Road & Track has dared to compare the Lexus IS-F, BMW M3, the Mercedes C63 and the Audi RS4 in the latest of the super sedan shootouts. As has often been the case, the Lexus IS-F put in a good showing but was still relegated to last place:
Nobody likes to finish off the podium, but it’s not as bad as it might seem for the first Lexus to wear the stylized “F” — and the first Lexus capable of decidedly “non-Lexus” performance in the vein of the BMW M3. Its explosive 0–60 and quarter-mile times of 4.2 and 12.6 seconds put it second in the test, just a tick slower than the Mercedes. A slalom weave of 70.9 mph also puts it in second, behind the BMW.
So no flies in the ointment yet. Until you look at the IS F among the others. Said Dennis Simanaitis: “To me, the Lexus’ oddly pugnacious snout detracts from its otherwise stylish lines.” The tarted-up oval finishers for the exhaust do the car no aesthetic favors, and the side treatment makes the Lexus appear a little bottom-heavy. “It’s as if the bodywork additions were made of wax,” I wrote in my notes, “and then left under a heat lamp.” Bornhop added, “It looks a bit reptilian.”
Inside, the ergonomics and general layout are appealing, but the IS F deserves a much higher-quality dash pad; its contours are doughy, its surface texture indifferent and a gap was starting to appear between it and the top of the center-stack plastic.
The styling just isn’t going over well with the American mainstream automotive media. Mechanically, it’s more than keeping up, and the 8-speed auto transmission its getting a lot of positive attention.
[Source: Road & Track]