click above image to view more high-res photos of the Lexus IS-F

Merry Christmas, says Lexus, which announced today that its hopped up entry-level luxury sedan will go on sale Christmas Day in Japan. Also unknown until now is the exact horsepower rating of the car's 5.0L V8, which has been revealed as 311kW, or 417 horsepower when converted from kilowatts, at 6,600 RPM. Meanwhile, torque is pegged at 372 ft-lb at 5,200 RPM. The 4.968L engine features variable valve timing on the intake side of things, as well as both direct and port fuel injection systems, which is interesting and a little confusing. We'll leave it to an engineer to explain that one. As we already knew, however, the engine's power will be divided up into tiny pieces by an 8-speed automatic sourced from the Lexus LS 460. Pricing starts at ¥7,600,000 or $65,170.00 USD when converted. Perhaps if you've been good this year, Santa will drive an IS-F all the way from Japan and park it under your tree. If not, you'll have to wait for its impending U.S. arrival like the rest of us.

Check out Toyota's full press release after the jump.

[Source: Lexus via MT forums]

Related GalleryLexus IS-F


PRESS RELEASE:

Lexus Launches 'IS F' in Japan

TOKYO, October 4, 2007 - Lexus announced today that it will begin sales in Japan, starting on December 25, of the "IS F"*.

The IS F is a Lexus "F" premium sports car based on the concept of proposing a new level of performance for Lexus through a refinement of basic performance with the addition of new cruising technology. The vehicle was developed to pursue, to the fullest extent possible, the "joy of driving" - which is one of the fundamental appeals of the automobile - by responding reliably and performing as intended.

Based on the IS series, the IS F boasts a completely new engine and transmission, an exclusive suspension and specially selected aluminum wheels and tires. The vehicle was tested extensively on race circuits in Japan and overseas, including Fuji Speedway, in order to demonstrate its full potential. Detailed attention to the responsiveness of the acceleration, gear shifting, steering and brakes, as well as to the actual experience of quality (such as engine sound and the sensation of acceleration), has created a new type of driving pleasure - not just for the driver but for passengers as well - thus expressing the emotional appeal of the Lexus brand.

* Based on the idea of creating a vehicle that can run on various types of roads, the vehicle was extensively tested on race circuits, including Higashifuji Technical Center and Fuji Speedway. The "F" in the IS F name comes from the "F" in "Fuji Speedway".

Note: Products described in this and in any attached materials are for the Japanese market only.

Monthly Sales Target (in Japan): 40 units

Assembly Plant : Tahara Plant, Toyota Motor Corporation

Model: IS F
Engine: 2UR-GSE
Powertrain: 5.0-liter V8, Front-engine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission: 8-Speed Sport Direct Shift
Price (including consumption tax)*: 7,660,000

* Excluding recycling fees

Vehicle Outline

1. Performance that Can Maximize Driving Pleasure

The newly developed 5.0-liter V8 engine is a D-4S (direct injection four-stroke gasoline engine, superior version) that combines both port and direct fuel injection. Advanced technologies, including electric motor-driven VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent system by Electric motor) on the intake side of the Dual VVT-i (Dual Variable Valve Timing-intelligent system), maximize the performance of the engine. This naturally aspirated engine provides a feeling of linear acceleration, high acceleration response and powerful, enjoyable acceleration even at high engine speeds.

By adopting the dual-intake system, the IS F provides smooth and even torque at low or medium engine speeds and high torque with both air inlets open at high engine speeds. In addition, the engine sound goes through three transitions in line with rpm to offer true sports car stimulation.

Engine Specifications
Model: 2UR-GSE
Type: V8 DOHC
Displacement [cc]: 4,968
Bore x stroke [mm]: 94.0 x 89.5
Fuel supply system: D-4S (direct fuel injection + port fuel injection)
Fuel type: Premium unleaded gasoline
Compression ratio: 11.8:1
Maximum output [kW (PS) / rpm]: 311 (423) / 6,600
Maximum torque [N-m (kg-m) / rpm]: 505 (51.5) / 5,200
Exhaust emissions levels compared to the Japanese 2005 standards(1): 75% lower
Fuel efficiency in the 10-15 Japanese test cycle(2) [km/l]: 8.2

1. Specified under the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport's (MLIT) Approval System for Low-emission Vehicles
2. Outlined by MLIT

