Lexus is off to a strong start of the week by unveiling a new F Sport model. Since coronavirus is still very much causing disruptions in most parts of the world, the performance car will be unveiled during a digital-only dedicated event. While Toyota’s posh brand has not disclosed the model’s identity yet, a recent teaser all but confirms the car in question is a hotter IS.
Attached below is a side-by-side photo comparison of the most recent teaser image and a profile view of the IS 350 F Sport we reviewed earlier this month. Notice any similarities? Yes, that section of the greenhouse appears to be identical and the outline of the door also seems to be the same. In other words, the new F Sport debut must be related to Lexus' smallest sedan.
Now that we’ve pretty much figured out what we’re about to see, a million-dollar question arises: naturally aspirated V8 or twin-turbo V6? We’ll have to wait for the livestream to start in order to learn whether Lexus will use the 5.0-liter from the RC F or it will grab the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 from the LS.
If the first scenario will become a reality, we know the 2UR-GSE powertrain is good for 472 horsepower and 395 pound-feet (535 Newton-meters) of torque in the RC F. Should Lexus resort to forced induction, the V6 with a pair of turbos has 416 hp and 442 lb-ft (600 Nm) at the driver’s disposal in the big-boy LS. Of the two, we’d be willing to bet most people would rather have the NA V8 for obvious reasons, so fingers crossed Lexus has opted for the engine with the bigger displacement.
A trademark filing from nearly a year ago strongly suggests it’s going to be called IS 500 F Sport. Expect the beefier version to command a significant premium over the IS 350 F Sport, which starts at $42,900 for the RWD model and from $44,990 if you go AWD. For your money’s worth, Lexus could throw in other upgrades beyond the amped-up engine, including suspension and chassis tweaks along with chunkier brakes to cope with the added oomph.
Following the premiere scheduled to take place later today, the new F Sport model should be available in the United States as a 2022MY, with sales likely commencing in the latter half of this year.