Lexus Brings Back a V8-Powered IS

Miss the V8-powered IS-F? Apparently Lexus does, as they just dropped this: the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport. The key here is that 500 number plate: the same 5.0-liter V8 currently found in the IS’s two-door relative, the RC.

Power output is rated at 472 horsepower at 7100 rpm and 395 lb.-ft. of torque at 4800 rpm, with gear changes handled through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Lexus also touts that the IS 500 gains “only 143 pounds of additional curb weight over the standard IS 350 F SPORT,” and can blast to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

In the handling department, the upcoming IS “will come standard with the IS RWD F SPORT’s Dynamic Handling Package (DHP), which includes Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) and a Torsen® limited slip differential (LSD).”

Pricing, as well as options and color choices, are expected to be announced “closer to launch,” though the release does note that you’ll be able to meet the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport at dealerships this fall.

Read the full press release below:

PLANO, Texas (February 22, 2021) – Last year’s reimagined front-engine rear-wheel-drive IS struck the perfect balance of sportiness and sophistication, making it the best IS to date. However, Chief Engineer Naoki Kobayashi and his team at Lexus International have been working on something truly special exclusively for the North American market. Enter the first-ever Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance, which dials up the sports sedan formula to eleven with the addition of a powerful 472-horsepower naturally aspirated V8 engine and ferocious quad exhaust system. It expands the IS family and ushers in a new era of F SPORT Performance models that will appeal to passionate driving enthusiasts that crave higher levels of performance over the standard F SPORT models.

A Rare Breed: Lexus F SPORT Performance Line

As the first model in the new Lexus F SPORT Performance line, the IS 500 engine provides a boost in displacement and performance over the IS 350’s 3.5-liter V6. With a push of the engine start button, its naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine roars to life, providing a not-so-subtle reminder that something special lies beneath its raised hood. The IS 500 has a maximum output of 472 hp at 7,100 rpm and 395 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,800 rpm. Despite the drastically more powerful engine, the vehicle tips the scales at 3,891 pounds, gaining only 143 pounds of additional curb weight over the standard IS 350 F SPORT. The IS 500 is capable of delivering a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds and has a manufacturer-estimated 24 mpg highway rating. Other IS 500 performance enhancements include a throaty quad exhaust system with dual stacked tail pipes that perfectly amplify the new V8 engine. This exhaust not only sounds ferocious, but is inspired by F models, like the RC F.

IS 500 uses the same the same eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission found in the IS 300 and IS 350 RWD models. It also features drive mode select Sport S and Sport S+, which provides advanced engine and transmission mapping to enhance performance. Sport S+ also adjusts the amount of EPS steering assist and damping force to deliver sportier handling to match the updated powertrain settings. Custom Mode is also available, offering multiple combinations for powertrain (Normal/Eco/Power), chassis (Normal/Sport) and air conditioner (Normal/Eco).

Starting with the 2022 IS 500, Lexus F SPORT Performance models will come adorned with unique black badging on the sides to distinguish it from F models.

Building on Lexus Driving Signature

The new 2021 IS launched an era of vehicles developed at Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama with a uniform Lexus Driving Signature. Since Lexus launched, the tactile feel, behavior, and execution for each model has been driven by the vision and efforts of the Chief Engineer. Moving forward, the efforts of the CE will be focused on elevating the vehicles to a new standard of performance and handling as developed by Lexus International President and Chief Branding Officer Koji Sato and Master Driver and Brand Holder Akio Toyoda. The ultimate goal is to deliver a new generation of Lexus vehicles that is more balanced, refined in control, and confident than ever before. Linear steering, brake responses, and optimized handling with exceptional ride quality is the result of heightened focus on tuning of the chassis and its interactions with the control surfaces through diligent evaluation at a test facility unlike any other.

The all-new IS 500 builds on the improvements made to the 2021 IS with a focus on delivering confidence and a linear connection between driver and vehicle. The IS 500 will come standard with the IS RWD F SPORT’s Dynamic Handling Package (DHP), which includes Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) and a Torsen® limited slip differential (LSD) that improves handling and performance thanks to enhanced traction when cornering or exiting turns. The LSD helps maintain straight-line stability as well. Engineers have also improved the IS chassis performance with the addition of a Yamaha® rear performance damper. This damper reduces dynamic structural distortion, delivering increased comfort at low speeds, and additional stability and agility at high speeds. Brake cooling enhancements have also been made over the standard IS 350 F SPORT with additional aerodynamic cooling and larger 14.0-inch two-piece aluminum front rotors and 12.7-inch rear rotors.

