Future Models - Lexus 2008 IS
IS-F, TRD power-plays
M3 chaser: Lexus' compact IS sedan will get M3-style V8 firepower in 2008.
Toyota confirms a 2008 arrival for 300kW Lexus IS-F, and over 235kW for Aurion TRD
21 June 2007
TOYOTA luxury brand Lexus has confirmed its forthcoming IS-F compact sports sedan, unveiled at the Detroit motor show in January, will reach Australia in the second half of 2008.
Aimed directly at compact European performance cars like BMW's upcoming M3 coupe (also due on sale here by the end of this year), the first F-division model from Lexus will feature a 300kW/474Nm 5.0-litre V8 engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with lock-up clutch and a limited-slip transmission.
The all-new M3 will employ a 300kW 4.0-litre V8 and, initially at least, a six-speed manual transmission.
No further details have been made available, but Lexus says its first high-performance model will offer "redesigned or revised" versions of "trademark Lexus safety and driving aids" to "ensure that the IS-F performs to its full potential on the track".
Speaking of which, Lexus advises its go-faster "F" brand name is derived in name and design from Japan's Fuji Speedway, the Toyota-owned racing facility it describes as "the home of Lexus performance vehicle development".
As well as being the first letter in Fuji's name, the F symbol is also claimed to depict the first corner of Fuji Speedway, known as 27R.
Lexus Australia divisional manager John Roca said the IS-F was the brand's first step outside its traditional luxury-car focus.
"The IS-F is the embodiment of performance," he said. "Just by looking at the vehicle you know that it is something special. It will be the ultimate in performance cars and Lexus' first performance-specific model.
"Much as the LS400 did in the luxury market, the IS-F will challenge performance rivals in its field - providing a level of performance and on-track ability unlike any previous Lexus.
"In a nation that worships its performance sedans, the IS-F will tickle the senses of all enthusiasts, whether they are behind the wheel, passing the car on the street or just hearing it rumble by," he said.
Meanwhile, Toyota has confirmed GoAuto’s report in March that its TRD Aurion would rely on a new-generation Eaton supercharger to meet the company’s stated power target of 235kW - a figure it now says its blown 3.5-litre V6 surpasses.
As reported, TRD has turned to Harrop Engineering Australia, which has exclusive local distribution rights to a new-generation twin-vortices supercharger (TVS) from Eaton, which will be packaged by Melbourne-based Harrop and makes its global production in the Aurion TRD.
Toyota also said this week that Perth-based Orbital Engineering Co has been acting as TRD's partner in engine calibration - which is a crucial element in the supercharged front-drive model's development. The Aurion sports sedan is due for release later than expected in August, just before its second supercharged model appears in HiLux TRD.
TRD chief engineer Stephen Castles said the force-fed Aurion will offer better performance outputs and acceleration times than Toyota had predicted at the start of development two years ago, while meeting Toyota's quality, durability and reliability (QDR) targets.
"The total engine performance is definitely one of the key positives of the TRD Aurion package," Mr Castles said. "The TVS unit has performed really well and definitely helped deliver the engine performance we need."
Mr Castles said the Eaton-designed blower, which does not require an intercooler, substantially reduces engine noise and improves power and torque across the entire rev range - "unlike a turbocharger".
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