The 2009 Lexus IS F high performance luxury sport sedan: racetrack-proven, authentic performance that redefines driving excitement

(TORONTO) – Jaw-dropping power, acceleration and handling proven on some of the most challenging race courses the world has to offer, including Fuji Speedway – the track that inspired its unique badge. The 2009 Lexus ISF combines high performance, high technology and high style in a luxury sport sedan that delivers a uniquely Lexus interpretation of driving excitement and authentic performance.

“The ISF is the next generation high output thrill ride that serious drivers across Canada were waiting for,” said Tony Wearing, Managing Director, Lexus in Canada. “With the ISF, we have created a new breed of performance machine – the product of an entirely new design and engineering process at Lexus. It’s already proven itself worthy of its unique marque – the ‘F’ series.

Built upon the very solid foundation of the Lexus ISseries of luxury sport sedans, the ISF was extensively tested on tracks around the world. In addition to Fuji Speedway, the ISF proved itself on tracks including Germany’s legendary Nurburgring Nordschleife, Circuit Paul Richard in France, Circuit Zolder in Belgium and California’s Laguna Seca Raceway.

“Over the past two decades, Lexus has firmly established itself as a luxury leader. Along the way, our vision of contemporary luxury and L-finesse design has redefined luxury motoring,” Mr. Wearing continued. “When we launched the ISF earlier this year, this impressive beast and the new F series marque it wears expanded the Lexus brand’s scope by offering our guests a uniquely Lexus interpretation of driving excitement and authentic performance. That same thrill is back again, for the 2009 model year. The pursuit of perfection has never been so exhilarating.”

The 2009 Lexus ISF is now on sale across Canada. The suggested retail price starts at $66,450.


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The story of ‘F’

Why F? The sixth letter of the alphabet has been closely linked to the Lexus brand. The F originates from “Circle-F”, which was the internal code for what became the Lexus Division two decades ago. Since then, the F code has been used to identify special Lexus vehicle programs that fall outside the normal engineering and development process.

The ISF – the first in a planned series of high-performance machines under the F marque – applies a distinctive new high-performance layer to the Lexus brand’s L-finesse design language, adding capabilities that set apart this machine from standard Lexus models. This philosophical distinction is captured in the stylized ‘F’ logo, which draws its design from the shape of Turn One on the F brand’s home circuit, Fuji Speedway.

No compromise

The 2009 Lexus ISF high-performance luxury sport sedan is available in one fully-equipped model, featuring a specially-engineered and tuned 5.0litre V8, the world’s first eight-speed sport-direct shift automatic transmission, massive handling and braking capabilities, top-line safety systems and generous comfort and convenience features.

Those looking for an additional dose of luxury can opt for the Series 2 Edition, which adds a high-performance Mark Levinson audio system and a DVD-based navigation system with integrated back-up camera.

Authentic, track-proven performance to thrill

The Lexus ISF was designed from the start to deliver authentic, thrilling performance – the kind that can only be proven on the world’s most challenging racetracks. Big performance requires enormous power, and the ISF sets a new standard for performance by delivering a new definition of “useable power”.

At the ISF’s heart is an exclusive 5.0-litre V8 – developed in partnership with Yamaha’s Formula 1 engine program – that delivers up to 416 horsepower and up to 371lb-ft of torque. The engine’s design is based upon the 4.6-litre V8 found in the current generation of LSseries flagship Lexus sedans, but for the ISF it has been specially engineered for higher power output, high-performance driving and durability.

The ISF’s unique V8 includes a dual air intake system, engine oil and transmission fluid coolers for high speed performance and a cylinder head scavenge oil pump that forces oil from the heads back into the pan to ensure a reliable oil supply even during cornering that exceeds forces of one g.

The ISF’s 5.0-litre engine is built around a die-cast aluminium cylinder block with steel liners. Ribs on the block’s outer wall create a highly rigid structure. The forged crankshaft features high-frequency hardening to the fillet area and a double torsion damper. Journals are polished to a mirror finish to minimize friction between the crankshaft and connecting rods. The rods are forged from a sintered iron alloy to ensure high-RPM durability, while pistons feature two-piece oil rings for low friction.

Innovative support systems

The ISF’s engine features many innovative support systems to make the most of its considerable power. Yamaha designed high-flow cylinder heads featuring integrated cam journals, hollow camshafts that serve as oil passages, and a lightweight, low inertia valve train featuring titanium intake valves. These features all contribute to the ISF’s high-RPM capability. In fact, the engine achieves peak horsepower at 6,600 RPM – just 200 RPM before redline. While the ISF is responsive in low-speed situations, this performance profile delivers a rush of power at higher engine speeds.

