A few weeks back I blogged about seeing a big gaggle of Lexus RC Fs at a car show. It was cool to witness that many examples of the rare car, and it wasn’t the only Lexus legend in attendance. Directly across from them was this row of IS Fs.

  • Car: Lexus IS F
  • Location: El Monte, CA
  • Photog: Peter Nelson (IG + Twitter: @16vPete)
  • Camera: Canon 6D + Canon EOS 35-70mm EF Zoom

The RC F is essentially the IS F’s coupe successor. The RC F makes more power, shifts faster, and has slightly different rear suspension that’s made from slightly different materials, but in general, they share a lot of similar parts.

The most easily recognizable trait between the two of them is the high-revving naturally aspirated V8. They’re both equipped with the Toyota 2UR-GSE, a 5.0-liter DOHC V8 that loves to quickly rev up through its invigorating torque band. I’ve had the privilege of driving both of them on fun, twisty roads, and let me tell you, anyone who says they aren’t fun either has too high of expectations or doesn’t know how to drive.

Sure, the RC F’s handling and steering doesn’t feel as sharp and direct as its competitor the F82 and G82-gen M4 (the current-production RC F has been around since 2015, now covering two entire generations of the M4), but it still handles quite well. I’d even say it gets through corners just as quickly, albeit with a bit more comfort. The M4’s twin-turbo inline-6 is a torquey, high-revving monster, but so is the RC F’s V8. They make around the same power, though the F lets out a much more bass-filled roar from its quad exhaust pipes while doing so.

I haven’t driven the IS F’s competition, the E90 BMW M3, but I can confidently affirm that the IS F feels quite purpose-built for performance with its surprisingly solid ride, sharp steering, and near-motorsport-level brakes. It’s a shame you don’t see more of them on the road, however those who own them seem to really be huge fans and hang onto them for a long time. That was demonstrated well at this little car show I attended a few weeks back. Plus, Lexus only sold 5,118 examples in the U.S. during its seven-year run.

It’d be epic fun to someday do a Car Bibles used sports sedan comparison between the two. I think my SoCal colleague Chris Rosales and I have to get to work on that, but for now, enjoy our video comparison between the Lexus IS F and the Lexus IS 500.

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