It’s official, folks. Lexus is putting its 5.0-liter V8 back in the IS sports sedan. Now is the time to see how the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance stacks up against the competition. You might be tempted to pair it with elite things like the BMW M3, Mercedes-AMG C63, and the new Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and you’d be correct if it was a full F. But this is not a complete IS. F.
According to Lexus, its new F Sport Performance line was created to go hand-in-hand with other “mid-performance” luxury car ranges such as BMW’s M Performance cars and Audi S-prefix cars. Therefore, we will compare it to the BMW M340i (rear-wheel drive, just like the IS 500), the C43 from Mercedes-AMG and the Audi S4. And before you accuse Lexus of using segment-based sandbags, keep in mind that since Lexus had the “in-between” in mind when calibrating the IS 500’s performance, it will likely take those very cars into account when setting up. the new V8 IS. price too.
- starting price: $ 50,945
- Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged V6
- Can: 349 horsepower at 6,200 rpm
- Torque: 369 pound-feet at 3,200 rpm
- Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
- Drive wheels: Everyone
- Empty weight: 3,847 lbs.
- 0 to 60 mph: 4.4 seconds
- Maximum speed: 155 mph
By the numbers, the trio of German sports sedans look very similar. As eerily similar. Three-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine? Control. Power and torque in the mid-high 300 range? Control. Do you have a curb weight between 3,800 and 3,900 pounds? Control. Zero to 60 mph time in mid 4 seconds? Control. 155 mph top speed? Verification verification. However, there are some differences. The BMW stands out as being available with pure rear-wheel drive (xDrive is an option), while Audi’s starting price is a decent change lower. The Merc has an extra turbo and an extra gear. Other than that, these three clearly made each other in their respective sights.
Meanwhile, that new Lexus looks like it will be capable of the same speed, but it will come with two additional cylinders and no turbos. Its 5.0-liter V8 (the same as the LC 500 and RC F) produces 472 hp and 395 pound-feet of power. here. However, despite that and a curb weight that is only slightly higher than the others, the IS 500 reaches 60 in 4.5 seconds, identical to the C43 and 0.1 seconds slower than the M340i and S4. .
Given its much higher peak production figures, you’ll be forgiven for thinking the Lexus should wipe the floor with the other three in a straight line, but evidently it doesn’t, at least not in a short run from a dig. But why not? It’s probably because even though the IS has more peak horsepower and torque, those are naturally aspirated horsepower and, uh, torques, which means the spike comes considerably later. The IS 500 reaches peak power at 7,100 rpm, while peak torque only reaches 4,800 rpm. Plus, something tells us that Lexus’ launch schedule isn’t nearly as aggressive as most others in its class for the sake of preserving that legendary reputation for longevity.
Correction at 1:54 pm ET on 02/22/2021: This article previously indicated that the Lexus 5.0-liter V8 produces 495 pound-feet of torque instead of 395 pound-feet. The Drive regrets the mistake.
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