The ISF’s fuel injection system, D4-S, combines a direct-to-cylinder injection system with secondary port injectors. This extracts maximum energy from the fuel during high-performance driving conditions, while producing a precise burn to optimize power and efficiency under less strenuous circumstances. The result is maximum efficiency and reduced emissions.

One of the engine’s most remarkable features is its innovative breathing system. This dual-intake system uses a primary intake passage for low and medium engine speeds. Above 3,600 RPM, both the primary and secondary passages are opened, helping to boost high RPM power.

Also remarkable is the valve control technology developed exclusively for the ISF V8. This system features Variable Valve Timing with intelligence and an electrically controlled intake cam (VVT-iE), making it possible to expand the VVT operational range to lower engine speeds.

Beyond this, small touches make the V8 at the heart of the ISF a defining example of the engine-builder’s art. A specially developed cooling fan and motor improve efficiency and reduce noise. Front engine mounts are liquid filled while rubber heat insulators protect the rear mounts. The fuel tank interior features an offset high output fuel pump and a sub-tank to help prevent fuel starvation during extreme cornering. Finally, a unique stacked quad diffuser arrangement plays an important role in the ISF’s high performance exhaust system by reducing backpressure.

The world’s first eight-speed sport transmission delivers agility at any speed

The ISF’s impressive 5.0-litre V8 generates jaw-dropping power and deserves a drive train able to deliver it to the wheels at any speed. That’s why the ISF is fitted with the world’s first eight-speed Sport Direct-Shift automatic transmission.

Conventional wisdom argues that a good manual transmission is always faster and more fun than an automatic. Faster, because it directly transfers power without the typical power loss of a torque converter. More fun, because it responds exactly to the driver’s commands, with no delay.

The ISF’s transmission fires an arrow through the heart of conventional wisdom. An evolution of the eight-speed transmission Lexus introduced to the world in the LS460, the ISF’s eight-speed Sport Direct-Shift blends the performance characteristics of an automated manual-type transmission with the smoothness and refinement of a planetary-type automatic. But then it goes further.

For starters, the ISF’s Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission boasts the world’s fastest shift time for street legal production cars, at 0.1 second. Simply put, it’s faster – far faster – than even the best driver can shift stick.

The ISF’s transmission offers a full manual shift mode, giving the driver full control over ultra-quick manual shifts for performance driving through the full speed range, up to the 6,800 RPM redline. The driver may select gears one of two ways – via the centre console shifter, or via steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

The transmission features first gear torque multiplication for maximum off-the-line acceleration. It then employs clutch lockup in second through eighth gears to deliver a direct feel unachievable by conventional automatics. Meanwhile, the electronic throttle control delivers ultra-quick and precise throttle blips during downshifts, matching engine and gear speed to avoid sudden and unwanted engine braking. These downshifts, including throttle blip, occur in just 0.2 second - executing a perfect downshift with a consistency drivers cannot match with a conventional manual transmission.

Add it up, and the result is a track-worthy, ultra high performance transmission that works for, not against, the driver, by responding instantly to driver commands.

The ISF’s transmission may also be operated in full automatic mode, delivering smooth and quick, yet drama-free, shifting during those times when convenience is the priority.

The combination of 5.0-litre V8 and eight-speed transmission, both designed for performance driving, gives the ISF a 4.6-second 0-60 mph acceleration time.

Track-tested handling and control… and then some

The Lexus ISF features a specially calibrated version of the Lexus Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system, or VDIM, to help deliver superior handling dynamics and traction control. VDIM integration provides precise management for the progressive rate rack and pinion electric power steering, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), the Antilock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and engine torque (via the electronically controlled throttle system with intelligence, or ECTS-i).

The driver may alter the character of the VDIM system to better respond to driving conditions via a dashboard-mounted switch that enables three settings: Normal, Sport and Off.

Lexus engineers remapped the Electric Power Steering system for improved steering response and feel, while providing precise control and excellent straight-line control. The system not only adjusts its sensitivity based on the machine’s speed, it’s also lighter and less complex than traditional hydraulic-based steering systems.

Enormous stopping power

Stopping power is essential on a high performance machine, so the 2009 ISF is equipped with a brake system designed to give the driver stopping confidence even under extreme driving conditions. Lexus engineers worked with Brembo SPA of Italy to design heavy-duty brakes. At the front, the ISF mounts 14.2-inch ventilated and disc brakes that are gripped by rigid and powerful six-piston aluminum callipers. The rear is fitted with 13.6-inch ventilated and disc brakes, and two-piston callipers. High friction pads are standard.

