And it’s set to rival the Audi S4, BMW M340i and Mercedes-AMG C43.
Not long ago, Toyota’s luxury division Lexus trademarked the name ‘IS 500’, and that led to a lot of rumours about an upcoming V8 Lexus sports sedan that everyone’s been waiting for. Ever since the hardcore IS F’s discontinuation in 2014, Toyota fans have been eagerly waiting for its replacement – and it seems as if that time is just around the corner, after Lexus revealed that indeed they are planning to build a V8 powered Lexus IS 500.
It likely won’t gain the old IS F’s flagship status upon release, rivalling mid-level sports sedans from the Germans such as the Audi S4, BMW M340i and Mercedes-AMG C43 (as opposed to the properly fierce RS4, M3 and C63 S like the IS F attempted to rival), however whereas the latter all house six cylinder engines under the bonnet, the IS 500’s advantage is in its heart, which will sit the 5.0L V8 found in cars such as the RC F, GS F, LC 500 and the previous generation IS F.
Lexus announced that the IS 500 F Sport Performance “ushers in a new era of F Sport Performance models that will appeal to driving enthusiasts that crave higher levels of performance over the standard F Sport models.” We’re certainly keen to see where Lexus will take their performance division, but if the LC 500 is anything to go by – it certainly sounds like an appealing future for the brand.
We’re told that the V8 in the IS 500 will produce a hefty 352kW of power (472hp) and slots in below the price of the outgoing RC F and of course well above the current IS 350 F Sport flagship – however early speculation is always to be taken with a grain of salt.
Unlike its rivalling German sports saloons that have gone for the badge marketing approach to sell more stock, from what we can see, the IS 500 retains a stealthy guise with no obvious chrome that screams performance – cause that’s to be saved for the next IS F, which rumours suggest is being worked on under wraps. Speaking of, Lexus is reportedly working on a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 that produces a staggering estimated 492kW (660hp) – so if the Japanese brand ends up making an IS F, LC F, LS F and GS F, Lexus could just be the next proper contender to the unmatched German performance cars – with a lineup of Japanese super saloons and coupes worth waiting for.