New Car

Lexus gives its revised IS a 472-horsepower V8, first F SPORT Performance line model

A new grade of performance for the Lexus brand has debuted.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

Remember the V8? In a world that's told it's hungry for electric cars, there's also still a large contingent of people who want their cars, trucks, and SUVs powered by a V8 engine. For them, Lexus has created the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance, a model powered by a 472-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8.

Lexus has paired the V8 with the same eight-speed automatic transmission that's in the IS 300 and IS 350 RWD models. The drive mode selector allows for the driver to opt for Sport, Sport+, Eco, Comfort, or Custom drive modes. Drive mode adjustments effect the powertrain, chassis, and air conditioner.

The engine tucks nicely into the recently refreshed 2021 Lexus IS. It has a maximum output of 472 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 395 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. That power gets the car from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Lexus says that the engine achieves a manufacturer-estimated 24 mpg combined.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance

Photo courtesy of Lexus

Despite being a monster of an engine, the curb weight of the new IS is just 143 pounds more than the traditional IS 350 F Sport.

It will come standard with the IS RWD F Sport's Dynamic Handling Package, which includes an adaptive variable suspension and Torsen limited slip differential. The car's engineers have added a Yamaha rear performance damper to the model and made brake cooling enhancements - the car now has 14-inch two-piece aluminum front rotors and 12.7-inch rear rotors.

The IS 500 has unique features that separate it from the rest of the IS lineup. This includes a throaty quad exhaust system with dual-stacked tailpipes, a raised hood (up two inches over the traditional IS), 19-inch split-10-spoke Enkel alloy wheels, a revised lower rear diffuser, black rear lip spoiler, and dark chrome window trim. There's also unique black badging on the sides to distinguish it from F models.

Inside the cabin is a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel and sill plates with black F Sport Performance badging. There's also the IS F Sport accelerator pedal, brake pedal, and footrest. The driver's instrumentation meter has gotten a startup animation unique to the IS 500.

The Lexus keeps its Lexus Safety System+ 2.5, which includes front collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, bicyclist detection, emergency steering assist, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with steering assist, lane trace assist, automatic high beam headlights, and road sign assist.

The IS 500 is exclusively for the North American market. The car's MSRP, options, and exterior and interior color schemes will be revealed ahead of the car's arrival at dealerships in the autumn.

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The 2023 Crosstrek starts at $23,645.

Subaru

Subaru is one of the best at listening to its customers' needs, and the Crosstrek is a great example of that mindset. It's a useful vehicle with plenty of interior space and enough ground clearance to take its passengers well of the beaten path. Today, Subaru announced pricing for the 2023 Crosstrek and Crosstrek Hybrid. The duo will go on sale this summer.

Subaru CrosstrekThe Crosstrek's cabin is adventure-ready and packed with great tech. Subaru

The standard Crosstrek starts at $23,645 before destination and the Crosstrek Hybrid starts at $36,845. Five trims are available for the standard model, including Base, Premium, a new Special Edition, Sport, and Limited. The Hybrid comes in a single trim level. All Crosstrek variants get all-wheel drive with active torque vectoring and 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

The Base, Premium, and Special Edition trims come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 152 horsepower. The Sport and Limited trims get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 182 horsepower. Most models come with a continuously variable transmission, but the Base and Premium trims come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox. The Crosstrek Hybrid comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with two electric motors. The plug-in system can deliver 17 miles of electric range.

Subaru CrosstrekThe Crosstrek delivers 8.7 inches of ground clearance.Subaru

True to Subaru form, the Crosstrek comes with a full suite of advanced driver aids, including automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure alerts, adaptive cruise, and more. These features are only available for CVT-equipped models. The Limited trim and the Crosstrek Hybrid add automatic high beams, reverse automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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