The Lexus IS F, Japan's answer to the European BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz C63, has been with us since its introduction at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show. The first-generation sedan is fitted with the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 (2UR-GSE) from Toyota, a powerplant shared with the hybrid Lexus LS 600h. Tuned by Yamaha, the engine is rated at 416 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 371 pound-feet of torque at 5,200. Mated to a wet eight-speed automatic, the current rear-wheel drive IS is good for a 0-60 sprint in about 4.6 seconds.

But natural aspiration and big displacement is so last year. BMW has confirmed that the next-generation M3 will drop its V8 in favor of a turbocharged inline-six, and it is just a matter of time before the C63 drops its naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 for the automaker's twin-turbo 5.5-liter. Both engines will supply gobs of enthusiast-pleasing torque down low, and much better fuel efficiency – trademarks of today's advanced forced-induction engines.

The replacement is reportedly much larger than the current IS (with a dashboard inspired by the Lexus LFA supercar), and the new sedan will need to meet or exceed the power of its Euro rivals to be competitive. That means 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, assuming the rivals hold power at their current levels.

We recently asked Lexus about rumors that the next-generation IS F will follow the same path. While nobody would confirm that the range-topping successor would have a smaller turbocharged engine, the executives admitted with a sly smile that such an approach does have its advantages. They didn't need to say more.

As Lexus doesn't have an obvious turbocharged solution in its current lineup, what do you think will end up under the hood in 2014? And, now that Toyota and BMW have inked a new collaboration, what about the possibility of Lexus borrowing a BMW-sourced engine for its next-gen IS F (much like the Subaru deal for the Scion FR-S)? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


