The new IS sedans from Lexus are proving to be a big hit with the critics so far, and we've now learned that the company is readying a performance coupe version that will most likely be called the IS 500. According to JapaneseCarFans, the car will be powered by a 4.3L V8 producing 300 hp. The site has shots of a mule track testing and notes the car's right-hand drive layout. With the Lexus brand recently being introduced in the Japanese home market, it's clear that new models like the IS500 are being developed for markets both at home and abroad. Principle competition for the IS500 would likely be the big boys – BMW's M3 and the Mercedes CLK 55 AMG.

[Photo Credits: Copyright Lehmann Photo-Syndication]

UPDATE:

As many readers pointed out in the comments, dropping the company's current 4.3L V8 in a coupe destined to do battle with the likes of BMW's M3 makes no sense. Apparently the original article we linked to was riddled with typos. The test mule has a 4.6L V8 that's destined to replace the current 4.3L, and that engine will most likely end up in the LS flagship sedan first. The naming convention of this coupe clearly indicates a 5.0L V8 will probably be used, and it would need 350-400 hp minimum to compete in the segment.



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