Like his Fifth Gear counterpart Tom Ford, Hammond was more than impressed:
And, like a penguin reincarnated as a lion with a machine gun, at times it gets giddy with the sheer joy it and cannot contain itself any longer, screaming with euphoria Needless to say, it was an engine I fell in love with. It lurks under the huge bonnet power-bulge that is only the start of the scattering of sporty tinsel and glamour that mean the hard-edged version of the otherwise pretty boring IS is yelling at you before you’ve even fired up the V8.
Slot the gear-lever into drive and take off. Flipping heck. Letting the V8 off the leash is like, well, doing exactly that – letting it off the leash to have a run around the park.
Seldom do I get the chance to really sit back in the driving seat and give in to genuine surprise. But here, at the wheel of a car from a manufacturer known best for durability and discreet reliability, I was flabbergasted as the IS-F took off and headed for the horizon.
Hammond does add some criticism of the ride quality, but compares the IS-F very favorably to the BMW M3 and Audi RS4.
It’s strange, the most favorable reviews of the IS-F so far have come from Britain, and I wonder if it’s due to how rare the car will be, with only 150 earmarked for sale in the UK. Next up, I hope, is a review from Jeremy Clarkson…