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V8-powered Lexus IS500 F Sport Performance breaks cover

By Tom Fraser, 23 Feb 2021 Car News

V8-powered Lexus IS500 F Sport Performance breaks cover

Our guesses last week weren’t far off the mark – Lexus is putting a V8 engine into a new IS500 F Sport Performance variant

The good news today is that a new V8-powered Lexus IS500 F Sport Performance variant has been revealed. The bad news? This sorta-kinda IS F successor has been developed exclusively for the United States.

Revealed overnight, the Lexus IS500 F Sport Performance “ushers in a new era of F Sport Performance models that will appeal to passionate driving enthusiasts”.

Our teaser story last week suggested we could be about to see the arrival of an IS500 V8-powered sedan, which is something the market has been crying out for since the Lexus IS F was discontinued in 2013.  

The new model shoehorns a 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine under the bonnet, while adding subtle styling enhancements such as a raised and sculpted power bulge in the bonnet, 19-inch Enkei alloy wheels, revised rear diffuser with new quad exhaust outlets, and dark chrome window trim.

The V8 engine outputs 351kW and 535Nm to the rear wheels through the standard eight-speed automatic transmission as the IS350.

It stocks a number of supporting componentry including upgraded brakes, uprated cooling, limited slip differential and revised suspension. The IS500 can sprint from zero to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds.

30 years of Lexus Australia: a brief history of the marque

On the inside, the IS line's new hero model is distinguished by F Sport Performance badging on the steering wheel and door sills, while the instrument cluster features a start-up animation specific to the IS500.

Lexus says: No IS500 for you

Sadly, the Lexus IS500 F Sport Performance is intended exclusively for the North American market, and will only be sold in left-hand drive guise. It will go on sale in the US market in the second half of this year. 

Interestingly, Lexus says the IS500 is the first vehicle in a “new line of F Sport Performance vehicles”, indicating that this is not the only car we should expect from the new performance branch.

Fingers crossed there's more of where this came from. 

Read We farewell the Lexus GS F with one last drive