2008 lexus isf review

See all 6 photos. Since its inception inLexus has never directly gone after the high-performance divisions of Germany's automakers. Lexus was not one of these. Sure, its LS, IS, and GS sedans took on various Teutonic transporters, but when it came time for an L-badged vehicle to battle Deutschland's most dynamic on a twisty road or a racetrack, Lexus was nowhere to be found.

Here was not only Lexus's first "F performance" vehicle, but also one that underwent extensive development on some of the world's most renowned racetracks, including Germany's Nurburgring, France's Circuit Paul Ricard, and Japan's Fuji Speedway. Heck, Lexus even held the U. Obviously, this wasn't your accountant's Lexus. No, the Lexus IS F was an entirely different animal, one injected with an all-aluminum 5. When it came time to decide whether to request a long-term example, our resounding yes came as quick as a WOT upshift.

Presented with an order sheet, we immediately checked the boxes for Ultrasonic Blue Mica paint and Alpine white leather seats -- no need to be subtle in a horsepower Lexus. This miserliness at the pump was evident from the get go, when the IS F averaged 22 mpg on a mile break-in trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

2008 lexus isf review

During its year-long stay, the IS F often returned tank averages in the 20s, testament to the efficiency of the eight-speed automatic. All said and done, the Lexus delivered And, lest we forget, we were also smitten with the F's blistering acceleration and wondrous handling.

At the test track, the Lexus ripped to 60 in just 4. Braking from 60 feetmaximum lateral acceleration 0. Naturally, our discerning staff found plenty to criticize about the IS F, notably high-performance Brembos that all too often emitted high-pitched squeaks dealers either could not replicate the noise or told us it was a byproduct of the high-friction padsa transmission with too many gears "While its nice to see the revs under rpm at 70 mph and the accompanying fuel economy, downshifting to pass becomes a chore -- to get to the real power, you have to drop four gears.

ForLexus has made some noteworthy improvements to the IS F.

Verdict: 2008 Lexus IS F

A limited-slip differential is now standard as is Bluetooth streaming audio. There's even a snazzy new design for the inch wheels. But until Lexus incorporates suppler suspension tuning, or at least adjustable dampers with a legitimate comfort setting, the IS F will remain the poster boy for teeth-chattering transportation.

So soften those shocks, Lexus, and we'll be all smiles. From The Logbook "Before you go plunking down your hard-earned cash, it's mandatory to see if you can live with the suspension -- it is NOT supple.With beastly performance and a ride to match, the Lexus IS-F is a shot of pure adrenaline from a company typically associated with uninspiring driving dynamics.

It may even prove too hard-edged for some -- something we never thought we'd find ourselves saying about a Lexus. The letter F is an auspicious one in Lexus lore. Back in the mid-'80s, when the Lexus brand was still in the planning stages, Toyota insiders referred to the prospective luxury division as "Circle F. The IS-F marks the official launch of Lexus' F line, and it's akin to the aforementioned competitors' in-house performance divisions. Take the IS-F's exclusive power plant, for example, which begins life as the gas-swilling half of the LS h L's hybrid engine and then gets a thorough makeover from Toyota's longtime performance partner, Yamaha.

The end result is a 5. Likewise, the IS-F eschews the IS 's six-speed automatic transmission for a heavily modified version of the LS 's eight-speed unit that boasts Ferrari-quick upshifts and automatic throttle blips on downshifts. The singularity and complexity of this powertrain serve notice to the old guard that this Lexus means business. Outside the engine room, however, the IS-F has a few kinks to work out. For one thing, while its extensively revised suspension is dynamite on the track, the IS-F falls well short of the ride-handling balance for which certain rivals are justly famous.

Lexus ISF - One Take

For another, its exterior styling cues range from the controversial e. Its German competition, on the other hand -- as well as the upcoming Cadillac CTS-V -- feature relatively compliant rides and subtle aesthetics. There's no doubt that the IS-F is a serious driver's car, but we can't help but wonder whether its hardcore personality is a little over the top for this segment, notwithstanding its commendably hushed interior and rather incongruous lack of a manual transmission option.

Enthusiasts with 60 large to plunk down on a sport sedan may find the IS-F a smidge too fast and furious for their tastes. Nonetheless, the Lexus IS-F is a thrilling car on its own merits, and its uncompromising nature indicates that Lexus is willing to do what it takes to ensure that its sporting F models will be competitive with class leaders.

