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2011 Lexus IS F

Overview
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2011 Lexus IS F Review

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When Lexus introduced the IS F in 2007 the sports sedan was the fastest product car to ever wear the bent L in its grille. Now that the Japanese automaker has introduced the supercar-fighting LFA to the world, the muscle-bound sedan no longer wears that crown - but that doesn't mean it's lost any of its bite. For 2011, engineers spent time refining the vehicle's already impressive suspension and electronic power steering system and added new aesthetic touches to the cabin. The changes go a long way toward making the four-year-old platform feel young at heart.

You'll Like This Car If...

If the tried-and-true BMW M3 sedan is too common for your tastes, the IS F offers rivaling performance with additional flair. Wild bodywork, massive horsepower and a sports-oriented interior are this vehicle's strong suits.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Fans of conservative styling should look elsewhere for their thrills. Lexus has bestowed some very aggressive bodywork on the IS F in the form of flared fenders with front air outlets, a bulging grille and large 19-inch wheels. Expect to attract attention.

What's Significant About This Car?

For 2011, new spring rates and additional camber in the rear suspension of the IS F add to the vehicle's sporting edge, while a recalibrated electronic power steering system now provides more feedback than before. Inside, new color options, Alcantara seat inserts and aluminum trim adorn the cockpit.

Driving the IS F

Driving Impressions At first blush, we felt that Lexus' claimed horsepower figures were more than a bit conservative. We were shattering the highest speed limits in the U.S. in just two upshifts...

and, despite the fact that we didn't disarm the IS F's stability control for the curvy sections, the logic allowed for some very aggressive driving before kicking in. With wider rear tires and 54 percent of its weight on the front wheels, the IS F can lose front grip first if you get into a corner too fast - but by that time you'll be going way too fast for public roads, anyway. On the other hand, that chassis behavior is ideal for overly-aggressive street driving or track-day novices. On the whole, the ride comfort is perfectly acceptable on smooth roads, but not so terrific over uneven pavement.

Eight-Speed Transmission
The eight-speed automatic transmission in the 2011 Lexus IS F allows the average civilian to shift faster than a professional racer. Indeed, Lexus says the gearbox is the world's fastest-shifting automatic. Upshifts take 0.1 second, while downshifts occur in 0.2 second and include an automatic throttle blip to match the speeds of the engine, transmission and drive wheels.

Paddle Shifters
In the transmission's manual mode, shifting is accomplished with steering-wheel-mounted paddles. The car gives a single beep when it's about time to upshift, and a double beep means the driver tried to downshift at too high a speed.

2011 Lexus IS F Details
Interior

For 2011, Lexus has incorporated a few changes inside. Most noticeably, buyers who choose black as an interior color will now enjoy Alcantara seat inserts with leather bolsters. Additionally, Lexus has said goodbye to its old Terra Cotta color scheme in favor of a more wild orange-on-black with contrasting stitching, and designers have incorporated splashes of silver-colored trim along the steering wheel and made use of new instrument-panel gauges.

Exterior

The IS F wears a host of aesthetic additions to differentiate the vehicle from its more tame siblings. A fascia with large trapezoidal air inlets sets the tone up front, along with a bulging hood that accommodates the sedan's high-horsepower V8. Subtle "F" badging adorns the bodywork in various locations and flared fenders make room for wider sports wheels and tires. The front fenders incorporate large air outlets for evacuating heat, while the rear fascia displays a quad stacked exhaust appearance.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

If you build a car capable of 170 miles per hour (and more without its electronic speed limiter), you'd better be able to get it slowed down in a hurry. Lexus worked with Brembo to build extra-large brakes and asked BBS to produce 19-inch wheels to accept those big brakes. The front vented-and-drilled brake discs are 14.2 inches in diameter and are grasped by six-piston aluminum brake calipers. On the rear, two-piston calipers squeeze 13.6-inch rotors.

Optional Equipment

Among the few options available on the 2010 Lexus IS F is an excellent 300-watt sound system with 14 speakers and a six-disc in-dash DVD/CD changer. Those who park the IS F in tight places will want the backup video camera and the sonar-based sensor system that warns of unseen objects. Other options include a DVD-based navigation system and a Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

Under the Hood

For the IS F, Lexus replaced the 306-horsepower V6 in the IS 350 with an enhanced version of the 4.6-liter V8 used in the LS and GS (5.0 liters in this application). In order to bump horsepower to 416, Lexus engineers added electronically-controlled variable intake valve timing. This feature is maximized with titanium intake valves, which are lighter and stronger than steel. Also, maximum engine speed was upped from 6,500 to 6,800 rpm. Torque is down 14 pound-feet and occurs 1,200 rpm higher than in the LS 600h L. The eight-speed automatic upshifts only about 0.05-second slower than that of a Formula 1 car. Traction and stability control can be adjusted to allow for a more dynamic drive with the touch of the "Sport" mode switch on the dash, or the system can be disarmed completely.

5.0-liter V8
416 horsepower @ 6600 rpm
371 lb.-ft. @ 5200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23

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Buying this car?

2011 Lexus IS F Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 383 Ratings for the 2006 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Still loving it

By on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Head turner, fun to drive-quick!"

Cons: "Rear wheel tough on ice but loved 360 days"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is a great car. It has every feature/ option the 350 had available. Rear camera, rear shade, great comfy seating, Bluetooth, navigation, 6cd has great sound. This was my first Lexus. I bought it used and love it ."

Good looking, fun car!

By on Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Good looking .. Fun to drive"

Cons: "Cup holder location, road noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"We absolutely love the looks of this car. Gorgeous red exterior and cream interior. It is also a very comfortable ride. We have only owned it for about 8 months, and put very low miles on her. The only negatives are the proximity of the cup holder to the shifter .. a little cramped. If you need the second cup holder, you have to slide your arm rest back out of the way to get to the cup holder inside the console area. Road noise is an issue as well. Our car does have the navigation, which we love, but we do not have memory seats, which would have been a huge positive for us. All in all we love our IS."

8 people out of 17 found this review helpful

the finest automobile i ever owned

By on Sunday, June 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"this car made driving fun again . very sporty feel tight suspension . its a four door luxury sports car . the only thin i would have changed was the rear leg room. i kno u say then u should have bought the gs or es . they r old peoles cars . the is rocks"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Pristine Luxury Hard Top Convertible

By on Saturday, June 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price, fun to drive and own."

Cons: "No cons. My 4th Lexus convertible!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Garage kept, one person non smoker-driver, low mileage luxury convertible. Showroom quality. Dark grey, camel tan interior. All the bells and whistles. Fun car to drive and own. Turns heads with the top down. Proud to own."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Great convertible, I highly recommend it...

By on Thursday, May 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Style, reliability, hard top covertible"

Cons: "Small trunk, but I guess that comes with the conve"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great convertible, I highly recommend it if you like convertibles... Super reliable, my car has 50K miles and I have only done regular maintenance, no factory issues at all...."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

8.5 years old and still turning heads

By on Saturday, April 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good looks and fun to drive"

Cons: "Lexus Service prices/costs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I love the Matador Red Mica color. Mileage has averaged 24-26 around town (lots of lights and stop-go) over 8.5 years. Does go through tires because of the low-profile. I invested in snow tires and so now trade them out. With the AWD, she handles great in snow and ice. Fun to drive."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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