Auto review by Veeno Dewan
“The 2022 Lexus IS 500 joins that band of increasingly rare cars powered by a big, aspirated V8 engine paired with rear-wheel drive. Decidedly old school, the promise is thrilling acceleration and performance.”
Today, performance cars are increasingly powered by V6 engines, hybrid, and even All-Electric powerplants. The 2022 Lexus IS 500 joins that band of increasingly rare cars powered by a big, normally aspirated V8 engine with rear-wheel drive. A format that is becoming increasingly redundant as V6s and other engines increase their horsepower and efficiency. The Lexus IS 500 is built off the compact Lexus IS 350 performance four-door sedan. Instead of a V6, the IS 500 is fitted with a 5-liter V8, developed jointly with Yamaha, and has both direct and port injection, titanium valves, variable valve timing, and a 7300-rpm redline. And the numbers? How about 472 Horsepower with torque at 395 lb-ft @ 4800 distributed directly to the rear wheels. The transmission is an 8-speed automatic with manual mode. To shoehorn the big V8 under the hood, Lexus had to extend the front fenders and give the hood a dramatic-looking 2-inch power dome.
Other technical goodies include uprated suspension and brakes, standard adaptive dampers, and a Torsen limited-slip differential. The IS 500 rolls on snazzy 19-inch Enkei lightweight alloy wheels. At the rear, the aggressive-looking IS 500 gains a redesigned rear diffuser, rear lip spoiler, and stacked quad exhaust tips for that V8 rumble.
The 2022 Lexus IS500 comes fully loaded. It has heated and ventilated front seats, Mark Levinson designer audiophile sound system, a 17-speaker surround-sound setup, navigation, a heated steering wheel, faux leather trim, and much more. Apple Carplay and Android Auto are standard. The Lexus IS 500 features a high-tech-looking dash and numerous.
“F Sport” badges on the exterior, and inner door sills, are stitched into the headrests of the sport bucket seats. Build quality is excellent with high-quality materials and supportive well-padded sports seats. – The dash now features a 10.2-inch info screen canted towards the driver. It offers touch capability, so you don’t have to use the fiddly trackpad.
The new interface is intuitive and reacts quickly to inputs. A downside to the interior is the slightly cramped second row. The rear cargo capacity runs at 306 liters.
Standard safety features include full LED lighting, lane-departure alert and lane-keeping, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and forward-collision warning with pedestrian and bicycle detection. A new junction assist system uses cameras and radar to detect fast-approaching vehicles when making a left turn and will apply emergency braking if necessary.
“The IS 500’s the 5-liter V8 engine has quad cams, direct and port injection, titanium valves, variable valve timing, and a 7300-rpm redline. The power output is rated at 472 horsepower.”
The IS 500 feels agile, light, and well-balanced on the road, despite the big V8 engine up front. Steering is a standout. Not too loose at low speeds and then nicely tightens and firms up at higher speeds. The F Sport Dynamic Handling Package (DHP), adaptive dampers, and a limited-slip differential (LSD) all harmonize to deliver quick acceleration off the line. Nicely set up shift parameters help make the most of the responsive auto transmission. Standard adaptive dampers and a Torsen limited-slip diff, combined with active Sport S+ drive mode, adjust throttle response, shift parameters and stiffen the damping and steering for even quicker cornering and acceleration. In typical rear-wheel-drive- big V8 engine fashion, driver scan expect superb acceleration and entertaining tail out delightful cornering. Thanks to the Torsen limited-slip differential
The IS 500 ride remains pleasantly smooth over road imperfections. The rear-wheel-drive format makes this a very entertaining car to drive with the V8’s wide torque band and pleasing exhaust rumble.
Driver and passenger comfort is exemplary, and the IS 500 provides a very entertaining combination of luxury with sporty performance. Cruising the highway at speed, the IS 500 feels eager and responsive to driver inputs. NRCan fuel consumption numbers for the 2022 Lexus IS 500 are 14.1 L/100 km city, 9.3 highway, and 11.9 combined – note that premium-grade fuel is required for this engine.
The IS 500 is an innovative, fastidiously engineered, and well-presented premium Sports sedan. The Lexus IS 500 is fantastic to drive and own. Highly recommended.
2022 Lexus IS500 -priced: $72,900; $79,925
WEBSITE: Lexus Canada