Our man Davison explains why the Management Fleet Lexus IS 350 F-Sport is unlike any other long term car he’s driven before…[Not a valid template]
|Date acquired:||June 2014|
|Kilometres this month:||1071|
|Costs this month:||$0|
|L/100km this month:||14.3|
The Lexus IS 350 F-Sport has been a bit of an eye-opener at crankandpiston..com. Long term loans by their very nature tend to be used, abused and utilised for everything, from the daily commute to lugging around heavy digital gear. It’s all just a day in the life of The Management Fleet.
Over the weeks and months, you build up a picture of what it’s like to live with specific models, a process that’s as close to actual ownership as we can get during our limited custodianship of said vehicles.
But it’s rare to have a car on fleet that fulfils these criteria with a shrug of the shoulders, that goes about its daily business with nary a fret or care. A car that has not only luxury pretensions – courtesy of lovely build quality and luxurious red leather upholstery – yet encourages you to take a spirited drive, simply ‘because’.
The Lexus has personality, and a character that changes when you’re pushing it hard. On the daily commute, the eight-speed gearbox can happily be left in automatic with the electronic driver aids doing their stuff. However, this docile nature during A-to-B sojourns can change to that of a feisty animal when you are in the mood for dancing.
Spin that drive mode rotary dial clockwise, hold the traction control button down for five seconds, and you have a seriously fun machine that’s itching to play, which is truly remarkable. The only compromise that detracts from the experience is the muted engine note – bred for silence – which is a bit of an aural let down, because you know that engine is an absolute screamer.
The IS 350 is a ‘luxury’ car, carrying with it the extra weight of heated and cooled seats and sound deadening. It’s not selling itself as an out-and-out sportscar, yet delivers an extremely rewarding drive. The engine does feel restrained by exhaust silencers and other accoutrements expected in the segment, but point it towards some corners and attack, and its duel purpose is evident. The Lexus is a complete hoot, which means more than just a badge.
And now that bastard Abdulla has it…
|Lexus||IS 350 F SPort Platinum|
|Engine:||V6 / 3456cc|
|Power:||312hp @ 6400rpm|
|Torque:||277lb ft @ 4800rpm|
|Transmission:||Eight-Speed Sport Direct Shift / rear wheel drive|
|Front suspension:||Independent Double Wishbones with high-mount upper arms, coil springs, self-adjusting two-mode variable dampers, stabiliser bar|
|Rear suspension:||Independent multilink, coil springs, self-adjusting two-mode variable dampers, stabilizer bar|
|Brakes:||13.2-inch ventilated discs with four-piston fixed calipers (front) and 12.2-inch ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers (rear)|
|Wheels:||18 x 8 (front) and 18 x 8.5 rear|
|Tyres:||225/40R18 (88Y) Front / 255/35R18 (90Y) Rear|
|Price:||AED 230,000 (US$63,500)|