Lexus has revealed its potent IS 500, complete with a 352 kW petrol V8.
It's interesting to note that Lexus has called this new Lexus an F Sport. Does this hint at a future model capable of even more performance? We do know Lexus is working on a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged petrol engine that should as much power as this V8...
Right now the rear-wheel drive Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance is reserved for the North American market only, which is a pity. In the battle against the established German trio of the Audi RS5, BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63 S, the Lexus would likely come to market as the only offering with an 8-cylinder engine. AMG plans to release its new C63 S with a hybrid 4-cylinder engine, much to the horror of its fanbase.
The 5.0-litre V8 we've come to know and love has been enhanced for this model. It produces a thundering 352 kW and 536 Nm, up from the IS-F's 311 kW and 505 Nm. Lexus claims a redline of 7 100rpm, which is impressive for a naturally-aspirated V8. In terms of performance, Lexus reckons it will hit 0-100 kph in 4.5 seconds and the best part, it will have a proper soundtrack thanks to the quad stacked exhausts.
The mechanical changes are substantial. There will driving modes, adaptive variable suspension and a Torsen limited slip differential. A Yamaha rear performance damper has been added to limit structural distortion and increase low-speed comfort. Brake cooling has also been enhanced with larger rotors. The vehicle rides on 19-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, which are lighter than the standard units.
As the vehicle is left-hand drive only and earmarked solely for the US market, all we can do is dream. The all-new Lexus IS will be making its way to South Africa during the course of 2021.
The Lexus IS F Sport Performance cabin