The 8-Speed Sport Direct Shift transmission is based on the eight-speed automatic transmission used on the LS460 series, with electronic control technology that provides the benefits of both the smooth shifting of an automatic transmission for comfortable driving and a full-scale, sporty manual transmission that does not need a clutch - which is without precedent anywhere in the world* for an eight-speed transmission. The two-pedal sports transmission also offers new value and perfectly suits a premium sports car. In addition to smooth shifting when the lever is in "D", the torque converter allows smooth and powerful acceleration when starting up in first-gear by putting the lever in "M". In gears two through eight, the direct connection between the engine and the transmission results in direct acceleration response. While achieving one of the fastest gear-change responses in the world, the transmission also has a blipping (revving) control feature that-in the fashion of the heel and toe technique used by race drivers-automatically increases engine rotation speed during downshifts to avoid downshift jolts. In addition, the IS F also features a special paddle shifter that can be operated without the need to remove one's hand from the steering wheel.

The springs, shock absorbers, stabilizers and other parts have been optimally tuned for an exclusive suspension that is based on the IS series suspension, which provides both outstanding stability and a feeling of agility. The vehicle offers excellent cruising performance that is capable of handling race circuits.

In addition to 19-inch forged aluminum wheels that are both strong and light, the IS F uses large-diameter, wide 225/40R19 tires at the front and 255/35R19 tires at the rear for superior gripping performance, excellent handling and cruising stability.

The IS F has high-performance brakes that can withstand even extreme braking on race circuits.
The VDIM (Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management) system stabilizes the vehicle by coordinating control and achieving an optimum balance between drive power, steering and braking, thus allowing high preventive safety. The IS F's VDIM has a "sports" mode that ensures safety while maximizing vehicle performance.

* As of September 2007, according to a TMC survey


2. Interior and Exterior Designs and Exclusive Equipment Appeal to a Sports Car Mindset

The hood, grille, front fenders and front and rear bumpers, rocker panel molding, rear spoiler and other elements were designed exclusively for the IS F based on the Lexus design philosophy "L-finesse"*. The exterior styling has a dynamic yet simple form that expresses the vehicle's cruising performance and functionality.

The sharply contrasted interior uses the colors black and white with blue accents that are exquisitely placed. The center console and armrests feature special ornamentation.

The gauges have an exclusive metal ring achieved through cutting work. The gauge needles feature blue LEDs and a speedometer that goes up to 300km/h. (Vehicles with domestic specifications have a function to limit speeds that activates at 180km/h.)

The four sports-car-style seats emphasize a degree of holding power that can withstand cruising on race circuits.
The 14-speaker Mark Levinson® premium surround-sound audio system has been tuned specifically for the IS F (optional on all vehicles in the series).

*Created by combining "leading-edge" and "finesse" design concepts


3. Class-leading Safety and Environmental Performance*

The Pre-crash Safety System, which uses millimeter-wave radar, warns drivers that a front-end collision is imminent and works to reduce injury if an accident occurs (optional on all vehicles in the series).
Along with an impact-absorbing body and strong cabin, the IS F achieves further contributions to class-leading safety performance through dual-stage SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) airbags for the driver and front passenger seat (SRS twin-chamber airbag for the front passenger seat); SRS knee airbags for the driver and front passenger seat; SRS side airbags for the driver and front passenger seat; and SRS curtain shield airbags for both front and rear seats.

Efforts were made to improve fuel efficiency in order to reduce CO2 emissions. The vehicle boasts a fuel efficiency of 8.2km/l in the 10-15 test cycle outlined by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) with CO2 emissions under the test cycle just 283g/km. Both NOx (nitrogen oxides) and NMHC (non-methane hydrocarbons) have also been reduced, achieving emissions levels 75% lower than the 2005 standards under the MLIT's Approval System for Low-emission Vehicles.

The IS F benefits from Eco-VAS (Eco-Vehicle Assessment System) - Toyota's original comprehensive environmental impact assessment system - achieving overall reduction of environmental impact throughout the vehicle's entire lifecycle. Environmental targets were set in the initial vehicle development stage and a life cycle assessment was carried out to achieve a reduction of air contaminants and CO2, etc., throughout all stages of the vehicle's life from production and use to disposal.

In addition to using highly recyclable materials, greater attention has been paid to the environment by, among other means, reducing the use of substances of concern such as lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium, achieving the Japanese automobile industry's voluntary goals of eliminating the use of these substances.