One of our favorite cars, the Lexus IS-F (’10 and up, of course, with the improved suspension and LSD), giving rides at Shenandoah during a TrackDaze HPDE school.
Interesting that they allow their Yellow group to pass anywhere. Most groups don’t allow that, except for Instructors.
We’ve never run on Shenandoah ourselves, so we watched with interest. Looks fun, and technical. And how about that Karussell-like turn, as in the Nurburgring?
Note how bad the weather is: the rain gets worse and worse as the session proceeds. As an instructor ourselves, we’re always advising that students don’t pack it in and go home when the going gets wet – indeed, this is exactly the type of experience you want. The line changes, obviously traction is significantly different, visibility is reduced – almost to nothing in this case. It reminds me of my first rain event, which unfortunately came 5 years after I started doing HPDE events. Despite dozens of weekends spent on that specific track, this event resulted in a gigantic off-track slide thru the mud just before the event was called for visibility. It was purely lack of wet-weather experience on my part.
A very clear message from this video: the IS-F has plenty of power and is built battleship tough. This is official Lexus video from the Taste of Lexus Event in California. There is still one T.O.L. event left in 2007: http://tasteoflexus.com
And, in case you missed it originally, here’s a replay of the video that made this event famous:
It’s tough to wait! Still no definitive technical details, and no indication of when the car will actually go on sale.
New Lexus Performance Vehicles to Make World Debut at 2007 North American International Auto Show
Wednesday December 6, 2:56 pm ET
The IS-F is an all-new high-performance version of the popular Lexus IS 250/350 sport sedans. It will feature unique styling and a substantial boost in power from a V8 powerplant that will captivate performance car enthusiasts when it goes on sale next year. In addition to the IS-F, Lexus will unveil an exotic sports concept.
The press conference will be held on Monday, January 8 at 11:25 a.m. EST in the Riverview Ballroom in COBO Center and simulcast live to the Lexus display area at the show. A video clip of the press conference will be available via the Lexus.com and pressroom.lexus.com Web sites immediately following the event.
Another view of the Lexus IS-F, and news that it will debut at the Detroit show this January!
AutoExpress has video of the IS-F circling the Nurburgring. While it identifies the car as the IS500, after the announcement earlier this week we know the car will be called the IS-F – “F” being the recent Lexus creation of an “M”-type division.
We also know the car is powered by a 5 liter V-8 with 425 HP and has Brembo brakes. And will cost in the $50s.
What we thought would be named the IS500 will actually be the IS-F instead. The “F” designation is the new performance designation for Lexus, as in the M division for BMW. The IS-F sedan will use a 425-HP 5 liter V-8 engine instead of the IS350′s 306-HP V-6.
Bad news: the sticker wil be in the low 50s. Good news: it will debut at NAIAS in January! Yamaha is the head supplier, brakes are by Brembo.
AutoWeek has a review of what they believe the product plan roadmap of Lexus looks like over the next few years.
Lexus is still hedging on a V-8 IS, although we know from spy shots at Nurburgring that such an animal is being or has been tested. But then there is also a spy shot of another IS test car with an enormous heat duct on the hood, ala Evo. Perhaps a tubo’d V-6?
One of my favorite upcoming cars is the Lexus IS500 – unannounced so far. But caught many times by spy phtographers being tested at Nurburgring. Now it appears that it’s cover has been blown. It’s reported that the IS500 will be powered by a 420-horse 5 liter DOHC V-8. Continue at the link!
Looking over the spy pics of the IS500 (or is is IS460 – nobody is sure), I was wondering if the front end was stretched to accommodate the new V-8 engine. Comparing the spy shot from Auto Express to an image form Lexus’ own site, I find that this is not the case.
Photo images copyright Auto Express & Lexus North America.
Instead, we’ll have a car that is very near to the ideal weight balance transformed into a slightly more nose-heavy one. How heavy will remain to be seen. Taking a state of the art and compact V-6 engine and replacing it with an older design V-8, both with aluminum blocks, will probably add 125-150 pounds on the front end of the car. Add in some additional weight for a strong transmission and front crossmember, along with a larger radiator, will add another 25-40 pounds. The suspension parts themselves were designed all along for a V-8, and will probably not need updating.
Opportunities for weight loss are minimal as many parts on the IS350 are already aluminum. One thing that would nice to ditch, but would only save a few ounces, is the traction control computer. Rumor has it that the IS500 will allow at least some part of the traction control system to be shut off.
Trumping everyone else, Auto Express now has a complete set of shots of a slightly disguised Lexus IS500 testing at Nurburgring.
I’ve said it before and I’ll continue saying it: if your car company isn’t testing at Nurburgring, you can expect pretty poor durability from your purchase.
Take SVT as an example – not a single product in their entire history has been tested under the stresses of the Nurburgring… resulting in a long string of over-heating products – both on the street and on the track. Even the Ford GT used by Fords own “SVT On Track” series overheated, blew out it’s coolant, and had to be permanently retired (even after it had been rebuilt by hand).
Not everybody needs a car that will survive the rigors of the Nurburgring… but if your car has been developed and tested there then it will certainly last longer in your commmutes and retain it’s value longer. If it hasn’t, chances are you will end up with a worthless POJ that has little more value than something to fawn over at a car show.