IS500 – how will they do that?
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.