Additional stopping power is provided via a 10-inch brake booster with a tie-rod structure that has been tuned to improve feel, effectiveness and firmness, while ducts in the front bumper, next to the fog lamps, stream cooling air to the brakes. The system is finished with the “LEXUS” name displayed on the callipers - a first for a Lexus production vehicle.

But in the end, any car’s “Stop” (and “Go”) is only as good as the tires upon which it rides. That’s why engineers sought tires with the handling and grip befitting a premium sports sedan, but with the control and ride quality expected of a Lexus. Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 and Bridgestone Potenza rubber were each developed specifically for the 270-plus kph racetrack capabilities of the ISF. At the front, 19x8J wheels are clad with 225/40R19 tires, while 19x9J wheels wrapped in 255/35R19 rubber carry the rear.

Sports car dynamics

The ISF is more than just a handsome beast: Based on the robust platform used for the Lexus IS250 and IS350 models, it has been engineered from the start to feature a high dynamic envelope.

The ISF’s suspension begins with the successful high-strength steel double-wishbone front and multi-link rear configurations found on other IS models, but enhanced with a multitude of track-proven modifications. The ISF rides an inch lower than standard IS models, lowering the centre of gravity and accelerating handling response.

Compared to other IS editions, engineers increased the spring and damper rates on the ISF. Multi-leaf linear control valves help improve damping force and rebound springs offer improved body control without degrading ride comfort. Engineers then equipped the ISF with larger-diameter stabilizer bars and redesigned the rear suspension control arms to optimize their geometry for the ISF’s 19” wheels.

Monotube shock absorbers feature a larger-diameter piston rod, suspension bushings have been specially tuned for better feel, and the sub-frame suspension mounts are stiffer to reduce sway and confer better control under extreme acceleration and braking. Special jounce stoppers added to front and rear suspension systems come into play early, to help reduce roll angle during cornering and reduce braking dive.

Active and passive safety systems

The 2009 Lexus ISF seats four adults, and incorporates many active and passive safety systems to help protect them. In addition to driver-selectable VDIM, VSC, TRAC and other active handling and control design decisions, the IS features a tire-pressure monitoring system and a generous suite of braking systems. These include power assisted, massive 14.2” front and 13.6” rear disc brakes fitted with drilled rotors, BREMBO high friction brake pads, and painted callipers sporting the Lexus logo. These are enhanced with the Lexus Antilock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) as standard equipment.

Inside the ISF, standard safety systems include eight airbags – driver and front passenger airbags and knee airbags, front seat mounted side airbags, and front and rear head/side curtain airbags. Three-point lap and shoulder seatbelts are fitted in all four passenger positions, and include adjustable “B” pillar shoulder belt anchors plus front and rear seatbelt pre-tensioners and force limiters. Younger passengers are protected with anchor points for child restraint seats and child protector rear door locks. And because safety is important even when the ISF is parked, all models are also equipped with an anti-theft system, an engine immobilizer and a first aid kit.


Buyers may personalize their 2009 Lexus ISF high performance luxury sport sedan on the Lexus of Canada web site ( or by visiting any Lexus Dealer across Canada.

Peace of mind

Buyers of any 2009 Lexus ISF high performance luxury sport sedan enjoy the peace of mind that comes with the industry-leading Lexus comprehensive warranty that covers the entire vehicle for four years/80,000 kilometres. Power train components are covered for six years/110,000 kilometres, major emission control components are covered for eight years/130,000 kilometres and corrosion perforation for six years with unlimited distance. Service adjustments - minor repairs not usually associated with the replacement of parts - are fully covered for one year/32,000 kilometres, while Lexus owners also enjoy the Tire Road Hazard Protection warranty and access to alternate transportation.

The four-year Lexus Roadside Assistance Program provides travel planning as well as the extra security and confidence of a dedicated toll-free telephone number and emergency service for towing - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The purchase of a new ISF also includes free membership in Club Lexus, an online convenience service that places important vehicle ownership information at the guest’s fingertips.

