The Lexus ISF has just been killed

By topgear, 05 August 2014

Lexus has confirmed that the last ever IS F sports sedan has rolled off the production line in Japan, signalling the end of its short, but sideways life.

A moment of silence, then, if you permit.

IS-F chief designer Yukihiko Yaguchi confirmed that the last of 12,000 IS-Fs - a blue example, we’re told - had indeed left the building, headed for a customer in the United States of America.

It’s the end of an interesting chapter in Lexus’s recent history, one in which the Japanese giant attempted to spark some kind of M3-baiting mojo. And for the most part, succeeded.

Don’t forget, the IS-F packed a lovely, raucous 5.0-litre V8 with an 8spd gearbox, powering those poor, poor rear wheels to the tune of 420hp and 503Nm of torque. This was about as significant a departure from Lexus’ core principles as a Disney film being directed by Quentin Tarantino, and gave the company confidence to unleash the deranged LFA.

But alas, that pesky M3 had decades of history to trade on, which is why the IS-F’s overall worldwide sales stand at a disappointing 12,000 units since its introduction in 2007. Still, though never quite as pointy as the Beemer, the IS-F was still a mighty, fearsome thing.

But before Japan’s tyre community breaths a sigh of relief, no such luck: the IS-F’s spirit shall live on in Lexus’ forthcoming BMW M4-baiter, the new RC-F coupe.

Revealed at this year’s Detroit Motor Show, the upcoming two-door, rear-drive super-coupe packs a 5.0-litre V8 (related to the IS-F’s unit) with a solid 450hp and 520Nm of torque.

0-95km/h? Under 4.5 seconds. And at the Detroit Show, Lexus boss Mark Templin told TG that this new car “will be the most fun to drive”. Will you miss the departed IS-F?

STORY Vijay Pattni

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