2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance Preview

FAST FACTS
  • First Lexus model in new F Sport Performance line
  • Unique exterior styling including a raised hood, dark chrome window trim, exclusive, 19-inch Enkei wheels
  • Naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine making 472 horsepower and 395 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 8-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission
  • Standard Dynamic Handling Package, Adaptive Variable Suspension, limited-slip differential
  • No pricing announced; window sticker of about $65,000 is likely
  • Expected to arrive in dealerships in the fall of 2021

Lexus is getting more serious about performance. As evidence, look no further than the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance. The first vehicle in a planned line of new F Sport Performance models, the Lexus IS 500 affirms the brand's intention to compete on equal footing with its competition. 

JDPA_2022 Lexus IS 500 Red Front Quarter View

The new 2022 Lexus IS 500 has a 472-horsepower V8 engine under its bulging hood, giving it a significant boost in power compared to the IS 350, which uses a 311-horsepower V6. In addition to the V8 engine, the IS 500 also features a variety of additional performance components.

Exterior Features

Lexus designed the IS 350 F Sport to deliver a performance-oriented look, and the new IS 500 F Sport Performance builds on that with additional enhancements. 

JDPA_2022 Lexus IS 500 Red Rear Quarter View

Most noticeable is a hood sitting nearly two inches taller than other IS models, fitted to accommodate the IS 500's larger V8 engine. At the rear, the IS 500 F Sport Performance has a black rear lip spoiler and a revised lower rear diffuser panel to accommodate and show off the quad-outlet exhaust system. Dark chrome window trim and unique black badges also distinguish the IS 500.

Another notable visual alteration is the set of 19-inch 10-spoke Enkei alloy wheels exclusive to the IS 500. The wheels don't merely offer a new look, but they are also significantly lighter than the standard 19-inch IS 350 F Sport wheels, helping reduce unsprung weight at each corner of the car.

Interior Features

Inside, the changes from the Lexus IS 350 F Sport are even more subtle. The IS 500's interior retains leatherette-trimmed seating, with 10-way power-adjustable driver's and 8-way power-adjustable front passenger's seats. But the IS 500 has black F Sport Performance badging on the heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and the door sill scuff plates. The start-up instrumentation and infotainment animation is also exclusive to the IS 500.

JDPA_2022 Lexus IS 500 Interior Dashboard

Under the Hood

The key to the IS 500's performance potential is the new engine under its swollen hood. It delivers 472 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 395 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,800 rpm and is backed by the same 8-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission found in the IS 300 and IS 350 rear-wheel-drive models. Lexus offers several driving modes that change engine and transmission behavior for additional performance.

The standard Dynamic Handling Package includes an Adaptive Variable Suspension and a Torsen limited-slip differential for enhanced traction when cornering. The chassis also features a Yamaha rear performance damper engineered to reduce dynamic structural distortion for increased comfort at low speeds and additional stability at high speeds. The IS 500 sports 14-inch 2-piece aluminum front brake rotors and 12.7-inch rear rotors, and Lexus says it has enhanced the brake cooling capabilities of the IS 500. 

Weighing just 143 pounds more than the IS 350 at 3,891 lbs., the IS 500 is capable of going from a standing stop to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, according to Lexus. The automaker predicts it will deliver a highway fuel economy rating of 24 miles per gallon once EPA testing is complete. 

Safety Systems

The 2022 IS 500 uses the same Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 technology standard on all IS models. Highlights of this collection of advanced driving assistance systems include:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Forward-collision warning with pedestrian and bicyclist detection
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Lane-keeping assistance
  • Lane-centering assistance

Additionally, the IS 500 has an emergency steering assistance system designed to help keep the vehicle stable and secure in an emergency maneuver. Another name for this technology is evasive steering assistance.

Infotainment and Technology

When Lexus redesigned the IS for the 2021 model year, it added a new 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system to address complaints about the company's former Remote Touch Interface technology. 

That system is standard in the new IS 500 and includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa integrations. It also provides a 3-year trial of Lexus Enform connected services and a Lexus App, allowing owners to do everything from starting their vehicle remotely with a smartphone to contacting dealers for a service appointment.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance Competitors

Lexus created the IS to serve as a direct competitor of luxury compact sedans from the top European manufacturers: the Audi A4/A5, BMW 3 Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class

In IS 500 F Sport Performance form, Lexus goes head-to-head with the high-performance versions of those models. They include the Audi RS 5 Sportback, BMW M3 sedan, and Mercedes-AMG C 63 sedans. The Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing is an additional IS 500 competitor.

Lexus is the source of information in this article. It was accurate as of February 21, 2021, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker's website or your local dealership.