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Future models - Lexus - IS - IS-F

First look: Lexus slides V8 under IS bonnet

Euro hunter: The IS-F is clearly aimed at the high-performance Germans.

Lexus performance division kicks off with the IS-F and LF-A

9 Jan 2007

LEXUS has unveiled its IS-F high-performance luxury sedan, based on the regular IS sedan.

Key to its latest performance sedan is a 5.0-litre V8 slotted under the bonnet.

The V8 will deliver more than 298kW/474Nm when the car goes into production later this year.

It will be sold under the Lexus high performance "F" sports division and is destined to be sold Down Under, aiming to take on the German muscle cars from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

The IS-F utilises the proven rear-drive IS platform, which is equipped with a double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension but gains a makeover to improve handling and response.

Much of the development of the new IS-F took place at Fuji Speedway and the Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre in Japan.

The performance-tuned V8 is topped with specially engineered heads fed by a two-stage intake system.

It is equipped with engine-oil and transmission-fluid coolers for high-speed performance and a cylinder head-scavenging oil pump for high g-force driving.

The V8 is mated to the world's first eight-speed direct sport-shift transmission with manual mode and paddle shifters. A new torque-converter lock-up control was developed that allows for a direct, crisp gear change through the constant lock-up of the torque converter in second through eighth gears.

In Drive mode, the IS-F transmission performs with great smoothness, and the torque converter allows for great launch ability for fast standing-start acceleration that will register a zero-to-100km/h time in less than 4.9 seconds.

31 center imageTo match the impressive performance the IS-F has heavy-duty Brembo brakes with high-friction brake pads.

Huge, 260mm cross-drilled front discs are gripped by rigid, powerful six-piston aluminum calipers, while 345mm rear cross-drilled discs feature two-piston calipers.

The brakes are finished with the Lexus name displayed on the calipers, a first for a Lexus production vehicle.

The IS-F has custom-designed 19-inch forged alloys as standard built by BBS.

The attention to performance also extends to a modified suspension that lowers the entire car by 15mm compared to the base IS.

The IS-F features an all-new three-mode version of the standard car's Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system.

As well as normal mode, the new VDIM has a sport mode that allows the driver to push the car even further before its braking, throttle and steering-control systems kick in. The system can also be turned off, which allows the driver to push the IS-F to its ultimate level of handling performance.

To match the performance the car's styling has been beefed up to differentiate it from the standard IS.

Dual quad exhausts are a given, along with wider front mudguards and a larger grille and rear spoiler. Both the bonnet and lower intake were enlarged to accommodate and cool the V8 engine.

Like the exterior, the interior of the IS-F receives unique styling with alloy composite trim and special surface treatments.

The instrument panel includes an oil-temperature gauge and shift indicator-lights, while the "F" logo is showcased on the steering wheel and rear-centre console.

In addition to the usual Lexus standards of comfort and convenience, the interior has specially shaped and trimmed seats, which hold the driver comfortably and securely in place.

The special sport seats are available in black or a unique high-contrast white and black trim.

The IS-F joins the LF-A sportscar concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The LF-A supercar concept is equipped with a V10 engine that produces more than 372kW.

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