Jalopnik Reviews the Lexus IS-F

Jalopnik & The Lexus IS-F

Spanning two parts, the Jalopnik review of the Lexus IS-F is a real fun read, but the most interesting aspect is how contrary it is to other published reviews.

First off, whereas every other review, bar none, praised the IS-F on the track, Jalopnik came away shaking their heads:

If it sounds like I wasn’t exactly smitten with the IS-F on the track, you have good ears. And I wasn’t alone. Wes was wandering around the paddock shaking his head no. The rest of us were trying to figure out the difference between third gear and fifth. Yeah, the IS-F did some things real well (straight line speed + stopping), but it just felt out of its element.

When they took the car out on the road, I was expecting to read about its ride harshness, setting up the review for an outright pan, but it turned out to be quite the opposite:

If my passenger, who squealed and hissed and yelped the entire time, is any indication, the IS-F is a Japanese joy-buzzer. Over the ensuing week I made passengers scream, holler, carsick, beg me to stop and howl with delight and glee. As for me, the driver, I was always in control, pushing it and pushing it harder and harder and never being let down. Not by the engine, the handling or the brakes. The transmission started to make sense and I’ve even got a callous on my middle finger from ripping the up-paddle. Lexus is practically doing handstands to convince you that the IS-F has legitimate track credentials. Why bother? No 3,774-pound sedan is a good track-day proposition. But, as a back-road carver, no sedan is better.

No sedan is better?! I suppose it’s possible to chalk this up to Jalopnik’s bombastic writing style, but that’s hardly faint praise.

*Update*: Silly me, didn’t realize there was going to be a third part to this review.

New Lexus IS-F Photos

The Lexus IS-F in Black

Lexus has issued a new batch of IS-F photos today, replete in every available color but Starfire Pearl. It’s really a shame that this car was featured in that awful blue for so long, all the other colors suit it much better. That black is just perfect.

Edmunds Sport Sedan Comparison Test

The 2007-2008 Sports Sedan Comparison Test by Edmunds

Edmunds has posted up a comparison test of 2007-2008 sports sedans, pitting the 2007 Lexus IS 350 and Infiniti G35 Sport against 2008 models of the Cadillac CTS, Mercedes C350 Sport and BMW 335i.

How did Lexus fare? Fourth place:

Not one editor who scored this test was able to find the kind of personal connection with the Lexus that they felt behind the wheel of the top-scoring cars. Its awkward, synthetic steering, soft brake pedal and slow-responding transmission kept us from maximizing the Lexus’ man-machine interface. Synthesizing the IS 350’s abilities with one’s own limits was near impossible, and it earned less confidence in its abilities than any other car in the test. And it’s not because the IS is slow — far from it actually, as the IS’s accelerative surge will tear your head off — but it just doesn’t encourage the at-the-limit driving that we think should be a part of every true sport sedan’s abilities. If this doesn’t matter to you, then you should consider it more highly.

The sport sedan market is a fierce segment, and ranking these cars is like making a list of your favorite foods, it all depends on your mood. In the end, the Infiniti won, mostly due to price and a desire to put BMW in second place. The redesigned CTS came in third, and there’s every appearance that it’s going to be a huge success for Cadillac. The poor new Mercedes C350, with so much riding on its shoulders, came in last.

SEMA 2007: Lexus GS 430 by Blitz

SEMA: Lexus GS 430 by Blitz

The tuned Lexus GS 430 by Blitz, created for SEMA, is a real sleeper. Done up in a tasteful custom body kit, the real action is under the hood, where Blitz equipped the GS with a supercharger, boosting the V8 up 73hp to 363hp total.

I’m really digging the embedded supercharger control in the console, which allows for three settings: off, low & high. Also included is a perfomance monitoring system, built to display through the nav screen.

Very nicely done.

Continue reading this article…

SEMA 2007: Lexus LS 460 by VIP Auto Salon

SEMA 2007: Lexus LS 460 by VIP Auto Salon

Here’s the Lexus LS 460 by VIP Auto Salon that’s now showing at SEMA 2007, which is basically an application of the Wald International kit, right down to the Portofino wheels.

Additionally, the Dakota Digital Air Ride System was installed, allowing for direct manipulation of the car’s height, making it easy to VIP your wheels on command.

For your viewing pleasure, a photo gallery: