• The Lexus IS 500 Blends V-8 Power With Styling at Anti-German Prices

  • The Lexus IS 500 will go toe-to-toe with the M3, RS 5, and C 63 AMG.
  • Possibly the best thing about the IS 500 is that it is so much more affordable than its German rivals.
  • Part of the aesthetic features of the IS 500 is the stacked quad exhaust tips.
  • With a starting price of $56,600, the IS 500 undercuts its rivals by over $10,000.
  • Lexus interiors are usually more than up to par with their rivals.
  • The price gap is so massive you could buy the IS 500 and a used V8 Lexus to go with it for the price of an M3.
  • The 5 liter naturally aspirated V8 is the same engine that is in the LC 500, which means lots of character and lots of great noises.
  • With 472 horsepower, 395 lb-ft of torque, and a 0-60mph time of 4.4 seconds, it is shaping up to be rather promising.

If the IS 500 is anywhere near as good as it sounds, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes could be in trouble

Can Lexus’ latest attempt at a sports sedan truly out-shine the stuffy Germans at BMW, Audi, and Mercedes? Quite possibly, but let’s just say this is not a case of "buy the Lexus because you cannot afford the BMW." This is about a V-8 Lexus Sedan than could create some headaches in a few German HQs.

The Lexus IS 500 Blends V-8 Power With Styling at Anti-German Prices
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We have known about the naturally aspirated V8-powered Lexus IS 500 for some time now, but Lexus just dropped some additional information about the BMW M3, AMG C 63, and Audi RS 5 rival.

Trim Levels and Pricing

The Lexus IS 500 Blends V-8 Power With Styling at Anti-German Prices
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One of the most notiable things about the IS50 is its pricing, which as you may expect, is quite a bit less than its German rivals. The base IS 500 will start at $56,500, followed by the IS 500 Premium, starting at $61,000. The premium features a 17-speaker Mark Levison sound system, navigation, panoramic view monitor, triple beam LED headlights, and a power rear sunshade.

The top trim level is the Launch Edition, which will be limited to 500 units only in North America. On top of everything from the premium trim, it also has the option for some exclusive upholstery and BBS rims, all of which will cost $67,400.

How this glorious engine competes with the best from Germany

The Lexus IS 500 Blends V-8 Power With Styling at Anti-German Prices
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However, possibly even more attention-grabbing than the pricing is the engine. Yes, it is a naturally aspirated 5.0 liter V-8 producing 472 horsepower at 7,100 RPM and 395 lb-ft of twist at 4,800 RPM. Here’s hoping that will be plenty enough to lug around its 3,891-pound curb weight. Although, the 0-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds gives us hope.

This engine is a bit underpowered when compared to its rivals when you consider the torque figures. The BMW M3 makes 473 HP and 406 pound-feet and costs $69,900, the Mercedes AMG C 63 makes 469 HP and 479lb-ft and costs $69,650, and the Audi RS 5 Sportback pumps out 444 HP and 443lb-ft and costs $76,445.

What all this adds up to

The Lexus IS 500 Blends V-8 Power With Styling at Anti-German Prices
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The thing is, the Lexus is so much cheaper than the Germans, it might not even matter. We are talking about a difference of well over $10,000, i.e., a massive lump of money you could use to buy another used V-8 Lexus on top of this one.

Something else the Lexus has going for it, the character of that engine. It is the same powerplant in the LC 500, and we know the glorious sounds that thing can produce.

Not to mention, the big, naturally aspirated V-8 is a dying breed; there are only going to be so many more of these engines made before they either go out of style or become straight-up illegal, at least in some places around the world.

The Lexus IS 500 Blends V-8 Power With Styling at Anti-German Prices
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The IS 500 shows real promise, and hopefully, they channel more DNA from the LFA and LC 500 into this, but with a bit more focus on handling than the latter. They are competing with the M3, after all.

The 2022 model should arrive in dealerships later in fall 2021.

Josh Conturo
Hello, I am the new intern here at TopSpeed! I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and am a senior at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio. I got into cars as a kid playing video games like Need for Speed: Underground and going to car shows with my grandfather. Once I got to college I realized I love writing and decided to combine that with my love of cars and began writing for the school newspaper. fast froward a couple years and here we are!  Read full bio
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