Here’s a Q tip

The re­vised IS-F is more civilised with­out for­sak­ing its fe­roc­ity

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

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 . . .

VALUE

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.

TECH­NOL­OGY

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.

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