Learning from previous failures, Lexus set out to design a car that even BMW would have trouble keeping up with. The new Lexus sports car IS350 is set to take the top spot away from the ever present BMW.
With an eye for the top, Lexus car dealer establishments offer the new IS350. The IS350 Lexus sports cars model features a new engine, a 3.5-liter V6, which blazes with 306 horsepower, a one hundred horsepower improvement over previous models.
There's no denying that the IS 350 Lexus sports cars is bursting with cutting-edge technology. In fact, Lexus is quick to point out the many "segment firsts" offered on this latest model, including direct fuel injection, keyless entry and start, adaptive (and bi-xenon) headlights and radar cruise control. So if "setting a new standard of class-leading performance" means offering the first sport sedan with "steerable" headlights, precollision safety technology and push-button engine starting, Lexus has succeeded.
The Lexus sports cars 3.5-liter V6 has everything from dual VVTi (meaning both the intake and exhaust valve timing can be varied) to roller rockers to direct fuel injectors. The direct fuel injectors are backed up by port fuel injectors that can further improve cold weather starting and fuel economy while also reducing emissions. All of these systems work together to give the engine a broad, flat power band from idle to redline.
While the overly subdued exhaust note plays a role in killing the excitement, it goes beyond simple acoustics. The thrust of the engine itself is somehow muted, even as it pulled a 6.1-second 0-to-60 time. Maybe it's the 350 pounds gained over the previous IS 300, which was rather a flyweight at 3,150 pounds versus the 3,500-pound IS 350. Maybe it's the relaxed nature in how the engine goes about its business.
The six-speed automatic is Mercedes-Benz-like in its ability to pick a proper gear, and when put in the "Power" mode the transmission downshifts readily and holds gears between corners, aiding corner entry speed with effective engine braking. The steering wheel paddles further add to the experience, though the paddles themselves feel a bit plasticky.
Aiding the responsive transmission is a set of decisive four-wheel disc brakes that enhances the car's composure. Whether blasting between apexes or hauling it down from 60 mph during brake testing, the ventilated 13-inch front rotors and four-piston alloy calipers provide heroic levels of eye-popping stopping power. They also halt the car from 60 mph in 123 feet, though that's 13 feet more than the 330i and about equal to the A4's 122.
Happiness can be found in the list of high-tech features offered in the IS 350. The Gen-5 navigation system is the latest in digital mapping, and it displays through a new VGA monitor capable of 32,000 colors. Other features, like an optional Mark Levinson audio system and standard auxiliary input (think iPod) add to the car's high-end demeanor. Advanced safety technology, including knee airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and an industry-first dual-chamber front passenger airbag confirm Lexus as ahead of the curve on many levels in this segment.