So we got a 2011 Lexus IS-F

So we got a 2011 Lexus IS-F

This one took a bit of scrounging, but we finally managed to bag a Lexus IS-F for a brief two-day test, thanks to our supporters within the UAE dealer. There is a long list of press people waiting to test this car, so we were almost ready to dismiss it. But after driving it, we’d say this is the first Lexus we’ve ever desired. You know, like, really desired.

First thing’s first, our initial walkaround revealed a very buff little sedan, although it may actually appear docile in black. All those big bulges and vents get a bit lost in dark colours.

A taller bonnet, stacked exhaust tips, side vents, unique wheels and new bumpers are the only giveaways that this is not a regular IS 300. Those, and the infinite number of “F” badges littered around the car. These cues were seemingly enough to grab the attention of some people on the street, especially youngsters in other Lexus models, none faster than the IS-F.

The story elsewhere was that those stacked tips are fake. Looking into them, that isn’t fully the case. The tips aren’t joined with the muffler, but there indeed are four smaller circular exhaust outlets hiding behind the chrome.

The interior is standard Lexus fare, with the only “F” additions being blue badges, blue stitching and a blue patch on the steering wheel. That, and interesting metal trim in a carbon-fibre pattern.

The unique sports seats also deserve a mention, bolstered enough to hold you in corners, yet still very comfortable.

The last time we tested an IS 300 in 2007, we found the rear to be severely cramped. It was a surprise then, that rear legroom here was actually rather decent for average-sized folks. We found out that apparently in 2008, Lexus reshaped the front seatbacks to improve rear space, and it definitely worked. Of course, those approaching six feet tall will still feel cramped, and the ‘F’ only seats two in the back.

Cargo room is okay for a car of this size, but the floor is far from flat, with a big tyre-shaped section bulging out of the floor, due to the full-size spare wheel.

Driving the IS-F casually for the first few minutes, it felt amazingly docile, without the low-speed jumpiness that usually plagues powerful cars. But floor the throttle, and speed picks up disturbingly quick. It is an automatic, but manual shifting proved to be satisfyingly responsive too, and a bit of a shocker when we realised there were eight speeds to shift through. And the brakes, hot damnit, those brakes! They actually made me feel like my eyes were about to pop out, and it hurt. They are that powerful.

More in the full review.

What do you think?



  1. It looks like it has got really good finishes. Still feels like 4.8 secs isn’t a good number for car with a price tag of around 290K. For 270K we can get the fastest production sedan the CTS-V.

  2. Noway, 2011 Mustang GT is faster…

  3. Aha.. so you got the IS-F to test while some other journalists got the simple IS300. 😉

    Thats some good info on the rear seating. I’ve only sat in one IS300 and it had a cramped rear leg space but its good to know that Lexus has addressed the issue

  4. Author

    Many have tested the IS-F before me, but I managed to move up the line somehow. As for CTS-V, I got a similar time with the IS-F. Cars behave weird here.

  5. the body design of the IS-F is a bit poor 🙁 !!! its jus the same as the normal IS300 !!

  6. No they don’t…you just can’t drive!! 😛

  7. would definitely go for the c amg or the m3..

    the dash board looks super booring..

    must be a good drive though

  8. you probably forgot some F button for turning on sportier throttle and transmission settings somewhere on the steering wheel too, or maybe you thought it just FM button for the radio .

  9. I don’t think the new Mustang GT can be faster than CTS-V when out from the factory floor. But still I love that.

  10. must be body weight keeping the times same

  11. Author

    Nahh, there are hundreds of factors for differing 0-100 kph times compared to U.S. magazines. I’ll list them out some day. One rumour is already that U.S. magazines get specially-tuned cars so that they perform better in magazine tests. I, of course, get cars already abused by the ‘big’ magazines here. But not just that, the weather, tyres, dust, road surface, weight of fuel and even my practice all factor in. I don’t get enough time to figure out the perfect launch for each and every car.

  12. wow nice car…hopefully a new recall will come soon for this model also 😀

  13. Hey mash, what kind of equipment do you use to get acceleration times. I think the difference with U.S magazines is because they measure 0-60 MPH times which is just 0-97 Km/Hr. I think we should compare 0-62 MPH times.

  14. Author

    ^Yep, that too. The difference between 0-60 mph and 0-100 kph is 0.2 seconds at around 4-second times, and closer to 0.5 seconds at around 10-second times. I use the Dynolicious app on the iPod Touch! You can use it too if you set it up right. You have to be very careful about that. Proof that it is decently accurate:

  15. Is it available in iphone ?

  16. Author

    ^All iPod Touch apps run on iPhone.

Browse archives

Share This