2014 Lexus IS-F new car reviews

The IS-F looks aggressive in real life, but somehow appears rather mild when photographed.
Claiming to have been born on the infamous Fuji Speedway, it has a lot to live up to.

We all know Lexus makes some of the most quality vehicles out there. The IS-F is no exception. Toyota and Lexus set the industry standard when it comes to management and production. This is reflected in their final product.

The IS-F is the all-out sports edition of their 4-door sedan lineup. Claiming to have been born on the infamous Fuji Speedway, it has a lot to live up to. The 5-liter V8 churns out a little over 400 horsepower while singing its impressive melody from the dual stacked exhaust. And what's a sport sedan without massive Brembo calipers? The IS-F comes with 14.2-inch drilled rotors and six-piston calipers in the front and 13.6-inch drilled rotors with 4-piston calipers in the rear.

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David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

The IS-F is one of those performance cars that has, for whatever reasons, lived just on the periphery of our world. It makes a ton of V8 power, treats the driver well, and has a nice chassis. It's even rear-wheel drive.

So, what's its problem? Probably the fact that it only has two pedals: go and stop. Right there, I'm afraid, Lexus concedes to the BMW, at least in our world.

If you can get past the automatic transmission--a really nice eight-speed automatic--the car offers something for our world. First, yeah, there's the engine, a 5.0-liter V8 that makes 416 horsepower. Lexus V8s have always been smooth, and this one is no different. Lexus claims a zero-to-60 time of 4.6 seconds.

That automatic, we found, is smooth, too. While not a twin-clutch unit, it does well. Having eight forward speeds has to help. (And anyone else remember when a four-speed automatic was the hot setup?)

What else is there to like? Well, the IS-F has a rear-drive chassis, Torsen rear diff, forged 19-inch wheels and big Brembo brakes.

And it looks mean. Really mean.

Of course, this is tempered by a small dose of reality. The IS-F slurps gasoline. The price of entry starts near $65,000. It didn't get the latest IS-chassis redesign. Oh, and it's only available with an automatic.

Our advice? If you want a Lexus Q-ship and don't mind the auto box, shop used.

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