Motoring Exposure was honored to have been given the opportunity to experience the performance enhancing Lexus F-Sport accessories on a custom autocross course at the Homestead Speedway. The F-Sport racing-inspired components enhance control, agility and provide a sportier appearance.
We had the opportunity to test drive the Lexus F-Sport IS and GS models, as well as the IS-F. In addition, one of our colleagues won the opportunity to ride shotgun in the all-new 552 HP LFA supercar with former Grand-Am driver Scott Pruett behind the wheel. Although I wasn’t as lucky as my colleague (who had refused my hefty bribe) I did get the opportunity to take an AMAZING hot lap with Jeff Andretti in an IS-F.
The main purpose of the event was to experience the benefits of the Lexus F-Sport components. We were given a stock IS350 and an F-Sport enhanced IS350 to evaluate the differences in performance. We were also given the keys to the powerful IS-F. Below is our combined brief review on how these cars performed.
Test Drive Review:
IS350 Stock- The stock IS350 was prone to understeer when driving through turns. Acceleration was somewhat sluggish, while braking was mediocre and at times felt weak. Handling was decent when the weight was at the middle of the car, but felt nervous when trying to hit the apex out of the corner.
IS350 with F-Sport upgrades- The acceleration felt more responsive and lively from the 3.5-liter V-6. The brakes had more bite, and felt stronger than the stock IS350. The upgrades corrected most of the understeer that the stock IS350 experienced when driving through the corners, allowing for more precise turns. When pushed to the limit the F-Sport felt more confident as a result of the improved handling.
IS-F- This was a totally different car. The IS-F experienced virtually no understeer, and provided neutral handling. The acceleration was incredible from the 5.0-liter V-8, throwing us back into our seats with a deep roar from the exhaust. The brakes were incredibly responsive and robust compared to the IS350 F-Sport. Through the corners the IS-F provided excellent feedback, allowing for fast exits as it cruised through the apex.
Overall, the F-Sport enhancements provided an increase in performance and created a more rewarding driving experience.
Hot Lap Test Drive Review:
IS-F: Given the opportunity of being driven in a IS-F by a top driver like Jeff Andretti was hands down one of my greatest motoring experiences ever. With two other colleagues in the car besides Jeff and I, we worried that he would drive a bit more conservatively. Bad assumption! Jeff slammed us around the track, pushing the IS-F to its tire-screeching limits. You can witness this experience by clicking on the link below to watch the video. (Please excuse our over-excited combined background noise)
LFA: The LFA nothing short of a pure supercar. From a passengers perspective this car was hands-down mind blowing in every aspect. Of course, when driven by Scott Pruett it only adds to the amazing experience. Scott was able to reach a top speed of 156 mph, and slice through the curves with sheer ease in the Nürburgring-tuned supercar. The V-10 engine was strong and refined as it screamed to the 9,000 RPM redline, providing us with a mighty soundtrack as Scott conquered Homestead Speedway.
We’d like to thank the courteous and knowledgeable staff at Lexus for extending this opportunity to us. It was also great sharing the experience with Team Forza and meeting some cool folks with ClubLexus!
For those of you who participated in the event we’d love to hear your test drive & hot lap comments below!