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Steane Klose | Oct 14, 2008

Lexus has announced Australian pricing for its M3 challenger, the IS F. It might have M3 performance potential, but the bean-counters at Lexus have sharpened their pencils and are bringing it to town for a recommended retail price of $129,000*.

The LS F is the first dedicated performance model seen from the Toyota offshoot. It features a compact five-litre V8 engine developing over 311kW and 505Nm of torque. Drive to the rear wheels is via an eight-speed Sports Direct Shift (SPDS) gearbox, offering up-shifts in just 0.1 second. Performance is prodigious, with the 0-100km/h dash taking just 4.9 seconds. An electronic limiter reigns the IS F in early, allowing it a top speed of 270km/h.

"The IS F will bring a strongly competitive force to the performance sedan market," Lexus chief executive John Roca said.

"Almost 20 years ago we arrived in the luxury market and raised the bar in terms of build quality, specification and value. In 2008 we have targeted our performance car rivals," he said.

According to Lexus, the sharp pricing (compared to the competition), represents an aggressive and determined bid to take charge of the highly competitive sports luxury market. The move is reminiscent of the approach Lexus took when first introducing the LS400 back in 1990.

"Lexus is extremely excited about the arrival of the IS F and the new clientele it will bring. Furthermore, Lexus now has a hero car that will stimulate sales of other IS models," Mr Roca said.

Lexus will be relying on the IS F to establish the 'F' brand in Australia, a process that it hopes will build credibility beyond its core 'luxury' market.

The IS F is due to arrive in dealerships late October this year and will come fully equipped - the only option available is to delete the moonroof.

*All recommended retail prices quoted exclude dealer delivery, government and statutory charges and optional extras, but include GST and LCT.

Thanks for the tip Stevo!

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