Toyota may have ended V8 development, but the engine still has a home in Lexus. Specifically, in the upcoming 2022 Lexus IS500 F Sport Performance. However, as if the news of the more-powerful engine wasn’t enough, Lexus is making a limited-edition version of the V8-powered sedan. It’s called the Lexus IS500 F Sport Performance Launch Edition—but is it worth getting in line for?
The 2022 Lexus IS500 F Sport Performance Launch Edition gives the V8 sedan some extra goodies
The ‘standard’ 2022 Lexus IS500 F Sport Performance already comes fairly well-equipped. Besides the 472-hp 5.0-liter V8, the RWD sedan comes standard with adaptive suspension, a limited-slip differential, plus a rear spoiler and diffuser, Road & Track reports. It also has larger front and rear disc brakes.
The adaptive suspension and LSD are part of the IS350 F Sport’s optional Dynamic Handling Package, as are upgraded springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars, Autoblog reports. The IS500 F Sport Performance gets the latter upgrades as standard, too. Plus, its 19” Enkei wheels are slightly lighter than the IS350 F Sport’s wheels, MotorTrend reports.
At first glance, then, the 2022 Lexus IS500 F Sport Performance Launch Edition doesn’t look much different. And mechanically, the two trims are essentially identical, Autoblog reports. A closer look, though, reveals a few subtle changes.
Arguably the biggest is the wheels. Instead of the Enkei wheels, the Launch Edition rides on lighter-weight matte-black BBS wheels, Motor1 reports. The blacked-out theme continues inside, with trim-specific black-and-gray suede upholstery on the seats, door panels, and center console. The Lexus IS500 F Sport Performance Launch Edition also has a different gauge-cluster animation sequence than the standard car, and its heated steering wheel is trimmed in silver ash wood, Roadshow reports.
There are two more visual changes between the 2022 Lexus IS500 F Sport Performance and the Launch Edition. The latter only comes in one color, a trim-specific gray called ‘Incognito,’ Car and Driver reports. And the Launch Edition’s interior also features a numbered commemorative plaque.
How much more does it cost than the regular car?
Getting your hands on a 2022 Lexus IS500 F Sport Performance Launch Edition won’t be easy. Although it’s only available for North American buyers, Lexus is only making 500 examples. Hence the numbered plaque.
Unfortunately, as of this writing, Lexus hasn’t released official pricing for either version of the IS500 F Sport Performance. Automobile estimates the standard sedan will start around $56,000. And the Launch Edition will likely command “a modest premium” on top of that, Hagerty reports.
Will the 2022 Lexus IS500 F Sport Performance Launch Edition be worth pursuing?
Given that we don’t know how much the 2022 Lexus IS500 F Sport Performance will cost, it’s impossible to say if the Launch Edition is worth considering. But it’s worth pointing out that aside from the visual and interior tweaks, the Launch Edition’s only real performance upgrade is its lighter wheels.
Admittedly, lighter wheels are a worthwhile upgrade where handling is concerned. Exhibit A: the Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition. However, the IS350 F Sport offers the same, or at least very similar BBS wheels with its Dynamic Handling Package, Car and Driver reports. And it’s likely the standard IS500 F Sport Performance will offer them as optional extras, too, Hagerty reports. Plus, even if that’s not the case, you can always buy a set of aftermarket BBS wheels with a similar style.
That being said, if you’re a fan of the Launch Edition’s looks, by all means, go ahead. Painting your car a different color after it’s been made is often an expensive job. But if you can live without the upholstery, paint, and ash trim, the standard IS500 F Sport Performance should be just fine.
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