Roadfly.com – 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 http://roadflytv.com 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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Written by Roadfly Charlie

Charlie is Roadfly’s founder and publisher, and was taught to drive by his father in a 1974 Porsche 914. That made poor Charlie a Porsche fanboy for life, and after driving a 911SC at 16, he bought and campaigned a variety of 944s at racetracks up and down the East Coast, earning awards and track records in his twenties. Charlie never really got over the car bug, and after a career in real estate development he founded the Internet media firm that became Roadfly. Charlie lives in McLean, VA with his wife and two daughters, and between the demands of family and business doesn’t have much time to play with cars anymore, excluding the machinery we review.

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