell we really like the 2022 IS 500 F Sport Performance, but if we had to sacrifice it to the car gods for a IS F —we would. Driving the vehicle you can tell it is just pulling at your IS F heartstrings. This thing is probably 80% of what a 2022 IS F could be, we just want the other 20%.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance: Mostly About the V8, But So Much More

The 2022 IS 500 F Sport Performance is obviously on everyone’s radar due to its large naturally aspirated V8 engine under the hood. It is definitely what pulls you in to give the vehicle a worthy once over, but there is much more to this performance machine once that NA V8 exhaust note tickles your eardrums.

Go check out one of these impressive sports sedans for yourself. You can find your local Lexus dealer and virtually build out your own 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance at Lexus.com.

About Danny Korecki

Danny Korecki is a financial analyst by day and a freelance automotive writer by night. His words, photos, or videos have been seen on many well known automotive sites across the web. When he isn't creating content he enjoys loving on his dog and daily driving his BMW E92 M3.