Lexus F label to become even more performance oriented
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According to official information, Lexus has plans to improve the F-performance label even further. This is one of the main reasons the IS 500 F Sport Performance wasn't a full-blown IS F, Lexus executives said.
Andrew Gilleland, Group Vice President and General Manager of the Lexus Division, reaffirmed that the IS 500 F Sport Performance is the first in a line of high-performance before a meeting of Lexus enthusiasts at the launch of the IS 500 Launch Edition at Sebring Raceway . Performance but sub-F cars (at 5:11 in the video below). "There will definitely be more vehicles. There will be a lot more to come where this is coming from," said Gilleland, applauding the crowd of enthusiasts gathered.
Gilleland then pointed to Lexus product planner Cooper Erickson and told fans, many of whom had brought their own tuned F-cars, "If you want to see more of these," pointed to the IS 500, "Get on your nerves." - not out of it. "
Erickson himself then took the stage and discussed how the IS 500 came about and what the future of the F designation will look like (at 6:17 a.m. in the video). First, he admitted that selling sedans is a challenge. He also described the chassis of the 2021 IS as a combination of the GS and RC platforms, making the track 1.4 inches wider. "If it's part GS and part RC, why can't we throw a great V8 in it?" Erickson wanted to know.
"Nobody does that. But we can," continued Erickson, "because we are doing a great job with our hybrid products. So from a CAFE, greenhouse gas and emissions point of view, we can manage to have a V8 in a car like this one. if nobody. " otherwise can. "
However, approval of the mother ship in Toyota City was still required. During an event in Pebble Beach, Erickson told Lexus chief engineer Koji Sato that he wanted to bring the IS F back. "Let's put the V8 in, let's make an IS F." he said to Sato.
At first, Sato's answer seemed to be no. "We have new plans for F," he said. "F will be higher. Only Akio [Toyoda] can approve F [cars]." The CEO is known as one of the few car manufacturers who actually stand in the moonlight as a racing driver.
Erickson said that even if the IS F was off the table, he still wanted a V8-powered IS. "What if we call it the IS 500 F Sport? Who can approve it?"
Sato's reply: "Cooper-san, I approve of that." Apparently the rest is history.
Gilleland then took the microphone to reinforce and build on Erickson's statements. "This is the beginning," he replied when asked if more F-cars were coming. "We are performance-oriented."
"The brand is changing," added Gilleland. "[The IS 500] is starting to provide information about what this brand change looks like." He then stated that the change would be limited not only to cars but also to SUVs.
Another interesting tidbit: the IS 500 has been switched to wheel bolts instead of wheel nuts, saving 1.5 pounds per wheel. The BBS wheels are an additional 4 pounds per wheel lighter than the standard IS, meaning the engineers saved 20 pounds of unsprung weight. While it's widely used on other high-performance cars, the LFA was the only other Lexus to use wheel bolts. Overall, the IS 500 has better power to weight ratio than the original IS F (8.2 pounds per horsepower versus 9.1 pounds).
Lexus clearly wanted enthusiasts to know they take performance seriously. We reported back in February that an IS F, LS F and LC F would be arriving. The first part of it came true for the most part. If we are to take these leaders at their word, it looks like the rest may soon follow suit.
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