The Lexus IS300 is emerging as a viable platform for performance. The car's recent move to manual transmission status has completed the puzzle and we expect to see even more tricked out IS300s on the highways. Along with the five-speed gearbox, the Lexus has many assets, namely 215-flywheel hp, edgy styling that mimics its Japanese counterpart the Altezza, a slick interior and world-famous Lexus build quality. Its wheelwells beg for big rubber and a lowered stance and the 3.0-liter in-line six is poised to take on more power.
The focus of this edition of "Dyno Cell" is the intake system, one of the first two best and easiest avenues to power. Our test car is fitted with the other best/easiest modification-a GReddy Evolution exhaust system. Here, we will be upping the ante with a Weapon R intake system. The Weapon R intake lives up to expectations, which says a lot when you consider the reputation Lexus has in the mainstream and in tuning circles.
The intake is finished in silver and looks like it belongs on the engine. The red filter element is just enough to whisper aftermarket, but does it make power? Installation was straightforward; the stock intake venting system was retained to feed the Weapon R set-up cool air. Using basic hand tools, the Weapon R intake was strapped on in less than 45 minutes, start to finish.
Off To The Dyno CellWith the aforementioned GReddy Evo exhaust secured to the otherwise stock engine, the IS300 generated 178.8 hp and 173.5 lb-ft of torque. It should be noted that our tester runs an automatic transmission. With the Weapon R intake on-line, the 3.0-liter belted out 182.5 hp and 174.5 lb-ft of torque. The 3.7-hp peak gain is overshadowed by the Weapon R intake's performance before and after peak. From 5700 rpm on up, there are substantial power gains and with the automatic transmission's E-shift the driver can keep the engine singing in the sweet spot with ease.
The lack of gain in the lower end of the powerband shows the engine was able to make use of the added air flow when its variable valve timing system kicked in at about 5700 rpm.
All in all, the Weapon R intake delivered the goods from a power and visual standpoint.