Lexus is billing the IS-F as "Everything you thought we weren't," and the potential is certainly there. The engine bay is filled with 5 liters of 4-valve V8 putting out 416 horsepower and 371 pound-feet of torque. The Minilite-esque wheels hide a Brembo braking system with six piston front calipers and cross-drilled rotors 14.2 inches in diameter. The sill extensions wrap up the front fenders to form a styling detail reminiscent of extractor vents, and the rest of the body has been tweaked in the wind tunnel to improve high speed aerodynamics. It all sounds good when you read the spec sheet, and the car does at least look aggressive . What everyone's dying to know, though, is "has Lexus done it this time?" Automobile magazine had the same burning curiosity, and they just also happened to have an IS-F sitting in their lot.
In no time, they headed over to their local Dynojet. The result? Well, they're a little disappointed, and they're calling the torque delivery peaky. Looking at the dyno graph, we're not sure we'd agree entirely with that assessment. There's at least 225 lb-feet at the wheels from 1,800 rpm, topping out at 318 lb-ft. First, let's point out that 15 percent torque loss through a drivetrain including an eight speed automatic is pretty phenomenal. Secondly, the torque curve is pretty fat below the peak. What is surprising to everyone, though, is the way the power drops off precipitously on the other side of the 5,200 rpm peak. You'd think an engine with 4-cams and Yamaha-designed cylinder heads would be a revver. Of course, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics and these dyno results are sure to kick up some debate. What still remains to be seen is how the entire package works when pitted against its bogeyed competition. For that, we must still wait.
[Source: Automobile, photo: Automobile]