Among the AMG, BMW M, and Audi RS sedans available for a car enthusiast today, the German offerings can get tedious and a bit overdone for some. But with American models out of reach for a big percentage of the market, the next possible option is a performance sedan from the Japanese market. But what could arguably give the likes of a M156 V8 some decent competition?

Enter Lexus – the luxury division of Toyota, primarily known for efficient hybrid powertrains, and luxury sedans built to last. In the mid 2000s, Lexus began exploring an expansion into establishing its own in-house tuning division – akin to Mercedes-AMG or BMW’s M Division. A small team assembled to form an internal ‘skunkworks’ division, forming the Lexus “F” team, named after the division’s birthplace and primary testing grounds, Fuji Speedway. 

Based on the second generation Lexus IS sedan, the IS-F aimed to take on German counterparts such as the BMW M3 and C63 AMG – featuring a 5.0L 2UR-GSE V8 producing 417 hp, all sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission and electronic differential. Lexus’s F engineering team had completed additional tuning and Yamaha’s F1 engine division to make this V8 power plant ever more special – including a cast aluminium intake manifold, new cylinder heads, titanium intake valves, forged crankshaft, connecting rods, and cam lobes.

This high-revving powerhouse generates an impressive output of over 400 horsepower, propelling the IS-F from 0 to 60 mph in a blistering time of around 4.6 seconds. The engine’s unique combination of direct and port fuel injection ensures optimal fuel efficiency and throttle response, with a refined eight-speed automatic transmission sending all of the power to the rear wheels.

While German rivals like the BMW M3 and Mercedes E63 AMG have long dominated the performance sedan segment, the Lexus IS-F has successfully carved out its own niche and deserves serious consideration. The IS-F presents a compelling alternative – still offering big displacement, non turbocharged/supercharged horsepower output, in a refined and top end package with plenty of amenities on board. Owners get all the performance of a quality German performance sedan, in a Japanese package that comes well equipped onboard with a lot of cabin technology, leather upholstery, and thanks to Lexus’s more sleeper status, remain subtle out on the road. 

Furthermore, given Lexus’s renowned high standards for build quality, adds an extra layer of appeal. Especially when buying a preowned or used car, peace of mind that a high performance sedan, a considerable investment, will ideally not run into any big maintenance bills or major work needed to keep running is a big selling point. And for those wanting to upgrade & customize these cars even further, the aftermarket support for this Lexus sedan remains strong, with plenty of options to change the aesthetics, handling, and more. 

The Car Farm knows the Lexus IS-F well, with success in selling one particular example twice – with roughly the same hammer price achieved, as well as providing assistance on refurbishment work on behalf of a client’s car. We know models like these are desirable among enthusiasts in today’s market and are excellent vehicles to invest in for enjoyment, as well as resale value. 

If you want help to find a similar example, a performance sedan in this segment, or anything in between, the Car Farm is happy to assist just a phone call, email, or Whatsapp message away. 

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