2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance First Drive Review

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance – Lexus introduced its performance-oriented F brand more than a decade back, with a V8-powered car called”the IS F. This model ended up being discontinued following the model year of 2014 and was then followed with the 2-door RC F coupe and larger GS F sedan. Lexus hasn’t had an engine that runs on V8s in its IS since. Up until now, that is. It’s the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance is a model with a familiar engine however, it comes with a brand-new message: whereas the old IS F was directly targeted at the BMW M3 and Mercedes C63 and C63, the IS 500 is pitted against mid-level performance sedans such as that of Acura TLX Type S, Audi S4, BMW M340i along with the Mercedes-AMG C43. Lexus states that its newly launched F Sport Performance sub-brand will be positioned over the regular F Sport models, but lower than the more powerful F models that are expected soon.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport
2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance Review

Exterior

The four-door sports car is brimming with strength, and it’s distinct in comparison to the standard IS. The hood, as an example it has been raised about two inches, and it sports aggressive power bulges to fit the bigger engine. The front bumper and fenders needed to be shortened due to this reason. On the back of it, Lexus included the most obvious remembrance of the now-defunct hardcore F models: the quad exhaust tips stacked. A redesigned lower rear diffuser, as well as window trim in dark chrome, make an IS F Sport apart, and a lip spoiler on the rear is the final piece of the puzzle.

The brand new IS 500 F Sport comes with 19-inch model-specific alloy wheels that are lighter than the normal IS wheel by as much as 2 tons per tire. It’s even less heavy when compared to Launch Edition models that boast 19-inch seven-spoke made BBS matt black alloy wheels that weigh up to four pounds per. There are only 500 of the serialized Launch Edition models that will be made, exclusively for the US market and offered only in one color, Incognito – a new edition to the Lexus collection.

Dimensions

Its Lexus IS 500 sedan has an all-around size of 187.3 inches. It rides on the 110.2-inch wheelbase. It’s 72.4 inches in width with the mirrors folded in and is 56.5 inches in height. Its elongated body it’s 2 inches more than the normal IS. Before when the IS 500 rolled along, the heaviest IS one was its 350 F Sport AWD at 3,880 pounds. Even with the massive 5.0-liter engine under the car The IS 500 weighs 3,891 lbs that’s just 143 pounds more than the 350 F Sport RWD.

Colors Exterior

You can pick from eight different colors when you configure for your IS 500, including Ultra White, Caviar, Iridium, Infrared, Atomic Silver, Grecian Water, Cloudburst Gray along Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0. Certain premium colors are subject to an additional $500 charge. Launch Editions are adorned by Incognito deep gray. The Lexus appears stunning in these shades, but especially in Infrared. We’d like to see more colors that were vibrant given the number of competitors this car is up against. Green is popular at present and we would have liked to see Japan’s version of this hue.

Engine

Identifying the IS 500’s most important opponents is vital since the car is not designed to compete with fully-fat performance sedans such as those of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, BMW M3, or Mercedes-AMG C63. Instead, it is primarily competing with turbocharged six-cylinder competitions like Acura TLX Type, Audi S4, BMW M340i as well as the Mercedes-AMG C43. They range from 349 to 385 horsepower, which means that it’s the IS 500’s 472 horsepower and 395 lb-ft torque numbers seem to be more than the competitors. But the Lexus is indeed among the most powerful cars in this class however it is not equipped with the low-end torque that is available to its turbocharged competitors. Lexus boasts a 0-60 mph acceleration time that is 4.4 seconds. This makes that the RWD Lexus match the RWD Bimmer as well as it’s a bit faster than the AWD Audi, and it’s just a tenth of a second faster than the Merc. This is the AWD BMW M340i xDrive is the leader with a 0-60 speed in 4.1 seconds.

With the sole V8 engine that is in its class, Lexus has positioned the IS 500 F Sport as an emotional decision instead of a decision based on numbers. We’re not convinced that this IS 500 would be the fastest on the racetrack in its class and yet it produces the highest quality exhaust sound. Lexus has the Active Sound Control knob that regulates the digital sound produced within the interior. It’s not necessary for a V8-powered car however the interior is so quiet that it can provide an enhanced sound experience on the road to drivers. This IS 500 is a glorious return to the pre-turbocharger age and delivers an old-fashioned power curve that requires greater involvement from the driver to get the most performance. The power is transferred directly to the rear wheel via an eight-speed auto transmission.

