1 Oct 2008
LEXUS released an IS facelift in October 2008, featuring a revised nose, new tail-lights and a number of minor interior changes.
But the big news surrounded the arrival of the long-awaited IS F.
Aimed directly at the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class AMG, the IS F was powered by a 5.0-litre V8 delivering 311kW of power at 6600rpm and 505Nm of torque at 5200rpm, helping to hurtle the IS F to an official 0-100km/h acceleration time of 4.8 seconds.
Weighing in at 1700kg, the IS F (which featured 53/47 per cent front/rear weight distribution) had eight-speed automatic transmission also found in the LS and GS Lexus sedans.
Other IS F attributes included monobloc aluminium Brembo brake callipers – six-piston items gripping 360x30mm pillar-fin ventilated discs up front and twin-piston units with similar 345x28mm discs at rear.
Almost exactly two years later, Lexus unveiled the IS350, plugging the gap between the IS250 and the IS F with its 3.5-litre, 233kW V6 engine providing enough poke for a 5.6-second dash to 100km/h from rest.
To coincide with the IS350's debut, Lexus also started offering an F-Sport specification level with uprated suspension, sports body styling and 18-inch alloy wheels. The F-Sport variant was also made available with Flame Blue paint, previously only available on the IS F.