The company has already hit two home runs with the letter F, and while it hasn't quite knocked the IS-F out of the park, it's still a promising first step toward challenging the established heavyweights for the factory performance crown.

Only one trim level is available. The Lexus IS-F is powered by a 5. An eight-speed automatic transmission routes the V8's prodigious thrust to the rear wheels. Although the automatic is the only available transmission, Lexus says it rivals the performance of the best automated-clutch manuals, with millisecond upshifts and automatic rev-matching on downshifts. In our instrumented testing, the 3,pound IS-F sprinted to 60 in 4.

Don't get us wrong -- the IS-F flat-out hauls. The Germans, however, remain a few ticks faster on the stopwatch. Stability control, traction control, antilock brakes with brake assist, front-seat knee and side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags all come standard on the Lexus IS-F. An optional pre-collision system employs radar to monitor the likelihood of a frontal collision and adjusts seatbelt tension and braking force accordingly.

The IS-F has not been officially crash tested, nor is it likely to be. However, in government crash tests, its IS sibling earned four stars out of a possible five for driver and front-passenger frontal impact protection. It also earned five stars for front side impacts and four stars for rear side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the IS its top rating of "Good" after administering frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests. Cars in this class are all about the experience behind the wheel, and the Lexus IS-F mostly impresses.

The new V8 emits a spine-tingling roar at full throttle once you've cleared 3, rpm, and the engine proves eminently tractable throughout its linear power band.Simple: Toyota's luxury brand and the letter F have a long history. In the mids, the Lexus luxury division was then just a classified notepad document codenamed "Circle F. This first F there'll be more Lexus models with the F treatment soon, most likely is a Vpowered sledgehammer that rockets to 60 mph in 4.

It also keeps us grinning through hard track laps, even though the frequent fill-ups of premium were inhaled by street driving at the rate of 16 mpg. Solid lifters and titanium intake valves with 10 percent more lift reside in new higher-flow cylinder heads. At full throttle above rpm, a barn door in the box snaps open with vacuum released from a small reservoir, and the unleashed induction noise is raw and thrilling.

Polished paddles put your fingers in charge when you wish it. And they'll be busy, the swift-revving engine and ratio-stuffed, eight-speed automatic gearbox bringing forth the redline cutoff with annoying frequency. With all that engine fettling, the warning beep reminding you to upshift at rpm and the cut-out at rpm feel a bit low. The new hp BMW M3's engine screams all the way to rpm.

Lexus IS-F 2008-2012 review

Despite the bling of braided-aluminum trim on the doors and shifter console, temperance rules indoors. Blue-lit gauges and blue seat stitching, alloy pedals, a digital gear-position display, and the subtle F logo on the wheel are the differentiators that drivers see. The base car's rear bench is divided in the IS F into two non-folding buckets with a ski pass-through.

At leisure speeds, the air is hushed, Lexus-like, with just a distant snort from the engine and the extra thrum of the fat summer Michelins disturbing the peace. Given the low profile of the rubber mounted to the inch forged aluminum rims, the ride is tightly controlled but commendably mellow.

The ride-and-handling balance is perhaps the IS F's biggest achievement. It makes allowances for road fissures and drops the body into holes with cushioned lurches.

2008 lexus isf review

It also permits the pound car some restrained roll through the esses but not enough to wither confidence. The IS F's steering rack accurately puts tires where they're needed and provides talk-back, albeit faint, on how things are holding. And hold they do, with excellent grip. The all-important sport button also perks up throttle response and relaxes the stability-control system to allow some controlled tail-out action.

Lexus also allows you to shut the system completely off, but the shutdown can only be called for while at full stop. Brembo-sourced front calipers on broad cross-drilled rotors deliver solid braking but with a soft pedal. The next steps for F may decide if the performance sub-brand thrives or is only a brief experiment. New Cars. Buyer's Guide. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. Future Cars Worth Waiting For: View Photos.

Expand Collapse. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. More From Instrumented Tests. Join the Conversation Show Comments LoadingJump to navigation. F orget what you already know about traditional Lexus values — comfort, refinement and so on — because this new IS-F has its priorities in an entirely different place.