The Devil’s in the Details

The IS 500 features subtle exterior enhancements to help set it apart from the standard IS 350 F SPORT. The hood has been raised nearly 2 inches and receives sculpted center character lines, while the front bumper and fenders have been lengthened to help accommodate the vehicle’s naturally aspirated V8 muscle. IS 500 will come standard with exclusive 19-inch split-10-spoke Enkei alloy wheels. Not only are they beautiful and intricate, the wheels are approximately 1-pound lighter per wheel in front and 2 pounds lighter per wheel in the rear, compared to the standard 19-inch F SPORT wheel. Other exterior updates include a revised lower rear diffuser accent that accentuates the quad exhaust system, as well as dark chrome window trim. Tying these visual and performance cues together is the black IS F SPORT rear lip spoiler.

Inside, drivers are greeted with black F SPORT Performance badging on the heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and door sill scuff plates. It also comes standard with the IS F SPORT accelerator pedal, brake pedal and footrest, but the combination instrumentation meter receives an updated startup animation that is exclusive to IS 500.

Enhanced Lexus Safety System+

The IS 500 inherits the updated Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 recently launched on the 2021 IS. A number of key features that are part of the Lexus Safety System+ have been enhanced, along with the addition of a few new features.

For starters, the Pre-Collision System (PCS), which include Frontal Collision Warning (FCW), Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Pedestrian Detection and Bicyclist Detection, features an enhancement to the lens camera and millimeter-wave radar elements to expand the response range. By enhancing the radar and camera capabilities it is now possible for the system to help detect not only the vehicle ahead but also a preceding bicyclist in daytime and even a preceding pedestrian in daytime and low-light conditions. At intersections, the system has the capability under certain conditions to recognize an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian when performing a left-hand turn and is designed to activate typical PCS functions if needed. Additional PCS functions include Emergency Steering Assist (ESA), which is designed to assist steering within the vehicle’s lane as cued by the driver.

All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) can be activated above 30 mph and is designed to perform vehicle-to-vehicle distance controls down to 0 mph and can resume from a stop. DRCC also includes a new feature that allows for smooth overtaking of slower vehicles. If traveling behind a vehicle going slower than the preset speed, once the driver engages the turn signal, the system will provide an initial increase in acceleration in preparation for changing lanes and; after the driver changes lanes, the vehicle will continue acceleration until it reaches the original preset driving speed.

Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/ SA) is designed to help notify the driver if it senses an inadvertent lane departure at speeds above 32 miles per hour via steering wheel vibrations or audible alert. It can also take slight corrective measures to help keep the driver within the visibly marked lane. When DRCC is set and engaged, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) is designed to provide slight steering force to help steer to the center of the lane to assist the driver with staying in the lane using visible lane markers or a preceding vehicle. LTA alerts the driver with a visual warning and either an audible alert or steering wheel vibration. In the new IS, the lane recognition performance, which makes LTA possible, has been improved with enhanced recognition of line and road edge, lateral G performance, and enhanced control and stability after lane change.

Additional Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 features include Intelligent High Beams, which detects preceding or oncoming vehicles and automatically switches between high beam and low beam headlights. Road Sign Assist (RSA) is designed to acquire certain road sign information using a camera and navigation maps when data is available and displays them on the multi-information display (MID).

Lexus Enform for Safety and Convenience

Lexus Enform Safety Connect comes with a three-year trial with access to Lexus Enform response centers 24/7/365. With Lexus Enform Service Connect, complimentary for the first 10 years, the vehicle can send alerts for specific factory recommended maintenance while simultaneously alerting a preferred Lexus dealer. In addition, the Lexus App allows guests to do everything from starting their vehicle remotely with a smartphone, to contacting dealers for a service appointment, and much more. With an active subscription, the Lexus App dashboard provides a personalized view of convenient vehicle and connected service information, including the Vehicle Health Report, scheduled maintenance and vehicle health alerts. Guests also can manage their subscriptions right from the palm of their hand.

More information regarding MSRP, options, exterior and interior color choices will be made available closer to launch. The all-new 2022 IS 500 F SPORT Performance is expected to arrive in dealerships later this Fall.

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Comments
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yupididit
yupididit PowerDork
2/22/21 11:11 a.m.

Oh what a glorious sound those engines make. I can't get over how ugly the lexus center console looks. They always look and feel dry and cheap to me. I have the same issue with bmw.

Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports HalfDork
2/22/21 11:20 a.m.

Excellent, the IS-F was a magical car.  I had it's little brother IS350 for about 2 years and loved it. 

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
2/22/21 11:24 a.m.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
2/22/21 11:26 a.m.

I absolutely love that Lexus is doing this. 

I loathe the fact that the first person to develop "an angle kit" is going to be the hero of every SEMA build drift kid wannabe when the platform deserves so much better. 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise UltraDork
2/22/21 11:29 a.m.

Love it. This will depress the original IS-F prices finally. I also think this is better suited than a GS-F for us. 

Hoping the wife trades in her RC-F for this, finally!!!!! She was holding out for the LCF but I think the IS500 is the ticket

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
2/22/21 11:31 a.m.

In reply to captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

I hear you on that one. I'll keep my fingers crossed it's less extreme angle and more widebody with a bumper-mounted spoiler.

Fitzauto
Fitzauto Dork
2/22/21 11:35 a.m.

Im only saddened by the lack of manual. Looks like Ive found a replacement for my WRX once we pay off the 4runner.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
2/22/21 11:38 a.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

I trust that Lexus will have done it that way, I just cringe at how some of them will end up. 

IMO this will be the first mass produced (relatively) Lexus to surpass BMW at it's own game. They've come tantalizingly close in the past. 

300zxfreak
300zxfreak Reader
2/22/21 11:48 a.m.

And I'll bet that the rear seat still doesn't fold down.........and the front end is still  ugly beyond belief.

For that matter, so is the rear.

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
2/22/21 11:50 a.m.
300zxfreak said:

And I'll bet that the rear seat still doesn't fold down

If that's the case, it's almost certainly for performance reasons.  A lot of BMWs have non folding rear seats (or it was optional) because of that.  Cutting a big hole in the bulkhead behind the seats means you either sacrifice chassis stiffness or add weight to brace around it and get the stiffness back.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/22/21 11:54 a.m.
Fitzauto said:

Im only saddened by the lack of manual. 

I mean, the original IS F didn't have a manual transmission, so I honestly wouldn't have expected one here.

06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
2/22/21 12:43 p.m.
NickD said:
Fitzauto said:

Im only saddened by the lack of manual. 

I mean, the original IS F didn't have a manual transmission, so I honestly wouldn't have expected one here.

Has Lexus offered a manual in anything since the original IS back in the 2000s?  And even those were rare as hen's teeth, I don't think i've ever actually seen one. (A manual transmission IS 300)

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/22/21 12:45 p.m.
06HHR (Forum Supporter) said:
NickD said:
Fitzauto said:

Im only saddened by the lack of manual. 

I mean, the original IS F didn't have a manual transmission, so I honestly wouldn't have expected one here.

Has Lexus offered a manual in anything since the original IS back in the 2000s?  And even those were rare as hen's teeth, I don't think I've ever actually seen one.

You could also get SC300s with a 5-speed but, again, they were quite rare (less than 4000 built)

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
2/22/21 12:46 p.m.
NickD said:
Fitzauto said:

Im only saddened by the lack of manual. 

I mean, the original IS F didn't have a manual transmission, so I honestly wouldn't have expected one here.

Yeah I think that ship sailed for Lexus a long time ago.  Considering their market demographic I'm entirely unsurprised.

No manual in the Supra though? Unforgivable.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise UltraDork
2/22/21 1:12 p.m.
06HHR (Forum Supporter) said:
NickD said:
Fitzauto said:

Im only saddened by the lack of manual. 

I mean, the original IS F didn't have a manual transmission, so I honestly wouldn't have expected one here.

Has Lexus offered a manual in anything since the original IS back in the 2000s?  And even those were rare as hen's teeth, I don't think i've ever actually seen one. (A manual transmission IS 300)

I have a 2012 Lexus IS250 with a 6speed manual trans.  My SC300 (17K) miles is also a MT. 

 

Having said that, the MT Lexus client is no more, and never was, even back in the day.

300zxfreak
300zxfreak Reader
2/22/21 1:31 p.m.

In reply to rslifkin :

Not  likely, even their "non-performance" plain Jane sedans don't feature fold down seats.....even my Jetta had those, and most every other car I've owned. And, my BMW has them. I just think it's pretty dumb of them when virtually everyone else does it.

84FSP
84FSP UltraDork
2/22/21 1:43 p.m.

