The Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance Launch Edition Shows The Power A Few Tweaks Can Have On Revitalizing A Car

Illustration for article titled The Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance Launch Edition Shows The Power A Few Tweaks Can Have On Revitalizing A Car
Photo: Lexus

Back in February, Lexus announced that its V8 engine wasn’t dying yet. The 2022 IS 500 F Sport Performance filled the marque’s V8-shaped hole, and the car that resulted looked like an absolute winner. But now the brand is taking things a step further with its limited launch edition, which it released on Friday.

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Now, it’s important to note that this limited-run vehicle isn’t hugely different from what will become the production model. But the tweaks that it has made for this 500-car run are gorgeous and really go to show what an impact a handful of tweaks can have on a car. And us lucky ducks here in North America will be the only folks to have the opportunity to buy this model.

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Photo: Lexus
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Photo: Lexus

The main difference here is the exterior color scheme, which is called Incognito. This gray shade will be exclusive to the Launch Edition, and while I’m not normally a huge fan of bland shades for cars, this color is actually kind of neat. I don’t really know how to describe it. It’s almost matte in the way it absorbs light, but it still maintains a gorgeous, shiny reflection that kind of makes me think you could see your face reflected back in it. It sits somewhere between a more traditional gray and a white. And for being a bland-sounding color on paper, it translates beautifully to photos. I’ve heard it’s even better in real life.

Here are the specs and a few of the big changes:

  • 472-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 with 395 pound-feet of torque
  • 19-inch, seven-spoke matte black BBS wheels
  • Black and gray Ultrasuede to trim the seats, doors, and center console
  • Silver ash wood trim on steering wheel
  • Serialized plaque on the dashboard showing which number car yours is
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Photo: Lexus
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Photo: Lexus

These models don’t have a price tag yet, but they’re set to ship out later this year, likely in the fall.

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Now all Lexus needs to do is learn the value in a simplified name.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

DISCUSSION

Just how old is the IS platform?  Is this still basically the original car?