I previously mentioned that Lexus is going to join the ranks of Mercedes, BMW and Audi by bringing out its own version of ultra performance luxury series. Yesterday, Lexus unveiled the IS-F high-performance luxury sedan and the LF-A sports-car concept at the 2007 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.
Lexus confirmed that the all-new 2008 IS-F high-performance luxury sedan will deliver more than 400 horsepower from a 5.0-litre V8 engine when it goes into production, whilst the LF-A sports-car concept is equipped with a V10 engine that produces more than 500 horsepower.
Lexus which is the third best selling luxury brand in Australia and the top-selling luxury brand in the United States, also unveiled the LF-A sports car concept that it said was closer to a future production version compared with the pure-concept LF-A that debuted two years ago. The two-seater sports car with a 500-horsepower V10 engine, can reach top speeds of around 321 kilometres per hour.
However Lexus is quick to point out that although they may appear to be following the blueprint of becoming a true luxury brand, they are not trying to compete with the likes of Mercedes & BMW high performance cars :
“The intent of creating the IS-F was not to be a competitor to other performance-sport sedans, rather, the goal was to create a true performance sedan in a uniquely Lexus way, one that is totally authentic, with a unique interpretation of raw driving thrill at all speeds, and provides a whole new definition of ‘useable power’.”said Bob Carter, Lexus group vice president and general manager.
The IS-F is based on the company’s successful IS sedan’s underpinnings. Much of the development of the new IS-F took place at Fuji Speedway and the Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre in Japan. The IS-F is based on the proven rear-wheel-drive Lexus IS, which is equipped with double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension.
As well as the IS performs, Lexus engineers demanded much more of the all-new IS-F. The car goes from 0-100km/hr in less than five seconds and has large four-wheel disc brakes. It also has an eight-speed automatic/manual transmission. The IS-F features an all-new three-mode version of Lexus’ Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system.
In addition to the Normal mode, the new 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.
The attention to performance is complemented by modified styling cues that differentiate the IS-F from the standard IS. Lexus engineers provided the IS-F with a 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 cool the V8 engine. Like the exterior, the interior of the IS-F features unique styling with aluminised composite trim and special surface treatments. In addition to the usual Lexus standards of comfort and convenience, the interior of the IS-F features specially shaped and trimmed seats which 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.