Here’s a Q tip
The revised IS-F is more civilised without forsaking its ferocity
Visually it’s almost as innocuous as your common or garden IS250. To a certain point, the revised and upgraded IS-F drives in the excessively polite manner of Toyota’s luxury marque. And then . . .
In this context— as a rival to BMW’SM3 and Merc’s C63— we can start to talk of a bargain. As is the case with even the humblest $56K IS, the F is priced considerably to the south of the nearest equivalent German and stuffed with standard spec, not least of which is a reverberating Mark Levinson stereo and a brilliantly intuitive touchscreen through which to operate all systems from satnav to aircon.
This is a one-vehicle expo of drivetrain tech, sophisticated but sans the complications of the M3’s myriad drive modes.
You won’t soon tire of the thrumming 5.0-litre V8. Aided by dual VVT-I, dual injection (port and direct) and a dualintake air system, it achieves 311kw at 6600rpm and 505Nm at 5200rpm, dispatching the 0-100km/h dash in 4.8 seconds.
If ever you’ve wondered at the point of certain Dsg-style transmissions, to say nothing of their (dys)function, the Lexus’s eight-speed auto clinches it in favour of the torque converter.
Barely perceptible changes in Drive are sharpened in sport mode. A meaningful manual mode— as in one that holds gear selections on redline— is accessed by flipping the gearstick sideways and going to it with the paddle shifters, which also provide temporary manual override in Drive.
Let’s hear it for the mechanical Torsen limited-slip differential that last year replaced the electronic device.