It’s IS 500 uses the famous naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 that’s it is on the RC F and the LC. It’s a powerful motor with 472 horsepower at a high of 7,100 rpm, and 395 lb-ft when it’s at 4,800 pm. In real-world conditions that means it needs the right strategy to maximize the potential of the V8. Contrary to a turbocharged engine The V8 can fall asleep when you first touch the throttle, but it will explode into a roar when you hit higher revs. A bit of delay could be due to the absence of turbochargers. However, the tuning of the transmission is also to blame. The IS 500’s power goes directly to the rear wheel through an eight-speed automatic torque converter transmission. It’s the same transmission that is found in less expensive models, such as IS 350. IS 350, and this rapidly becomes evident. When it is in auto mode, the transmission will always seek out higher gears to ensure maximum efficiency, which means it typically takes a couple of seconds to begin downshifts. When the transmission has given you the proper shift, your gap could be closed or the light could change from red to yellow. Setting the car in Sport S+ mode can reduce the effect, but we would recommend using paddle shifters to ensure that the engine is at its optimal speed.

Handling and Driving Impressions

Our experience with the IS 500 is a tale of two vehicles: it’s the IS 500 as a daily driver as well as its IS 500 as a back road assault machine. Let’s start with the latter. We took the steering wheel, thinking that the rear-wheel-drive IS 500 F Sport would immediately be awe-inspiring with its V8 power and hardcore taste, but that was not the situation. Lexus created the car to be a day-to-day driver at the very least. If we hadn’t looked back for an IS 500 badge, we could have believed we were driving a less expensive IS. There’s a minor roar of the V8, but other parts like the steering, suspension, and the transmission’s tuning are like that of the IS 350. If you’re hoping for an AMG-like intensity and stiffness of your Japanese sports car This isn’t the car. It might sound like a negative evaluation but the IS 500’s absence of adrenaline in normal driving is an accomplishment.

It’s IS 500 is an astonishingly well-appointed daily driver. The road noise is low and, despite its sporty appearance, the suspension is superb. We’d love to go for any of the IS 500 road-tripping, and the comfort level is highly laudable. The IS 500’s lagging tune (especially its transmission) is a problem when the urge to drive fast comes in. Even when in Sport S and Sport S+ modes the transmission is constantly seeking higher gears and quick-shifts before reaching the redline, which limits access to maximum power and diminishes the enjoyment. In the end, it’s a shame that the IS 500 feels downright slow in normal driving. We soon became disappointed by the sports credentials of the IS 500 after we had a play using the manual mode. Most of us leave auto transmissions in our respective hands, however, this car is begging to be changed by hand. With a little effort, it was possible to fully enjoy the potential of the IS 500. The redline of 7,100 rpm was ours to reach on-demand and was accompanied by the roar of the glistening V8. By maintaining the car well up in its rev range The IS 500 transforms from a slow cruiser into a roaring muscle car.

Similar to the older GS F, you can control the rear axle by using the throttle and increasing the revs to push off the rear at your will. When you push to the limit, the suspension can restrict your speed when cornering, but we love how the car can settle and stay in balance throughout the curves. The steering is well-balanced and highly responsive, meaning you’re at ease regardless of speed. BMW can learn a lesson or two from the way Lexus adjusted its steering. If you are taking an initial road test, we would strongly recommend that you put it in manual mode. IS 500 into the manual mode or else you’ll leave the car dealership without knowing the significance of what this car is all about. It’s a comfortable car for normal driving, but when asked to do so, it turns into a roaring beast. It’s important to know that getting your IS 500 F Sport to fully awake takes some effort.

