Cars.com Faceoff: Audi S5, BMW M3, Lexus IS-F

Faceoff

Our expert reviewers begin with the assumption that the BMW M3 is the reigning heavyweight champion, the king, the Michael Jordan of high-performance luxury cars. Then David Thomas, Mike Hanley and Joe Wiesenfelder weigh in on whether or not two challengers to the crown have what it takes to top the M3. They'll take into consideration a host of factors, including engine performance, handling prowess and overall value. Check out this Cars.comparison to see if either the 2008 Audi S5 or the 2008 Lexus IS-F can beat out the M3.

Cars.comparison: Luxury Sports Cars (Cars.com)

By Stephen Markley | September 25, 2008 | Comments (4)

Lexus Prices AWD LS, Other 2009 Models

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We talked about Lexus adding all-wheel drive to its flagship LS sedan the other day. Today, Lexus announced pricing for its entire 2009 lineup, including the LS. The rear-wheel-drive version gets a 1.2% price increase, to $63,675, with the LS 460L coming in at $73,585. The AWD versions of those two are $67,200 and $77,110.

The other big changes to the Lexus lineup — and “big” is subjective — revolve around the IS sport sedan, which gets revised suspension and steering, which we’re interested to check out. Prices change only slightly, up $300 each, to $31,155 for the IS 250 manual, $32,325 for the IS 250 automatic and $34,785 for the IS 250 AWD. The IS 350 will start at $36,605. More pricing is below.

By David Thomas | September 5, 2008 | Comments (2)

Through Ian's Lens: 2008 Lexus IS-F

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The Lexus IS-F is the first car off the assembly line to wear the new performance-signifying F Series badge from Lexus. The smooth lines of the current IS model are amplified by a ferocious front end that takes more than a couple of cues from the kind Germans over at BMW. For the IS-F, the hood creases are raised and the lines are made more prominent, while the grille and wheels get a considerable upgrade in materials and design. Other differences include a lower front spoiler, wider wheel wells that hide functional air outlets, a subdued rear spoiler and some nifty stacked quad-exhaust pipes. All in all, the machine looks fierce, and it sounds even fiercer. For those of you looking to find an expensively fast “sleeper,” the IS-F comes complete with a smattering of subtle “F” badges that cover the car without drawing an ounce of attention. Let me know what you think in the comments section. A full set of photos is below.

By Ian Merritt | July 15, 2008 | Comments (9)

Cars.com Reviews the 2008 Lexus IS-F

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Senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder likes to drive fast cars. Who doesn’t, right? That’s why his take on the all-new 2008 Lexus IS-F is so interesting. He really hammers the go-fast Lexus on its choice of transmission, holding it up to the reigning king of the class, the BMW M3 — as he should. See if its power and eerily beluga whale-like looks won Joe over in the end.

2008 Lexus IS-F Expert Review

By David Thomas | July 10, 2008 | Comments (4)

2008 Lexus IS F Priced in Mid-50s

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Lexus dives into the high-performance waters with its new sports sedan, the IS F. It’s the fastest model Lexus has ever produced, and it can be yours for $56,000. This, of course, does not include a delivery, processing and handling fee of $765.

With an eight-speed Sport Direct-Shift automatic transmission, we’re inclined to believe the IS F can make 0 to 60 in an impressive 4.6 seconds, as Lexus claims it does. This should put it hot on the tail of competitors like the BMW M3 and Audi RS 4. The IS F is slated to hit dealerships in February.

By Stephen Markley | January 11, 2008 | Comments (9)

Recall Alert: 34,000 2006 Lexus GS, IS Sedans

2006 Lexus IS350

Today, Lexus announced a recall on 2006-model-year GS 300 and IS 250/350 models. Approximately 34,000 cars are involved in the recall over two fuel pipes in high-stress areas that can crack over time. Only one case has been reported, with no accidents, the company says. 

The recall involves both rear- and all-wheel-drive versions of the GS and IS. Owners will receive notifications in the mail in December and can visit their Lexus dealer to have newly designed fuel pipes installed at no charge.

By David Thomas | November 28, 2007 | Comments (26)

Reader Review of the Week: 2007 Lexus IS 250

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I really wanted to give this week’s nod to a glowing 2008 Subaru Outback owner who would totally validate my own recent purchase, but I figured our readers might be a bit tired of hearing about that particular model. Instead, I decided on this review by “IS Impressed” in Boston. He of course loves his new car, but also points out some flaws. An even-handed take on a personal ride always increases a consumer review’s chance of winning our no-prize-attached weekly award.   

By David Thomas | July 17, 2007 | Comments (1)

2007 Detroit Auto Show: 2008 Lexus IS-F

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Lexus finally joins the high-performance luxury car fray today with the introduction of the 2008 Lexus IS-F. The car is based on a regular IS sedan but is beefed up significantly with a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that pumps out over 400 hp and 350 pounds-feet of torque, paired to the same eight-speed transmission found in Lexus’ LS 460 flagship sedan. The new car will hit 60 mph in less than 4.9 seconds. 

The styling has also gotten the high-performance treatment, most noticeably on the side, where there’s a huge scoop behind the front wheels. The front and rear get more bodywork than before, and paired with the car’s larger wheels and lower stance it makes an aggressive statement. We also love the off arrangement of the quad tailpipes. For Lexus’ first leap into the ultra-performance arena, there doesn’t seem to be much missing. We are bummed that we won't see one on the road until early 2008.

By David Thomas | January 8, 2007 | Comments (14)

Lexus to Debut High-Performance Models at Detroit Auto Show

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Japanese luxury brand Lexus is getting into the high-performance game with a new moniker, F. The F designation will be added to the IS sports sedan first. The IS-F will be unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January along with a separate Lexus exotic sports concept.

Lexus is following the pattern of BMW’s M and Mercedes-Benz’s AMG models by adding significant performance upgrades to their biggest sellers. The rumored power plant for the IS-F is a 400+ hp V-8 borrowed from the upcoming Lexus LS 600 Hybrid. We’ll let you know as soon as we get more information.

Source: Lexus

By David Thomas | December 6, 2006 | Comments (10)

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