2009 Lexus ISF – features and specifications


Instrumentation: Multi-information display; Tachometer; Outside temperature gauge; Dual trip odometer; Compass; Digital clock

Three-spoke Leather-wrapped ISF steering wheel; Tilting + telescoping steering column; Steering wheel-mounted audio controls

Metallic shift knob

Dual-zone automatic climate control; Soft touch heater controls; Cabin air filter; Rear seat heater ducts

White and black Lexus ISF sport seats; Leather seat surfaces

Eight-way power adjustable and heated driver’s seat; Power lumbar support; Three-setting Lexus Driver Memory Seat System

Eight-way power adjustable and heated front passenger’s seat; Power lumbar support; Three-setting Lexus Passenger Memory Seat System

Rear seat fold-down centre armrest with pass-through

Power door locks; Lexus Smart Key System; Key lockout protection; Push button start

Power windows; Automatic up/down function for all windows; Side window defoggers; Tinted glass; High solar energy-absorbing window glass

Cruise control

Audio: Lexus premium audio system; AM/FM; In-dash six-disc CD changer with MP3/WMA capability; Input jack for portable music player; Automatic Sound Levelizer System; 13 speakers; Satellite-ready with roof-mounted fin antenna

Electro-chromatic rear view mirror; Dual illuminated vanity mirrors

Dual power remote heated and foldable exterior mirrors

Aluminized Fibreglass on resin trim

Accessory power outlet; Retained accessory power; Integrated garage door opener

Smart in-cabin storage: Centre console with armrest; Front centre console box; Front seat back pockets; Front and rear cup holders; Door map pockets

Illuminated entry with fadeout; Door courtesy lamps; Glove box lamp; Map lamps

Anti-theft system; Engine immobilizer

Assist grips; First-aid kit

Power moon roof

Variable intermittent wipers; Mist feature

Bi-Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps; Adaptive Front Lighting System; Auto Levelling Headlamp System; Headlamp washers; Fog lamps

19” polished forged lightweight aluminum wheels; Wheel locks; P225/40R19 (front) and P255/35R19 (rear) performance summer radials; Temporary spare tire

2009 Lexus ISF – Available upgrade packages

Series 2 Package

Includes: Mark Levinson 5.1 channel audio system with in-dash six-disc DVD changer, Bluetooth capability, and 14 speakers; DVD-based navigation system with backup camera and 7-inch liquid crystal display.

2009 Lexus ISF – Technical information

Engine: 5.0L V8

Horsepower: Up to 416 HP @ 6,600 RPM

Torque: Up to 371 lb-ft @ 5,200 RPM

Features: Dual overhead cams; 32 valves; Variable Valve Timing with intelligence and electrically-driven intake cam (VVT-iE); Dual Intake with two air intake ports and Air Intake Control System; Direct Ignition System; Electronic Throttle Control System with intelligence (ETCS-i); Direct Injection 4-Stroke gasoline engine superior version (D4-S); Dual Stacked Quad diffusers.

Emissions rating: Tier 2, Bin 5.

Variable Valve Timing with intelligence and electrically-driven intake cam (VVT-iE)

VVT-iE, unique to Lexus, provides the ideal air-fuel mixture for efficient combustion and optimum performance over a broad range of engine speeds. It increases torque at lower speeds and horsepower at higher speeds to improve engine performance and fuel efficiency. It also helps to reduce emissions. The Engine Control Module receives data from a variety of sensors and signals the actuator to adjust the camshaft to create perfect timing for engine speed and load at any given moment. VVT-iE as a specific VVT-i uses electric motors to control the timing of the intake valves. VVT-iE provides a faster and more precise timing adjustment even when the oil temperature is low or the engine is running at low speed.

Electronic Throttle Control System with intelligence (ETCS-i)

The principle behind ETCS-i – sometimes called “drive-by-wire” – is used on all modern racing cars. When the driver depresses the accelerator, the engine instantaneously receives an electronic signal demanding more power. By replacing the traditional, less-efficient cable link between pedal and engine, ETCS-i can provide better fuel efficiency, faster response and smoother acceleration. It also networks with the engine’s computer to co-ordinate with other control systems, as appropriate.

Dual Air Intake with Air Intake Control System

The dual air-intake system uses a primary intake passage for low and medium engine speeds, which reduces air intake noise at these speed ranges. At higher engine speeds, the Air Intake Control System opens both the primary and secondary passages to help boost high-RPM power. Both intake passages share a common high-efficiency, low-restriction air filter.

Direct Injection 4-Stroke engine Superior version (D4-S)

The D4-S fuel injection system integrates two types of fuel injection: The direct high-pressure fuel injection system provides a cooling effect in the cylinders and enables a high compression ratio to extract maximum energy from the fuel. Low-pressure port fuel injectors help produce a precise burn to optimize power and efficiency under light and medium-load conditions. The overall result is increased horsepower, more efficient fuel burn and fewer emissions.

