2003 Lexus IS300
The signature “chronograph” instrument cluster of the IS300 is as distinctive as the car itself: it’s not quite like anything else on the road. Bringing the uniquely Japanese conception of the sport sedan stateside, the IS300 heralds the desire of Lexus to inject some excitement into its highly competent but sedate lineup. The IS300 features an extremely stiff chassis comprised of high-strength steel, giving the IS the structural rigidity necessary for precise handling. Underhood, Lexus turned to the battle-tested 2JZ inline six-cylinder, pulled from the much larger GS300. Providing ample torque, the motor has no trouble moving deftly pushing the IS300 forward. The engine is related to the twin-turbo unit in the Mk. IV Supra, and being heavily overbuilt the motor is perfectly amenable to huge power gains with a few tweaks. Combined with the classic proportions and crisp sheetmetal, the IS300 is a shot across the bow of traditional luxury sport sedans, and a pleasure to drive.