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PERFORMANCE | 10 out of 10
“rockets to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds”
Car and Driver
“nobody's going to complain” about the automatic
“none of the soft and gentle nature of an IS 350”
Road & Track
All the reviews of the 2008 Lexus IS-F noted its astonishing acceleration, which leaps ahead of big performance names like BMW’s M3 and the Mercedes-Benz C63.
The Lexus IS-F gets its game-changing acceleration from a 4.2-liter V-8 with 416 hp, more than the BMW M3 and Benz C63. According to Car and Driver, the Lexus IS-F will accelerate like “a V-8-powered sledgehammer” and will hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds on its way to 172 hp, though it “inhaled” premium unleaded fuel at a 16-mpg rate. It’s “raw and thrilling,” Car and Driver says—and Edmunds.com agrees, calling the “roar of the rev-happy V-8…one of the most lust-worthy we’ve heard.”
An automatic transmission is the only gearbox offered on the 2008 Lexus IS-F, but it’s a special one: an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters and lightning-quick response. Road & Track likes the “full control over shifting” in Manual mode, but dislikes the “quite abrupt” shifts at lower engine speeds. “Nobody’s going to complain” about the lack of a manual transmission, Motor Trend says, thanks to its “ultra-fast shifting.”
By using Porsche’s 911 as a handling benchmark, Road & Track reports, Lexus has tuned the 2008 IS-F so that it’s entirely without “the soft and gentle nature of an IS 350.” It deems its ride “harsher,” and calls its body roll “minimal.” Edmunds.com agrees, noting the IS-F “rides taut and firm…all the time.” Car and Driver differs somewhat, saying that the ride is tuned to “make allowances for road fissures,” while it allows “some restrained roll through the esses.” Differences in drivers and road surfaces usually account for these differing opinions, and since Car and Driver and Road & Track are both enthusiast publications, you can guess that a harsh ride is part of everyday life with the 2008 Lexus IS-F. “Consider yourself warned,” Edmunds.com concludes.
The 2008 Lexus IS-F’s acceleration is nothing short of stunning and the transmission clever, but the ride is harsh.