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  • 56 Comments
      Temple
      • 2 Years Ago
      They should just add turbos on the current 5L V8. Current IS-F turbo kits easily offer 600hp+. Lexus needs to differentiate themselves. Merely mataching the Germans won't be enough, even if it is a better car, the reviews will always favour BMW/Audi/Merc. Wishlist: V8-turbo + dual-cluth+ sub-3,800lb curb weight.
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not going to be another 2JZ, as lovely and awesome as that would be. Toyota simply isn't that same company anymore. Very rarely does a major automaker tend to take one of their best (cancelled/out of production) engines in history, (even if easier) redesign / re-engineer it to modern standards, and put it back into production. Exceptions: GM LS and LNF engines, Mitsubishi 4G63T (evo IX), IS300 (2JZ FE, (not GTE) ) , Honda B16a2 from 1999-2000 Si. If this occurs, it is unfortunately watered down in the process such as the aforementioned 2JZ from 10-11 years ago, and the way today's K24z in the civic Si is a higher compression but lower tech version of the K24a2 from the 2003-2008 acura TSX ... Etc.. You get the point... That said, it would not be unlikely for Toyota to take their existing 3.5 V6 from the IS and GS or even the smaller 2.5 liter, add D4-S and boost the poo out of it to make this sort of power... If I'm not mistaken... there transverse (fwd) V6 from the Camry and ES350 is already offered with a supercharger by Lotus for Evora duty, no ? Or is it just re-tuned and dropped in there? /endrant
        Jason
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        That's correct; the 2GR-FE in the Lotus Evora is a transverse version of the 2GR-FSE with a 10.8:1 compression ratio and topped with a Harrop supercharger (similar if not the same as the discontinued TRD Aurion's supercharger). There are large differences between the two engines, but they share the same bore/stroke and basic design. The 2GR-FSE would need a bit lower compression from its current 11.8:1, perhaps 9.8-10.2:1 and about 7-10 psi of boost (with overboost). The engine is highly capable. The transverse 2GR-FE puts down 275-295whp (330-350hp crank) when freed from its restrictive intake and exhaust setups, and that's without dual-injection or forced induction. It doesn't need much boost at all to stay competitive. Toyota also has the 4.0L 1GR-FE, but I'm not fond of long-stroke motors in a sports sedan. Piston speeds would reach high velocities, so revs would be limited. Toyota could make a big bore version of the 1GR for the IS-F without much modification (the engine is die-cast, so a new die would be needed), and maybe use the 83mm stroke and crank, intake, heads, etc. from the 2GR-FSE.
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        Toyota didn't take the N/A 2JZ out of production until 2005. It was in the GS300 from that model's debut up until 2005.
      SatinSheetMetal
      • 2 Years Ago
      The real question is when will they start playing the engine over the speakers?
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SatinSheetMetal
        I hope not. 2UR-GSE has a very nice sound. No need to pull a BMW.
      sstowes
      • 2 Years Ago
      Perhaps what I find more interesting than the IS-F is the appearance of a convergence of Supra related rumors here. If Subaru has supplied the basic platform through the BR-Z/GT86 and Lexus has supplied the engine with a twin-turbocharged V6, I'd hope all parties involved would arrive at the same point and build the long-rumored successor. Back on topic, I think the twin turbo V6 would suit the IS-F just fine. Depending on the placement of all of its parts, it might also help weight distribution. The current IS-F is a bit nose heavy. But regardless of what they use, please, for the love of all things Holy, lose the stupid fake extra exhaust tips.
        oRenj9
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sstowes
        The IS-F is basically the spiritual successor to the Supra. Engineering talent from the old Supra moved on to work on the IS-F and it competes in the same market as the Supra did - with the M3 being the only competition left.
      RodRAEG
      • 2 Years Ago
      The real questions is, will two of the IS-F's four exhaust pipes still be fake?
        Dwight Bynum Jr.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RodRAEG
        What exactly do you mean by "fake"? You do realize the IS-F's mufflers have FOUR separate outlets... right? Are they "fake" because the chrome rings you see exiting the rear cover aren't directly welded to the mufflers? If so, then you're a moron for having absolutely NO idea how heat transfer works, nor now much exhaust systems move and flex. Oh yeah, and feel free to add the Audi R8, Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari California, Ferrari F430 Scuderia, Lamborghini MurciƩlago LP640, and a few other cars to your list. You know, since they all have "fake" exhaust tips as well...
      shyu0622
      • 2 Years Ago
      I used to drive an N54 335i - Twin turbo and just chock full of problems. If Lexus decides to go forced induction, please don't go with a BMW engine!
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @shyu0622
        EDIT: They won't be sharing a BMW engine, BMW wouldn't allow them to have their new TT six.
        oRenj9
        • 2 Years Ago
        @shyu0622
        Lexus is known for having Toyota reliability while BMW is know for "German" reliability. I don't think there is anything to worry about in that regard.
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @shyu0622
        Why would they go with a BMW engine?
      Vinuuz
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder why Lexus tries to ape everything that the Germans do? I think the standard should be like this - BMW - German Performance Audi - German for all season cars with super nice interiors Mercedes Benz - German for comfort and luxury Lexus - Japanese for comfort and luxury and hybrids Infiniti - Japanese for Performance Acura - Japanese cheap luxury If all these brands stick to what they do best, world could have been much better!
        adam1keith1980
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Vinuuz
        Competition in every niche benefits consumers.
        Matt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Vinuuz
        I think the German three being performance oriented and the Japanese three being just sporty is closer. I love the ISF and the G37 (and let's be real, Acura has nothing) but I feel they're not in the same league as the Germans. Also, for Mercedes the argument could be made that they're luxury performance with a touch a Detroit mentality to it, at least for the AMG or Black series models. Some of them just sound vicious and have one hell of a power plant.
      dan1malk
      • 2 Years Ago
      Aw man, the ATS-V is going to clean house if they can get an LS7 in there.
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dan1malk
        ATS-V won't have an LS7. That engine is going away when the Gen IV small block ends production,and I don't see it coming back.
      David Farrell
      • 2 Years Ago
      How do you fix the irrelevant slush-box only M3 wannabe? Make it much larger!
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @David Farrell
        >slush-box only M3 wannabe The C63 would like a word.
      Black Dynamite
      • 2 Years Ago
      Better question is will it have a manual, like a true sports sedan, or will it just be a really fast luxury car, that wants to be a sports car, but doesn't have what it takes? BD
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Black Dynamite
        So you are trying to say that the C63 is flawed because it is automatic only? False.
        oRenj9
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Black Dynamite
        Lexus has no incentive to put a manual in the IS-F. If BMW can no longer justify it for the M3, then there is no hope for any Lexus.
      Dwight Bynum Jr.
      • 2 Years Ago
      ^ And above this comment we will witness a bunch of senseless posts spewing forth unwarranted hate for Lexus.
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd like to see them stick with the V8 if at all possible. Besides, the Lexus isn't hit with a gas guzzler tax like the Bimmer and the Merc.
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