2014 IS-F REVIEW - PART THREE of THREE
Simply put: the Lexus IS-F is one of the very best cars this author has ever driven. It is virtually flawless in its performance appeal -- and addictive in its power delivery and handling eagerness.
When cars like the E63 AMG and BMW M5 are in the competitive set, the IS-F feels every bit as special, and instantly more intoxicating.
For drivers who want supercar power with velvet-glove luxury in a four-door, the IS-F will be your favorite car too.
A future classic - one that beats its competition today and makes AMG and M cars seem extremely tedious with electronics -- and hard to love versus this playboy of a super-sedan.
For those in the market for a four-door supercar: leap at the chance to
test drive --> fall in love with --> own this IS-F
Act now or forever live without such an incredible performance masterclass. The IS-F is one of the world's only luxury racecars.
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
2014 Lexus IS-F - EXTERIOR COLORS
2014 Lexus IS-F - INTERIOR COLORS
2014 Lexus IS-F - TECH SPECS
engine / IS F RWD
5.0 L DISPLACEMENT
Four cam, four valves per cylinder, with dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence and Electronic intake valve timing (VVT-iE)
Certified Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV II)
TORQUE @ RPM*
371 lb-ft @ 52
performance / IS F RWD
16 MPG CITY EPA RATING*
23 MPG HIGHWAY EPA RATING*
18 MPG COMBINED EPA RATING*
0-60 MPH ACCELERATION*
AERODYNAMIC DRAG COEFFICIENT
TOP TRACK SPEED*
chassis / IS F RWD
Independent, double-wishbone with high-mount upper arms, coil springs, monotube gas-pressurized shock absorbers and hollow stabilizer bar
Independent, multilink with low-mount upper arms, coil springs, monotube gas-pressurized shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
Front: 14.2-in drilled and ventilated discs with six-piston aluminum calipers and high-friction brake pads* Rear: 13.6-in drilled and ventilated discs with two-piston aluminum calipers and high-friction brake pads*
Four-wheel power-assisted discs manufactured by Brembo(r)*, with four-sensor, four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist*
WHEELS AND TIRES, STANDARD
Front: 19 x 8.5-in forged aluminum-alloy wheels manufactured by BBS, with 225/40YR19 summer tires* Rear: 19 x 9.5-in forged aluminum-alloy wheels manufactured by BBS, with 255/35YR19 summer tires*
Electronic Power Steering (EPS), vehicle speed-sensing coaxial rack and pinion, 2.9 turns, lock to lock
drivetrain / IS F RWD
Eight-speed Sport Direct-Shift automatic transmission with paddle shifters, Manual mode and torque-converter lock-up clutch for gears 2-8
dimensions / IS F RWD
183.5 IN LENGTH*
71.5 IN WIDTH*
55.7 IN HEIGHT
107.5 IN WHEELBASE
Four-passenger high-performance luxury sport sedan
13.3 cu ft
43.9 / 30.6 in
37.2 / 36.7 in
SHOULDER ROOM (FRONT/REAR)
54.4 / 52.7 in
HIP ROOM (FRONT/REAR)
54.1 / 53.7 in
TORSEN® torque-sensing limited-slip rear differential*
416-HP HIGH-PERFORMANCE ENGINE
The IS F’s massive V8 is engineered for tremendous performance and exceptional acceleration.
BORN ON THE FUJI SPEEDWAY
Designed by car enthusiasts, for car enthusiasts, the IS F boasts performance systems that were developed on the track.
HIGH-PERFORMANCE BREMBO® BRAKES
The IS F doesn’t just boast remarkable acceleration. It features exceptional braking power to match.
8-SPEED SPORT DIRECT-SHIFT TRANSMISSION
With virtually instant manual upshifts and throttle blips on downshifts, it gives you the control.
TORSEN® REAR DIFFERENTIAL
Carving up the road requires finesse. Double-wishbone front and multilink rear suspension systems include shock absorbers with stiff springs and large stabilizer bars optimized to precisely control body, wheel and suspension motion. And for increased traction and performance in turns, a torque-sensing limited-slip TORSEN® rear differential* matches available engine power to changing traction conditions of the rear wheels.
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
2014 Lexus IS-F - Exhaust Note Video
2014 Lexus IS-F Review
Part One - Previous Article...
But two things brought us there:
-- if even one of the photos is sexy and colorful and darkly appealing on this white stunner, it would be worthwhile.
-- Plus, a 20-min drive in the IS-F each way? Yes. YES! More places to downshift the IS-F and feel the huge Lexus V8 purrrr-roar to the heavens!
Please stay tuned for an in-depth review of this outstanding four-door supercar in the coming week or so. I'm nearly cross-eyed with delight at how fast and planted the IS-F is at all times. On to the photos!
There are definitely a few good ones. More than half hit the delete box -- so back out we will go tomorrow night at sunset. And maybe sunrise?
2014 Lexus IS-F