What does the F stand for? It's a question we were asked a lot during our year with the Lexus IS-F, which has F badges scattered liberally over the exterior and throughout the interior. Their quantity is perhaps not surprising, as F is what designates this as a special model, one that is quite different - and a lot more expensive - than the IS250/350 sedan on which it's based. You wouldn't want people confusing the two.
Other brands have used letters - such as R, S, M, V, and AMG - to identify their high-performance variants, but Lexus chose the letter F. The official rationale is somewhat convoluted: "Internally within our corporation, the F designation has signified specially designed vehicles, high-output powertrains, and development processes outside the norm," says Toyota PR man Craig Taguchi, adding that the Lexus project was internally known as Circle F and the original LS400 was called F1, for Flagship One.
In the case of the IS-F, it could also stand for Finally. After all, it took nearly two decades from the launch of Toyota's luxury division before Lexus saw fit to introduce a high-performance model. But never mind its official origins. After we settled in for a yearlong stint with the IS-F, we usually gave the obvious answer: F is for Fast.... Read full article