If The V-6 Powered Lexus IS wasn’t enough for you, then boy do I have some good news for you today. Lexus has just revealed the IS 500 F Sport Performance, and with it comes a brutal 5.0-liter V-8, and aggressive design package, and enough weight savings to make the weight gain from the larger engine negligible at best (it’s 143 pounds – 64.96 kg -heavier to be exact).
As the very first model in Lexus’ new F Sport Performance lineup, the 5.0-liter V-8 delivers a total of 472 horsepower (352 kW) at 7,100 rpm and 395 pound-feet (525.5 Nm) of torque as low as 4,800 rpm. According to Lexus, this is enough power to propel the 3,891 pound (1.765 kg) IS up to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds while somehow maintaining an average highway fuel economy rating of 24 mpg. Inspired by the RC F, the IS 500 F Sport Performance also features a new quad exhaust system with dual-stacked tail pipes, and a “ferocious” sound.
Unfortunately, all this goodness doesn’t come without some bad news, and I’m sorry to tell you that there is no manual transmission available for the IS 500 F Sport Performance. Shifting duties are handled by the same eight-speed automatic found in the IS 300 and IS 350 RWD. The standard Dynamic Handling Package includes adaptive suspension and a Torsen limited-slip differential. Yamaha was actually tapper for the rear performance shocks to improve bother stability and structural rigidity. To accommodate the extra power and performance, Lexus has increased the front brake discs from 13.1 inches to 14.0 inches and the rear brake discs from 11.7 inches to 12.7 inches.
Pricing for the new IS 500 F Sport Performance has yet to be announced, but it goes on sale this fall (2021). With the current range-topping IS 350 F Sport commanding between $42,900 (RWD) and $44,900 (AWD) expect the IS 500 F Sport Performance to hit the wallet for at least $54,000 before options taxes and pricing.
How Does the Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance Compare to the BMW M3?
If you can get past the BMW M3’s massive bucktooth grille, you’ll find that the M3 is a fine piece of automotive art aimed at the hearts of those that want the best in comfort, luxury, and performance in a relatively small package. Interior materials and technology are on point – BMW’s infotainment system is one of the best in the business – and the M3 is almost always very engaging to drive. In terms of performance, you won’t get the same V-8 growl that you’ll get form the Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance, but that twin-turbo inline six doesn’t sound bad either. Hitting you with 472 horsepower (+1) and 406 pound-feet of torque (+11), the M3 is just as good on paper.
It’s only 51 pounds lighter than the F Sport Performance but it manages to run up to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds, beating out the IS500 by 0.4 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155 mph, but with the right performance tires and speed limited disabled, you’ll max out at 180 mph. The M3 doesn’t come cheap, though, commanding at least $69,900, so there’s a good chance that the IS 500 F Sport Performance will be considerably cheaper when everything is said and done.
|Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance||BMW M3|
|Engine||5.0-liter V-8||3.0-liter, Twin-Turbo, Inline-Six|
|Transmission||Eight-Speed Automatic||Six-Speed Manual|
|Horsepower||472 @ 7,100 RPM||473 @ 6,250 RPM|
|Torque (lb-ft)||395 @ 4,800 RPM||406 @ 2650 RPM|
|Curb Weight||3,891 LBS||3,840 LBS|
|0-60 MPH||4.5 Seconds||4.1 Seconds|
|Top Speed||165 MPH (est)||155 MPH (lmited) 180 MPH (track)|