If you’re searching for a more dynamic flavour to the legendary build quality and luxury of the Lexus brand, the LEXUS F-SPORT derivatives offer bespoke chassis and design enhancements. These are the five F-Sport models available in South Africa
Inheriting its “F” from the Fuji Speedway – Lexus’s primary testing site, located near the base of Mount Fuji – the F-Sport badge offers performance improvements purpose-built for select Lexus models.
LexuFirst introduced with the 2007 Lexus IS F, and followed by the ground-breaking LFA supercar, the Lexus F DNA is echoed in the revolutionary development practices of all F-Sport models today. The models can be identified by their mesh grilles and interior and exterior upgrades, along with performance enhancements to the brakes, stabiliser bars, suspension, clutch and chassis.
1. LS 500 F-SPORT
Sharing a platform with the LC coupé and benefiting from a specially tuned suspension system engineered by the team behind the iconic LFA supercar, the LS range is already imbued with razor-sharp handling. Power comes from a new 3.5-litre V6 turbopetrol with V8-like output figures of 310kW and 600Nm.
The grille’s distinctive F-Sport mesh design has been crafted to catch the light, giving the car a dynamism even when it’s not in motion. The vehicle is also equipped with F-Sport 20-inch wheels.
The athletic-looking F-Sport leather seats are designed to support your body firmly but comfortably during energetic driving, while the three-spoke leather steering wheel, drilled aluminium pedals and TFT instrument display reflect the LS 500 F motorsport design heritage.
2. RC 350 F-SPORT
With 232kW and 380Nm on tap from its 3.5-litre V6 engine, the RC 350 F-Sport offers seamless power. And the Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system, which monitors speed, steering and other dynamic inputs, provides optimal stability and agility at higher speeds, and excellent manoeuvrability at low speeds.
The Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system’s custom-tuned suspension ensures riding comfort, stable control, performance and safety under a variety of driving and road conditions. The electronic power steering has been improved to optimise handling stability and further enhance high-quality driving, while Drive Mode Select has six selectable modes – Eco, Normal, Sport, Sport S+, Comfort and Custom.
The newly designed grille, front bumper, outer mirrors, wide bumper corners and front flares, as well as the lower rear bumper, give the car a wide stance and low centre of gravity. The striking dark 10-spoke, 19-inch premium metallic alloy wheels feature prominent wheel arches that highlight the large-diameter tyres and further accentuate the RC F-Sport’s profile.
3. NX 300 F-SPORT
The mid-sized Lexus crossover boasts turbocharged performance plus exclusive F-Sport features, such as a tuned suspension, bold front fascia with a unique mesh grille, black exterior mirrors, and G-force and turbo boost meter.
Along with Drive Mode Select (which includes the exclusive Sport S+), NX 300 F-Sport also comes with front and rear performance dampers that enhance the vehicle’s rigidity and minimise vibration for excellent handling stability.
The boost meter measures turbocharger pressure levels; its graphic interface features a band colour that changes in the high-pressure range. There’s also an oil temperature and oil pressure gauge displayed at the bottom of the boost meter.
The NX 300 F-Sport gets a unique grille, rear bumper and 18-inch alloys on the outside, and a reflective metallic-finish trim on the pedals and scuff plate, and a perforated-leather steering wheel and shift knob on the inside. It also comes with sports seats that are designed with performance conditions in mind.
4. IS 350 F-SPORT
Developed by the team that tuned the LFA supercar and IS F high-performance sedan, the IS 350 F-Sport carries the spirit of these two amazing vehicles. Courtesy of its 3.5-litre V6, the IS 350 F-Sport offers engaging performance, delivering a maximum power output of 232kW at 6 600rpm, and maximum torque of 380Nm at 4 800-4 900rpm.
The front and rear suspension as well as the electric power steering are all exclusively tuned to enhance handling performance without compromising ride quality. It also has Drive Mode Select with four selectable modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, and Sport S+.
The IS 350 F-Sport gets a bold and distinctive front spindle grille with special “L-mesh” inserts, and chrome highlights. The lower front spoiler features front brake cooling ducts, aerodynamic fins for increased downforce, and a larger grille opening. The 18-inch alloy wheels feature a twin-spoke design inspired by the LFA supercar.
Inside, the exclusive F-Sport seats use “integrated foaming” technology that allows a more detailed seat profile with better fit and hold, as well as drilled sport pedals and an F-Sport steering wheel. Providing the driver with all the key info is a single meter binnacle, which features a TFT screen with a moving centre-ring design inherited from the LFA. When operating the multimedia system, the meter ring slides to one side to reveal the menu.
5. UX 200 F-SPORT
Powered by a 126 kW 2.0-litre petrol engine featuring VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent, with an electric motor) and ultra-light pistons, the UX 200 F-Sport is an athletic all-rounder that offers both fuel efficiency and high performance.
The UX 200 F-Sport boasts AVS with adjustable dampers at each wheel and 650 levels of damping force, which provide the ultimate control on any road surface. Its Drive Mode Select also includes the Sport S+ mode, which adjusts the car’s suspension, steering and throttle response for a much sportier driving experience.
Exclusive 18-inch 10-spoke high-rigidity alloy wheels with a dark metallic coating hint at its dynamic abilities, as does the F-Sport steering wheel with paddle shifters for swift and precise gear changes. Body-hugging F-Sport leather seats with eight-way adjustment and lumbar support, and drilled aluminium pedals that offer excellent grip characteristics, also reflect the UX 200 F-Sport’s motorsport design heritage.