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FiveAxis Lexus IS-F at the 2007 LA Auto Show

When Lexus set out to target the likes of the BMW M3, Audi RS4 and Mercedes C63 AMG with its spankin' new IS-F, they weren't kidding. The V8 super-sedan turned out to be an astonishing departure for the Japanese luxury brand that cut its teeth on rock-solid reliability and luxurious comfort. Not content resting on its laurels, rumors are surfacing that Toyota is hard at work preparing an even more extreme variant, being dubbed in the motoring press as the IS-F/R.

Reports have Lexus tweaking an extra 12 horsepower and 4 lb-ft of torque out of the Yamaha-sourced 417-hp/372 lb-ft, 5.0-liter V8 for an increased output of 429 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. A modest increase, it would seem, until you look at the targeted 220-lb weight reduction. And as we all know, a little more power unburdened by significantly less weight is a winning formula. Just ask the likes of the Ferrari 430 Scuderia, Lamborghini Gallardo SUperleggera, Porsche 911 GT2 et al.

The rumored price of admission? A whopping 11 million yen in Japan, compared to the 7.7 million yen for what suddenly looks by comparison like a rather ordinary "standard" IS-F. Pursuit of Perfection, indeed.

[Source: Winding Road]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      eh...BMW made the CSL and they wanted a premium for an M3 with a piece of cardboard separating the trunk from the suspension.
        • 7 Years Ago
        lol...The CSL had a carbon trunk lid, carbon roof, new running gear, various trick engine bits (the airbox alone will run you several thousand...if you can find one), new transmission software, lightweight seats, lightweight interior trim (including the door panels), and a bunch of other great stuff. All told, it resulted in nearly 250 pounds cut from an already fairly lightweight car, and tightened the entire package up to the point of being -THE- benchmark FR sports car on the market in its time.

        Yes, sounds like all they did was put in a cardboard trunk floor...
        • 7 Years Ago
        This car looks hotsauce.

        However, it doesn't look like it'll clear a driveway without taking out the $4K bumper.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why not just call it the IS-R or something? Three letters too good that they had to make "IS-F-R"?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Can't wait for the carpal tunnel I'll get from shifting through 8 gears at an increased rate.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's an 8-speed automatic.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Later, they will also develop super lightweight, uber fast, stacked quad pipe (that would be 8 exhaust tips total, thank you very much), IS-F/RS.

      BTW, I think the FiveAxis's IS-F looks pretty damn good.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Screw you guys, I actually like what fiveaxis did to it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Absolute crap .. and this one will probably up the ante with the world's first 9 speed auto box in an "enthusiast" car. Yeah right.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why not tack on a bunch more letters... separated by all sorts of punctuation.

      And more importantly, why not just make a coupe? the IS's back seats are mostly for show anyway.

      And what is wrong with a 6-speed manual? why have 34 speed ratios in an automatic, as the only option?

      A compact V8 sport coupe could be something, while they continue NOT to produce a new halo sports car.

      Sorry. Not all that impressed. Wake me up when infiniti gets smart enough to put a VVEL 4.5 V8 in the G.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Maserati Quattroporte, 47/53 with rear transaxle.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The lack of ratio spread or large gear spacing, and the large shift time.

        The G is already very front heavy. G37 54/46
        G35 53/47
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, and only twice the price of the already expensive market the IS-F is in.

        I think the Quattroporte is one of the nicest four doors around, but it isn't a common car, and is only one front engined four door that has a rear bias, due to a rear transaxle, which is very unique among sedans. If we are going that far, why not just suggest waiting for a Porsche Panamera, or even an Aston Martin Rapide.

        Coming back down to earth, a front bias on a front engine car is not the end of the world, and a manual transmission isn't either. And if you are looking for the stats and numbers for shift times, and are that particular, a sport sedan isn't ever going to be as fast as a 2-seat, 2-door sports car with comparable power.

        If you are looking for fun in a practical shell, a manual transmission can provide more fun through driver involvement than an 8-speed automatic. I sure like my manual transmission sport sedan with only 300 measly horsepower and AWD. It isn't as fast as an IS-F, M3, RS4, or any of those. It also doesn't cost as much. But it is still fun.

        Yet Lexus doesn't offer a manual transmission *option* one on its primo V8 sport sedan. Nobody else does that, except Mercedes Benz. BMW M5 was forced to bring back the stick option, the M3 will no-doubt have that option, too. Cadillac CTS-V only had a 6-speed stick.

        Mercedes gets away slightly because they have very few, if any manual transmissions in their entire catalog. Not even for the SLR McLaren, or the little SLK roadster. Toyota has manual transmissions, or could at least get one cheaper than developing an 8-speed auto for that application.

        And you chastize the weight distribution of the G35 when the IS-F post the same numbers. Some small V8s are lighter than big V6s, due to more volume of the block being open cylinder bore area, so a V8 isn't automatically drastically heavier than a big V6. I say that after having said that a G45 sport variant would get my attention more than a slight variation of the controversial IS-F.
      • 7 Years Ago
      My god this car looks ugly and uninspiring, I wouldn't give a rats ass about this car if it weighted 2000lbs and had 1000HP, ugly is ugly.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well, I was going to buy an M3 until this gorgeous caught my eye.

        • 7 Years Ago
        DITTO, ETC., TIMES ONE THOUSAND! (of course that applies to every ampLEXUS!) Who else knows what "amplexus" is? SURPRISE ME!
        • 7 Years Ago
        + eleventy billion!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why is it that Yamaha is designing and tuning these engines along with others from manufactures such as Ford?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Extra money.
        • 7 Years Ago
        ...maybe because Yamaha has a great track record of performance-inspired motors? Look at the original 3.0/3.2L Ford Taurus SHO. They designed that motor for revs up to 12k before Ford put its' crappy internals in it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If you ever drove an IS F you'd forgive the ugly. Pretty entertaining car, even on the track.

      BTW, Autoblog, there's no hyphen in IS F. Look at the official spec sheet if you're in doubt.
      • 7 Years Ago
      seems to me like everyone is runnig scared of CTS V, and now they are looking for more horses or cardboards to stay competitive
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, that's it, everyone's afraid of the CTS-V. What color GM koolaid did you drink this time?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, and the CTS-V should be attending to the RS6 right now.
      • 7 Years Ago
      First Japanese Best Motoring Tsukuba test have shown how badly Lexus have failed with the IS-F.
      On the track the IS-F isn´t even in the near of the old E46 M3 not to talk about the new e92 M3.
      The IS-F reached on a perfect dry Tsukuba lap the same laptime that Best Motoring reached with the Audi RS4 on a damp Tsukuba track in foggy conditions..

      Japaneses test
      ~1/4mile (400m!)
      Tsukuba 1:08.10min


      nothing the M3, RS4, C63 AMG needs to worry about

      no wonder that they need to beef up the stock IS-F to get closer to M3 and Co...
        • 7 Years Ago
        But which market M3 are you talking about? U.S. spec, which is heavier, or the lighter Euro car? And, Lexus should have aimed this car at the 545 at least. Still, like I said, a fairly entertaining car to drive. The fake exhaust is lame, though.
        • 7 Years Ago
        But the RS4 eats clutches like there's no tomorrow. Still, why not a 6-speed manual? Of course, Lexus didn't offer a manual the first year of the IS300, so I guess they didn't learn anything from that.

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