Slambox Shifted: 2008 Lexus IS F
In 2008 Lexus released a sportified version of their BMW-challenging IS compact luxury sedan simply called the IS F. It was allegedly the byproduct of a skunk works team lead by Yukihiko Yaguchi (known for his work on the Mk IV Supra) and it positively blew the doors off all prior Lexus “sports” cars (such as the oatmeal inspired SC430). Find this 2008 Lexus IS F here on eBay bidding for $12,000 with 4 days to go, located in Rancho Cordova, CA.
The IS F was a big two-ton challenge to the BMW M3’s reign as king of the sport sedans, but stick lovers lamented the lack of an available clutch pedal. However, all wasn’t lost, because the F came with giant paddle shifters attached to the quickest shifting conventional slushbox this side of a top fuel dragster that allowed the 5 seater to hit 60mph in 4.3 seconds. Well played, Lexus…if that is your real name…
Under the hood was an all new 5.0 liter 2UR-GSE DOHC V8 producing 416 horsepower and 371 ft-lbs of torque sent to the previously mentioned 8 speed
slush slambox. Of course power is routed to the rear wheels where sophisticated traction control system keeps the open diff in check (a Torsen limited slip was added to the 2010+ model year IS F).
See a better M3 competitor? email@example.com
I dunno, this car was a good attempt, and it's not a bad car, but given it's purpose, it just comes off a bit faux for me……like a 16 year old buying a pre-faded Sex Pistols shirt at Old Navy.
I think this feeling is best summed up by the phony exhaust tips:
^^this, exactly. Those "exhaust finishers" were THE perfect metaphor for that entire F-ing exercise. The engine is a rumbling beast with aural shades of Talledega and that's undeniably cool. But, FTB is spot on. It's as if Lexus looked at the e90 M3 and said to themselves "oh oh! We can do that!" and the followed the How to Build a Sport Sedan That Looks Cool playbook but somehow put the emPHAsis of the wrong syLLAble.
BTW: "Inspired by oatmeal"…I'll be taking that for myself, thank you.
Seeing it is from Rancho Cordova chances are it's a salvage vehicle. Checking, checking….yep.
I want to say 'the only technical accomplishment in this car is finding a plastic for the rear bumper exhaust tips that won't melt from the heat' but that's a bit much.
They're not a bad car, I guess, but most of the small to medium Lexes of that era including the F have little ergonomic gotchas – at least relative to my 185lb 6'1" dimensions – I couldn't live with.
Toyota has built lots of wonderful Lexes for people 5'7" but they stop fitting – roofline too low, visors scraping your forehead, controls in the wrong places – when you get much bigger.