Transmission: 8-speed automatic Sport Direct Shift

Features: Metal-plated paddle shifters.

Fuel efficiency: 13.1 L/100km city; 8.5 L/100km highway.

Sport Direct Shift

The new 8-speed automatic Sport Direct Shift transmission features close, tight gear ratios and a new torque-converter lock-up control for direct, crisp gear changes. It may be operated in a full automatic D-mode and a manual M-mode that delivers split second shifts for exceptionally quick acceleration.

In automatic D-mode the torque converter lock-up control is engaged throughout all gear changes to deliver exceptional launch power and quick acceleration without driver intervention.

In M-mode the ISF feels like a true manual. The torque converter is in constant lock-up in second through eighth gear for crisp one-tenth of a second up-shifts using the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. With precise shifts, the ISF delivers standing-start acceleration of 0-100 km/h in less than five seconds. Downshifts are accompanied by precise automated throttle blips that match engine RPM to the vehicle’s speed.


Seating capacity: 4 adults

Cargo capacity: 0.311m3 (11.0ft3)

Driver-controlled Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management

Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) is the most sophisticated handling and control system Lexus offers. VDIM uses information from computer-linked sensors to compare actual vehicle performance to driver commands. In this way, it’s able to anticipate potential vehicle stability problems such as a skid or slide. VDIM then makes subtle interventions through a combination of braking, throttle, and steering – in most cases, invisible to the driver – to maximize control.

Specially tuned for each vehicle on which it’s fitted, on the ISF the VDIM system features three modes – Normal, Sport and Off – which allows the driver to select driving and handling dynamics.

Normal VDIM: Maintains normal stability control (VSC) with, full throttle and traction control (TRAC) as well as Steering boost.

Sport VDIM: The control of the vehicle stability (VSC) and traction (TRAC) is moderated slightly with respect for the driver's skills. The control of the related systems like engine, automatic transmission and steering assist is also modified for higher performance driving.

VDIM Off: Eliminates TRAC and VSC for uninhibited performance. Maintains ABS, Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) for safe stopping.

Vehicle Stability Control

The Lexus Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system is an active safety system that automatically helps to control a vehicle when it starts to slide – for example, when trying to turn at too high a speed. VSC compares driver braking and steering commands to the vehicle’s actual performance then activates individual brakes as needed and adjusts the throttle setting to help maintain stability and keep the vehicle on course.

Traction Control

The Lexus Traction Control (TRAC) system helps the vehicle maintain traction when accelerating in slippery conditions. It also engages when the available grip differs from one side of the vehicle to the other, such as when two wheels are on a gravel or grass verge. When drive wheels begin to slip, TRAC automatically adjusts engine power to keep the wheels from losing traction.


Antilock Braking System

The Lexus Antilock Braking System (ABS) uses sensors to monitor speed, traction, vehicle load and the driver’s applied brake force. The ABS then controls brake applications to minimize wheel lock-up, reducing the chance of the vehicle skidding. The result is shorter stopping distances on wet, gravely, sandy or other surfaces where traction is questionable.

Brake Assist

The Lexus Brake Assist (BA) system is a system designed to assist the driver during emergency braking by supplementing the braking power applied if the driver has not pushed hard enough on the pedal in an emergency braking situation. It works in conjunction with ABS to minimize lock-up during emergency situations.

Electronic Brake Force Distribution

The Lexus Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) system minimizes stopping distances by maximizing the braking power applied to those wheels that have the best grip. This system also automatically adjusts the fore/aft brake balance according to vehicle load, and the right/left brake balance if brakes are applied during cornering.

High-Intensity Discharge Headlamps

Powered by a Xenon gas bulb, these projector-beam HID headlamps use less power, last significantly longer and provide considerably more illumination than halogen bulbs.

Adaptive Front Lighting System

The Lexus Adaptive Front Lighting System pivots the driver-side headlamp up to 15 degrees to the left and the passenger-side headlamp up to five degrees to the right to help illuminate the road through turns.

Auto Levelling Headlamp System

For safer night driving, the Lexus Auto Levelling Headlamp System adjusts the lights to a pre-set height. This allows for better road illumination without blinding oncoming traffic.


Every effort has been made to ensure the product specifications, equipment, and content on this site are accurate based on information available at time of publishing. In some cases, certain changes in standard equipment or options may occur, which may not be reflected online. Toyota Canada reserves the rights to make these changes without notice or obligation.