It’s been six years since Toyota’s Lexus luxury brand offered a V-8 in its IS sport sedan, but a 472-hp 5.0L V-8 will appear under the hood of the all-new ’22 IS 500 F Sport Performance when it arrives in dealerships this fall.
The current IS lineup consists of the IS 300 with a 241-hp 2.0L turbocharged 4-cyl. and the 311-hp IS 350 with a 3.5L V-6; both are standard with rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is optional. The V-8 will be rear-drive only – AWD will not be available.
The IS, which was refreshed for ’21, resides in the Lower Luxury Car segment tracked by Wards Intelligence. Last year, Lexus sold 13,600 IS sedans, down 8.8% from 2019. The IS lags well behind the Acura TLX, BMW 3-Series, Infiniti Q50, Lexus ES, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Tesla Model 3.
Adding a V-8 to the portfolio, although it runs counter to the electrification strategy of Toyota and most other automakers, could boost IS sales for a time.
The naturally aspirated 5.0L is rated at 395 lb.-ft. (536 Nm) of torque at 4,800 rpm. The vehicle tips the scales at 3,891 lbs. (1,765 kg), gaining 143 lbs. (65 kg) over the standard IS 350 F Sport.
Lexus says the IS 500 can sprint to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.5 seconds and has a manufacturer-estimated 24 mpg (9.8 L/100 km) highway fuel-economy rating. The IS 500 uses the same 8-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission found in the other two models.
Other IS 500 performance enhancements include a throaty quad exhaust system with dual stacked tail pipes to amplify the stout V-8.
The IS 500 (pictured below) builds on the improvements made to the ’21 IS with a focus on delivering confidence and a linear connection between driver and vehicle.
The IS 500 will come standard with the IS RWD F SPORT’s Dynamic Handling Package, which includes adaptive variable suspension and a Torsen limited-slip differential to improve handling, performance and traction when cornering or exiting turns. The LSD helps maintain straight-line stability as well.
The IS 500 features subtle exterior enhancements, such as a sculpted hood that has been raised nearly 2 ins. (51 mm), while the front bumper and fenders have been lengthened to make room for the V-8.
At this point, Lexus isn’t disclosing the expected sales mix between the V-8, V-6 and 4-cyl. versions.