It’s been nearly a month since Lexus announced and revealed the V8-powered IS 500 and I, personally, am still reeling from the news. In this era of rapid and rampant electrification, Lexus bringing its big, naturally-aspirated V8 back into its smallest sedan is fantastic. It came so out of left field that sometimes I question whether or not it’s actually an elaborate prank or if I’m living through some weird, Toyota-sponsored lucid dream.
On principle alone, the IS 500 is a special car. Lexus knows this too which is probably why it’s kicking off the production run with a special edition of the sport sedan. The 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance Launch Edition will be limited to, you guessed it, 500 units. Thankfully for those who don’t know someone who knows someone who works at Lexus or want to pay the inevitable dealer markups, the Launch Edition goodies are pretty much all cosmetic.
Said goodies include the compulsory and exclusive glossy primer “Incognito” paint color; black and gray ultrasuede on the seats, door accents, and center console; unique silver ash wood on the steering wheel; a different Launch Edition start-up animation for the digital instrument cluster; and, of course, a numbered plaque showing where a given car fell on the production line.
Mechanically, it’s all the same as the regular IS 500, which means an unassisted 5.0-liter V8 making 472 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque. The Launch Edition does get the 19-inch matte black BBS forged wheels from the Dynamic Handling Package which cut four pounds of unsprung weight per corner compared to the regular F Sport wheel.
Both the regular and Launch Edition versions of the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance will hit dealerships this fall.
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2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance: The V8 Is Back, and It’s Got 472 HP
Not quite a full IS F, but it'll fight the BMW M340i, Mercedes-AMG C43, and Audi S4 with eight beautiful, naturally-aspirated cylinders.
The 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance Compared to the BMW M340i, Mercedes-AMG C43, and Audi S4
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The V8 Lexus IS 500 Is Finally Here and That’s a Sign of the Times
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