The 7 spd dual wet clutch may prevent me from pining for a manual.  Bet it makes good noises.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise UltraDork
2/22/21 1:50 p.m.
84FSP said:

The 7 spd dual wet clutch may prevent me from pining for a manual.  Bet it makes good noises.

Yamaha tuned ones, usually do ;)

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
2/22/21 1:51 p.m.

I really need to get around to driving one of these cars some time.  

MrChaos
MrChaos UltraDork
2/22/21 2:24 p.m.

oh yea you used to be able to get the IS with the manual, other than the fact that the trans was the same one from the tacoma thus bad as a sports car transmission.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/22/21 2:32 p.m.

This with a slight exhaust tweak and maybe some wheels from the Mackin catalog will be bee's knees, even with the automatic. 

calteg
calteg Dork
2/22/21 3:37 p.m.

I'm truly surprised. Almost 60hp more, standard LSD, only about 100lbs more, but it's slower than the original IS-F? Think I'll just keep mine

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise UltraDork
2/22/21 3:50 p.m.
calteg said:

I'm truly surprised. Almost 60hp more, standard LSD, only about 100lbs more, but it's slower than the original IS-F? Think I'll just keep mine

It isn't slower 

 

the quotes numbers are quite conservative 

wait till the road test ;) 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
2/22/21 3:50 p.m.

I like that it exists, I wish it wasn't so damn ugly.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
2/22/21 4:06 p.m.

It feels like done of these car manufacturers (Cadillac) are bring out awesome performance today.  Like before we go to all electric.    LOL.  

I am the only one in the world that likes it's looks. 

I am also the only one in the world that has zero aspiration to own one. 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
2/22/21 6:03 p.m.

In reply to Datsun310Guy :

That almost sounds like you're implying that all electric won't have awesome performance. It most absolutely will, it just won't be engaging in the same sort of way, after you adjust though you can focus on maximizing speed potential even more

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
2/22/21 6:24 p.m.

The IS-F made all the right noises. Glad to see that this has no battery assist or hybrid technology. Just a big honking V8 under the hood!

secretariata (Forum Supporter)
secretariata (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
2/22/21 6:38 p.m.
84FSP said:

The 7 spd dual wet clutch may prevent me from pining for a manual.  Bet it makes good noises.

Did I miss where that was mentioned? I saw 8 speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission which sounds a lot like everyone's 8-10 speed torque converter auto.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
2/22/21 8:30 p.m.

In reply to secretariata (Forum Supporter) :

Apples and potatoes, but Honda has a 9 speed twin clutch trans (via Getrag) in some of their models.

 

Living in the future is weird.  V8 Lexuses and Hondas with engine choices of a turbo four or a larger turbo four.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
2/22/21 8:34 p.m.

I thought the auto in the IS F was fantastic. If this is as good, I think this trans will do nicely.

 

 

MrChaos
MrChaos UltraDork
2/22/21 9:43 p.m.
secretariata (Forum Supporter) said:
84FSP said:

The 7 spd dual wet clutch may prevent me from pining for a manual.  Bet it makes good noises.

Did I miss where that was mentioned? I saw 8 speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission which sounds a lot like everyone's 8-10 speed torque converter auto.

its likely the 8 speed that came out from the original ISF that everyone raves about and is behind all the F or 5 liter v8 models

Caprigrip
Caprigrip New Reader
2/22/21 11:57 p.m.

I hate that tacked on screen. 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise UltraDork
2/23/21 12:06 a.m.

The Aisin AA80E 8 Speed Sport Direct Shift transmission w/lockup torque converter is the same in the IS F, RC F, GS F and the LS Sport (2010-2012)/LS F SPORT (2013-2017).

It's safe to say it will use the AA80E or if it does use an AA81E, it will be upgraded to the same torque-handling capabilities as the RC F.
 

rareskythree
rareskythree New Reader
2/23/21 7:16 a.m.

The 2022 lexus IS  500 F Sport Performance revives the dormant IS F formula, bringing V8 power back to the compact luxury Japanese sport sedan for the first time since 2014.  mybkexperience mcdvoice

350z247
350z247 Reader
2/23/21 10:20 a.m.

Sorry to all the 1JZ and 2JZ fan bois, but the 5.0 2UR-GSE is the best engine Toyota/Lexus has ever made (short of the unobtanium LFA V10). It's not pretty or simple, but it makes a beautiful noises and revs so smoothly. It's basically the Japanese Coyote.

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