2014 IS-F REVIEW – PART TWO of THREE
Falling hard and fast for a press loan car is an occupational hazard for car journalists – but that would never happen to me!
Can you imagine?
Being so thoroughly obsessed with a machine that I would turn over my personal 2005 Subaru Legacy GT wagon in a hearbeat!?
Never going to happen to This Guy!
But… then it did.
Like falling in love with a stripper – the end is never easy on a humble John when his time is up.
— Never loved the IS-F’s styling or loud cabin accents
— Was proud of Lexus for building such a dedicated M3-chaser, but would have ranked it well behind the M3 as a personal choice
— Knew it was quick with the big V8 but thought it might not be able to handle all that power with rear-drive and an automatic.
— Wondered about its street cred, considering it looks much like the previous-gen Lexus IS at this point
— Design of the IS-F is extremely subtle four years after initially appearing — but far more captivating in person than even the latest IS350 F Sport. Because you know what is under that hood the moment the IS-F is audible.
— V8 BLISS. A deep, deep-voice on this engine from the moment the Start button is pushed. Huge V8 rumble at idle and low speed. Pleasingly silent on cruise control, but active intake whoosh and huge exhaust a toe-tip away.
— Stunning brake/wheel/tire package in person. Cross-drilled rotors and Lexus-branded, gloss-black calipers all around
— Rear-drive widebody style. Dark wheels, dark carbon-fiber trunk spoiler, and stacked quad pipes get my juices flowing.
— IS-F eight-speed DirectShift automatic is perhaps best and most-accurate auto this writer has ever sampled. Hard and locked torque converter one minute when that is what you want, but relaxed at other times.
IS-F OFFERS EFFORTLESS RACE PACE – EVEN IN THE RAIN
The most daunting part of driving a huge-power car with only rear drive is a likely traction issue. TCS and ESP cut-offs are no fun in the moment, and make you go easier next time as well.
So what better news for the IS-F than:
— How quick and grippy and planted it feels 100-percent of the time. Rain or shine.
— Fantastic handling balance with a meaty, road-hugging corner attitude and stellar brakes, steering and throttle feel
— Almost COMPLETE GRIP even on full throttle, on a slick day. Thank the sticky rubber and Torsen Limited-Slip-Diff as standard in the back of the IS-F
On the road for test videos: We mounted the GoPro facing forward after the first few tries came back with your author grinning like a pervert when cam was in usual windshield-mounted, rear-facing position.
2014 Lexus IS-F – Exhaust Note Videos
2014 Lexus IS-F Review