Import Tuner magazine along with Tein, are building a Lexus IS F for SEMA and for our Super Lap Battle Finals at Buttonwillow. Follow the build on our site.
Once the chassis was nice and stitch welded, custom Tein Comfort Sport monotube coilovers went in to replace the stock shocks and struts. With a complete R&D team in the U.S., Tein was able to revalve the Comfort Sports in-house, for more aggressive damping. A coilover based on this setup should be available for all IS Fs soon.
For wheels and tires, there was a huge dilemma. We knew that we wanted forged Volks but sizing was an issue. Since the IS F comes stock with 19s, we couldn’t rock anything less for SEMA. But for competition in the Street class , we needed 18s. The solution? Two different sets of wheels with two different sets of tires. Our IS F will have 19-inch RE30s (19x9 +38 offset front; 19x10 +38 offset rear) for show and 18-inch LE37Ts (18x9.5 +40 offset) for race.
For tires, we went with Yokohama Advan Sports (255/35-19 front; 275/35-19 rear) and sticky Advan Neovas (255/40-18).
When it came to aero for the Lexus, the first company that came to mind was Five Axis. Troy is sick with designs, and he built an IS F for SEMA last year so it was only natural. Unfortunately, with time and budget being a constraint, we were only able to manage a custom lip. The photo is just a prototype, the final piece will be dry carbon and will be available through Five Axis as a production piece.
Time once again being a factor, a custom turbo kit that would run competitively let alone properly (emphasis on the “run”) was out of the question. Liquid turbo (aka nitrous) was the simplest solution. Holley and NOS came through with a composite NOS bottle, bottle opener, drive-by-wire wet nitrous system, Ntimidator dual LED purge kit, nitrous bottle heater, P.O.D. system, and nitrous pressure gauges.
For the chassis stiffening bars, we turned to the Toyota experts at TOM’S. If you look closely at all the silver bars under the chassis, they are all TOM’S (upper performance rod, front suspension member brace, rear suspension member brace, rear body strengthening brace).
The stock seats on the IS F are heavy. A brand with luxury as one of its core values, it’s only natural that a Lexus seat has motors, thick padding and air bags—great for daily driving, bad on weight. To counter that, while adding some JDM appeal, we went two Bride seats for the front: BRIX II and its extra bolster for the driver, and XAX II for the passenger.