IF YOU’RE AFTER rear-wheel drive, V8 fun in a four-door sedan package that can also carry the family, you’re left with few options when buying new. Yes, the Chrysler 300 SRT Core still offers American Hemi muscle, however, if you look outside the box to the used market, the Lexus IS F is a prime piece of Japanese wagyu.
The IS F is somewhat of a forgotten hero, one whose brief was to take on the mighty Germans when it was released in 2007. With the Yamaha-developed, naturally aspirated 2UR-GSE V8 sending 311kW and 505Nm to the rear wheels, it has the meat-and-two-veg ratio in its favour. Using an eight-speed auto, it can land you in licence-losing territory in about 5.0sec, while also being handy through some bends.
In terms of tonal talent the IS F is hard to beat, but the hulking Hemi notches the win. It sounds mega. And it matches the ‘music-video’ vibe of the exterior. Some will love that fact, others won’t. Conversely, it takes a keen spotter to notice exactly what the IS F is – sans unique, doublestacked quad exhaust (functional) and bulging guards, of course.
The 300 SRT Core is about as subtle as a 350kW/637Nm hit to the face. At almost two tonnes it’s never going to win a handling Olympics, but the pure straight-line grunt for the cash is hard to ignore.
While the American charms you into wanting it, the added dynamic talent and ‘what’s that’ nature of the Japanese contender pulls rank here at MOTOR. The Lexus IS F certainly shouldn’t be forgotten.
U4 modern classic tempters we found on tradeuniquecars.com.au
2008 MERC C 63 AMG 6.2L V8, 336kW/600Nm, 63,700km, Melbourne, VIC
Big V8 with plenty of grunt paired with an addictive sound. Rear likes to slide.
2007 FPV GT 40TH ANN. 5.4L V8, 290kW/520Nm, 13,000km, Castle Hill, NSW
Celebrated 40 years of GT, launched R-Spec handling package, only 200 built.
2013 BMW M5 4.4L V8, 412kW/680Nm, 10,500km, Melbourne, VIC
Twin-turbo, rear-drive sedan. Hard to tame, but brilliant when you do.
2016 HSV CLUBSPORT R8 6.2L V8, 410kW/691Nm, 14,500km, Bittern, VIC out on a supercharged bang. One of the greats.