ISF Upgrading? - Lexus ISF / IS-F / LFA / LF-A Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-26-2012, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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ISF Upgrading?

Im really deciding on what car to get right now, stuck between evo X, isf or c63 amg. With Evo ill have more money to upgrade, but less with ISF and c63.

What exactly could i get to increase whp on an ISF with lets say 4-5k$ and how much would u be able to raise it by

Also, since ISF is an RWD, how is it in rainy conditions? I read on the 2012 model that they have some special traction. (yes i need to learn more about the car before i get it but personal help from owners would be great!)
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-28-2012, 08:16 PM
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I drove all 3 cars, plus I'm an Ex Subaru STi owner.

Let's start with the Evo X. I did not find it that comfortable compared to the Evo 8 or Evo 9. The interior is decent. I'm not huge on the body lines either.

Modification wise, you can get this car to 450 bhp without sweating too much, perhaps a little more. If you want more than that, than you're starting to look into a built block and bigger turbo, and re-doing the fuel system. Their manual gear boxes and clutches were not the most bullet proof thing in the world either.

How will be using your new car? Would it be a daily driver or a weekend/track car? The Evo is a lot of fun, but if you take me for example, I'm 32 and I wouldn't want to commute in an Evo. Not sure where you live either, but a fully built Evo will not be "street legal" in some States and will attract all sorts of attention.

C63 AMG:

Great engine, great brakes, great stereo....if you order it new and you want more power, they have the $6,000 performance package (481 bhp instead of 451 bhp and more torque, red brake calipers, 174 MPH top speed, carbon fiber spoiler...a few other things that I can't think of right now).

Handling wise, it can get scarey in this car, it does not seem to shine too well in that category. It also seem to eat tires quicker than the M3 (my best friend's car) and the ISF. (It's the heaviest of the bunch)

The seats are very grippy and are very performance orientated.

I think you should at the least test drive both of these cars, before making any sort of initial decision which one to eliminate. I would also spend some time on the Evo and AMG forums to see what people say.

I don't own my ISF yet, but from a research point of view, I think it would be easier to own out of warranty and more comfortable than a Street legal rally car. If you want the re-worked suspension, new gauge cluster, wait for a 2011.

Last but not least, in rainy conditions, the Evo will shine where the RWD cars would need to be more cautious. With the correct tires, that car can deal with rain, snow and mud.

It also depends on what tires you have and what kind of training you received, if any. I would look into a performance driving class that has some sort of skid control as part of it.

Last edited by 2URGSE; 05-28-2012 at 08:21 PM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-02-2012, 03:35 AM
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Quality, Interior, Reliability are all top reasons for the IS-F. I was strongly considering the Evo also, but Mitsubishi barely offers any kind of warranty on it and recommends a crazy service schedule. With any kind of mods it seems like it wouldn't be a reliable daily driver, especially if I ended up putting some miles on it. The other issue was the Evo looks like a toy, the IS-F always looks sharp no matter if you are taking people out to lunch/dinner or commuting. The Mark Levinson audio system in the IS-F was by far the best out of the M3 and C63, the EVO didn't have a stereo worth turning on.

About the C63... I'd look at the CTS-V too. They are both clunky monsters that try to win you over on HP numbers and bling bling styling. Best to take these on a short lease and try not to get burned on repairs. They just don't age well.

For power adding performance parts your budget is about right. Headers, intake, and exhaust will give you 60 to 80 whp. If you still have money left over there are some good suspension/chassis upgrades and you can try squeezing on wider rubber.
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-02-2012, 03:45 AM
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Evo X + a few $k will have you an absolute beast. And you'll love it. But you will eventually tire of the cheap interior and other misc maintenance issues.

A stock ISF will give you SUCH a better daily driver, will be more reliable, and has better "everything minus the tranny and turbo" over the X. Yeah it's way more $ but even stock you're good-to-go.

I came from a few heavily modded Evo 8's and even with all of my friends having monster Evo X' drive in a stock ISF and I was sold. I took an 08 ISF w/ 50k miles over a brand new '12 X. 10k miles later not a single issue.

I don't have any experience with the C63 AMG but everything I know about them says they rock. But I know a few people who have other Benz's and complain regularly about having to take the car in for service.

I started to look into the CTS-V myself but after reading an excessive amount of forum posts about serious issues with the car I unchecked that on my list. IMO you really can't beat Toyota (Lexus) quality.
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-04-2012, 07:33 PM
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C63, Evo X, ISF, S5 are the same cars I looked at before buying the ISF. I am not really a BMW fan so didn't bother with the M3. As others pointed out, the cheap interior of the Evo X didn't impresss me. For the amount of money you pay, the interior is sub par to a Honda Civic. I also followed the Mitsu owner sites and the tranny is the Achilles heel of this car. Some Evo X and Ralliart owners reported that they had to replace their trannies twice within 50K miles. It's got great handling but I looked at the routes I drive and figure that abouit 90% of the time I drive on straight roads so what's the point?
S5 is just overprized. It's got really nice interior but performance wise, it the same as an G37. Audi did a wonderful marketing job on showcasing it as a performance car which it is not.
I almost fell for a C63. The torque, the exhaust note is intoxicating. It feels fast and powerful and the love those deep bolstered seats. Only reservation I had was the reliablilty. Know a number of people with C classes and the fun wears out very soon when you have to make monthly unscheduled visits to the dealer. Although I think the C63 has been okay based on what the owners sites are saying. I will definitly stay away from the 2012 model with the new twin clutch trannies if you do decide on one.
The ISF has a good balance of price, power, handling, quality and reliability. The only thing missing is that it does not feel like the beast it should be. With the C63 you feel like you are walking a tiger tucking at the lease, ready to pounce at anyone nearby. With the ISF it's may be a bit too gentle.... and as a result not as much fun.
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-06-2012, 05:25 PM
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I love my IS-F and have driven several other contenders but I could not have said it better than Ted C. The only issue I have with the Merc is they all look the same, C350 or AMG. There is really nothing that seperates the 63. Awesome car though. Still, I would take the quailty and reliability of the Lexus. In fact I am looking to sell my 08 and buy a 2011. Its just that good of a car.

2008 Mercury Metallic IS-F, Takeda Intake System (154.1 Texas Mile Oct 2011)(13.13 @110 IFO Ennis TX)
2008 BMW 650I Convertible (wife's)
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-18-2012, 08:44 AM
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I used to own a 3000GT VR-4 and almost purchased a EVO several times. The old models were fun drives. However, I test drove the X and it just felt a little lacking in the overall power band. It wasn't much fun unless you were really pushing it. Top gear even demonstrates how horrifically slow the EVO is below the boost by racing it against some normal car like a civic and it loses horribly. Unless you plan on driving it balls to the wall it's not a very fast car. As others have said, the interior leaves much to be desired.

I too test drove the C63 and it sounded phenomenal. However, I wasn't a fan of the interior styling, which I never have been a fan of. The ride to me felt a little more stiff than that of the F. Reliability has never been Merc's strong point they over engineer things that cost you an arm and a leg and tend to break often.

I'll even throw in my drive in the M3 sedan. It too sounded great because of the aftermarket exhaust it had. However, the power band left much to be desired. It had this weird sort of lag to it. It really didn't put out good power until about 2700+ RPMS so it too was a kind of balls out drive. The ride was more comfortable than that of the F but not much more so on the road I took it around.

All in all, I don't think you can beat the IS F across the board. It might not be the fastest in a straight line or to 60. It might not handle or ride the best. It does do EVERYTHING a near level of perfection that is simply a joy to own. I've only had my IS F for about 2 weeks and I couldn't imagine a car better to own.
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