Lexus IS F Review: Different Strokes

Lexus IS F Review: Different Strokes

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
07 Sep 2011
What we like:
pros
BMW: Purposeful looks
pros
superb DCT gearbox
pros
agile and dynamic handling
pros
could be the last naturally aspirated M car. Lexus: Superbly refined and docile at low speeds
pros
turns into a V8 monster at higher speeds and above 3600rpm
pros
renowned Lexus dependability and build quality
pros
restrained aggression in the way it looks
What we dislike:
cons
BMW: Needs a more bassy and deeper exhaust note
cons
hard ride
cons
ageing interior. Lexus: Gearbox can be quicker with its shifts
cons
steering can be more communicative
cons
use of some Toyota switchgear inside

The IS F we compared against the M3 sedan was a 2010 MY car. Lexus has since introduced the updated 2011 MY model IS F here (the blue car in the pictures). The updated car looks no different on the outside bar the new headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lights.

Underneath the skin, Lexus says that the updated model features revised suspension settings. The updated model feels like it offers even tauter body control than the pre-facelift model, with its steering feeling more direct and accurate than before – all this while retaining its exceptional ride and refinement. It seems that Lexus has also altered the shift program for the eight-speed auto gearbox. In manual mode and with Sport selected, up shifts at higher revs feel more urgent to the point of almost being instantaneous.

It is on the inside where the 2011 MY IS F features the most obvious changes. There is a new instrument pack that is said to mimic the LFA’s, which feature an oversized rev counter flanked by a small-ish analogue speedometer that is almost impossible to read at a glance. To counter this problem, Lexus has added a digital speedo read out within the rev counter. The new instruments certainly give the IS F’s driving environment racier than previously. Other changes on the inside include revised rear seats and seat belts to further improve safety and the addition of the IS250’s touchscreen infotainment system which comes with Bluetooth telephone connectivity, sat nav, reversing camera and 14-speaker Mark Levinson audio system with MP3 and iPod compatibility.

Credits: Story and photos by Raymond Lai

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