Lexus announces new F performance structure at SEMA and shows off IS builds

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Lexus just announced a new F-brand strategy at SEMA, and while the products themselves aren’t getting a massive overhaul just yet, it’s vital to understand the new terms if you’re planning to hit the market for a sporty Lexus soon.

Before today we had F Sport, F Sport Performance and F. The F Sport cars were mostly aesthetic upgrades, and while some had performance upgrades, not all of them did. There is now only one F Sport Performance vehicle, and that is the IS 500 F Sport Performance. Meanwhile, we have a number of F models, which is Lexus’ best performing name.

Going forward, there will be four levels of performance: F SPORT Design, F SPORT Handling, F SPORT Performance and F. We’ll break down Lexus’ definitions of all four for you below.

    F SPORT Design: These vehicles can have a sport-inspired exterior design, including unique front and rear bumpers, grille and wheels. F SPORT Handling: Builds on Design with sport-tuned suspension components ground on the track, including Adaptive Variable Suspension. F SPORT Performance: In addition to the updated suspension components, these models can receive a more powerful powertrain, as seen in the 2022 IS 500. F: As the highest expression of Lexus performance, the F models will be further upgraded with innovative components that are developed for the race track, including improved brakes, advanced aerodynamics and lightweight materials.

So there you have it. Like the German multilayer AMG, Audi Sport and BMW M, Lexus will have multilayer F.

In addition to this current product news, Lexus unveiled a few SEMA show cars. Both come from the IS tree, one is an IS 500 F Sport Performance and the other is an IS 350 F Sport. We’ll start with the IS500.

Hiraku & Townsend Bell are behind this “Street Performance” IS 500. Not much has changed in the powertrain, but it does add an A’Pexi induction box, TOMS Racing carbon fiber suction pipe and A’Pexi exhaust system. Handling is improved with front and rear TOMS chassis mounts. In addition, it gets an A’Pexi adjustable screw system. Rotiform LAS-R 20-inch wheels are wrapped with Nitto tires and a Brembo GT braking system improves stopping power.

You can see that the look of the IS 500 has also been modified – it has a one-off 3D printed body kit. The Hiraku Co. designed it, adding a front lip, trunk lid spoiler, side steps, rear diffuser, front fenders, canards, roof spoiler and rear bumper garnish. Both the hood and trunk are made of carbon fiber.

As for the IS 350, the aftermarket work is done by DSPORT and Scott Pruett. However, Lexus says it is only partially completed and will be fully ready by SEMA 2022. By the 2022 show, it will have more than double the current horsepower it currently has (311 horses) and even more track improvements. For now, most of the improvements are aesthetic. It gets an Artisan Spirits body kit, forged Advan Racing wheels (for racing), 20-inch Rotiform wheels (for show), and both sets are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber. Suspension work currently consists of KW Variant 3 coilovers, but more to come. The RC F Track Edition’s carbon-ceramic brakes are used, and a roll-over bar is fitted inside. On the outside, it rocks a wrap inspired by Scott Pruett’s helmet design.

That’s all for now, because we’ll have to wait for next year’s SEMA show to see Lexus wrap up the project.

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