Boasting a V-8 engine and bodywork straight out of a tuner magazine, the Lexus IS F ushered in a new era of performance at Toyota's luxury brand in 2008. Now the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance looks to rekindle some of that fire by bringing back V-8 power.
The IS 500 is the first F Sport Performance model, sitting above the F Sport models, but below full-fat F models like the RC F, in the Lexus hierarchy. So the IS 500 isn't quite a successor to the IS F, but it's pretty close.
Under the hood sits Lexus' naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8, which produces 472 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque in this sedan. It drives the rear wheels through the same 8-speed automatic transmission used in other IS variants.
The IS 500 tips the scales at 3,891 pounds, just 143 pounds more than a V-6 IS 350 F Sport, according to Lexus. The automaker quotes 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds, with estimated fuel economy of 24 mpg highway, but the company doesn't mention a top speed.
2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance
On the handling front, the IS 500 comes standard with the Dynamic Handling Package that's normally an extra-cost option on rear-wheel drive IS F Sport models. It includes adaptive suspension and a Torsen limited-slip differential, plus a laterally mounted Yamaha performance damper that strengthens the structure for low-speed comfort and high-speed agility and stability.
The V-8 sedan also gets larger 14-inch front and 12.7-inch rear brake rotors than other IS models, and additional brake cooling.
It won't be as easy to spot an IS 500 as it was to spot an IS F. Styling changes are fairly subtle, including a two-inch hood bulge, a lengthened front bumper and fenders (to make room for the V-8), model-specific Enkei 19-inch wheels, quad exhaust tips, and a rear lip spoiler.
Interior styling features carry over from the IS F Sport, meaning the IS 500 gets an F Sport steering wheel, scuff plates, and pedals.
The 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance is scheduled to arrive at dealerships this fall. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.