A naturally aspirated 5. Lexus's new M3-chaser feels quick, but isn't quite as entertaining or as horny-looking as its rivals.

Login Register. Newsletter sign up. Mobile navigation. Tabs Menu. You are logged out. Lexus IS-F review. The Lexus IS-F is the marque's first attempt at a genuine performance car - and it's a competent M3 rival.

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2008 Lexus IS

To learn more about how we use the information you provide to us please see our Full Privacy Notice. Top 5 Super saloons 1. BMW M5 2. Mercedes-AMG C 63 3. Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio 4. Alpina B5 5. Mercedes-AMG E Select model.The Lexus IS returns for the new model year in two versions. The Lexus IS comes powered by a 2. The rear-drive Lexus IS is powered by a 3.

All IS s and all-wheel-drive IS s transfer power to the wheels through a six-speed automatic with F1-style paddle shifters; the rear-drive Lexus IS can be had with that transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox.

Handling is taut and balanced, while the Lexus IS's braking is unexpectedly responsive. The basic IS shape, sleek and reasonably attractive, mimics the style of Lexus's larger flagship, the LS. It's part of a new styling theme for the brand that has woken up its snoozy reputation for looks.

Still, the Lexus IS is more mild than wild, though the interior has nice aluminum-look trim on the console. Four grippy bucket seats are split by a console covered in aluminum-look trim. The backseats don't offer an excess of head- and legroom. A rear backup camera, a voice-activated navigation system, ventilated front seats, and a speaker surround sound Mark Levinson audio system are among the options. An optional Pre-Collision System is available as well; it anticipates when a crash is imminent and reacts accordingly, applying the brakes more strongly if the driver cannot react quickly enough.

Stability control, six airbags, and anti-lock brakes are standard. The Lexus IS gets four-star ratings for front and passenger-side impact, with five-star protection for driver side impacts. It also gets a five-star rating for rollover protection. The Lexus IS bears the styling hallmarks of larger Lexus sedans, according to reviews from around the Web and the firsthand impressions of TheCarConnection.

In addition to the Lexus IS's "athletic poise [and] impressive build," the Edmunds reviewers are very impressed with its interior, describing the cabin as "impeccably finished. The Lexus IS earns strong marks for performance from road testers around the Web and from the luxury-car experts at TheCarConnection. At horsepower, the smaller engine is "taxed a bit," according to Orlando Sentinel.

Despite the "silky automatic transmission," the smaller V-6 is "sleepy on takeoff, strained up steep grades, and…shy on midrange passing power," according to ConsumerGuide. The larger, 3. Nonetheless, Kelley Blue Book says the Lexus IS feels fairly "quick around town" and, despite its relatively low horsepower rating, "easily copes with the cut-and-thrust of daily commuting as well as freeway passing moves. The Orlando Sentinel declares this to be a "good thing," since the Lexus IS is on the heavy side, forcing this relatively smaller 2.

2008 lexus isf review

The Lexus IS's six-speed transmission offers fully automatic mode as well as manual mode, so if necessary for a passing maneuver, the driver can throw it into a lower gear by hand. Some more "traditional" drivers may prefer the standard, fully manual clutch-operated six-speed that comes as standard equipment on two-wheel-drive models for this reason, which can improve acceleration slightly in under 8 seconds, according to Cars.

The Orlando Sentinel expresses similar sentiments: it's "comfortable up front, a little cramped in the rear. This is probably only because "the lid aids aerodynamics and also increases trunk room," as detailed by The Auto Channel.

Edmunds calls the interior materials "impressive," with "handsome design [and] impeccable fit and finish. According to MyRide. Regarding noise levels, ConsumerGuide reports "coarse-surface tire thrum is noticeable but not intrusive. Wind noise is modest. Edmunds reports that these and the "full complement" of airbags are standard equipment on the Lexus IS, in addition to traction and stability control. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the anti-lock brakes provide brake-force distribution and assist, and the Lexus offers side and side curtain airbags, as well as knee airbags.

The reviewer adds: "very BMW-like, there's a first-aid kit. Safety options in the Lexus include accident-avoidance features. If the onboard computer determines an unavoidable collision is imminent, the system stiffens up the suspension, tightens up the seatbelts, and pre-initializes the brake assist in preparation for impact.Lexus, the company known primarily for reliable, nearly silent, flawlessly efficient passenger cars, has tossed the formula out the window with the IS F.

