One lucky enthusiast won it by beating 14 others around a racetrack.
Lexus is doing something awesome with the first 2022 IS 500 F Sport Performance sedans. It's holding a contest among 14 enthusiasts to see who gets a free copy of the V8 sports car first. It's part of a marketing campaign, obviously, but we'll accept it because some car lover is getting a free car via a racing contest.
License to Thrill follows the enthusiasts at APEX Motor Club in Arizona where they were trained by Lexus race drivers Townsend Bell, Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz. Each driver then got a shot at posting a hot lap time, before they were winnowed down in a few rounds.
The enthusiasts came from wildly different backgrounds and with wildly different experience levels. We get introduced to them at the beginning of the short doc. Some have never been on a track before and others have been enthusiasts since they were little. One guy is in currently the auto industry and another has been working in motorsports for a decade.
For an inexperienced driver, the IS 500's 5.0-liter V8, 472 horsepower, 395 lb-ft of torque and a 0-60 mph time of just 4.5 seconds would be a little much to handle. But these car fans do surprisingly well with proper teachers.
The kicker here is that the contestants thought that the top five would get a chance to buy some of the first examples of the IS F Sport Performance, but no one knew the winner would get to take one home, free of charge. We get to see the joy in the winning driver's face as they're told the news.
"Auto enthusiasts asked us to create a V8 version of the IS sports sedan, and Lexus answered their call with the first-ever IS 500 F Sport Performance," said Vinay Shahani, Lexus vice president of marketing. "We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate our passionate enthusiasts than creating a race for the chance to own it before anyone else."