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The Lexus IS 350 F Sport—The sensory delight from Shimoyama

By MANNY N. DE LOS REYES, The Philippine STAR Published Oct 31, 2023 9:40 pm

Germany’s legendary Nurburgring circuit is the most demanding—and punishing—racetrack in the world. Which is why almost all car companies test their cars there.

But Toyota and Lexus have other ideas. They don’t want to have to go to Germany every time they want to push new production models to their limits. So they did what a world-leader would do. They created their own Nurburgring—in Japan.

It’s called Shimoyama—the Shimoyama Technical Center, to be exact. This test track, situated in the Aichi Prefecture, southeast of Nagoya, simulates the best—and the worst—of the Nur-burgring. Shimoyama is a road course that duplicates every possible kind of on-road scenario imaginable. It features every type of corner radius, every conceivable bank angle, and every kind of elevation change that you can possibly encounter. A road where vertical changes are so severe and abrupt that finding the proper suspension damping setting is critical. In a place like this, the stability, handling, and braking of a car is put to a severe test. And it’s not just one track; there are no less than 11 different test tracks in Shimoyama.

The first four-wheeled alumnus of the Shimoyama Test Track is the razor-sharp Lexus IS. And it has graduated with flying honors—which is as expected, as the compact rear-wheel drive IS, over a million of which have been sold, has always been the “driver’s car” of the Lexus sedan lineup. Lexus has boldly declared that the IS will set the bar in dynamic handling for all future Lexus models. They even have a name for it—the Lexus Driving Signature or LDS.

The union between man and machine is the thrust of the Lexus Driving Signature. In its purest essence, it pursues a linear operation faithful to the driver's intentions with the goal to ampli-fy confidence, comfort, and the overall love of driving.
The Lexus IS was born from the LDS philosophy. Along with being a car that is the foundation of the Lexus driving performance, which serves like a whetstone for fine-tuning driving senses and skills, the IS has earned acclaim through its high-level driving performance—and the joy of driving a rear-wheel-drive sport sedan.

For the spirited driver, there is no greater satisfaction that can come from being one with a vehicle as it tackles the corners with aplomb. Thus, to enhance the driving experience even further, the Lexus IS 350 F Sport now comes standard with a Limited-Slip Differential (LSD).

When paired with the 3.5-liter V6 engine that develops 315ps at 6,600rpm and 380Nm of torque at 4,800 to 4,900 rpm, the sophisticated LSD delivers power to the rear wheels in such a manner that will boost the confidence of every driver. Maximum acceleration out of a corner with full control are traits of an LSD tuned for enthusiasts. As such, the LSD is an integral part of any sport sedan’s arsenal and will bring a sense of enjoyment that cannot be readily found elsewhere.

Complementing this sporty and aggressive LSD is the availability of stunning 19-inch forged alloy wheels. Lightweight with a very sporting appearance, it is 10 percent lighter compared to the previous F-Sport alloy wheels. With the Lexus IS 350 F Sport, you’ll conquer any corner or straightaway as you wish, staying fully in control of whatever lies ahead. And not only will you do it in style, but also with an unmatched level of comfort and confidence that you can on-ly get while driving a Lexus.

There’s more to performance than speed alone. It’s about feeling truly connected to your ve-hicle, the road, and your senses. When you’re behind the wheel, your senses are constantly working to keep you safe. But what if they were augmented by your car’s ‘senses,’ too?

The Blind-Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert with Automatic Braking (RCTAB) now come standard with the Lexus IS 350 F Sport. These safety features are an essential addi-tion to Lexus Safety System +2, a suite of safety features which include a Pre-Collision System (PCS), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Automatic High Beam (AHB), Lane Tracing As-sist (LTA), and Lane Departure Alert (LDA). Lexus’ advanced safety systems go beyond human perception, to care for you and your passengers, intuitively and intelligently.

After 30 years as a luxury automotive brand, Lexus has established a unique identity, design language, and recognition in the overall luxury space. To continue reinforcing the Lexus brand identity, the company has evolved its product development process to create vehicles that share dynamic performance standards defined by the Lexus Driving Signature. The Lexus IS 350 F Sport is a prime example here.

The Lexus IS is available in three variants: the IS 300h Executive (P3,038,000), the IS 300h Premier (P3,398,000), and the IS 350 F-Sport (P4,178,000). Experiencing a spirited drive be-hind the wheel of these sublime automobiles is like taking a hot lap of Shimoyama yourself. Passion drives Lexus to create amazing cars that put a sensory experience and pleasure first. When man and machine merge to become one, the sensation is exhilarating, and the experi-ence—amazing.


Editor's note: BrandedUp is designed to provide you with insightful, inspiring, and educational content created by The Philippine STAR in collaboration with brands like Lexus Philippines.