It gives the car a more aggressive, lower-toned exhaust note.
The Lexus IS 500, one of the few V8-powered compact sedans you can buy in the world right now, has been given an awesome-sounding exhaust system by Tom's Racing. The company's specific part number for this is 5BA-USE30, but its nickname, "Tom's Barrel," sounds more appropriate.
In stock form, the 472-horsepower naturally-aspirated V8 on the IS 500 is relatively quiet. But in a test video uploaded by Tom's Racing, we can hear the Japanese luxury sports car get a deeper, more rumbly sound. After all, what's the point of driving one of the last naturally aspirated V8s in the world if you're not going to make the most of its soundtrack?
Mind you, it still isn't as aggressive sounding compared to many American-made V8s, but it is certainly on a lower pitch compared to the stock exhaust. Despite the enhancement in aural pleasure, the Tom's Barrel setup is compliant with Japan's stringent vehicle inspection standards.
The Tom's Racing exhaust is made of stainless steel. It consists of 60.5mm piping, with its oval cut four-piece tailpipe tips having a diameter of 108mm. Each tip is also decorated with a "burnt titanium" look.
The part isn't just limited to Japan, though, and is currently available stateside from Apexi. It can be ordered online for $3,295, pricier than other available Tom's Racing exhaust systems. As of this writing, only one set is left for sale.
Besides making the luxury sedan sound better, does it have performance benefits? Well, this was not indicated by Tom's but we would not hold our breath. This is a shame, considering that the IS 500 needs some aftermarket help, considering it was handily beaten by a far cheaper Kia Stinger back in 2022.
Regardless of whether it's a real "BMW M3 killer" or not, it has plenty of cool factors to it apart from its V8. It looks svelte from the outside, and it even has enough visual impact to be featured in the Marvel Parking Spot advert in 2021.