The IS F is based on the successful V6-powered IS 350, which itself is based on the company's GS platform--a chassis designed to accommodate a V8. And that's what Lexus has taken advantage of, inserting beneath the IS F's bulbous hood a 5.0L V8 derived from the 4.6L unit found in GS and LS models. Internally, the unit makes use of a forged crankshaft, titanium intake valves, and aluminum cylinder heads.
In this guise, the engine puts out 416 horsepower and 371 lb-ft of torque, good to propel the car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, and on to a claimed top speed of 170 mph. All that power is put to the 19-inch rear wheels through an eight-speed transmission, which can be utilized as either a fully automatic unit, or as a Sport Direct-Shift manual with paddle shifters, which provides a seamless run through the gears. And, with its lowered stance and sport-tuned suspension, the IS F performs just as competently in the turns as it does on the straights.
Outside, the IS F features bi-xenon HID headlights, integrated fog lamps, power mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, extended, ventilated front fenders, quad chrome exhaust tips, a rear spoiler, and special "F" badging.
Inside, the IS F sacrifices nothing in the way of luxury. Standard features include a 13-speaker, six-disc, premium audio system, a power moonroof, power windows and locks, a power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, and heated, leather-trimmed front sport seats with 10-way power adjustability. Accents in aluminum and blue with "F" badging highlight the cabin.
Seven optional packages are available, and each includes DVD navigation and a Mark Levinson Premium audio system, plus amenities like Intuitive Parking Assist, satellite radio, iPod connectivity, and special trunk and cargo features.
Standard safety features include multiple front and side air bags, electronic traction and stability controls, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, and an anti-theft system. A pre-collision radar system is optional.
The 2008 Lexus IS F returns 16 mpg city / 23 mpg highway.