Inside Line Tests Lexus IS 250 F-Sport

Lexus IS 250 F-Sport

Now that Lexus’ F-Sport accessories are available for the entire IS & GS lineups, the next question is which parts should be bought first. Well, Edmunds’ Inside Line has the scoop on F-Sport, testing the modifications on an IS 250. Some of the results were very surprising:

Powerslides are impossible with the big tires and little engine, but this car scorches our track with handling numbers that exceed the performance of the mighty IS-F. No, we’re not kidding. This IS runs 71 mph through our slalom, circles our skid pad at 0.89g of lateral grip and stops from 60 mph in just 109 feet.

The last IS-F we tested managed 70.2 mph in the slalom, recorded 0.93g on the skid pad and stopped from 60 mph in 112 feet.

We couldn’t believe it either. But the best part is the F Sport’s highway ride. If you bought an IS-F, you’re probably a regular at the chiropractor by now, but this IS actually rides well, and there’s even less impact harshness than in a stock IS 250.

The improved cornering was credited to the Blisten shocks — which should make them a priority for anyone looking to outfit their IS. Also recommended in the article were the anti-roll bars, the upgraded brakes, and the quick throw shifter.

Beyond that, Edmunds suggests that interested parties pass on the engine cover & exhaust system, and instead invest in a nice, sticky pair of tires.

TAS 2009: The Lexus IS 350C in Silver

Lexus IS-C 350 in Silver

Now a few days removed from the Toronto Auto Show, I’ve been going through the virtual stack of photos that I took, and have compiled my first gallery — here’s the IS 350C in silver:

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As I mentioned previously, convertibles just don’t do it for me (likely due to dealing with bitterly cold weather six months of every year). That said, I like the look of the IS-C’s hardtop roof, and was a touch disappointed not to see it in action.

Really, this vehicle is a puzzle, introduced very late in the IS design cycle. The thinking, and I’m going out on a limb here, is that the SC redesign is still a ways off, and there needs to be a semi-fresh convertible in the lineup or risk losing segment sales. The real deal will be happening when the IS gets its next redesign — which I would expect will come in 3-series assortments: coupe, convertible, sedan, super-sedan.

  • IS front fascia remains modern and well suited to the convertible
  • Super wheel design suits the vehicle perfectly
  • Necessary addition to the IS lineup
  • Bulky rear
  • Trunk looks like a table
  • Sales may suffer due to IS design age

More 2010 Lexus RX Commercials

Lexus is preparing a barrage of commercials signaling the release of the new RX — first we had a set of more “traditional” commercials, and now there’s these six testimonial style videos to watch:

Rear Seat Entertainment

Cargo Space


Voice Command

Power Rear Door

Intelligent Highbeams

I like these significantly more when compared to the first set, though there’s a great balance in approach when viewed all together. This type of Apple-style commercial really works for Lexus, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it used extensively over the next few marketing campaigns.

2010 Lexus RX Commercials

Lexus USA has just posted up their new commercials for the 2010 Lexus RX 350 launch, which will start running nationally next week:

Smart move by Lexus to reinforce the familiarity of the previous RX — it’s their best tactic and definitely something that can’t be overstated. These commercials are both surprisingly technical, though that’s to be expected considering the addition of strong emphasis on the new features like Remote Touch and the Heads-up display.

(Looks like Lexus is also trying something different with their narrator, as these commercials have a voiceover that isn’t James Sloyan. )

Update: The voiceover actor is James Remar.

Update 2: Added a third commercial. (Thanks Roberto!)

Trying the Lexus Remote Touch System @ The Toronto Auto Show

After reporting stories and videos about the new Lexus Remote Touch system, I had the chance yesterday to try the technology for myself — and managed to record it despite my (noticeable) excitement:

Being an interface technology, there’s really no way to describe the haptic feedback feeling, save to say that it’s intuitive and incredibly responsive. Jumping from menu-item to menu-item brought to mind pushing a computer mouse up against a stretched rubber-band. Combined with the screen placed higher up in the dash, the Remote Touch system allows the driver to interact with the system through peripheral vision, almost through feel only.

As you can tell from the video, I was almost too impressed — and all the more once I started playing with equivalent BMW, Mercedes and Audi systems. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Remote Touch system will be duplicated in force over the next few years. It’s that good. If you were at all concerned about its usability compared to the touchscreen, you need not worry at all.