DRIVEN’s ace correspondent James Lamdin is back with another racy report. Read on…
A few months back, we were treated to some track time in the all-new Lexus IS at Rockingham Speedway in North Carolina.
If you don’t recall, we came away impressed; admittedly much more than we could have initially expected.
Particularly with the hottest version of the breed—the IS 250 & 350 F-Sport.
The F & F-Sport sub-brand from Lexus has caught the car-buying public by surprise, and Lexus has launched a campaign to solidify their expanding foothold on the sport-luxury market, cleverly titled “What’s The F.”
So when we received another invite from Lexus to an event designed specifically around the F-Sport Brand—one in which we could sample the entire lineup as God intended (on the racetrack)—we packed our bags faster than you can say “direct shift transmission.”
Next stop: the City of Sin and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Laid out for us were the complete lineup of F-Sport Vehicles, from the diminutive CT to the full-size super saloon LS—all of which were fully fueled up and waiting in pit lane for us to fling around the 2.3-mile road course and autocross course they had set up for us.
Once again, we found our groove in the IS350 F-Sport, easily our favorite car of the day, but were again surprised to derive as much pleasure as we did from the larger GS and LS models.
Superb handling, precise driver feedback and harmonious exhaust notes are the name of the game, and each model exceeded our expectations both on the track and in terms of fit, finish and amenities.
Lexus isn’t kidding around with their F-Sport lineup, and we’d wager there are more than a few sweaty brows in Munich and Ingolstadt as a result.
As we’ve mentioned time and again, nothing can beat the opportunity to flog cars around a racetrack.
Well, almost nothing.
If there’s anything more enjoyable than ripping up a road course behind the wheel ourselves, it’s strapping in shotgun with a professional racing driver and experiencing what a car can really do when in the hands of a true artist.
Once again, Lexus didn’t disappoint.
On hand were drivers Scott Pruett (of NASCAR, IMSA, and Grand Am fame) and drifting champion Ken Gushi, who took turns applying slapping us with G-Forces in the LFA Supercar and the Pike’s Peak CCS-R Hillclimber, respectively.
Gushi also treated us to a little bit of automotive gambling—Ingolstadt drifting an IS350 F-Sport around a roulette wheel painted on the tarmac with a lucky (unlucky?) automotive journalist strapped into the copilot’s seat.
We watched that one from the sidelines, and avoided a bout of seasickness in the middle of the desert.
Only in Vegas…
- Posted October 10, 2013
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