The time has come to bid farewell to the Management Fleet Lexus IS 350 F-Sport.[Not a valid template]
|Date acquired:||June 2014|
|Kilometres this month:||958|
|Costs this month:||$0|
|L/100km this month:||11.4|
The last few months, topics of conversation in the crankandpiston Oval Office have included (with surprising regularity) the Management Fleet Lexus IS 350 F-Sport, with no small amount of rabbiting from James and Abdulla concerning the looks, comfort, practicality and – most importantly – dynamics of said Japanese premium cruiser.
Unlike m’learned colleagues though, my ‘visage punching’ and ninja skills require a little polish, my time with the Intelligent Sport consequently taking place only at the very end of our loan. Just time enough to get comfortable with the mid-sized model, curse the swines I work with for keeping it from me for so long, and find out what they had been banging on about just before the plastic wrapped key fob is handed back.
Standing more than six-foot tall meant I wasn’t as enamoured by the cabin as either Davison or AJ, the ‘driver focused’ confines angling a little too close to claustrophobic for my liking. Mounting the seat lower would also have been a jolly good thing to do, since the low slung nature of the windscreen, the sloping roofline, and that low stance are slightly offset when you’re sitting – through my eyes anyway – in a booster seat.
It’s a small niggle on an otherwise very impressive machine, however. The drive mode rotary dial received a fair few tweaks to Sport/Sport+ during my custodianship, allowing me to not only feel some very impressive balance through the tighter turns but also to feel how 312bhp from that 3.5-litre V6 felt being pounded (gently) through those rear wheels. Getting some of that oomph courtesy of engine noise ricocheting about the cabin would have been nice, but said noise reduction did at least make for easy long haul journeys from one photoshoot or another. And given the premium and well-built nature of the IS 350 on which this F-Sport is built, it does stand to reason.
I may have turned up slightly later than is fashionable to this particular soiree, but as that hackneyed expression goes, ‘better late than never’. Of course, when faced with my colleagues’ ninja-esque stealth and/or ability to punch really quite hard, later when dealing with a 312bhp, rear-wheel drive sports saloon doesn’t always hack 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)|