Click above for a high-res gallery of the Lexus IS F.

The introduction of the IS F proved that Lexus was serious about taking on its Germanic counterparts, but it's taking another page out of the BMW and Audi playbook by beginning to offer a high-performance driving experience to prospective owners. The Lexus Performance Driving Academy has announced dates and locations for 2008, giving attendees a choice of two courses to suit their needs and pocketbooks.

The first course consists of a two-hour session that puts you behind the wheel of the IS250, IS350, GS460, GS450h and the IS F. These basic sessions are available on Saturday and Sunday and here's the kicker: it's free. If you're willing to take a Friday off, you can upgrade to the "Ultimate" session that puts you behind the wheel of the IS F for a half-day, and includes your basic chalk talk (racing lines, grip dynamics, etc.), a team time attack, timed autocross session and a lead/follow exercise around the racetrack. Not a bad deal for $295.

Four tracks are available, including the Autobahn Circuit in Joliet, Illinois; the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California; the Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia; and the Atlanta Motor Speedway, in Hampton, Georgia. You can head over to the Lexus Performance Driving Academy website for all the details.

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