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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