The Lexus IS F is a captivating performance sedan is built for the involved driver. It's a car that encourages and rewards spirited driving, and with a top speed of mph, the IS F is by far the fastest car Lexus has ever made.

To describe the Lexus LS F as fun to drive would be bland understatement. This is an authentic performance car that brings smiles to professional driving instructors and racers on the world's fastest racetracks. For the average driver, this is a car so able, so secure, it changes the way you see the road. Lexus test drivers have logged times in 4. It's a car built for high G-forces and quick stopping. Combining an eight-speed transmission and a 5.

Better grip comes from a wider stance, heftier suspension components with less unsprung weight, outstanding brakes, and the most advanced electronic traction enhancements. Unlike some performance sedans, the IS F is not particularly tiring to drive in ordinary day-to-day situations.

There is no heavy clutch, the seats can be comfy for hours at a time, and the ride is not overly firm at low speeds. An outstanding audio system is available. This is the first of perhaps several cars that will be launched with the F designation, which Lexus hopes to build into an icon. A detailed pricing list will be released a few weeks before the IS F goes on sale March 1.

2008 lexus isf review

Lexus marketing officials have said that they intend to be competitive with comparable cars, such as the BMW M3. While the IS and IS are certainly fun-to-drive, sporty cars, the F is intended to be a no-compromise performance sedan.

As such, it's a flagship capable of extending the brand, and a conspicuous showpiece of Lexus capability and intentions. The Lexus IS F is well equipped and there are very few options. With the Navigation system, voice activation and Bluetooth are included, as is a rear back-up camera. A headlamp cleaning system is available, and the moonroof can be deleted for increased headroom. The Lexus IS F looks like a cat ready to pounce, with expressive styling that suggests a balance between lithe fluidity and the tensile strength of steel and forged aluminum.

2008 Lexus IS F

The stance is visibly more aggressive, especially when viewed from the front. Compared to the ISthe track is wider in the front, due to new wheels and tires, and the overall width is increased by nearly two inches.

It's also longer by 3. Most of the growth is due to a larger engine bay for the V8 engine. Functional vents located below the front headlamps help direct cooling airflow. This airflow passes through wider fender wells and exits behind the wheels. The vents blend smoothly into rocker panels, sculpted to a slight taper that leads the eye rearward. At the rear, four oval exhaust tips are stacked and integrated with the bumper.

Lexus engineers spent considerable time smoothing the body lines to achieve a coefficient of drag of 0. These covers and others were studied and shaped so that they would balance airflow, reduce high-speed lift, and help improve heat dissipation.I've owned this car now for 2. The car has performed flawlessly requiring no unscheduled maintenance to be done.

I spent the first 45 years of my life single and without any kids. I thought about dropping the amount of money for an M5 but then I thought, I have a little girl. I need to spend the money on her. I decided on the IS-F. I drive it daily, like a normal person with my family and like a maniac when I'm alone. So far no problems and nothing but sheer fun. I wish the Lexus people had thought to put adjustable shocks in it to dampen the ride when necessary but oh well.

I can always get new kidneys when I'm This is the best car I have ever owned and driven. This car came standard with all options including navigation etc.

Extremely reliable, and with cruise control on when driving on the open road, I averaged I paid 54, for my car which came with everything, and compared to the legendary BMW m-3 which cost over 71, and only came with heated leather seats and nothing else standard! Lexus is more bang for your buck!

Never owned a Lexus before, but this is great! I've driven a lot of sports cars and this is among the most fun. It is a lot more like a muscle car than the M's and I guess I'm just not a Mercedes guy. Plus, with Lexus, I don't have to worry about all the reliability issues of the Germans. Love the grunt, the automatic is buttery smooth and the manual mode is actually decent from a diehard straight drive fan. Don't understand people whining about the ride.

Plus I can get easily on the highway, 28 if I try hard. Overall an awesome car. Would like ventilated seats, but small gripe. This is by far the best car I have ever driven in my life.

It's not too expensive compared to a mercedes or a higher end bmw. This has horsepower and is an amazing sports sedan.

I recommend this car to everone. The suspension and torque on this car iss uncomparable to others. Popular searches.

2008 lexus isf review