The 2014 Lexus IS F is a sport sedan that often gets lost in the shuffle when comparing luxury contenders from both the United States and Europe. This may be because the Lexus IS F is so unlike any other model offered by the Japanese premium brand, which is known more for the quiet, controlled rides of its many sedan models rather than all out performance. Lexus is currently attempting to inject some excitement into its line-up by way of the F Sport line of more focused machines – but it’s important not to forget that the inspiration for the F Sport initiative was largely drawn from the IS F’s attitude-laden mission statement.
Let’s take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2014 Lexus IS F.
01. The 2014 Lexus IS F Is Based On The Previous-Generation IS Sedan
A new Lexus IS was introduced earlier this year, but despite the fact that an F Sport model of the 2014 Lexus IS is available, don’t confuse this particular compact sedan with the 2014 Lexus IS F. The Lexus IS F remains firmly rooted to the platform of the previous-generation car, which means that it doesn’t offer the same chassis, features, or design cues afforded the fresher model. It’s not altogether unusual for a car company to sell new and old editions of its cars side-by-side – witness the current Infiniti G sedan / Q50 duality – but it does mean that you might have a hard time convincing your neighbor that you just bought a 2014 Lexus.
02. The 2014 Lexus IS F Offers Dramatic Exterior Styling
Despite wearing the same basic outfit as the previous Lexus IS, the 2014 Lexus IS F Sport continues to boast extroverted body work that, until the introduction of the spindle grilles that now grace every new model, made it the most extroverted Lexus in the line-up. There’s still a lot of dazzle to be had with the Lexus IS F, including a body kit, 19-inch rims, a standard-for-2014 rear spoiler fashioned out of carbon fiber, wider wheel arches, new LED fog lamps, and, notoriously, an unusually stacked set of quad exhaust tips set into the rear bumper. These outlets gained notoriety when the car first appear in 2008 due to the fact that they fronted a true-dual outlet setup just behind them with all four barrels not directly connected to the exhaust system.
03. The 2014 Lexus IS F Features An Upgraded Interior
Eye-catching sport-themed improvements aren’t the exclusive province of the 2014 Lexus IS F’s body work. Opening the driver’s door reveals that the Lexus IS F also provides performance fans with a passenger compartment that combines the brand’s reputation for top-notch materials and quality with speed-friendly accoutrements. The most obvious paean to speed can be found up front, where the IS F’s front seats are finished in leather with Alcantara inserts that combine with aggressive bolstering in order to do a better job of keeping occupants firmly in place during hard cornering.
04. The 2014 Lexus IS F Is A Four-Passenger Car
The 2014 Lexus IS F falls into the performance sedan category, a type of car that is most typically marketed to those who crave driving thrills but who must contend with the fact that they also require a usable rear seat on a regular basis. The Lexus IS F certainly offers four-door convenience, but close examination of its back bench reveals a space penalty that will be felt by any adult who attempts to squeeze back there on a longer trip. In fact, it would be a stretch to fit three full-size human beings in the back of the IS F, making it a four-seater at best.
05. The 2014 Lexus IS F Comes With A Fire-Breathing V-8 Engine
The 2014 Lexus IS F continues to be powered by a 5.0-liter, eight-cylinder motor. This unique mill has been tuned to produce a hefty 416 horsepower and 371 lb-ft of torque – numbers that are good enough to place it in the entry-level sport sedan elite. The Lexus IS F is able to hit 60-mph from a standing start in a mere 4.7 seconds, which is close to more dedicated performance coupes like the Chevrolet Corvette and well in line with competitors such as the BMW M3. Fuel mileage for the Lexus V-8 checks in at 16-mpg in stop and go driving and 23-mpg during highway cruising.
06. The 2014 Lexus IS F Is Auto-Only
The 2014 Lexus IS F was one of the very first vehicles on the market to offer an eight-speed automatic transmission, an achievement that stood in stark contrast to its six-speed rivals when the car was introduced nearly six years ago. Today, the Lexus IS F’s eight-speed automatic has been joined by an array of seven and eight-speed dual-clutch automated trannies, and despite the presence of shift paddles that allow for more driver engagement, the sedan is now more notable for the absence of a manual option. This omission has kept the IS F off the shopping lists of dedicated speed junkies.
07. The 2014 Lexus IS F Provides Startling Performance
We’ve already mentioned the 2014 Lexus IS F’s incredible acceleration, but that’s merely one aspect of the performance package offered by the sport sedan. The Lexus IS F sits on a lower suspension system compared to the standard IS, and stiffer spring rates and different shock tuning contribute to the car’s substantial road-holding ability. The sedan additionally features quicker steering than the civilian Lexus IS, larger Brembo brakes, and a limited-slip Torsen differential at the rear of the car that helps to ensure that its formidable horsepower makes it to the ground with as little drama as possible.
08. The 2014 Lexus IS F Is Very Well-Equipped
The 2014 Lexus IS F comes in a single trim level, and the sedan has been loaded up with all manner of luxury gear to coddle its occupants. HID headlights and the afore-mentioned LED fogs highlight the model’s exterior features, while on the inside are power adjustable front seats with memory and heat for those up front, Bluetooth connectivity, dual automatic climate control, a plug for your iPod or MP3 player, a sunroof, keyless entry and a push button starter, and auto-dimming mirrors. It’s also possible to install an optional navigation system, parking assistance, adaptive cruise control, the Lexus Enform mobile phone integration app, and a surround sound audio system.
09. The 2014 Lexus IS F Competes Against The World’s Best Sport Sedans
The 2014 Lexus IS F is up against a murderer’s row of rivals when it comes to charming affluent buyers out of their luxury performance dollars. Stalwarts like the already-discussed BMW M3 are on the verge of being replaced by all-new models, while formidable competition from established vehicles like the Cadillac CTS-V and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG both offer higher horsepower as well as more sophisticated suspension and chassis tuning. With a base price of just over $64,000, the Lexus IS F presents itself as an appealing alternative for those who will only occasionally take their four-door hot rod to the track.
10. The 2014 Lexus IS F Might Be On Borrowed Time
It’s never a good sign when a specific model like the 2014 Lexus IS F gets left behind as its more staid siblings move ahead to a new platform. While in some cases the success of that particular high performance car ensures that it, too, will eventually benefit from a fresh design – witness the Cadillac CTS-V – the Lexus IS F has never enjoyed the kind of sales figures that could justify its existence from a pure business perspective. Throw in the debut of the new IS F Sport model combined with the fuel-thirsty nature of the IS F’s V-8 engine, and even more doubt is cast onto the car’s future.