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What driving enthusiast wouldn’t want a rear-drive sedan with a V8 engine and a dose of reliability via a Lexus badge? That’s what the Lexus IS F, a high-performance sedan built from 2007 to 2014, was. The IS F was a fire-breathing version of the entry-level IS sedan, with its main differentiator being a large 5.0-liter V8 engine under the hood.

After the IS F disappeared from the market, we haven’t seen anything else like it, until now. Enter the 2023 Lexus IS 500, which is basically the same formula as the IS F that came before. The IS 500 has a V8, is rear-wheel drive, and looks every bit as reliable as its predecessor.

However, the Lexus IS 500 has a few more tech-savvy tricks up its sleeve in addition to a much higher price tag. Here are five reasons the Lexus IS 500 could be worth those extra dollars over the older IS F.

1.) The 2023 Lexus IS 500 comes with more power than the IS F

2023 Lexus IS 500 engine
2023 Lexus IS 500 | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Although you’ll find the same 5.0-liter V8 under the hoods of both cars, the IS 500 has more power. The new version of the naturally aspirated engine puts out 472 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque. Compare those numbers to the 416 hp and 371 lb-ft of torque in the IS F, and it’s easy to see that Lexus massaged more power to make the IS 500 a better performer.

2.) The Lexus IS 500 has all of the modern technology you need

It might not be fair to compare a car from 2008 with a car from 2023 regarding technology, but in this case, it must be done. The Lexus IS F came standard with a leather interior, heated front seats, a six-disc CD stereo with Bluetooth streaming audio, an MP3 jack, and iPod connectivity.

That may sound like a blast from the past, especially since the Lexus IS 500 comes with so much more. Some of the standard kit you’ll find in the IS 500’s cabin include dual-zone climate control, heated/ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a Mark Levinson premium audio system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.

It’s not a fair comparison, but it is fair to say that the IS 500 offers a lot more for the money.

3.) The Lexus IS 500 has a limited-slip differential and an adaptive suspension

Rear corner view of the 2023 Lexus IS 500
2023 Lexus IS 500 | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

It’s easy to be impressed by the Lexus IS F and IS 500’s V8 engine, but it’s only part of the overall performance equation. That said, the IS F came with a sport suspension to make the car handle well in tight cornering situations, as well as a set of Brembo brake calipers to make it stop well.

The Lexus IS 500, on the other hand, has all of that and more. The spiritual successor to the IS F comes with an F Sport adaptive variable suspension that offers a few different drive modes. It also comes with a Torsen limited-slip differential and sport brakes to help it move through corners with ease.

4.) The Lexus IS 500 looks better than the IS F

A front corner view of the 2023 Lexus IS 500
2023 Lexus IS 500 | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

When the Lexus IS F debuted, many enthusiasts and critics alike were smitten with its looks. It had aggressive vents on its wide fenders, a high-domed hood, and 19-inch wheels filling the fender wells. Let’s not forget about those four exhaust tips, which looked excessive but cool.

The Lexus IS 500 carries the torch with similar quad exhaust tips, a bulging hood, and 19-inch wheels. However, it looks far more aggressive than its predecessor, which is more fitting for the performance beneath its sheet metal.

5.) The IS 500 has plenty of safety features

A top view of a red 2009 Lexus IS F
2009 Lexus IS F | Lexus

Again, it’s not fair to compare the list of safety features on a car made a decade ago with one from current times. However, the Lexus IS F wasn’t exactly bare bones in the safety department. The IS F was equipped with front knee airbags, side-impact torso airbags, and side-curtain airbags. It also came with a Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management, which worked with the stability system to anticipate skids and sliding.

The Lexus IS 500 comes with the Lexus Safety System 2.5, which includes niftier safety features like a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, radar cruise control, and lane tracing assist. It also has a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert and a panoramic view monitor.

There are a few reasons to spend the extra money on the 2023 Lexus IS 500

Although comparing the 2023 Lexus IS 500 to the IS F may seem like comparing a Ferrari to a Model T in some regards, there’s no denying it’s worth the money. In today’s market, you can find most Lexus IS Fs selling for around $30,000 and the IS 500 retailing for around $60,000.

Is the newer car worth double the price? We think so, considering everything it comes with. If you want to read more about the Lexus IS 500, check out whether it’s worth the extra cash over the base IS sedan.