With a 4.2-liter V-8 producing 416 horsepower, the 2009 Lexus IS-F’s ability to accelerate has propelled it ahead of other performance models such as BMW’s M3 and the Mercedes-Benz C63.
According to Car and Driver, the Lexus IS-F accelerates like “a V-8-powered sledgehammer” and hits 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 agrees, calling the “roar of the rev-happy V-8…one of the most lust-worthy we’ve heard.”
An eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters is the only gearbox offered on the 2009 Lexus IS-F, but it’s special and lightning-quick. 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.”
Lexus uses the Porsche 911 as the high-water mark for handling. The 2009 IS-F is tuned so that it’s entirely without “the soft and gentle nature of an IS 350.” Road & Track deems its ride “harsher” and calls its body roll “minimal.” Edmunds 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 varying 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 2009 Lexus IS-F. “Consider yourself warned,” Edmunds concludes.