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AutoCar Road Test

6603 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  tf103chl
If there’s one area of this car where Lexus has absolutely nailed what a super-saloon should be, it’s under the IS-F’s borderline-ludicrous bonnet bulge. Freed from the refinement and economy shackles of its hybrid applications, this 5.0-litre V8 is far and away the most engaging motor Lexus produces.

The delivery itself is relatively peaky. Maximum power arrives at 6600rpm, passing the torque peak at 5200rpm, and with a 7000rpm red line this is a high-revving engine. At MIRA’s test track the IS-F couldn’t quite match Lexus’s acceleration claims, although 5.2sec to 60mph and 12.3sec to 100mph are very respectable figures.

But for all its revving, the IS-F’s powerband is not narrow enough to justify eight forward ratios. Left to its own devices, you’re aware that the ’box is making too many shifts.

The F rides just like a regular IS. It feels quite softly sprung but not softly damped; there’s a certain harshness and patter that, much like the standard car, means its ride at any speed never settles except on the smoothest of asphalt.

So on a demanding road the IS-F is slightly compromised. It is refined but does not quite control its body movements well enough. If it’s just the poise you’re after, the M3 and C63 deliver more here.

The IS-F’s overall chassis balance is very good, however. On smooth asphalt or a race track it is enjoyable and extremely exploitable. It turns in crisply, and while the steering is not overly engaging, it is accurate and direct.

A conventional limited-slip differential, rather than the F’s electronically controlled open diff, would make for smoother transitions back into line and improve traction. Better suspension control and an LSD would be enough to revolutionise what’s already a very entertaining car.

The IS-F’s brakes are excellent. Their feel and progression are good and, for a car weighing 1720kg, they have no problem routinely stopping the IS-F on a circuit.

For Engine note, chassis balance, strong brakes, high spec

AgainstLack of proper limited-slip diff, hesitant gearbox, flat seats, fidgety ride

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acceleration times

the posted acceleration times are the slowest I've seen from any publication. Car & Drive in two different tests posted 0-60 times of 4.2 sec. & 4.4 sec, Motortend also did it in 4.3 secs. Not sure why AutoCar was so far off the mark??

My thoughts exactly. AutoCar seems almost a full second off the C&D lowest time posted in their article some months ago (4.2 sec.).

Could there actually be this big a differential in test driver capabilities or ???

I would guess thus far that a 0-60 time of around 4.3 or 4.4 is pretty close to where this beast is. That's based on about 6 weeks with the car so far.
my thoughts as well. I also have an 06' BMW Z4 M Roadster w/SuperSprint sport exhaust and x-pipe. Estimated H.P. is 345 -350. Stock 0-60 time was tested at 4.6 sec. and I can tell you the IS-F feels MUCH faster. Will be doing some side to side runs in the next few weeks and will keep you posted (have been waiting for the weather to improve). One more comment on the AutoCar review: he also mentions the "IS-F rides just like the standard IS" and that the car is softly sprung????????????????? I think this guy needs to go back and make sure he was actually driving an F car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"I think this guy needs to go back and make sure he was actually driving an F car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

My thoughts exactly.
Yeah, he definitely needs to put the pipe down!

Numbers he reports are outrageous.

Oh, and on a rather unsurprising yet remotely interesting note, I got this month's issue of Motor Trend today in the mail and the comparison of the IS-F vs. the M3 vs. the Merc. C63 AMG is in it and worth a read. As usual, the undying allegiance to the BMW is clear as it finished 1st in the reviewer's opinion, the Merc 2nd and the IS-F third, though both the IS-F and the M3 recorded identical 0-60 times of 4.3 each.

I wonder if the M3 is truly that amazing (I haven't driven one yet), or if there's actually an built-in bias these car mags have for it even before they've fully considered other makes?

Yes, I'm a bit disappointed in the results of the article, but it certainly doesn't diminish my awe at my IS-F amazing capabilities. I actually am also on the wait list for an M3 and will be calling Monday to be taken off it. For me, the IS-F was a no-brainer choice.

Maybe someday the reviewers will give this car a more open-minded and honest review.

Until then, it really seems to me as though the Germans are almost a sure thing to "win" these silly comparo articles.

Whatever...I'm over it now. Apologies for the rant.

Detector on even in my driveway!
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Friends don't let their friends drive an "I Drive" !!!

The writer obviously never drove an IS 350 let alone an IS F.... Dare him to come for a drive with me in my IS F....
So on a demanding road the IS-F is slightly compromised. It is refined but does not quite control its body movements well enough. If it
I actually think the write drove the IS 350 and NOT the F!!
i dont think he drove 350, he cant be that stupid ass!!!! Can he? )
The November 2008 issue of Motor Trend has an IS-F long term update on the Lexus IS-F. To sum it up, I think there really starting to like the F. As the title is "The IS-F is 'class that's bad-ass'"
I think there are a lot of people who really have no clue what this car is. The only ones who recognize it here are kids that play Gran Tourismo! Good to see the "media" coming around.

My father in-law happened to run across it in a magazine and double confirmed with me that that was the car I got.
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