2012 Lexus IS F Preview

Lexus-IS-F-2012_review At Lexus, they call it ‘The Beast’. Elsewhere, it’s known as the 2012 IS F… where the ‘F’ stands for Fuji Speedway, the world-class Japanese circuit. Just another clue why this variant of the luxury Lexus sedan is aimed squarely at racing enthusiasts - a market share also sought after by the BMW M3, the Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG and the Cadillac CTS-V

Under the hood, the powerhouse 5.0L V8 produces 416 hp and 371 lb-ft of torque to uncage this animal from 0-100 km/h in less than five seconds. An advanced 8-speed automatic transmission includes a manual mode and features steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, that allow smooth transitions at speed.

When it comes to braking, The Beast is equipped with 14.2" vented disc brakes for the front wheels and 13.6" discs for the rear, all with BREMBO brake pads.

The Lexus Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) System uses 3 modes to allow the driver modify the IS F’s driving and handling dynamics. Drivers can also turn off VDIM if they want to challenge their own skills on a closed course.

Better yet, the sporty, contemporary interior does not want for luxury features, including a 13-speaker Lexus Premium Audio System with Bluetooth connectivity, voice activated navigation with backup camera, a power tilt and telescoping steering column as well as leather seats with Alcantara trim.

And there’s plenty more…the smart key system, the bi-xenon high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, variable intermittent rain-sensing wipers, etc.

In Canada, the ‘base model’ Lexus IS F (Series 1) is offered at $69,950, while the Series 2 – with extra features, such as 19" aluminum alloy wheels and the 14-speaker Mark Levinson Audio System – can be yours for $72,650.