Lexus unveiled a one-off example today of its IS 300 luxury sport sedan powered by a 4.3-liter V8 engine from a Lexus GS 430. Seeking to demonstrate the potential of the IS 300, Lexus commissioned Rod Millen Special Vehicles (RMSV) to build the car. The resulting 'IS 430' was completed just one week before its 2003 SEMA debut at Millen's shops in Huntington Beach, Calif.
The concept direction from Lexus required that handling be matched to the high-powered V8 while maintaining reasonable ride comfort and noise levels. TEIN springs and 16-way electronically adjustable shock absorbers work with the original IS 300 front suspension in addition to selected GS 430 rear suspension components, which help ensure durability against the higher torque of the 4.3-liter V8. Large, sticky Michelin Sport Cup tires on 18-inch Speed Star SSR alloy wheels put the power to the ground. A similar approach was taken with the cooling system and brakes. A GS 430 radiator was fitted to provide ample cooling for the high-output engine. Large Brembo brakes with vented, cross-drilled rotors and four-piston aluminium calipers are there to arrest the newfound acceleration and speed of the IS 430.
RMSV's engineering team met the challenge with expertise developed through years of successful racing and building special vehicles for military and automotive clients. They focused on designing the electronics interface while simultaneously working through the mechanical conversion and enhancements. Numerous parts were specifically fabricated for the IS 430 including stainless steel exhaust headers and dual exhaust system, transmission adaptor, engine and transmission mounts, air intake system, wire harnesses and fluid connectors.
Company press release, last updated before 12 / 01 / 2004
I have been yearning for this car to be made ever since it's conception. My 2003 IS300 is wonderful and perfected in every way, but has always lacked the horses I desired. This car would challenge so many other out there(mercedez, BMW, Jag) and I think would put Lexus on top. Personally, as soon as they announce a release date...it's mine!
Want to increase your stature, Lexus? You need this car!!
If Lexus really wants to make the European manufacturers stand up and take notice and ditch the perception that their cars are bland, they need special models in their range that can hold their own against the vehicles from the revered tuning arms of BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Jaguar. The IS430 is a great place to start. Audi offers a V8 in their entry-level executive vehicle (the S4) and Mercedes once did (the W202 AMG C43). I would like to see an IS430 that looks visually almost identical to the IS200/300. If the Europeans retaliated, Lexus could up the ante by doing what TTE did and put a supercharger on the 3UZ-FE V8. From this beginning, Lexus could then move on to high-performance versions of the SC, GS and LS ranges. I hope this is something that Toyota has been thinking about during the reshuffling in Japan and the introduction of the Lexus brand to the Japanese market. We know that Lexus are at the forefront of luxury and quality. Now they need to reach for the forefront of high-performance luxury.
Lexus should build more of these....
I am frankly disapointed when I read that this would only be a one off-show car example. Hopefully, this is just a lie on Lexu' part to throw of it's rivals eagle eyes. But would be a shame if Lexus didn't consider this for a production because it'll give a Mercedes AMG C-CLass , Audi A4T, Jaguar X-Type R or BMW E360 a run for their money and stakes ! Just imagining these 4 slugging it out for the best 'Sports/Racing excutive ' in the world , makes me drool already !