Feature

New cars: What the critics say

Lexus IS F Price: $58,000

 
AutoWeek
The new F is “so powerful it doesn’t even get a number in its name.” Earlier attempts by Lexus to compete with the BMW 3 Series all went wrong, but this monstrous 416-hp V8 with rear-wheel drive finally gets it right. The world’s first eight-speed Sport Direct-Shift automatic transmission is so perfect “you don’t even care that there is no manual.”

Motor Trend
What does the F stand for? How about “fenomenal”? The black sheep of the pedigreed Lexus family, the F is “a carbon-spewing, tire-vaporizing mutant” with 19-inch forged-alloy wheels, quad tailpipes, a menacing hood bulge, and a transmission that can change gears as fast as the Ferrari F430’s F1. Other goodies include surround-sound stereo and radar-guided cruise control.

Road & Track
This bona fide hot rod is “the most un-Lexus-like Lexus ever put into production.” The power comes not just from the 5.0-liter V8 but also from other unique features, such as aluminum cylinder heads, a variable valve system, and above all the dual-intake system that goes “from Lexus-quiet to raunchy V8-loud” at 3,600 rpm. “We love it.”

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