The 2022 Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance will turn heads and capture an equal number of hearts when it arrives this fall. We are already impressed by the new Lexus IS F SPORT’s driving dynamics, but this Performance variant has the potential to kick things up a notch. F SPORT Performance models will feature new styling cues, updated safety features, and a tremendous powertrain.
The hood of the IS 500 F SPORT Performance is raised by nearly two inches versus the standard IS. Similarly, the front and rear bumpers are elongated to give the F SPORT Performance a more muscular stance. The 19-inch, split-10-spoke Enkei alloy wheels further accentuate that muscular stance. According to Lexus, the Enkei alloy wheels are one lbs. lighter in front and two libs. lighter in the rear versus the standard 19-inch F SPORT wheels.
Other exterior updates include the revised lower rear diffuser, black F SPORT spoiler, dark chrome window trim, and unique black badging. The F SPORT Performance badging is carried through to the interior as well. The heated steering wheel, door sill scuff plates, accelerator pedal, brake pedal, and footrest all receive the F SPORT styling treatment.
Engine & Powertrain Specs
Under that raised hood is a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 that cranks out 472 horsepower (7,100 rpm) and 395 lb-ft. of torque (4,800 rpm). The 5.0-liter plant is quite a jump from the top engine in the 2021 Lexus IS lineup, a 3.5-liter V6 with 311 horsepower and 280 lb-ft. of torque. Despite the larger engine, the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance is only 143 lbs. heavier in terms of curb weight versus the current IS 350 F SPORT with the V6. Lexus lists the weight of the IS 500 F SPORT Performance at 3,891 lbs.
According to Lexus, the zero to 60 time of the IS 500 F Sport Performance is 4.5 seconds. Lexus also estimates the highway fuel economy at 24 mpg.
Attached to the 5.0-liter engine is the same eight-speed automatic found in the current IS 300 and IS 350 RWD. The Sport S and Sport S+ modes enhance performance by changing different vehicle systems accordingly (engine, transmission, steering assist, and damping force). Meanwhile, the Custom Mode offers different combos for the powertrain (Normal, Eco, and Power), chassis (Normal or Sport), and air conditioner (Normal or Eco).
The standard Dynamic Handling Package adds fun goodies like an Adaptive Variable Suspension and a Torsen limited-slip differential. Braking upgrades for the IS 500 F SPORT Performance include additional aerodynamic cooling measures and larger, 14-inch two-piece aluminum front rotors and 12.7-inch rear rotors.
Standard Safety Features
The IS 500 F SPORT Performance is standard with the Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 package. It includes a Pre-Collision System, Frontal Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, and Pedestrian and Bicyclist Detection. Other standard safety features include All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beams, and Road Sign Assist.
Pricing & Availability
The 2022 Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance is expected at dealerships later this fall. Lexus says pricing information, exterior, and interior color choices, and other optional features will be announced closer to that time.
It’s also worth noting how the forthcoming IS 500 is the first in what will become a new F SPORT Performance line. That said, it will be exciting to see where Lexus takes this new performance-inspired theme in the next few years.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Society of Automotive Historians. He serves on the board of directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, is a past president of Detroit Working Writers, and a loyal Detroit Lions fan.