Today is a great day to be a Lexus enthusiast. During the Lexus IS 500 Launch Event at the 12 Hours of Sebring, Lexus representatives discussed an exciting future for the Lexus brand. With a promise that more F and F-Sport models are on the way along with hints of new engines and their familiar V8, there’s a lot to be excited about.

The new Lexus IS 500 is the first V8-powered Lexus IS since the original IS F debuted in 2008. It's critical to note that the new IS500 is not a full-blown F performance model and is instead an enthusiast-focused V8-powered sedan. For a Lexus model to receive the F moniker it requires a series of testing that involves Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s approval after on-track testing. Akio Toyoda is an accomplished passionate driver with genuine racing experience and a hunger to build more exciting Toyota and Lexus products.

Gallery: Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance Launch Edition

The IS 500 is simply a hint at things to come as Lexus sets its sights on building cars targeted towards driving enthusiasts. So, what comes next? Well based on the IS 500 launch event, we can expect a full suite of Lexus performance cars and SUVs very soon.

Based on the presentation, we can expect an LS F later this year with more models to follow, including the first Lexus F SUV. This growing lineup of Lexus F models will help to build the Lexus brand’s reputation for crafting unique performance cars while giving enthusiasts a strong alternative to established German rivals.

When asked about electrification a wink and nod hints that this is far off in the future and for now, we can expect similar powertrains to past Lexus F models. If this keeps the Lexus V8 around for a little longer count us in. 

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