2008 Lexus IS F Photo

2008 Lexus IS F - Review


The Lexus IS-F is something of an oddball in Lexus' lineup. The company is working hard to get a more serious performance edge to its products, including launching its 'F-Sport' performance line of aftermarket parts, but the truth is few hardcore performance enthusiasts think Lexus when they want to go fast. There is undoubtedly ample justification for that sentiment elsewhere in the Lexus lineup, but when it comes to the IS-F, things are different.

This car has something almost no other Lexus I've ever driven has exhibited in any perceptible degree: personality. Far from the bland and obeisant cars found elsewhere in the lineup - even bearing the IS tag - the raucous and bawdy IS-F is the real black sheep of the flock.

Styling and Exterior
The IS-F is, in almost every aesthetic sense, a mildly hopped-up IS. An aggressive body kit, wide front air intakes and extractors behind the front wheel arches make up the major visual nods toward the 5.0L V8 that lives under the hood.

Inside, even fewer concessions to the car's high-performance nature have been made, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Eschewing the woody and often oddly leathery interiors found in the GS and LS range, the IS series features an almost skin-like rubber substance for its dash and interior, complemented appropriately by durable plastic and aluminum pieces. Far from seeming cheap, at least in my eye, the interior comes off as focused and driver-oriented - at first.

A particularly nice touch is the white carbon-fiber-look center console and door accent trim. The brightness really offsets the otherwise dark and mildly oppressive cabin, and the carbon-fiber treatment gives the car one more touch of performance-oriented flair.

The IS-F's steering wheel, complete with paddle shifters, is comfortable and offers good feedback

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