This is the high-performance import sedan for those who march to the beat of a different drummer. It's decidedly different from the longtime category leader, the BMW M3, from the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, or even the Cadillac CTS-V. Like those three sedans, though, it's got one helluva V-8 engine stuffed under its hood, and it's mated to a state-of-the-art eight-speed automatic gearbox. The IS-F feels a lot smaller and more intimate than the other cars, which will be good for some people and off-putting for others. It's a bit more frenetic than its competitors, too, and perhaps falls more on the sport/performance side of things than the luxury side. Whereas the Cadillac and the Mercedes split luxury and sport equally, I'd venture. If you never thought Lexus could make a truly hard-edged sport sedan, you ought to drive this car; it likely will surprise you.
Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor