WHILE RUMOURS PERSIST of an 'Evolution' version of Lexus' barn-storming IS F, the Australian arm of the Japanese luxury marque has today announced the addition of a mechanical LSD to the V8 sports sedan.
Revealed internationally only last week, the upgraded Torsen LSD-equipped Lexus IS F brings a significant performance improvement, including a two-second improvement in lap times around Japan's Fuji Speedway.
Superseding the previous Brake LSD function, the compact Torsen Limited-Slip Differential redistributes torque lost when a wheel loses traction during cornering, without limiting engine output.
Along with the Torsen LSD, Lexus has introduced new differential oil that suppresses the 'stick-slip' phenomenon, which the Japanese carmaker claims results in smoother, quieter operation.
The Torsen LSD is the main drawcard to the updated IS F, but Lexus has also included the latest 2009 model navigation, bringing improved route guidance, functions and map view.
The 14-speaker Mark Levinson audio system now features iPod connectivity, with the new software allowing for track selection via the touch-screen interface.
Foldable rear head restraints have been added, and the steering wheel and instrument cluster have undergone minor styling updates, including new colour trim to the bottom of the steering wheel and a new 'overcast' stitching pattern.
The centre stack features updated audio switches and a new fascia around the navigation and air conditioning units.
Power remains the same, the IS F developing 311kW through its 5.0 litre V8 engine, mated to a eight-speed SPDS (Sports Direct-Shift) transmission.
Lexus Chief Executive John Roca said that IS F has been a runaway success since its launch almost 12 months ago.
"IS F has continued to outsell its allocation month on month, with the upgrades ensuring its sustained popularity", Mr Roca said.
"The adoption of a mechanical LSD will deliver a greater drive experience on the road and on the circuit.