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Lexus is primarily known for producing some of the most luxurious and plushest cars in the market. However, the Japanese automaker has churned out a few performance cars in the past. One such car is the 2011 Lexus IS F, which was based on the popular IS sedan at the time. It was quick and classy. So quick, in fact, that it could even beat some exotic cars to 60 mph.

Why was the 2011 Lexus IS F so quick?

2011 Lexus IS F rear view
2011 Lexus IS F | Lexus

Although it’s easy to say that the engine that motivated the 2011 Lexus IS F was the sole reason for its surprising performance, it wasn’t. In addition to shoehorning a large 5.0-liter V8 under the hood of the existing IS body, Lexus added a stiffer suspension and beefier brakes. The Lexus IS F made its original debut in 2008, but in 2011, the automaker re-tuned every major suspension component to update its performance.

That meant adding soft front springs, stiffer rear springs, larger-diameter front, and rear anti-roll bars, a new steering knuckle, and front lower control arms. A Torsen rear limited-slip differential was added as well for more traction. Altogether, in conjunction with its 416-hp V8, the 2011 Lexus IS F could get up to 60 mph in only 4.3 seconds.

How does the 2011 Lexus IS F compare to some older exotic cars?

2011 Lexus IS F side view driving
2011 Lexus IS F | Lexus

It’s hard not to look at a V8-powered luxury sedan and wonder how it stacks up against more precious metal. Check out this small list of older exotic cars we gathered from

  • 2020 Lexus LC 500 – 4.6 seconds
  • 2004 Panoz Esperante GTLM – 4.7 seconds
  • 2004 Porsche 911 Carrera – 4.7 seconds
  • 1996 Ferrari F355 Spider – 4.8 seconds
  • 2011 Audi R8 – 4.3 seconds
  • 1994 Ferrari GT 456 – 4.3 seconds

Although the exotic cars on this list are older, that doesn’t detract from the 2011 Lexus IS F’s impressive performance. Sure, it’s easy to stuff a V8 into a small car, but considering the engineering that went into making the car perform and handle the way it does, it’s impressive nonetheless.

There’s a newer version of the Lexus IS F that’s not an IS F

2011 Lexus IS F rear corner view
2011 Lexus IS F | Lexus

If the Lexus IS F’s formula sounds familiar, it’s because the new 2023 Lexus IS 500 carries the same engine. It performs just as well, too, but it costs around $60,000. If you don’t mind not having some of the latest tech goodies like Apple Carplay or some of the newer safety technologies, a 2011 Lexus IS F could spruce up your daily commute. The best part is that many older Lexus IS F models are selling for around $28,000 nationwide, which is a fraction of what the IS 500 currently costs.

Lexus may be known for its plush luxury cars, but its performance sedans are nothing to sneeze at. Especially if you happen to pull up next to one of these older exotic cars.


Is the Lexus IS F Worth Buying?