2022 Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance makes a 472hp play for V8 purists

Lexus has revealed its latest luxury sports sedan, and if you've bemoaned the progressive turbocharging, supercharging, and hybridization of fast cars, the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance could be what you've been waiting for. Under its hood is a 5.0-liter V8 gas engine, all naturally-aspirated, with neither forced-induction or sneaky electric motors hiding inside.

It means a heady 472 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque, routed through an eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission. Peak horsepower arrives at 7,100 rpm, while peak torque hits at 4,800 rpm.

It's enough, Lexus says, to propel the 2022 IS 500 F SPORT Performance from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds. A quad exhaust system should mean it sounds the part, too, with dual-stacked tail pipes inspired by the RC F. However, Lexus says, despite the uptick in engine size and two extra cylinders compared to the IS 350 F SPORT's 3.5-liter V6, weight is only up 143 pounds at 3,891 pounds all-in.

This is, of course, a familiar engine. Lexus has used it in the LC 500, tuned slightly differently but still delivering that old-school rush of naturally-aspirated power. Before that, a version was also in the much-loved Lexus IS F, sadly since discontinued.

In this newest IS, though, it gains power to go with the practicality. There's the latest IS RWD F SPORT's Dynamic Handling Package (DHP) as standard, including Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) and a Torsen limited slip differential (LSD), while a new Yamaha rear performance damper has been added. That, Lexus says, should make for better stability and agility at high speeds, but extra comfort for mode sedate driving. Lexus even claims the car should do 24 mpg on the highway.

Bigger brakes – with 14.0-inch two-piece aluminum front rotors and 12.7-inch rear rotors – have been added, and there's extra cooling for them too. The drive mode select Sport S and Sport S+ settings have been remapped, with the most powerful adjusting the electric power steering levels and damping forces too.

Outside, compared to the IS 350 F SPORT, the 2022 IS 500 F SPORT Performance gets a hood that's more sculpted and which bulges almost 2-inches higher. 19-inch split-10-spoke Enkei alloy wheels are standard – dropping around six pounds all-in compared to four of the V6's 19-inchers – and there's a new, lower rear diffuser accent, black rear lips spoiler, and dark chrome window trim.

On the inside, there's a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and door sill scuff plates with F SPORT Performance badging. Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 is standard, now with better range for the Frontal Collision Warning (FCW), Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), and Pedestrian Detection and Bicyclist Detection, plus the ability to spot cyclists in daytime and pedestrians in day and low-light conditions. Steering assistance can kick in during emergencies to help keep the car in lane.

Adaptive cruise control promises to be more smooth and help prepare better for overtaking. There's also lane departure alerts with steering assistance, and Lane Tracing Assist to help keep the car centered when the adaptive cruise is operating. The infotainment system will have Apple CarPlay and more.

Full specifications will be confirmed closer to the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance's arrival in US dealerships later in the fall, as will pricing.