2009 Lexus IS F
Previously, Lexus was content taking on the mainstream luxury offerings of the world’s foremost manufacturers, quite successfully carving out a nice for nice, comfortable, and reliable luxury cars of the highest order. However, Lexus has set its sights directly on those companies’ performance divisions with the launch of the “F” sub-brand, and the IS F leads the charge with a potent 5-liter V8 and aggressive styling. Look at the quad vertically stacked exhaust pipes, for example, or the wide fender flares. The IS F is not taking its mission lightly, and by and large it’s a very successful (and very quick) first try. Honed on some of the world’s most difficult road courses like Nürburgring, the IS F can hang in a tight corner with the best sport sedans in the world, and accelerates out of turns with a ferocious baritone howl from the 416-horsepower engine. While only equipped with an automatic, that transmission comes with a total of eight forward ratios that help the IS F claw to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. Few cars can match the IS F’s combination of ferocious performance, luxurious appointments, and impeccable build quality.