Canada's Online Auto Magazine
2007 North American International Auto Show

January 9, 2007

2008 Lexus IS-F

Lexus stuffs a 400-hp 5.0-litre V8 in the IS sedan

2008 Lexus IS-F
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Detroit, Michigan - Powered by a 400-horsepower 5.0-litre V8 engine matched with a new eight-speed automatic sport-shift transmission with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, the all-new 2008 IS-F sedan promises exciting performance and a zero-to-60 mph time in less than 4.9 seconds, says the automaker.

Based on the rear-wheel-drive Lexus IS, the IS-F features a 5.0-litre V8 engine that has specially engineered heads fed by a two-stage intake system and produces more than 350 ft.-lbs. of torque. The powertrain features engine-oil and transmission-fluid coolers for high-speed performance and a cylinder head-scavenging oil pump for high g-force driving.

The IS-F engine is mated to the world's first eight-speed direct sport-shift transmission. A new torque-converter lock-up control was developed that allows for a direct, crisp gear change through the constant lock-up of the torque converter in second through eighth gears. The torque converter allows for great launch ability for fast standing-start acceleration.

This unique transmission also features an advanced Manual mode. A pair of paddles located within a fingertip's reach behind the steering wheel enables the driver to make ultra-fast up-shift gear changes within a tenth of a second. Downshifts are accompanied by automated and precise throttle blips to match engine RPM to vehicle speed.

Brakes are heavy-duty Brembo with huge, 360.68mm (14.2-inch) perforated front discs gripped by rigid, powerful six-piston aluminum calipers, while 345.44mm (13.6- inch) rear perforated discs feature two-piston calipers. High-friction brake pads are equipped on all four wheels. The brakes are finished with the Lexus name displayed on the calipers, a first for a Lexus production vehicle.

The IS-F features custom-designed 482.6mm (19-inch) forged alloy wheels as standard. The wheels were built to Lexus specifications by BBS and are surrounded by high-performance sport tires. A modified suspension lowers the entire car by more than a half-inch when compared to the base IS, and one full inch when compared to IS models equipped with 18-inch wheels.

The IS-F features an all-new three-mode version of Lexus' Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system. In addition to the Normal mode, the new VDIM features a Sport mode that allows the driver to push the car even further before its braking-, throttle- and steering-control systems kick in. The third VDIM system mode is off, which allows the driver to push the IS-F to its ultimate level of handling performance.

Styling cues that differentiate the IS-F from the standard IS are a dual-exhaust system and quad-tail pipes, wider front fenders, and a larger grille and rear spoiler. Both the hood and lower intake were enlarged to accommodate and cool the V8 engine.

Like the exterior, the interior of the IS-F receives unique styling with aluminized composite trim and special surface treatments. The IP includes an oil-temperature gauge and shift indicator-lights, while the "F" logo is showcased on the steering wheel and rear-center console. The interior of the IS-F features specially shaped and trimmed seats, which hold the driver comfortably and securely in place. The special sport seats are available in black or a unique high-contrast white and black trim.

"The intent of creating the IS-F was not to be a competitor to other performance-sport sedans," said Stuart Payne, Director of Lexus in Canada. "Rather, the goal was to create a true performance sedan in a uniquely Lexus way-one that is totally authentic with a unique interpretation of raw driving thrill at all speeds and provides a whole new definition of 'usable power."

The IS-F will arrive at Lexus dealerships in early 2008.

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