8.10.2014

How The 2014 Lexus IS-F Might Be A BMW-Killer

Front 3/4 view of 2014 Lexus IS-f
2014 Lexus IS-F.

418 horsepower.  371 pounds per foot of torque. 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Zero to 60 in 4.2 seconds.

It's a Lexus sedan.

I'll give that a minute to sink in.  You'll be excused for being surprised, because Lexus still has this image out there of being pure luxury vehicles...Toyotas swaddled in leather and wood, all noise, vibration and harshness hunted down and eliminated until the driving experience is one of riding on a perfectly silent wave of whipped cream.

And it's not true.  Not for the most part, anyway and not in recent years.  Regular TireKicker readers have seen our reviews of F-Sport models from Lexus (GS 350, RX 350, IS 350, LS 460), which usually involve suspension upgrades and in one rather unfortunate case reviewed by the Phoenix bureau recently (CT 200) simply is a trim package.

But if you want the whole F-Sport experience, apart from the $300,000-plus LFA supercar, you need to get behind the wheel of the IS-F sedan.



Rear 3/4 view of 2014 Lexus IS-F
2014 Lexus IS-F.

When you approach the car, it gives off hints of what it's capable of.  Lower to the ground than the previous-generation IS sedan on which it's based, with a different grille, more menacing wheels, and out back, not just dual but quad exhausts.

Red leather shift knob in 2014 Lexus IS-F
Red leather shift knob in 2014 Lexus IS-F.

Inside? Red leather trim for the shift knob....

Speedometer of 2014 Lexus IS-F
2014 Lexus IS-F speedometer.

And a speedometer that goes all the way to 200 miles per hour (It exaggerates.  It can only do 170).

Beefed up brakes, killer suspension, this is the car Lexus would like you to buy instead of a BMW M5. You'll give up 144 horsepower, six-tenths of a second 0-60 and 20 mph worth of top speed if you do, but you'll also keep $30,250 in your bank account.  Yes, the price difference is that vast.

What do you get for the IS-F's entry price of $63,350? Click here for the exhaustive list of standard equipment....and know that there's still more to be had.  Our tester added a hard disk drive navigation system with backup camera, the Lexus Enform infotainment app suite, SiriusXM NavWeather and NavTraffic for $2,490...Intuitive Park Assist with front and rear sensors for $500, a trunk mat for $105, and a cargo net for $64.  Bottom line with $910 delivery, processing and handling fee:  $67,419.  For a car that's seriously fast, handles like it's on rails and gets surprisingly decent fuel economy too.

2014 Lexus IS-F fuel economy reading
Our mileage over a week.  Your mileage may vary.

There's a new IS-F in the pipeline and it will undoubtedly be more refined and more sensitive to coming environmental and fuel economy regulations. If this type of blunt object, brute force performance appeals to you, now's the time.

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