Sleepers. Everybody loves them, and though a first-generation Lexus IS300 isn’t quite as sneaky as a woody station wagon concealing a thumping V8, we doubt anyone would expect this black sedan to pack a 1,000-horsepower (745-kilowatt) punch. That is until you hear the big turbo spool up when the hammer is dropped, but by that point, it’s already too late.
The owner of this bonkers Lexus is a man named Jerry, and there’s no getting around it, he bears a striking resemblance to the Grateful Dead’s gone-but-not-forgotten frontman Jerry Garcia. He’s also not the kind of person we’d expect to see piloting a crazy-boosted Lexus IS, though we suspect he looked a bit different when he bought this car back in 2003. Yes, he’s the original owner of this machine and he wasted no time in tumbling down the modification rabbit hole. The car was turbocharged almost immediately, and according to the video interview from That Racing Channel, it actually spent a good portion of its life in the 500-horsepower range.
Gallery: 1,000-Horsepower Lexus IS300
The jump to horsepower insanity occurred a few years back. We’ll let Jerry explain all the details – and he most definitely spends the majority of the video doing just that. In short, the engine is the fabled Toyota 2JZ but it’s not a straight-up Supra swap. Lest ye forget, the first-generation IS300 was offered with the non-turbo 2JZ, but this engine does have a few bits swapped over. It’s also been built to the hilt, which becomes absolutely necessary when you add 40 freaking pounds of boost from a ginormous turbo. In its top tune, Jerry says this car makes 1,027 hp (764 kW) and 846 pound-feet (1,147 Newton-meters) of torque. Yikes.
The transmission is an upgraded six-speed manual, but the rear differential is still the stock IS unit. For that matter, the interior is virtually stock as well; there are no gauge pods or other distinguishing features to suggest something crazy exists under the hood. Maintaining a stock appearance on the outside also means tire size is limited, and with that much horsepower under foot, even Jerry says the car is “uncontrollable.” That’s why his daily-driven tune is set for only 760 hp (567 kW) at 23 pounds of boost.
The video is jam-packed with all kinds of info on this mental build, but here’s the twist. The car is also for sale – Jerry loves the car but apparently, he’s jonesing for a Lamborghini these days. The asking price is $45,000 and yes, that's a bit steep for a 16-year-old IS300. But we highly doubt you could build anything remotely this awesome for that much coin.
Source: That Racing Channel via YouTube