Lexus Is Putting ‘Performance’ in its Name: Lexus IS 500 Performance

Lexus Is 500 Performance

This super cute compact sports car just got sportier – and more fun.

I get it. You’re drooling over the LC 500 but you need convenience in your life, too. As happy as your long-legged daughter is to ride along with you, the back seat just isn’t an option (yes, it has one!). But the LC 500 isn’t just a beautiful car. It’s a powerful sports car with track-bred ability. It’s fun, it’s fast, it’s loud, and it’s capable. 

Lexus has an answer for you: The Lexus IS 500 Performance. The company just put a V8 with 472 horsepower and 395 torque—essentially what you get in the LC 500—into the compact, agile, and gorgeous (if you ask me) redesigned IS model.  

Related: The 2021 Lexus IS 350 AWD F Sport Is an Athletic 4-Door Sport Sedan that Will Thrill Your Socks Off

What’s New for 2022

Yes, the 2021 car is gorgeous, and we’ll get to that in a minute—but Lexus is already getting feisty by releasing the 2022 Launch version of the IS 500 Performance. Befitting the name, only 500 versions of this limited-edition model will be produced and sold in North America, which means one thing: If you want one, you’ll have to be quick about scooping it up!

This beautiful machine has specs that will make you swoon:

  • 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces 472 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque

  • Limited edition F Sport Performance Launch Edition badging

  • 19-inch seven-spoke alloy matte black wheels that are lighter than the standard F Sport wheel

  • Exclusively sold in Incognito, a brand-new exterior color for the Lexus lineup

  • Black and gray suede trimmed seats, door accents, and center console

  • Silver ash wood interior treatment

  • Unique driver instrument panel

Basically, if you’ve ever wanted to feel like a rock star—you know, flaunting your luxury but in a subtle, stealthy way—the Lexus IS 500 Performance Launch Edition is going to be the way to go. More details will be released soon, but Lexus expects this model to hit the road in the fall of 2021, so if you’re interested, you’ll need to keep your eyes on the prize and reserve one now!

Lexus Is 500 Performance

A look at the rear of the Lexus IS 500 Performance. Photo: Lexus

Speed Freaks Rejoice: Sound and Fury Abound

Yes, we love power, but it has to be packaged right. A 472-horsepower engine in a land yacht can offer a dump-truck like driving experience. But tone down the size of the car to just what you need, and it’s the experience of a lifetime. Every. Single. Day.

To really cement the fact that this is a performance car, not just a dressed up sedan, Lexus promises “a throaty quad-exhaust system with dual stacked tail pipes” that will offer the sound and rumble-under-the-butt feel of a V8 in a petite, elegant 4-door sedan. You can actually see the beefed up look to the exhaust system on the rear of the car.

Related: See the IS in action: Celebrities. Smackdowns. Supercars: Behind the Scenes at Lexus 0-60 Celebrity Driving Competition

Lexus Is 500 Performance

The front cabin in the Lexus IS 500 Performance. Photo: Lexus

F Sport: Looks Designed to Perform, Too

You may know the “F” designation on many Lexus models. F, which is a nod to the Fuji Speedway where Lexus tests its cars, also indicates a higher level of performance. The “F Sport” designation indicates all the badass looks of F without the over the top performance (and price). But now with the Lexus IS 500 buyers can have middle ground—the best of both: F Sport Performance and a sportier look and feel. 

The IS 500 has a raised hood, a longer front bumper and fenders, and 19-inch wheels. The F Sport Performance details can be seen on the interior with dedicated badging. 

And, as the newest hot model in the Lexus lineup, it also gets the best of Lexus’s newest tech features, which include the updated Lexus Safety System 2.5 with front collision warning, auto emergency braking, pedestrian and bicyclist detection, emergency steering assist, adaptive cruise control that works at all speeds, lane depart assist, automatic high beam headlights, Lexus Enform, and the new touch screen infotainment system (which has been receiving high marks from everyone). 

Related: On the Track or in the Suburbs, the Lexus RC F Is Just Plain Fun

Lexus Is 500 Performance

Lexus IS 500 Performance center console. Photo: Lexus

What Will This Car Cost?

Lexus hasn’t said yet what the price tag will be on the IS, its best priced model in the lineup with a starting price of $39,000. But to get an idea, look at the RC coupe, which starts at $42,200, vs. the RC F, which starts at $69,975, a $27,775 difference. Making the same jump from standard to performance model, we expect the Lexus IS 500 to come in somewhere in the $66,000+ range. 

So if you’re still drooling over the LC 500, which has a starting price of $93,050, but it’s not in the cards yet, now you have more options. I, for one, can’t wait to drive this. 

Related: Lexus LC 500 Convertible Review: What’s Under the Ragtop of this Exotic Luxury Sports Car

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss