Lexus’ Chief Engineer Naoki Kobayashi and his team at Lexus International have finally unveiled the special they have been quietly working on lately – the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance. However, they also managed to piss the world off when they announced that the beast of a car will only be available in North American markets.
As the first model in the new Lexus F Sport Performance line, the IS 500’s engine provides a boost in displacement and performance over the IS 350’s 3.5-liter V6. Its naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine has a maximum output of 472 hp at 7,100 rpm and 535 NM of peak torque at 4,800 rpm, enabling it to do the century sprint in 4.5 seconds.
Other IS 500 performance enhancements include a throaty quad exhaust system with dual stacked tail pipes that perfectly amplify the new V8 engine. This exhaust not only sounds ferocious, but is inspired by F models, like the RC F.
The IS 500 uses the same the same eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission found in the IS 300 and IS 350 RWD models. It also features drive mode select Sport S and Sport S+, which provides advanced engine and transmission mapping to enhance performance.
Sport S+ also adjusts the amount of EPS steering assist and damping force to deliver sportier handling to match the updated powertrain settings. Custom Mode is also available, offering multiple combinations for powertrain (Normal/Eco/Power), chassis (Normal/Sport) and air conditioner (Normal/Eco).
Starting with the 2022 IS 500, Lexus F SPORT Performance models will come adorned with unique black badging on the sides to distinguish it from F models.
The IS 500 will also come standard with the IS RWD F SPORT’s Dynamic Handling Package (DHP), which includes Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) and a Torsen limited slip differential (LSD) that improves handling and performance thanks to enhanced traction when cornering or exiting turns.
Engineers have also improved the IS chassis performance with the addition of a Yamaha rear performance damper. This damper reduces dynamic structural distortion, delivering increased comfort at low speeds, and additional stability and agility at high speeds.
The IS 500 features subtle exterior enhancements to help set it apart from the standard IS 350 F SPORT. The hood has been raised nearly 2 inches and receives sculpted centre character lines, while the front bumper and fenders have been lengthened to help accommodate the vehicle’s naturally aspirated V8 muscle.
Also standard are the exclusive 19-inch split-10-spoke Enkei alloy wheels. Other exterior updates include a revised lower rear diffuser accent that accentuates the quad exhaust system, as well as dark chrome window trim.
Tying these visual and performance cues together is the black IS F SPORT rear lip spoiler. Inside, drivers are greeted with black F SPORT Performance badging on the heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and door sill scuff plates.
It also comes standard with the IS F SPORT accelerator pedal, brake pedal and footrest, but the combination instrumentation meter receives an updated startup animation that is exclusive to IS 500.
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