Gas Mileage

The EPA doesn’t have gas mileage figures for the RWD IS 500 F Sport Performance yet, but Lexus claims ratings of 16/24/19 mpg city/highway/combined. Based on the suspension setup this particular model is likely to be a great long-distance cruiser. This makes the highway rating very pertinent. We only managed to average 16.2 mpg on our two-day test drive however, in the past of this model, we’ve seen that with the Lexus V8, it’s possible to achieve nearly 30 mpg when driving when you’re hypermiling. Equipped with a 17.4-gallon tank. advertised efficiency figures will give an estimated 335 miles. The engine likes to work very hard, but should you rev it up to 7,000 rpm on every gear, the fuel efficiency will decrease significantly.

Interior

The is a halo IS features the same interior design as the other model, making it positive and negative. The IS is beginning to show its age, however, it has some great features. The new touchscreen has been placed closer to the driver to increase the ease of usage. Lexus has kept the dreadful touchpad, however, it’s not necessary to utilize it. The middle stack, below the infotainment display, and gorgeous analog clocks, are very outdated. It’s kind of a button frenzies with touch-capacitive areas and buttons, something Lexus will likely fix when the next generation IS is released.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Interior
2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Interior

Specific to the model, there are F Sport Performance badges on the steering wheel as well as door sill plates as well as F Sport bolstered sport seats. The pedals are also given an F Sport treatment, and the button starter gets changed to a gorgeous metal button. The dials that are inspired by the LFA and have the sliding bezel style are inherited from the standard model, however, they have an original animation for the start-up.

Seating and Interior Space

It’s the Lexus IS is strictly a five-seater, but those in the rear (especially in the center seat) could be uncomfortable than those in other competitors. Lexus hasn’t released the exact measurements of the interior of its IS 500 F Sport yet however, it should not differ from the regular IS. That means the IS 500 should offer 44.8 inches of legroom in the front, 32.2 inches in the rear, and 77 inches total. This is usually in line with rivals in terms of total legroom, however, the rear seats of the IS 500 are two inches smaller than competitors within the small sedan category. The headroom is decent in front but is tighter than the average rear seat.

Interior Color

The interior ambiance is more lavish than sporty, especially with F Sport body-hugging seats. Lexus’s Nuluxe leatherette comes standard and comes with Black, Circuit Red, and White. Black Geometric trim is also available, which gives the interior a more aggressive feeling. It is also available in Circuit Red. Circuit Red trim is not offered on models that are painted Infrared as well as Grecian Water. The Launch Edition comes with a distinctive Silver Ash wood trim, and exclusive Black and Gray Ultrasuede trim on the doors, seats, and the center console.

Cargo Space

The Lexus IS doesn’t have a massive trunk, which measures the range of 10.8 cubic feet. You can expand your trunk with the folding of your rear seatback to a 60/40 split. BMW and Mercedes can offer an extra trunk, however, 10.8 cubes is a good size for families of four. The interior storage capacity is sufficient. The pockets in the door are a bit small but there’s ample storage space beneath the center armrest. The front passengers are provided with two cupholders. The lack of space to put a smartphone within the center console is an obvious design flaw. The rear passengers have two cup holders that pop out of the center armrest that fold down.

Its IS 500 F Sport Performance comes with full LED exterior lighting, various F Sport exterior accents, an F Sport heated steering wheel, and an instrument cluster based on the LFA that features a rotating bezel, keyless entry, and start button as well as heated and ventilated adjustable front seats, as well as the dual-zone climate controls. Three-beam LED headlamps are included starting with on the lower-spec Premium model onwards. Lexus offers its Safety System+ 2.5 as a standard. The safety suite comes with an anti-collision system that warns drivers of frontal collisions and automatic emergency braking. bicyclist and pedestrian detection as well as emergency steering assistance. As you’d expect this model IS 500 F Sport has a backup camera, which is equipped with dynamic gridlines, as well as a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic warning. The all-speed dynamic cruise control and lane departure warning with steering aid, lane tracing assistance as well as road sign assist are also included in the standard. The upgraded IS 500 F Sport tester included gorgeous machined aluminum control knobs, as well as an all-around camera.

