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2012 Lexus IS F Price & Review
The last time we drove the Lexus IS F was in 2008 and though its torque-rich attitude and luxurious cabin were admired the ride wasn’t supple enough and there were a few other niggles. Here we have the latest model, the 2012 Lexus IS F, powered by a 416hp engine.
Climbing into the cabin behind the leather-wrapped steering, what struck us was the fuel efficiency of the 2008 model, which was nicely balanced with the power it produced. The 2008 Lexus IS F was easily the most fuel efficient among the group of performance sedans at that time. The IS F had figures of 16mpg in the city and 23mpg on the highway which were better than the competition: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG (13mpg/19mpg) and BMW M3 (14mpg/20mpg).
Photo Credit: Okedab.com/2012-lexus-is-f-sports-car-price
Secondly, the 8-speed automatic transmission on the ’08 IS F made the car very fast mainly because the rapid downshifts kept the 5000cc V8 running within the wide torque range. And when given the throttle, the car responded in anger which heightened the appeal of the brawny fenders, forged 19” wheels, big Brembo brakes and squat stance.
But having said that, that IS F could do with improvement. The things which needed to be sorted were: the quality of the ride, which was very harsh; the devoid-of-feel steering setup and the rotors for the brakes, which squealed a lot under hard braking; the car understeered when taken to the limit and this made the rear get out of line when anchors were dropped suddenly. This made the Lexus IS F unable to throw a challenge at the king of the elite group of four-door sedans — BMW M3.
2012 Lexus IS F Features
Driving Impression, Performance
In the present and on board the 2012 Lexus IS F, I select the Sport mode, put the gearshift in manual and the combination of these makes the electronic steering more of a manual assist, while the throttle and gearbox mapping sharpens and the traction control setting loosens up. Gunning the throttle and taking the aluminum V8 above 3600 round per minute made the exhaust sound thundery.
Photo Credit: Autoblogcar.com/auto-car/lexus-is-f/
The Michelin Pilot Sports (255/35R-19 at the rear) aren’t very audible as they bite the surface to take the 3800lbs IS F from 0-60mph in just 4.4 seconds. The quarter-mile run was completed in 12.8 seconds at a speed of 111.3mph which compares favorably with the 12.6 seconds and 110.5mph figures of the BMW M3.
The brakes — 14.2” front and 13.6” rear rotors and 6-piston calipers at the front and 2-piston at the rear — on the Lexus IS F are very good and the car stops from 60mph in a distance of 104 feet, which is identical to the BMW M3. The result of the skidpad test was amazing as the IS F had a score of 0.96g, which puts it ahead of M3 (0.94g), Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe (0.94g) and the Cadillac CTS-V (0.95g).
Photo Credit: Carssalon.com/2012-lexus-is-f-improved-chassis-promised-to-be-better-comfort/
The performance around the figure eight was also better than the previous model — 24.7 seconds at 0.78g against 25.7 seconds at 0.71g — and this was because of the chassis and suspension tuning skills of engineers at Lexus. Lexus has made lot of changes to the chassis, suspension and the steering set up and this includes stiffer dampers at the front and the rear, bigger anti-roll bars and thicker than before bushings. Also making its debut is a torsen limited slip differential.
The engine and the gearbox were not touched because the engineers reckoned both these units were still contemporary as far as technology, power and ease of operation is concerned. There have been dramatic improvements after the tweakings. The steering is now more communicative, direct, organic and very smooth and plays a very important part in the way the car responds to quick changes in direction.
Photo Credit: Ultimatecarblog.com/lexus-is-f-gets-facelift-for-2012/
Shutting down the computer-controlled nannies like traction control and the like will make the Lexus IS F very slide happy, but the 371lb/ft of torque can be used to bring the car back into control very easily.
The interior of the Lexus IS F have been given keen attention. The tachometer sits below the line of sight of the driver. When the engine is about to reach the 5000rpm mark, the LED light for the shift turns neon orange in the interest of the future of the V8 engine. Near the 6800rpm redline, it turns red.
Photo Credit: Lexuscolors.info/2012-lexus-is-f-base-4dr-rear-wheel-drive-sedan/
The car is being thrashed quite hard and the brakes haven’t squealed in protest even once while the 5000cc V8′s temperature gauge hasn’t even flashed even once nor has the gauge for the coolant glowed red. This is testimony to the level of skill which went into producing the engine and also the quality of the powerplant plus the high tolerance levels to brutal pounding.
Sum up & Price
Lexus hasn’t just transformed the IS F into a better car but it has also made it more than capable of taking on the best from Germany and mauling them.
The 2012 Lexus IS F now exhibits its power and speed proudly and also the new found ride quality and very good agility. It has everything which can make other contenders in this segment shiver, included the accomplished Teutonic players wearing M and AMG clothes. The base price of the 2012 Lexus IS F is $62,175.