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2013 Lexus IS F - Flash Drives

May 5, 2013
Sstp 1304 01 o+2013 lexus is f+2013 lexus is f Photo 1/1   |   2013 Lexus IS F - Flash Drives

2013 Lexus IS F

I believe the IS F is one of the best cars you can buy, hands down. Compared to its lower model IS siblings, they all might look similar but the driving experience between the varying trim levels couldn’t be any more different. Noticeable differences just by getting into the car: seating conforms more to the driver, the steering is a lot heavier (it’s solid and good, and makes the biggest difference while driving), and best of all, it starts up more with a heavy growl followed by a low rumble during idle letting you know it’s alive and ready to pounce. The IS 350, not so much—much more sedated. Introduced back in ’08, the IS F was developed on some of the world’s most revered racetracks, including Fuji Speedway, Circuit Paul Ricard (France) and the Nürburgring Nordschleife—however, the IS line is about to receive its next change, and so I thought it’d be proper to give the first generation IS F one more go before it’s replaced.

It’d been a few years since I last drove an IS-F, probably not since it was launched, and so it would seem obvious that in the years following Lexus added more power to its V8 powerplant, one that kicks out agood 416hp with torque to boot, 371lb-ft to be exact. Lexus equipped it with the world’s first eight-speed Sport Direct-Shift automatic transmission; it shifts quick and holds the power steady, and you best believe ‘M’ is the mode you want to be in. Get out of the car now if you prefer driving in ‘D’. Need something more aggressive? Challenge yourself by putting the IS F into ‘Sport’ mode; that’ll keep you entertained for hours, and is truly one of the most pleasurable driving experiences one can feel. It’s common knowledge the IS F is an inch lower than the standard IS models; the ride is stiff and matches the brute force of the engine—performance really is why you’re paying premium dollar for, well, the premium model. One-upping things even more are a set of 19x8.5”/9.5” BBS factory wheels, and at all four corners, factory Brembo brakes. With nearly two weeks of driving time at my disposal, I fell more head over heels with the car every time I drove it—and yet, as soon as I got to know the IS F, I knew that I’d need to make room in my heart for its successor. IS F: you’re a tough love. – JW

That New Car Smell

2013 Lexus IS F

The Sticker: Pricing from MSRP $61,750
Engine: 5.0-liter V8 DOHC VVT-iE
The Power: 416hp at 6600rpm; 371 lb-ft at 5200rpm
Scale Tipping: 3,780 lbs
Layout: Front engine, rear-wheel-drive
Transmission: 8-speed automatic dual clutch w/paddle shift
Brakes: 14.2" front, 13.6" rear ventilated and drilled rotors with six-piston front and two-piston rear calipers designed by Brembo
Footwork & Chassis: double wishbone front suspension; multi-link rear suspension; stabilizer bars
Wheels & Tires: 19x8.5" front, 19x9.5" rear BBS wheels; 225/40R19 front, 255/35R19 rear tires
At the Pump: 16/23 mpg
The Competition: BMW M3, Audi RS4

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