2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport debuts with big V8, but not for Europe

The 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance arrives to bring a V8 engine back to the model lineup. For the US market only, the new saloon also launches the brand's F Sport Performance line of more hardcore vehicles but not quite as mean as the full-fat F vehicles 

As the name implies, the IS 500 F Sport Performance packs a naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 making 472 bhp (352 kilowatts) at 7,100 rpm and 395 pound-feet (535.5 Newton-metres) of torque at 4,800 revs. The only gearbox option is an eight-speed automatic. The saloon can hit 60 miles per hour (96 kilometres per hour) in 4.5 seconds. Lexus estimates 24 miles per gallon highway fuel economy. 

The more powerful model weighs 3,891 pounds (1,765 kilograms), and this is only 143 pounds (64.86 kilograms) more than the existing IS 350 F Sport.

The IS 500 F Sport Performance is more than just a big engine in Lexus' smallest saloon. The model comes standard with the Dynamic Handling Package that includes an adaptive suspension and Torsen limited-slip differential. It also gets a Yamaha-supplied rear performance damper that improves structural rigidity to provide additional stability. The brakes measure 14.0 inches in front and 12.7 inches at the back, versus 13.1 inches and 11.7 inches respectively for the IS 350 F Sport.

Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance
Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance

Improved safety tech comes along with the performance upgrades. It gets the whole Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 that includes pedestrian detection, emergency steering assist, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and more.

The saloon gets a more aggressive look from a bonnet with a bulge creating an additional 2.0 inches of clearance. The wings/fenders are wider and make room for Enkei-sourced 19-inch wheels with a split-10-spoke design. Like the RC F and old IS F, there are a pair of stacked, dual exhaust pipes on each side of the rear.

Lexus makes some minor tweaks to the interior. A heated steering wheel is standard, and there are different pedals. The instrument panel has a unique startup animation. There are also F Sport Performance badges throughout the cabin.

The 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance goes on sale this fall. The company will announce pricing, options, and colour choices closer to launch.

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