Change for change’s sake is rarely worthwhile, particularly when you are dealing with such a well-defined concept as Lexus’s ultra-high performance IS F sports saloon. So it is that the new 2011 IS F differs from its predecessor in only a few well-thought-out details.
The principal change is that the mighty 417bhp 5.0-litre V8 engine has been brought in line with Euro 5 emissions standards, a task accomplished without impacting on its performance. The IS F, equipped with an eight-speed Sport Direct Shift (SPDS) automatic transmission, maintains its nought to 62mph acceleration time of 4.8 seconds and 168mph (electronically limited) top speed; CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are also unaffected.
For 2010 the car’s handling and stability were enhanced with the addition of a limited slip differential; in the latest raft of engineering adjustments, the front and rear coil springs and shock absorbers have been revised to improve ride comfort. The rear suspension geometry has also been tweaked to gain greater stability under higher loads when accelerating, braking and cornering. The result is all-round advances in damping control, cornering stability and steering response.
The IS F’s high intensity discharge (HID) headlights are now paired with new LED daytime running lights, configured to echo Lexus’s signature arrowhead styling motif.
In the cabin the instrument binnacle has been redesigned, placing the tachometer and gear shift indicator in the centre of the display. New dark silver carbon fibre-style trim details have also been added.
The 2011 IS F is on sale now, price £57,105 on the road.