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New from Lexus in 2011 is an IS350 model with an upgraded F-Sport Package featuring more aggressive exterior styling, more sporty cues inside, and more aggressive driving capability under the skin. For those potential IS350 buyers this new model fits smartly between the standard IS350 and the high-performance IS-F.
More aggressive styling is seen up front with an F-Sport front lip spoiler, and unique F-Sport black zigzag upper and lower lattice grille inserts. From the side is a special F-Sport badge located on each front fender. Adding to more aggressive handling capability are wheel-wells stuffed with 18X8in. front, and 18X9in. rear, Dark Graphite alloy wheels shod with Dunlop 225/40R18in. front, and 255/40R18in. rear, SP high-performance tires that enhance grip and traction. Rounding out the exterior upgrades is a rear decklid spoiler increasing downforce and handling performance. New this year are standard front HID headlamps with LED daytime running lamps, and rear LED brake light clusters.
Utilizing the more aggressive body and tire enhancements is an F-Sport tuned double wishbone suspension up front, and multi-link setup in the rear. The gas-filled shocks are re-valved, the coil springs are now higher rate, and the front and rear stabilizer bars are thicker.
This new suspension tuning gave me faster reaction and more precision to my steering inputs. The electronic power-assisted, rack & pinion steering system was sharp as a tack easily guiding me through tough corners and rock solid at high speeds on the open road. While the ride was stiffer it was never harsh, even when traveling over poorly paved road surfaces in Los Angeles. The new 2011 IS350 F-Sport gets to 60mph from a standstill in just 5.4sec. and can top out at 150mph utilizing the sport tuned suspension and more aggressive tires and wheels.
The interior cabin gets several sporty cues and custom front bucket seats. You’ll notice the aluminum scuff plates with Lexus lettering when you open each front door and the aluminum-faced foot pedals in the footwells. You place your hands around a perforated, leather with baseball stitching, custom 3-spoke steering wheel with an F-Sport medallion inserted into the bottom. The special 10-way power adjustable, heated, leather-trimmed front bucket seats with microfibers inserts are cut deep at the sides, all the up to your shoulders, keeping you firmly in place during your spirited driving times. You’ll also notice the gray metallic trim on the center console, above the glove box and on each of the door switch-plates. All of the leather-trimmed pieces inside feature white contrasting stitching.
Standard factory equipment, along with the F-Sport package that costs $2,440.00, is the potent, high-revving 306hp/277lb.ft. of torque, 3.5 liter DOHC, all-aluminum V6 engine with VVTi and Direct-To-Cylinder precise fuel injection. The smooth shifting 6-speed automatic transmission with Intelligence and steering column mounting aluminum paddle shifters gives you quicker acceleration from the IS350 F-Sport when the time and place is right, and you quickly and safely stop with 4-wheel, power-assisted disc brakes, 13.15 spiral vented discs up front clamped with four-piston calipers, and 12.2in vented discs clamped with dual-piston calipers in the rear. They are enhanced with standard ABS, EBD and BA. The standard stability control and traction control electronics can be turned off to let the rear slide out and straighten out steep curving roads.
Standard luxury and convenience features inside include Smart Access with Push Button Start/Stop button, power tilt/slide moonroof, electroluminescent gauge cluster with trip computer, automatic dual-zone climate control, cruise-control, variable-speed wipers/washers, heated power-remote, outside mirrors with integrated turn signal and puddle lamps, self-dimming reaview mirror, Lexus Premium audio system with 194-watts, 10-high-power amplifiers and 13-speakers, AM/FM/6-CD changer, automatic sound levelizer, Bluetooth technology, USB audio plug, XM satellite radio, one-touch up/down power windows, power door locks, dual map lamps, dual lighted vanity mirrors, grab handles above each door, trunk pass-through, pull down rear center armrest with pop-out dual cupholders and storage, a rear bench seat with leather trim and microfiber inserts to keep your backseat passengers in place during your spirited driving times, air-vents out the rear of the center console to more efficiently send cool or warm air into the rear seat section, fold out front door pockets, map pockets behind each front seat, a center console with dual cupholders featuring a deep storage bin with padded armrest, ash tray, cigar lighter, and thick cut-pile carpeting with floor mats.
My 2011 Lexus IS350 F-Sport came equipped with the Lexus Navigation system with backup camera, Lexus Enform, with Destination assist and eDestination, Lexus Insider, voice command, XM NavTraffic, XM NavWeather, and XM Sports and Stocks, a cargo net and trunk mat.
Standard safety features include advanced front airbags (twin-chamber for front passenger), driver and front passenger knee airbags, front seat mounted side impact airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, 3-point safety belts for all 5-seats with front/rear outboard pretensioners/load limiters, child restraint seat tether anchor brackets, safety connect with automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle location, front/rear crumple zones, steel beams in each door and adjustable seatbelt anchors and head restraints.
Priced at $41,010.00 for the IS350 with the F-Sport Package, Lexus has given their IS350 consumers something more to ponder and think about when shopping for a new Lexus IS.
There is plenty of power from the standard high-revving V6 engine, but it can now be infused with more high-performance handling capability, more aggressive styling, and more interior sporty cues to keep any enthusiast happy at the wheel of the new 2011 Lexus IS350 F-Sport.
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