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.

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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New sports sedan

2022 Infiniti Q50 gets more standard tech

The car sees new tech and interior features for 2022.

Infiniti

The Infiniti Q50 is an aging but still-stylish sedan that offers value and power, but it hasn't quite kept pace with the crop of more engaging premium European cars. However, it's still worth a look, and to press that point further, Infiniti has updated the car for 2022 with a healthy list of standard features.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Exterior styling has not changed for 2022.Infiniti

Headline updates for the 2022 Q50 are wireless Apple CarPlay and newly standard Bose Performance Series Audio. There's now leather for every trim, but in the ways that count, the car is the same as the one we saw last year, the year before, and so on.

That's not to say that the car is bad. After all, it still offers a 300-horsepower twin-turbo V6 as standard and can be upgraded with a 400-horsepower version of the engine. And, despite its aging exterior styling, it's still a handsome car with smooth, sculpted bodywork. The seven-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive remain in place.

2022 Infiniti Q50 All-wheel drive is available for all models.Infiniti

Pricing for the 2022 Infiniti Q50 starts at $43,125, which includes a $1,025 destination fee. The car gets standard wireless Apple CarPlay, leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, and Bose Performance Audio. All-wheel drive is available for a $2,000 upcharge.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Wireless Apple CarPlay and Bose audio are standard.Infiniti

The mid-range Q50 Sensory starts at $48,825, and comes with 19-inch wheels, black open-pore wood interior accents, navigation, and an air purifier system. Stepping up to the top Q50 Red Sport 400 will run $56,975, and brings the more powerful V6 engine, semi-aniline leather upholstery, and Dynamic Digital Suspension, which adjusts damping settings depending on road conditions and driving style.

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Lexus took a different approach to launch the new IS.

Lexus

Lexus knows how to make a good V8. The LC 500, RC F, and even older cars like the SC 400 all feature a buttery, powerful Lexus V8. The IS sports sedan never has been given the V8 treatment, but that's about to change for the 2022 model year. The automaker is jamming a big V8 in the space normally occupied by a four- or six-cylinder engine to create the 2022 IS 500 F Sport. The automaker's new marketing campaign for the car takes a slightly different approach than the "big red bow" commercials it usually makes, starting with a short documentary called "License to Thrill."

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport 14 drivers competed for a chance to be one of the first IS 500 F Sport owners.Lexus

The IS 500 F Sport is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that makes 472 horsepower. It's the most powerful Lexus IS ever, so it's not surprising that the automaker chose to highlight its performance in its launch marketing campaign.



The documentary follows 14 auto enthusiasts who participated in a driving event for a chance to own (buy) one of five early cars. Drivers were taken to the Apex Motor Club in Arizona, where they received tips from Lexus IMSA drivers Townsend Bell, Jack Hawksworth, and Aaron Telitz before hitting the track in an IS 500 F Sport. Each driver had an opportunity to set the best lap times in the car. Top lap times earned a chance to be one of the first to purchase the car, but Lexus also gave away one IS 500 to an unexacting participant.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Lexus gave away one of the cars.Lexus

The IS 500 launch will include other events that involve artists and content producers. Pro driver JR Hildebrand will drive the car for a MotorTrend special, while 100 Thieves and Garagisme will create publications and video content involving the car.

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