The 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Is Modern Muscle Incarnate

The 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Is Modern Muscle Incarnate

02/22/2021

Lexus spiked the absurdly fun V8-powered IS F in 2014 and the larger GS F sedan in 2020, filling fans of the snarling Lexus V8 with worry about its future. Some good news: Meet the Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance, which stuffs the 5.0-liter V8 under the hood of the compact IS sedan to make a modern Japanese muscle machine.

The 5.0-liter V8 is naturally aspirated and free from any hybrid helpers, turning out 472 hp at 7,100 rpm and 395 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. If you’re keeping score, that’s 161 more hp than the 3.5-liter V6-powered IS 350, a huge step in the right direction for performance-minded buyers. Backing this V8 is an eight-speed automatic transmission that feeds the power to the rear wheels.

Stuffing a more powerful engine into a car does come with a host of other significant supporting upgrades. Helping to slow down the more powerful Lexus is a set of new brake rotors, with 14.0-inch two-piece rotors at the front and 12.7-inch rotors at the rear. Lexus also added better cooling to these bigger brakes to help keep brake fade at bay. As you would expect, Lexus is also including the IS’s dynamic handling package as standard equipment, though taking it a step further, the automaker has added a performance damper from Yamaha to the rear. A Torsen limited-slip differential is also standard issue.

Lexus did not overlook the creature comforts in its pursuit of performance. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather, as are the seats and practically every other touchpoint you’d feel in your time with the car. There is added F Sport badging, just to remind you that you’re driving the performance version of the IS sedan.

More power often comes with more weight, and the Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance is no exception, though the penalty is minimal. This new Lexus tips the scales 143 pounds heavier than the standard IS 350 F Sport—but is lighter than the older GS F that used the same engine.

Lexus says that the 2022 IS 500 F Sport Performance should start showing up at your local dealer this fall, though pricing has yet to be announced. Looking at the older GS F, it cost $85,000 in 2020, with the base GS sedan only commanding around $51,000. With that in mind, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this hot-rod Lexus fall somewhere near $70,000.

Do you think the Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance will live up to its IS F legacy? Comment below with your thoughts.

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