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Motor Trend Reviews the 2008 Lexus IS-F

I saved the Motor Trend IS-F review for last — not only is it the most positive, it’s written by Arthur St. Antoine, who’s become one of the automotive writers I always pay attention to.

If you were thinking about purchasing an IS-F, and maybe the other reviews have you feeling a little unsure, this review is going to put the swagger back in your step:

Acknowledging that their new IS F offers higher-performance limits than any public road can handle, the Lexus team unveiled their new black sheep at Laguna Seca racetrack. There, it took about, oh, two or three turns to realize the Nrburgring-tuned IS F is going to make serious trouble for the likes of the new BMW M3, the Audi RS4, and the Mercedes C63 AMG. The car is, quite simply, a monster: Acceleration is brutal, the brakes are wicked-strong, and handling grip is immense.

Back in L.A., senior editor Kiino grabbed the keys and came back from a sprint through his favorite canyons all but frothing at the mouth: “This may be the best Japanese car I’ve ever driven! Under normal driving, the 5.0 feels like a typical Lexus V-8–super smooth and quiet–yet stomp on it and all of a sudden it’s like there’s a honkin’ Hemi on-board–one that got its Ph.D. at the University of NVH. Shift speed is remarkable–feels like a DSG. And you can flog the suspension and it never gets upset. This car is a riot.”

With the exception of the now standard criticism of the on-road ride quality, this is without a doubt, the most flattering road test of the IS-F yet.

(Also, Part 1 of a Motor Trend video review has also been posted.)

1st GenerationLexus IS-FReviews