Let's face it-not all of us are going to ball hard enough to spend the coin on an IS-F. But that doesn't mean Lexus doesn't want you to try. Enter the company's new F-Sport accessory line for the IS 250, IS 250 AWD and IS 350 sedans. Introduced at last year's SEMA, F-Sport was introduced to complement the entry-level IS chassis with quality and performance in mind, and is geared for the consumer who's been through the entry-level project car and drives something sporty for the everyday commute but hasn't lost that loving feeling to modify their car in some way, shape or form. And we're not talking faux carbon-fiber shift knobs or gaudy aero; this is some serious s#*%, like exhaust, massive big brakes, full suspension, wheels and more. Best of all, everything from the F-Sport line is warranty-backed so you don't have to worry about passing emissions, fitment or quality.
Right off the bat, you know Lexus is aiming for a sportier feel. The IS tends to sit low in stock form, but on F-Sport springs and shocks, it goes much lower and maintains a stiff, but comfy and stable ride that rarely bottoms out and never comes close to scraping if you have to get past a steep driveway. The shocks were developed with Bilstein on the same proving grounds where the factory IS shocks were tested, so this may very well be the next best suspension to stock. The only downer is that these shocks will not fit on the IS 250 AWD. There's also the added benefit of adding larger sway bars that helps to increase stiffening, especially beneficial on the IS 250, as well as a under chassis brace that tightens up the rear suspension.
The one thing we noticed way before we stepped into an F-Sport equipped IS 250 were the wheels and brakes. Huge forged 19s measuring 8" wide on the front and 9" on the rear and offset perfectly to match flush with the fenders without rubbing or having to roll the fenders to fit. The super-sized brake kit takes on forged aluminum six- and four-pot calipers paired with cross-drilled rotors and will clear most of the factory wheel options for the RWD IS 250 and IS 350 while the IS 250 AWD will clear the 18-inch Genuine Lexus Accessory wheels - sweet, huh?
Engine performance can be improved mildly with F-Sport bolt-ons. You won't be Speed Racer in a day, but you'll definitely add a little rumble to the overall package and set off a couple car alarms while you're at it. The high-flow intake kit and stainless steel after-cat exhaust are all CARB/emissions-legal with significant power increases. The IS 250 manual versions can add a performance clutch and pressure plate for the extra "grab" without a heavy clutch pedal. Additionally, Lexus offers a quickshifter to reduce throw by 35-percent, letting you change gears more quickly without any extra effort. For a little dazzle, there's a carbon-fiber engine cover similar to the IS-F, except that it's in black carbon and carries a F-Sport badge.
F-Sport accessories can be used in a number of different configurations, so for those of you who are into a better handling ride versus a bump in horsepower, the choice is yours-no problem. Naturally they work at their best when they work as a complete package, but it's good to know you can focus in on various aspects of your car's performance, and there are some parts that won't work depending on model. You also get a 12-month warranty when opting to install any of the F-Sport parts at an authorized Lexus dealer.
Under The Hood F-Sport intake, exhaust and carbon-fiber engine cover
Drivetrain F-Sport clutch and quick shifter
Stiff Stuff F-Sport shocks, lowering springs, 28.6mm (front)/19mm (rear) swaybars and chassis brace
Stoppers F-Sport 6-piston (front)/4-piston rear big brake upgrade
Rollers 19x8 and 19x9 F-Sport forged aluminum wheels
Deep Thoughts Perfect accessory line for the enthusiast who's moved up in the world but wants to do light and proven modifications without the headaches their first car already provided.Lexus F-Sport IS 250