We Drove It: 2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport

2014 Lexus IS F Sport

Racetracks and cars tend to go together, but we’re seldom in four-door sedans while blasting through the backstretches. And on the few occasions we are, there is almost always an M, AMG, or S in the badge (i.e., we’re in a lux German-engineered rocket ship). But now Lexus has entered the luxury sport sedan game with the third-generation 2014 IS sedan. While the IS has always been a pretty good sedan — we still have a soft spot for the IS 200 SportCross — it’s never truly twisted our knobs. Until now.

For more info, go to DriveApart.com.

For 2014, Lexus has redesigned the IS so that it is wider and lower, sits on a longer wheelbase, looks far more aggressive both inside and out (check out the new spindle grill), and goes much faster. Lexus also either added or updated a whole slew of electronics — we especially like the configurable TFT instrumentation inspired by the LFA supercar — and updated the IS’s underpinnings. In short, it’s a whole lot more fun to drive. Particularly the 350 F Sport. Particularly on a track.

Driveway Austin is a thoroughly awesome circuit on the outskirts of the Texas capital. Driveway is put together like a greatest hits from tracks around the world, including a corkscrew inspired by Laguna Seca. The 2,500-foot backstretch lets us open up the IS 350’s V6, which delivers 306 hp and 277 lb.-ft of torque courtesy of an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The 350 F-Sport offers up a smattering of sporty options — 18-inch wheels, high-performance brake pads, and a whole slew of upgraded body parts like that unique Spindle front fascia and grille. On the backstretch, hitting well over 110 mph, breaking hard into a long double apex left hand sweeper, we knew this was a Lexus daily driver we could get behind, and that other drivers on the road would have a lot of trouble pulling ahead of.

For more info, go to DriveApart.com.