Lexus IS F Sport Performance Debuts Lexus’ Performance Segment With A Roaring V8

  • Feb 23, 2021
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Lexus’ new F Sport Performance line of cars will sit between the F Sport (mostly cosmetic) and the full-blown F range


  • 5.0-litre V8 naturally aspirated engine makes 472PS and 535Nm, and is paired to an 8-speed automatic gearbox.

  • 0-96kmph is achieved in just 4.5 seconds.

  • It is exclusive to the North American markets, with more models set to join the F Sport Performance Line.

  • Lexus’s F Sport Performance line debuts on an older model as the IS is more than 5 years old  

  • F Sport Performance models could be on the cars for the carmaker’s Indian lineup in the future.

Lexus has given the IS sedan a more hardcore trim in the form of the IS 500 F Sport Performance. It debuts the carmaker’s F Sport Performance line and sits between the F Sport (mostly cosmetic) and F models. Sure, it's not a full-fledged F model, but the IS 500 F Sport Performance certainly has a lot of sporty things to talk about.

The main talking point of the performance focused IS, is under the hood of course. Powering the sedan is a naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 engine, capable of 472PS of grunt and 535Nm of twist. Paired to an 8-speed automatic gearbox, the sports sedan propels from 0-96kmph in just 4.5 seconds. Two driving modes are on offer: Sport S and Sport S+. Despite the bigger V8 engine, the IS 500 F Sport Performance is only around 65kg heavier than the IS 350 F Sport at 1,765kg. 

A big engine aside, the IS 500 F Sport Performance gets performance elements like an adaptive suspension, a torsen limited-slip differential, as well as a Yamaha-supplied rear performance damper to aid stability. The brakes are also larger with 14-inch two-piece aluminum front rotors and 12.7-inch rear rotors. 

The sedan has also gotten some sporty tweaks in the form of a larger hood to accommodate the V8 motor, wider bumpers and fenders, and  19-inch split-10-spoke Enkei alloy wheels. Heading inside, the changes include F Sport Performance badging all over, a heated steering wheel, bespoke pedals and a unique startup animation for the instrument cluster. 

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With the performance upgrade also comes additional safety features via the updated Lexus Safety System+ 2.5. Key features include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking , steering assist, automatic high beam, pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, and more.  

The Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance is certainly something to cherish, as the engine could be one of the last naturally aspirated V8s, as they are on their way out and be replaced by downsized turbo mills. It will go on sale later this year, with deliveries set to commence towards the second half of 2021. Unfortunately, this model is specific only to the North American markets. Back home, the F Sport Performance line could make their way to the lineup in the future.

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