2011 Lexus IS-F

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$60,660

starting MSRP

2011 Lexus IS-F

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • 0-60 mph in less than 4.9 seconds
  • Interior trim
  • Tame trunklid spoiler
  • Quad tailpipe design
  • Eight airbags

The bad:

  • No manual transmission
  • Some transmission lag
  • Squirrely rear end
  • Peculiar domed hood
  • Tight backseat

1 trim

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2011 Lexus IS-F trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Performance version of IS
  • 416-hp V-8
  • Eight-speed automatic
  • Brake override system
  • Large Brembo brakes

2011 Lexus IS-F review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
It took a long time, but in 2008 Lexus finally threw its noodle into the alphabet soup of automotive performance variants. The rear-drive IS-F is a performance variant of the IS 250 and IS 350, which are covered separately in the Cars.com Research section. The IS-F comes only as a sedan with a 416-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8. The other IS models come as a sedan and convertible with V-6 engines and an all-wheel drive option for the sedans. Lexus claims the IS-F sprints from zero to 60 mph in less than 4.9 seconds. It competes with the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.

New for 2011
A brake override system that reduces engine power when both the brake and accelerator pedals are pressed is a new standard feature, as are LED daytime running lights. Most changes are in the cockpit, where the dashboard has a new gauge cluster, the steering wheel gets new silver trim, and new orange/black leather upholstery with contrast stitching replaces Terra Cotta. Swiveling adaptive headlights are no longer offered.

Exterior
Cosmetic exterior and interior changes are always part of the high-performance package. Changes compared with the IS 250/IS 350 include:

  • Wider fenders
  • Flared bumper with a larger mouth
  • Vents behind the front wheels
  • High-domed hood
  • Quad tailpipes
  • Small trunklid spoiler
  • 19-inch alloy wheels with performance tires

Interior
A USB/iPod connector is standard, and the IS-F comes with the Lexus Safety Connect telematics system that has similar functionality to GM’s OnStar service. It comes with a year’s worth of service free; after that you’ll have to pay a subscription fee. IS-F interior changes compared with the IS 250/IS 350 include:

  • Body-hugging sport seats in black, white or a new two-tone option
  • F logos all around
  • Carbon fiber trim
  • Chrome shift paddles

Under the Hood
The 416-hp V-8 cranks out 371 pounds-feet of torque; the redline is 7,000 rpm. The IS-F has one transmission — with enough gears for two. The eight-speed automatic has a manual mode and steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. There is no true manual available. Lexus says the transmission, which it calls Sport Direct Shift, changes gears within one-tenth of a second and executes rev matching for smoother downshifts and decreased wear. Not to be confused with some automated-manual transmissions, like Audi’s S tronic, this one uses a fluidic torque converter.

  • 416-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 with 371 pounds-feet of torque
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters
  • Upgraded brakes with larger, cross-drilled discs and six- and two-piston calipers in the front and rear, respectively
  • Brembo-brand calipers are gloss black and bear the Lexus logo
  • Upgraded springs, shocks, stabilizer bars, bushings and steering tuning are all optimized for performance driving
  • Car sits 1 inch lower than the IS 250/IS 350
  • Electronic stability system with special mode between fully engaged and fully disengaged, with Sport mode that allows more wheelspin and sliding before interrupting and keeping you on track

Safety
Lexus’ Safety Connect service, which automatically notifies authorities in the event of a crash, is standard. Other standard safety features include:

  • Knee airbags
  • Side-impact torso-protection airbags
  • Side curtain airbags in both rows
  • Seat belt pretensioners for front seats and backseat
  • Antilock brakes
  • Electronic stability system
  • Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management, which Lexus says is meant to integrate all systems to anticipate skids and react faster than an electronic stability system alone

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.0
  • Interior design 4.0
  • Performance 4.5
  • Value for the money 4.1
  • Exterior styling 4.3
  • Reliability 4.8

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

Most reliable V8 I have owned.

Everything you need to enjoy a car by yourself and or with family. Power when you need it and luxury all the time. Low cost and holds value.

4.7

Fun Reliable Luxury Sport Sedan

0 to 60 in 4.3 seconds. Fun and exciting car to drive. Lexus Luxury and Reliability. Great alternative from BMW M3/M4 or Mercedes C63 AMG. Much better resale value compared to German competitors.

4.7

Most fun car I’ve ever owned. Very reliable.

This car is great. Realiable, fast, confortable and fun. Not recommended to drive in snow or when it gets very cold. The car sounds great too.

See all 10 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
48 months/50,000 miles
Corrosion
72 months/unlimited distance
Powertrain
72 months/70,000 miles

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