– 2011 Lexus IS-F Road Test & Review

The 2011 Lexus IS-F may not look so different than IS-Fs of the past four years, but thorough re-tuning of its suspension has finally transformed it into a complete sports sedan.

This isn’t your mother’s Lexus! The IS-F scorches the tarmac with 416 hp from its 5.0L Yamaha-tuned V8. The redline is 6800rpm, but you can tell the motor wants to pull to 8k and beyond.

It produces 371 lb.-ft. of torque at 5200 rpm, and at around 4000 rpm you can hear a noticeable cam phase, like that of a Honda VTEC motor or any of Yamaha’s other high-performance street-car motors found in Ford and Toyota products over the years.

That somewhat peaky powerband gives the car a very racy feeling, and the 8-speed automatic does a commendable job of getting the power down. The IS-F rockets to 60mph in 4.2 seconds, yet the 8 speeds allow it to achieve decent fuel economy (16/23) and dodge the gas guzzler tax.

The addition of a Torsen limited-slip differential, as well as the suspension upgrades, combined to knock off around 8 seconds from the car’s lap time at VIR, putting it nearly equal with the vaunted BMW M3. It also equals or bests our tester M3’s equipment levels while costing nearly $7000 less.

Well done, Lexus.

—Ross Rapoport, Road Test Editor and Video Host

Visit for more photos and a downloadable window sticker.

Vehicle: 2011 Lexus IS-F

Base Price: $59,010

Price as tested: $63,007

Engine: 5.0L V8

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Horsepower: 416 @ 6600 rpm

Torque: 371 lb.-ft. @5200

0-60 MPH: 4.2 sec.

Warranty: 4 years, 50,000 miles

Fuel Economy: 16 city / 23 highway MPG –

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