Lexus has announced a new high-performance edition of the IS compact sports sedan. Redesigned for 2021, the front-engine, rear- or all-wheel-drive IS has been offered with the buyer’s choice of a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine or two versions of a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6. Now, for what may be the last time, the 2022 IS will be also offered with a V8 engine, dubbed the IS 500 F Sport Performance.
As the name implies, the IS 500 engine is a 5.0-liter naturally aspirated unit (472 hp/395 lb-ft of torque). The engine is paired with Lexus’ paddle-shifted 8-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission, and is available only with rear-wheel drive. Lexus estimates the IS 500 F Sport Performance will hit 60 mph from a standing start in 4.5 seconds, and like all IS models will be governed to a top speed of 143 mph.
The IS 500 will come with the F Sport Dynamic Handling Package as standard equipment, which includes the brand’s Adaptive Variable Suspension and a Torsen limited-slip differential. Drivers will appreciate selectable performance settings for the driveline and suspension, including new Sport S and Sport S+ modes. The top Sport S+ mode adjusts the amount of electronic power steering assist and damping force to deliver firm handling to match similarly enhanced powertrain settings. To manage the power and suspension enhancements, Lexus also added aerodynamic brake cooling ducts and larger 14.0-inch two-piece aluminum front rotors and 12.7-inch rear rotors.
The IS 500 will feature several exterior updates to visually set it apart from the V6-powered IS 350 F Sport. The hood has been raised nearly two inches and gains sculpted center character lines, while the front bumper and fenders have been lengthened. Unique 19-inch Enkei alloy wheels will be standard. The IS 500 will also carry a rear lip spoiler and revised rear diffuser around a quad exhaust system. Inside, the IS 500 will include a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and sport pedals.
More information including pricing, options, and color choices will be announced closer to launch. The all-new 2022 IS 500 F Sport Performance is expected to arrive in dealerships later this Fall.
If you want to stay informed about the upcoming IS 500, you can register to receive more information on Lexus’s official web site.
This may be the last Lexus sports car to receive a naturally aspirated V8 engine. Lexus and the industry at large are moving quickly to turbocharged V6 or hybrid/electric powertrains. For V8 fans, this Lexus could be a swan song.