Lexus has pulled the covers off its latest performance sedan for the North American market. This is 2022 IS 500, the first of an all-new F Sport Performance range that the company says will dial-up performance over the standard F Sport line.
The new sports sedan by Lexus marks the beginning of the F Sport Performance range
The IS 500 F Sport Performance builds on the gains of the 2021 Lexus IS sports sedan, with subtle exterior enhancements complementing major technical tweaks under the sheet metal. Beginning with the IS 500, all F Sport Performance models will come with unique black badging to distinguish them from the mainline F selection.
At first glance, the IS 500 looks identical to the IS 350 F Sport, but the new model employs several tricks that enable sharp eyes to tell them apart. The hood sits two inches higher and features a pair of sculpted lines at the center, surrounded by a longer front bumper and fenders.
There's a reason why the front proportions look a little different
At the tail end, a revised rear diffuser accompanies the quad exhaust setup. Exclusive 19-inch Enkei wheels with a split-10-spoke design dominate the corners and are almost a kilogram lighter than the standard F Sport alloys.
Rear of the Lexus IS 500 F Sport
The cabin will feel familiar to Lexus owners and enthusiasts, although a heated leather steering wheel and door sill plates also adorned with the F Sport Performance emblem welcome drivers aboard.
In Lexus jargon, the interior on the IS 500 has been 'remodeled'
The pedals and footrest also continue the sporty theme, and there’s ample room for up to five occupants.
Tech & Safety
Starting up the IS 500 shows a unique animation sequence on the combination instrument panel. A revamped floating-type touchscreen head unit features a new multimedia system, complete with Apple CarPlay, navigation, satellite radio, and adjustments for the dual-zone climate control.
A new touchscreen head unit dominates the dashboard
The IS 500 also comes with the updated Lexus Safety System+ 2.5. Among the features it brings are Frontal Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Pedestrian Detection, Emergency Steering Assist, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Lane Departure Alert.
Engine & Drivetrain
Launching the 2022 Lexus IS 500 across the tarmac is a 5.0L naturally aspirated V8, the reason for the front end’s slightly larger dimensions. This is the same engine found under the hood of the RC F, capable of 472 hp and 535 Nm of torque while working with an 8-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic gearbox that channels power to the rear wheels. Some 4.5 seconds is all it takes for the IS 500 to reach 96 km/h from a standing start.
A 5.0L naturally aspirated V8 powers the IS 500
A Dynamic Handling Package puts the power to good use, featuring adaptive variable suspension and Torsen limited-slip differential. A Yamaha rear performance damper accompanies the chassis for increased comfort and stability. The brakes have also been upgraded to 14-inch front and 12.7-inch rear rotors.
While no pricing information has been available, the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance is expected to hit U.S. showrooms later this year.
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Joseph Paolo Estabillo