Thursday, April 30, 2009

IS-F Evolution


In an age where auto-makers around the world are drastically cutting production, closing factories and focusing on greener more economical cars, one company is going against the grain. Cue the Lexus and the IS-F. This four door 5.0l super sedan released back in 2007 was originally slated for only 500 units per year, but its success here in Japan has seen waiting lists grow and now, building off its success, Best Car reports that a face lift is in line for this ‘family sedan’. Albeit an all black carbon lighter wider one.

  • Carbon Four Door Sedan

Earlier last year Lexus had been busy working on a higher spec version of the IS-F with initial reports then pointing at increase in overall power up to 435ps and some carbon parts to go along with it. Unfortunately, due to the worsening economy and poor car sales this was put on hold, until now. Fast forward to 2009, post new GTR, and Lexus have stepped into high gear with 2 test mules already been completed and currently going through testing.

  • Lighter, Better Handling

Sticking to the trustworthy and reliable image, Lexus has decided to stay with the current engine setup and instead focus more on handling and weight loss with the revised version featuring an all carbon updated front bumper, rear bumper and larger rear ‘over-fenders’. Remaining panels will also be ‘carbonized’ to match the revised parts. Continuing the carbon theme and possibly taking cues from the new Spec V GTR, the car will also be complemented with carbon ceramic brakes, again reducing weight and improving brake performance. Putting all of this to the ground new ‘special color sport design wide wheels’ wrapped in 245/35/19 front and 275/30/19 rear tires will come as standard issue. Body colors will vary, but there is a high possibility that the car will come in an all carbon version for all carbon lovers out there.

  • Inside Brush Up

Sources also point to a re-hash of the interior with front seats getting the carbon leather Recaro bucket treatment and leather being clad onto the buckets in the rear. An all carbon console will also be employed to reduce weight. Total weight savings from these changes are said to add up to around a 140kg weight saving all round. Whilst this may all sound like the ultimate family ride to church on Sunday morning, it will all be coming at a cost. Initial estimates hovered around the US$100,000 mark, but final estimates for the car will be climbing past the Spec V’s US$170,000 territory and chances of getting change from a cool US$200,000 are slim. As with the current IS-F though, production numbers will be limited to only 500 per year, so maybe its time to start saving and lining up.

Words: Peter Horniak

Image: Best Car

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