The 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance revives the dormant IS F formula, bringing V8 power back to the compact luxury Japanese sport sedan for the first time since 2014 and confirming rumors of a new series of V8-powered performance (small p) cars from Lexus.
Very little surprises us these days, especially in the luxury segment, but if you'd told us a month ago that we'd be confirming a V8-powered Lexus IS and a new, all-four-cylinder lineup for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class in the same week, we'd have called you crazy. Parent company Toyota's presence in Texas may have rubbed off on Lexus, though, because after a years-long hiatus, the V8-powered IS sedan returns. That's right. A V8. In a brand-new compact sport sedan. In 2021.
The new sport sedan will pack a 472-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 with 395 pound-feet of torque, making it the spiritual successor to the discontinued Lexus IS F. For those keeping track at home, yes, that's the same V8 Lexus has utilized elsewhere in recent years. It currently powers the RC F coupe and, until last year, was also found under the hood of the larger GS F sedan. Like the BMW M3 it matches for power, the Lexus will come standard with rear-wheel drive and a limited-slip differential, making it a true performance machine.
Power will go to the rear end by way of the same eight-speed automatic Lexus uses elsewhere as well. Sorry, folks, there's no stick, but hey, the IS F didn't have one either, so let's not get too picky. The original IS F also offered just 416 horsepower and 371 lb.-ft. of torque, so remember, this is all upside here. The original also launched without the LSD, if you'll remember; that came later.