August 29, 2007 – Torrance, CA - Lexus will introduce an all-new high-performance IS model in 2008 IS F. Based on the successful IS sport sedan platform, the 2008 IS F will deliver more than 400 horsepower from a 5.0-liter V8 engine when it arrives at Lexus dealerships in early 2008.
The "F" originates from the "Circle-F" internal code for what became the Lexus Division nearly 20 years ago. Since then, the "F" code has come to signify a special vehicle program within Lexus that falls outside the normal engineering and development process. Much of the IS F development took place at Fuji Speedway and the Higashi-Fuji Technical Center in Japan.
"With Lexus solidly established as a luxury leader, it was time to expand the brand's scope by offering unique high-performance models, and the IS F is the first," said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "The ‘F' in this model's name is the signature for a new high-performance marque conceived by an engineering team charged with expanding the definition of Lexus."
400-plus hp V8 and Special Chassis
The 2008 IS F is based on the rear-wheel-drive Lexus IS, which was designed from the outset for performance with its stiff structure and double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension systems. In place of the standard IS models' V6 engines, the IS F is exclusively powered by a new-generation, performance-tuned 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces 400-plus horsepower and more than 350 lb.-ft. of peak torque. Specially engineered cylinder heads are fed by a two-stage intake system. The IS F is equipped with engine-oil and transmission-fluid coolers for high-speed performance and a cylinder head-scavenging oil pump for high g-force driving.
"Lexus did not design the IS F as a direct competitor to any specific performance model but rather as a true performance sedan in a distinctly Lexus way," Templin added. "The IS F is totally authentic with a unique interpretation of driving thrill at all speeds and provides a new definition of ‘usable power.'"
Eight-Speed Direct Sport-shift Transmission
The IS F engine is mated to Lexus' first eight-speed direct sport-shift transmission. A new torque-converter lock-up control was developed that allows for a direct, crisp gear change through the constant lock-up of the torque converter in second through eighth gears. In Drive mode, the IS F transmission performs with outstanding smoothness, and the torque converter allows for enhanced launch capability. The IS F can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in less than 4.9 seconds.
The unique eight-speed transmission also features an advanced Manual mode. A pair of paddles located within a fingertip's reach behind the steering wheel enables the driver to make ultra-fast gear changes within a tenth of a second. Downshifts are accompanied by automated and precise throttle blips to match engine rpm to vehicle speed.
Deceleration power is commensurate with the car's acceleration ability. The IS F is equipped with heavy-duty Brembo® brakes designed to the specifications of the Lexus engineering team. Huge, 14.2-inch perforated front discs are gripped by rigid, powerful six-piston aluminum calipers, while 13.6-inch rear perforated discs use two-piston calipers. High-friction brake pads are fitted all around. The brakes are finished with the Lexus name displayed on the calipers, a first for a Lexus production vehicle.
The standard 19-inch forged-alloy BBS® wheels were custom-designed for the IS F and are equipped with high-performance sport tires: 225/40R19 on front and 255/35R19 for the rear. Specially modified suspension lowers the car by one inch compared to other IS models equipped with 18-inch wheels and allows for exciting and energetic handling on the road or racetrack.
Performance-Tuned Stability Control
The IS F features an all-new, three-mode version of the Lexus Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system. In addition to the Normal mode, this new version of VDIM features a Sport mode that allows the driver to push the car even further before its braking-, throttle- and steering-control systems kick in. The third VDIM system mode is "Off," which allows the driver to push the IS F to its ultimate level of handling performance on a racetrack.
The IS F will stand apart from IS 250 and IS 350 models not only by its performance but also by modified styling. The IS F can be spotted by its dual-exhaust system and quad tail pipes, wider front fenders, and a larger grille and rear spoiler. Both the hood and lower intake were enlarged to accommodate and help cool the V8 engine.
Special "F" Styling
Like the exterior, the interior of the IS F receives unique styling with aluminized composite trim and special surface treatments. The instrument panel includes an oil-temperature gauge and shift indicator-lights, while the "F" logo is showcased on the steering wheel and rear-center console.
In addition to the usual Lexus standards of comfort and convenience, the interior of the IS F features specially shaped and trimmed seats that hold the driver comfortably and securely in place. The special sport seats are available in black or a unique high-contrast white and black trim.