New models - Lexus - IS - IS F sedan
Upgraded Lexus IS F now on sale
Lexus Australia releases an improved version of its IS F sports sedan for 2011
9 Dec 2010
LEXUS’ upgraded IS F sports sedan is now available in Australia, featuring a range of cosmetic and chassis upgrades for no extra cost.
In local showrooms now with the same $126,900 pricetag as before (plus on-road costs), the range-topping compact Lexus sedan continues to undercut BMW’s equivalent M3 DCT sedan ($152,300) by $25,500 and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG sedan ($150,980) by $24,180.
First seen at the Paris motor show in October, when full European details were announced, the 2011 IS F’s local release follows the Australian launch of the revised 2011 IS250 (priced from $55,800), new IS250 F Sport ($66,800) and new IS350 (from $64,800), which compared to its most direct BMW and Mercedes rivals offers Lexus buyers savings similar to the IS F.
As such, the revitalised IS range recorded boom sales in November and the Lexus continues to sell as many examples of the IS F it can get from Japan, with a sales rate of about 15 cars a month and at least a month-long wait for delivery making it far more exclusive than its established German rivals.
To November this year, Lexus Australia has sold 114 IS Fs (up 7.5 per cent on 2009 figures) and 2454 IS250s (up 7.7 per cent), plus 168 versions of the new IS350 in the past two months. Meantime, the IS250C coupe-convertible has found 489 new homes (up more than 125 per cent), including no fewer than 64 last month.
Lexus has confirmed Australian IS F buyers now have access to the same IS F upgrades available in Europe, which as we’ve reported include an upgraded suspension package, a new LFA-inspired instrument binnacle with large central tacho and digital speed, exterior styling revisions, new interior and exterior colours and the latest European emissions compliance.
Although there are no changes to the performance of the IS F’s 311kW/505Nm 5.0-litre V8 – or its combined average fuel consumption of 11.4L/100km and CO2 emissions of 270g/km – the mid-size sedan’s big-bore bent eight now meets the stricter Euro 5 emissions standard that is yet to come into force in Australia.
Equipped as standard with an eight-speed Sports Direct Shift (SPDS) automatic transmission, the 2011 IS F continues to sprint to 100km/h in a claimed 4.8 seconds and on to an unchanged 270km/h top speed.
Biggest mechanical changes have been applied to the IS F chassis, which features significantly revised suspension tuning that aims to improve both ride comfort and high-speed stability in all driving conditions.
Lexus says the front coil spring rate has been revised to reduce the transmission of road surface vibrations, while front-end damping changes are designed to increase both high and low-speed ride quality.
Similar changes have been applied to the rear-end, which also comes with different camber angle, suspension arm bush and stabiliser bush characteristics.
Toyota’s luxury brand claims the result is better rear cornering stability, less suspension member movement under hard acceleration or deceleration and a better ride.
As with other facelifted IS models, the 2011 IS is differentiated chiefly by daytime running lights, blacked-out headlight lenses and a new ‘Starlight Black’ exterior paint colour, while there’s also a fresh dark-metallic engine cover.
Inside, the top-shelf IS sedan scores a new instrument panel inspired by the upcoming Lexus LFA supercar, comprising repositioned tacho and speedo dials within the binnacle for improved legibility.
The larger new centrally located tacho also sports a rev indicator function that illuminates in three steps - at 5000rpm, 5500rpm and 6200-6550rpm - depending on gear selection.
The freshened IS F also offers new dark carbon-fibre centre console inserts, a redesigned driver's seat with improved support, revised steering wheel with enhanced grip and feel, and a new orange/black leather trim option.
“Upgrades to IS F coincide with the introduction of the IS350 and IS250 F Sport, and lift what is already a truly impressive vehicle,” said Lexus Australia chief executive Tony Cramb.
“The changes to IS F deliver greater compliance during everyday driving, but also greater performance for those times when owners take their Lexus to the track.
“IS F and our F Sport models will play an increasingly important role in solidifying Lexus’ performance credentials,” said Mr Cramb.
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