Lexus has released the high-performance 2008 IS F in Japan. The IS F’s 5.0-litre V8 engine is derived from the Lexus LS600h engine, and makes 417 hp at 6600 rpm and 504 Nm of torque at 5200 rpm. It also has the 8-speed automatic transmission from the LS, but programmed to shift quicker, taking as little as 100 ms to shift gears using the paddle shifters.


The chassis is 85 mm longer and 20 mm wider than the regular IS. It rides on 19-inch forged alloy wheels shod with 225/40 and 255/35 tyres front and rear. The front brakes are 6-piston calipers and 360 mm ventilated discs, while the rear has 2-pot caliper and 345 mm discs. VDIM stabilty control provides normal and sport modes.


The IS F is an excellent sports sedan in its own right, but it remains to be seen how it compares with the new BMW M3 and Mercedes C63 AMG models, considering the IS F’s high weight.


Most of these limited-production cars will go to the United States from December onwards, with a handful sold in Europe and Japan. The Middle East probably won’t get any.

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