Quick Drive: Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance

+ The Lexus IS sedan has been around for a long time (its last full redesign came 2013) and while it has received updates throughout the years to remain equipped with the latest features and infotainment, it’s lost the performance edge that it once had. 

Lexus IS 500

+ One way to regain that desirability is to drop in a powertrain that no other competitors offer – a 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated V8 with a 7,300 red line, a sharp (and sometimes brutal) automatic transmission, and an active exhaust that rewards with a wonderful bellowing sound at any engine speed, even idle.

+ The Lexus also adds on a generous serving of chassis upgrades such as larger brakes, a limited-slip differential, additional chassis dampening, and lightweight 19-inch wheels wrapped in performance rubber. 

+ The IS 500 F Sport Performance, as it is officially known as, is a tier less in the performance hierarchy than the Lexus F models which have built up a reputation for speed…and sometimes harsh rides. 

Lexus IS 500

+ The IS 500’s adaptive dampers (and the active exhaust) are ready to play the role of a responsible adult by serving up a ride that doesn’t spill the coffee or require turning up the radio to hear the having to turn up the radio a lot to overcome the road noise. 

Lexus IS 500

For anyone who has desired a Lexus F as a reasonable everyday car, this is it. For anyone who was still trying to justify the Lexus IS as a performance bargain against its competition, you now have at least one undeniably good reason to choose it over the others.

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