buying 2022 Lexus IS500 Prototype First Ride: Yep, It’s Got a V-8
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There’s a lot to like about the 2017 Acura MDX Hybrid, including its lithe handling and swift acceleration. However, its poor predicted reliability rating and frustrating infotainment controls pull it down near the bottom of our hybrid and electric SUV rankings. The 2017 Acura MDX Hybrid is ranked: #10 in 2017 Hybrid SUVs #52 in Used Hybrid SUVs under $30K Is the 2017 Acura MDX Hybrid a Good Used SUV? Despite its ranking, the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is a decent vehicle. With good acceleration and sporty handling, this Acura proves that a hybrid SUV can be fun to drive. It comes with plenty of standard features too.
Those of you waiting for sport sedan to return … keep waiting. And we don't mean that in a vague, open-ended sense. While Lexus has no official plans to bring back the eight-cylinder track-ready F version of , it is about to release something that's at least 90 percent there: .
It is basically with the old IS F's 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V-8 engine in place of the 3.5-liter V-6. Given how today's IS —whose lineup included a full F—the IS500 is kinda, sorta, a new IS F. Having just ridden in a prototype IS500, the capital-F feels are certainly there.
Chevy Corvette remained fastest-selling car in March, Toyota RAV4 Prime not far behind
The Corvette's inventory likely remains in short supply, and ditto for the RAV4 Prime.Still, according to new data from iSeeCars on Wednesday covering the month of March, a Corvette only stuck around at a dealership for 9.4 days on average. The average time to sell a vehicle sits at 47.4 days for all new vehicles, underscoring how quickly a Corvette in stock turns into a sale. While General Motors works to build the sports car as quickly as possible for eager fans, the second-place finisher is pretty surprising.
The Dirty Bits
Our time in the IS500's passenger seat was brief, and, in all honesty, merely confirmed the simplistic assertion that an IS350 F Sport with a V-8 behaves much like, well, an IS350 F Sport with a V-8. The cars look the same, have basically the same grip levels, and seem to brake with similar alacrity. And yet there is that eight-cylinder sound. For all this car's IS350 F Sport componentry, you'd be forgiven for forgetting you're in anything related to that humble six-cylinder sedan—that's how much extra shove you get from the V-8, how much more noise.
The IS500 we rode in was not exactly production-spec, so we'll note its key differences before elaborating on our lap riding shotgun. Racer Townsend Bell was behind the wheel of a demonstrator vehicle Lexus created for the IS500's splashy debut at endurance race in Florida. Wearing a zany neon-yellow-and-black vinyl wrap matching that of , as well as a carbon-fiber rear spoiler borrowed from coupe (which also is powered by the same 5.0-liter V-8), this IS500 wasn't exactly the low-key sport sedan customers will buy this fall. It also rode on 20-inch Rotiform wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot 4S tires; regular IS500s will have 19-inch forged aluminum wheels with Bridgestone Potenza summer rubber.
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Rolling stock, body wrap, and tall rear spoiler aside, this IS500 is otherwise said to be mechanically stock. The 5.0-liter V-8 under the extra domed hood makes the same 472 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque as the production model, and it bolts to the same eight-speed automatic transmission. The IS500 comes standard with the IS350 F Sport's Dynamic Handling package, which includes a limited-slip differential, extra drive modes (Sport+ and Custom), and firmer springs and adaptive dampers. Lexus wisely upsized the brakes front and rear, upping the rotor sizes to 14.0 inches up front and 12.7 inches at the rear; after all, the V-8 adds about 150 pounds to the IS350 F Sport's curb weight—mostly in the nose.
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As in other Lexus models with this V-8 engine (the old IS F included), the IS500 doesn't kick you in the chest with its acceleration. Having sampled the 311-hp IS350 F Sport ourselves on the same track's undulating curves just before our ride with Bell, we can say the more powerful V-8 launches harder. But this engine's a revver, not a twister, meaning it prefers to be wound to its generous redline for maximum power, keeping you pressed into your seat firmly while it spools out. We noticed that for much of our hot lap, the IS500 was in third gear, and it delivered plenty of power and wonderful sounds from low to high rpm.
Ford’s Electric Truck Is First F-150 With Independent Rear Suspension
The electric 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning fully ditches the full-size pickup’s internal combustion engine, leaving in its place a frunk—you know, a front trunk. The amazing frunk is perhaps the most obvious visual result of the F-150’s electric transformation, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wholescale changes that Ford had to incorporate underneath the bodywork. A change in the F-150's rear suspension was one of these monumental modifications necessitated by electrification.
The IS500's handling behavior seemed dead-on with the IS350 F Sport we drove beforehand, with gentle understeer nudging the nose slightly astray as the car was chucked into corners. Whereas the IS350 can only hope to see its cornering attitude tightened up some with a stomp of the go pedal, the IS500 can muscle the chassis into neutrality and beyond. The limited-slip rear differential deserves a lot of credit. We could feel it laying the V-8's power down, helping overcome the front tires' scrub and pitching the tail out for easy oversteer on demand.
It's been a while since this author drove an IS F, but from the passenger seat, the IS500's chassis behavior seemed less hardcore. There was more body roll, more tire squeal (the non-representative tires seemed just as overwhelmed as the correct Bridgestone rubber on the IS350 F Sports we drove), and generally gentler responses to both bumps in the tarmac and the track's curbing. Refined athleticism and everyday drivability seemed like the tuning goals, not track driving; from our too-short experience, it seemed clear that more tire, a stiffer suspension, and the like are all that separate this IS500 from the mechanically similar IS F of yore.
Tested: 2021 Lexus UX200 Nearly Pulls Off the Luxury Transformation
The UX200 is a cleverly upcycled Toyota, but its unrefined powertrain breaks the premium spell. Riding on the same platform as some of our least favorite Toyota products—such as the Prius hybrid and the C-HR SUV—the 2021 UX200 employs a thick layer of Lexus to hide its mainstream roots. Now in their third model year, the UX200 and its hybrid UX250h twin continue to serve as the entry points to the Lexus brand. Although many SUV buyers might be turned off by the UX's size—it's really more of a compact hatchback than a crossover—combining luxury trappings with wieldy dimensions isn't a bad idea.
But then it'd be an IS F. It is, instead, an IS500, the first member of Lexus's newly minted F Sport Performance tier. It, therefore, lives between the largely style-driven F Sport level and full-blown F efforts, such as the RC F and, well, that's it at the moment. Lexus recently pulled the plug on and it killed the IS F right around the middle of the 2010s. As our driver Townsend Bell mentioned, we could leave the track, drive a few hours, and be totally comfortable. He is right. The IS500 isn't an IS F, but we'll be damned if this Lexus isn't hugely appealing between its power, noise, and poise.
The next shoe to drop, besides our driving the IS500 ourselves, is price: Lexus representatives seemed giddy about it—and we think this hot sedan could come in at less than $60,000. This would make it a huge deal. No competitor offers a V-8 at this price point; Lexus, remember, is chasing the mid-grade Germans—the turbocharged, six-cylinder BMW M340is, Audi S4s, and Mercedes-AMG C43s of the world. And yet, the IS500's engine is on par with the entry-level Mercedes-AMG C63's 469-hp twin-turbo V-8. The similarly muscled 's turbo inline-six makes 473 hp, while the 's V-6 makes the same 472 hp. None of those can match the Lexus's uproarious, naturally aspirated V-8's engine sound, and each represents their respective manufacturers' top performance tier and sticker for north of $60,000.
2022 Honda Civic Hatchback Teased Shadily, Reveals Sleeker Form
Ahead of its global premiere, the all-new 2022 Honda Civic hatchback is being dangled in front of us. Honda released a teaser image of the five-door version of the 11th-generation Civic sedan, and the latest iteration of the popular compact hatchback will officially debut during a virtual concert event later this month. Based on theBased on the partially concealed side profile photo, in which the new Honda Civic hatchback is backlit by a sunset or sunrise, we can make out its more refined body. It now has a straight beltline that stretches from the rear quarter panel all the way into the nose, much like the sedan.
Lexus Revives the RC F Fuji Speedway Edition for 2022 .
The Lexus RC F is back for another model year, tempting buyers with its almost anachronistic, big naturally aspirated V-8 engine. Most of its competitors have switched to forced induction, which has both its pros and cons, but the RC F continues to keep things old-school. The engine sounds killer, and it’s wrapped in strikingThe headliner is the return of the limited-edition Fuji Speedway Edition, which debuted last year and was limited to 60 units. Well, apparently the model garnered enough interest for a redux, as another 50 units are going to be available for 2022.