CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Z_CNHI News Service

September 3, 2013

Ridiculously muscular Lexus IS F combines speed with elegance

If you're looking for a comfortable, quiet Lexus that would make your grandma happy, you can skip this one.

While it looks a lot like the IS sedan on the outside, what's under the skin makes this car — the 2013 IS F — a Lexus unlike any other.

And it's completely insane.

Lexus started with its basic IS sports sedan platform, which is small by luxury-car standards, and managed to squeeze a 5.0-liter V8 engine under the hood. That's the same displacement as a Ford Mustang GT, and its 416 horsepower can take this car from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.

Now that all 500 copies of the LFA supercar are sold out, that means the IS F is the best performing Lexus you can buy today. And the LFA's $375,000 price tag makes the IS F's sub-$62,000 price look like pocket change in comparison.

It's hard to overstate how different this car is from the normal, $36,000 IS 250 you see on the road all the time.

In addition to the monster engine, it's got freakishly big, cross-drilled brake discs to bring it to a stop, along with a suspension that was tuned to confidently handle some of the fastest racetracks in the world. That's important for a car that can reach 170 mph.

One of my favorite things about it, though, is its eight-speed automatic transmission.

Think it's crazy to put an automatic in a thoroughbred sports sedan like this? I did, too, until I drove it and felt how quickly and precisely it shifts — sometimes changing gears within a tenth of a second — to provide the same visceral thrill and instant gratification that I usually get from a manual transmission.

Overall, the driving feel isn't as raw as you get from a BMW M3 or Mercedes C63 AMG. I spent a few hours driving it on the Interstate and didn't feel fatigued, even with the firm suspension and sport-oriented seats with lots of side bolstering, which is a good sign for people who want to use this as an everyday get-to-work car instead of a weekend toy.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Grandstands feel a little empty at NASCAR races

    Two decades after NASCAR started running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the crowds have thinned considerably. It's probably no reflection on the sport's massive following, which stretches from coast to coast, but it surely doesn't NASCAR's image help when the cameras pan across all of those empty seats.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo