09 January 2007

Detroit show: 400bhp Lexus IS-F

Lexus reveals new IS performance flagship

Lexus IS-F

The big news for Lexus at Detroit is that it's going after M3 and RS4 territory with a new 400-plus bhp IS-F.

And the firm seems pretty serious about it too - engineers have squeezed in a 5.0-litre V8 with an all-new eight-speed paddleshift gearbox and launch control, which is said to help serve up 60mph in less than 4.9 seconds.

Uprated, lowered suspension and bigger cross-drilled Brembo brakes were described in the press conference as 'track-ready' (the car was developed at the Fuji Speedway), and modifications to the traction control system allow you to drive the car harder before it steps in to mop up your mess - or you can turn the thing off completely.

Pumped-up bodywork (the bonnet had to be reprofiled to fit the engine in), quad exhaust tailpipes and 19-inch BBS alloys complete the package.

The IS-F will arrive in the UK in 2008 as the first Lexus to bear the company's new 'F' high-performance branding.

Lexus also revealed an updated version of the LF-A concept that first broke cover here in Detroit two years ago. The design has been updated and, we're told, is much closer to production than its predecessor.

The 500bhp V10 LF-A has also seen track time at the Fuji Speedway and there were heavy hints in the press conference that it will be the next car to launch with the new Lexus 'F' branding. Other cars, by the sound of it, will also follow in coming years.

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