Infotainment

The top model of the IS range, the brand new Lexus IS 500 F Sport features a touchscreen of eight inches for the base model, which is accompanied by the option of a 10.3-inch high-resolution touchscreen available on the top trims. The touchscreen is a brand new feature to the IS model, which was previously reliant entirely on the infamous Remote Touch interface. The laptop-style trackpad remains present, but there are fewer reasons to utilize it now particularly in conjunction with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa integration. Lexus hasn’t yet perfected its interface for the latest touchscreen however, it’s an enormous improvement over the old system. It is also possible to connect your smartphone to the system via USB and Bluetooth. The Premium grade tester we tested included navigation as well as a 17 speakers Mark Levinson premium sound system that has 1,800 watts. the 10-speaker Pioneer system is standard.

IS 500 F Sport Problems and Reliability

It’s IS 500 is brand new and does not have any recalls against its brand name. It is likely to remain this way as the base car provides smooth and safe driving. There haven’t been any recalls and there have been no complaints against the IS over the past two years. A further benefit is a fact that this engine has also been a well-known entity, and is, therefore, unlikely to have issues. It’s important to note that the 2021 Lexus IS range scored the highest score of 82 of 100 points, according to the J.D. Power review. This puts it ahead of other luxury cars, such as Genesis G70, BMW 3 Series Genesis G70, BMW 3 Series as well as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The Lexus IS 500 F Sport is covered by a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. Additionally, Lexus also includes a one-year, 10,000-mile maintenance schedule.

Safety

There is no way that the NHTSA or the IIHS has an individual-specific safety assessment for Lexus IS 500 F Sport. Neither has a model-specific safety review for Lexus IS 500 F Sport There are however ratings for the regular IS sedan. The car received the full five-star rating from NHTSA overall. The IIHS has awarded its 2021 IS the highly sought-after top Safety Pick + award. There is no reason to believe that the V8 engine in the front will adversely affect safety, and the previous ratings will continue to be valid.

The IS comes with 10 airbags and modernized aluminum brake rotors for the brake, adaptive stability, and traction control, as well as an emergency backup camera that is dynamic guidelines. The features for driver assistance are available as standard and the list of features is quite extensive: The pre-collision feature includes frontal collision warning, automated emergency brakes, bicyclist and pedestrian recognition, emergency steering assistance as well as all-speed dynamic cruise control and lane departure alarm with steering assistance. Lane tracing aid, blind-spot monitor and intelligent high beams, and road sign assistance are all included as standard and, in the Premium trim with an intelligent clearance sonar that has a scanning of the perimeter is included as standard.

Verdict

We drove the new IS 350 F Sport earlier this year, we loved the changes Lexus has made to the exterior design and interior technology but would prefer that the car was given a boost inside the engine bay. In the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance we believe Lexus has captured perfectly what a high-performance sedan ought to be and has also squelched our complaints. Instead of focusing on providing the car with the highest performance figures on a racetrack, Lexus remembered that most owners would take it back and forth between work and home more often than they run around Laguna Seca. In this regard, this car IS 500 puts an emphasis on comfort and results in a luxurious car that would be a joy to drive up the highway miles. If we could provide any feedback to the driver, driving modes aren’t able to allow the driver to tap into the potential of the car. For instance, even in Sport S+, the IS 500’s transmission was not responsive to our suggestions. Fortunately, the manual setting lets drivers set that high red-line having one of the best naturally-aspirated V8 exhaust notes that are available in this class. If that’s not enough to justify the cost it’s hard to say what else is. It’s IS 500 won’t win many rivalries with Audi S4, BMW M340i, or Mercedes C43. Audi S4, BMW M340i as well as the Mercedes C43 are on paper, however, its combination of performance and price with its classic design makes it one of the most attractive vehicles in this category. It could be the only compact luxury sports sedan with an engine that’s a V8 engine We’d suggest getting one of these before it’s gone.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Redesign
2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Redesign

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance Price & Release Date

Lexus will surprise the industry in the coming years with its IS 500 F Sport. The base car costs approximately the same price as the BMW M340i xDrive in the USA however, it comes with more features that are standard. Its 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance is available with a base cost of $56,500. You can upgrade to the premium version and you’ll have to shell out more than $61,000. It is worth it. Launch Edition commands a hefty price, with exclusive rights for 500 units and other exclusive content. It retails at $67,400. This price does not include the delivery charge of $1,075.