The 2011 Lexus IS F took part in Car & Driver’s annual Lightning Lap at the Virginia International Raceway, and found that the freshly revised sedan has really stepped up its game:
Three years back, an IS F turned a less-than-impressive 3:14.0. We said then, “A little attention to springs and damping might make this eager contender a real champ,” as the stiffly sprung F zapped confidence in high-speed corners.
Boy, were we right. Lexus has since tweaked all suspension elements. Spring rates are down in the front and up in the rear, and there are larger anti-roll bars, stiffer subframe bushings, and longer bump stops, which effectively increase spring rates when the car is nearing its maximum roll angle. Lexus also lightened the front hubs and control arms and slapped a Torsen limited-slip differential in the rear axle. The result is BMW M3–matching performance around VIR (3:05.4).
There’s variables to consider (weather, tires, etc.), but the numbers don’t lie — the 2011 IS F update is a serious upgrade, and shows the power of continual improvement. These changes have successfully put the sedan right up to its most successful competitor, and it sets the table for some very interesting comparisons in the future.
[Source : Car & Driver]