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Lexus IS-F - Does The Car Make The Man?

Lexus' Is-F Is Ready To Beat Its German Competition- But Can It Pull The Ladies?

Jonathan Wong
Mar 1, 2008
Photographer: Terence Patrick
Sstp_0803_04_z+lexus+isf Photo 1/8   |   Lexus IS-F - Does The Car Make The Man?

Last month we gave you an in-depth look at Lexus' IS flagship, the IS-F, and if you couldn't tell, we found it to be a smooth and powerful player. All of its 400hp neck-breaking goodness is enough to please the speed addict in all of us, and Toyota's design staff has done a good job designing it to be a notch above the standard IS 250/IS 350 by giving it a wider stance and more aggressive rear end, which is great if you're looking at it from a pure enthusiast's point of view. But how well does the IS-F compare to the rest of the Lexus family? Does it stick out like Bmw's m-edition cars? we didn't notice nearly as many heads turning when we paraded the streets of Los Angeles as with an older E46 m3 or the current m5 sedan. This got us thinking: can Lexus' reliability, combined with ultra performance, be enough of an attractor to make the IS-F a sexy contender in the super sedan class? can it make a not-so-cool guy look like a stud? we hit the Melrose district of L.A. to find some answers.

Los Angeles is a town where it's hard to walk a few feet without passing some of the most beautiful women in the world. we figured if they could get into an IS-F, we're sure Lexus will have a true winner on their hands by appealing to a greater mass market and not just car nuts like us. we hand-picked (more like bribed with the promise of magazine celebrity fame) a small group of your everyday women from all walks of life and professions to see what they thought of Lexus' IS-F. In a town that's fueled by brand names, expensive cars and baller status, we thought it would be an excellent way to see how well this A-lister could stack up against its competition. The responses took us by surprise.

Sstp_0803_03_z+lexus+allison_c Photo 2/8   |   Lexus IS-F - Does The Car Make The Man?

Attorney Allison C. Allison C.
Initial Response: "It's very sporty but small. Good looking for a Lexus, although I'm not sure if the front of the car matches the shape of the car. The top is like a GS, very elegant; the front end seems a little too muscular for me. It definitely stands out from all the other Lexuses; it's not your dad's car, which is good. It seems like it would appeal more to a male audience just because of the car's lines. I like the way an m3 looks more, but I know this will be far more reliable because I own a GS. Sitting in it, it feels very much like my car and the power is pretty good. I like the paddle shifters; very nice.

If A Guy Picked You Up In The Is-F Versus A Honda Civic, Would It Make A Difference? "Sure, I think this would make them seem very cool."

Overall Impression: "I think this would look a lot better in black because this blue seems a little honda-like. I like that the wheels aren't chrome."

Sstp_0803_09_z+lexus+natasha Photo 3/8   |   Lexus IS-F - Does The Car Make The Man?

Natasha W.
Public Relations
Initial Response: "This is a very flashy car. I might drive it if it were a different color because this blue is very 'rice rocket' to me. The interior is gorgeous; that center console is stunning and the seats are super comfortable. my only issue is that I can't see enough of what's ahead of me because the dashboard blocks a lot of the road. The shape isn't completely unconventional, but the color isn't what I'd expect from Lexus. It looks like it's really fast, a total speeding ticket generator."

If A Guy Picked You Up In The Is-F Versus A Honda Civic, Would It Make A Difference? "Yeah, if it was in a different color; it's a gorgeous car."

Overall Opinion: "I would buy this over a Bimmer, but that's the Asian in me."

Sstp_0803_10_z+lexus+connie_c Photo 4/8   |   Lexus IS-F - Does The Car Make The Man?

Connie C. Attorney
Initial Response: "Really nice; very ergonomic. I learned how to drive in a Lexus and this is very comfortable. In general, this seems to be a more masculine build than the IS/GS platforms and looks very fast. I love the interior. The styling seems to infuse European styling-almost Swedish or German-which helps to make it stand out more. It's not your typical Lexus."

If A Guy Picked You Up In The IS-F Versus A Honda Civic, Would IT Make A Difference? "It wouldn't make a difference, but if he picked me up in this, we could have more conversation because of it."

Overall Opinion: "For the price, it's kind of high. I kind of prefer an SUV as a daily commuter."

Sstp_0803_12_z+lexus+dory_k Photo 5/8   |   Lexus IS-F - Does The Car Make The Man?

Dory k.
Recruiter/DJ
Initial Response: "It's difficult to gauge what kind of car this is because the color is a lot flashier than anything I would buy. It's sleek and sporty, but it doesn't look much different than the regular IS. Just sitting in it, this feels like more of a guy's car."

If A Guy Picked You Up In The Is-F Versus A Honda Civic, Would It Make A Difference? "I don't tie a car to anyone."

Overall Opinion: "knowing that this packs a v8 and 400hp, I have to say that the IS-F isn't for me; it's just too much. I don't need that kind of car because it doesn't suit my needs or my personality. But I would get one of these before an m3 because I hate German cars. Just being honest!"

Sstp_0803_15_z+lexus+han_nah Photo 6/8   |   Lexus IS-F - Does The Car Make The Man?

Han Nah K.
Finance
Initial Response: "honestly, I think it looks like a G35. I like the exterior; I've always liked the way Lexus cars look. You know how some of them look like a camry? This one doesn't. The interior is great, too."

If A Guy Was Driving This, Would You Do A Double Take? "I like the car; I don't think this would make the guy look any better. The car stands out enough for me to want to take a double look at the car. maybe not the color!"

Overall Opinion: "At $66k, I think this car is too much for me. I think this would be a better buy for a girl than an m3, except for the convertible!"

Sstp_0803_18_z+lexus+alan_m Photo 7/8   |   Lexus IS-F - Does The Car Make The Man?

Alan m.
Janitor
Initial Response: "well, I think the car seamlessly fuses high performance with luxury. This car is too much like a regular sedan and girls won't get it (or me).

Overall Opinion: This is more likely to turn the head of a real hardcore driver. Yes, precisely. don't get any female attention at all. Thanks."

Sstp_0803_19_z+lexus+kim_n Photo 8/8   |   Lexus IS-F - Does The Car Make The Man?

Kim N.
Advertising
Initial Response: "I like the car, but it's a total dude's car. I like the rear of it a lot, but the front looks too big. Did they try to fit a big engine in too small of a body shape?"

If A Guy Picked You Up In The Is-F Versus A Honda Civic, Would It Make A Difference? "If I saw a guy driving this car, I would say that he likes driving a nice car, that he can afford it and that he cares about the way he looks."

Overall Opinion: "I think the color is a bit flashy, but most guys who would get this car would like that, right? I would get it in black, however."

By Jonathan Wong
483 Articles

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