This is by far the best car I have ever driven in my life. It's not too expensive compared to a mercedes or a higher end bmw. This has 400 horsepower and is an amazing sports sedan. I recommend this car to everone. The suspension and torque on this car iss uncomparable to others.
I've driven a lot of sports cars and this is among the most fun. I tried the M3/5 and the AMG and just preferred the way the IS-F is tuned. It is a lot more like a muscle car than the M's and I guess I'm just not a Mercedes guy. Plus, with Lexus, I don't have to worry about all the reliability issues of the Germans. Love the grunt, the automatic is buttery smooth and the manual mode is actually decent (from a diehard straight drive fan). Don't understand people whining about the ride. This is a SPORTS car, and it's actually not even that bad for a sports car. Plus I can get 25-27 easily on the highway, 28 if I try hard. Overall an awesome car. Would like ventilated seats, but small gripe.
I spent the first 45 years of my life single and without any kids. I've driven everything from Vipers, to Jags, a host of AMGs, not to mention 1 Aston Martin. I thought about dropping the amount of money for an M5 but then I thought, I have a little girl. I need to spend the money on her. I decided on the IS-F. I drive it daily, like a normal person with my family and like a maniac when I'm alone. So far no problems and nothing but sheer fun. I wish the Lexus people had thought to put adjustable shocks in it to dampen the ride when necessary but oh well. I can always get new kidneys when I'm 80.
Overall this car has met or exceeded my expectations. I have been loyal to Lexus having 2 GS 430s in last 6 years but wanted more performance type numbers and feel. Magically, the IS-F was born. It is very unLexus in its stiffness and ride but what I was expecting in a true performance sedan. It still has many of the nice Lexus features and luxury components. However, this is not your father's Lexus. I drove the M3 sedan after the Motor Trend article rating it better overall. I think some of their points are valid but feel their overall conclusion wrong. The M3 felt a little more clumsy in tight turns and I didn't like the long throws of the manual transmission. I have no regrets.
With VSC off and Sport mode on, the first run in Drive happened to be the quickest of many more attempts that followed. That "best" launch was not able to be duplicated, nor were the blazingly quick manual shifts (which came later) able to make up the difference. I suspect I left 2/10ths on the table for the 0-60 time. Same 1.9-second launch plus mind-blowingly fast paddle shifts would certainly be a little quicker. Be that as it may, the IS-F doesn't roast the rear tires as instantly as, say, a 6.3 AMG engine does because the IS-F feels a little artificially torque-restrained from a standstill (brake diff?). Otherwise, power is linear up to the 3,700-rpm secondary intake threshold, where it goes mental. The sound and the fury of the V8 and exhaust system should be recorded for posterity.
Not one bit of ABS noise or flutter, but the tires lurched against the pavement a couple times. Highly fade resistant as the distances tumbled with each additional stop. The pedal is extremely hard under full-ABS stops.
With VSC off and Sport mode on, the IS-F has gallbladder-flattening grip on the skid pad, but not much feel for what the front tires are enduring. Gentle understeer becomes a resolute "push" when prodded beyond its happy place. I really had to manhandle the car to coax smokey oversteer: It first resists with chattering understeer, then with the brake-actuated limited-slip differential, which finally gives up and allows lurid slides, drifting 1.5 times around the skid pad on full opposite lock. Unlike the stubborn understeer we experienced on the skid pad, the IS-F's tail gets pretty lively in the slalom, which ultimately is the limiting factor. Turn-in is amazingly good, with reassuring bite and grip that works up to a point when the tail begins to walk away gently. The Michelin PS2 tires are progressive and don't fall off abruptly when max grip is exceeded. Steering is still phoning it in rather than telling me in person.