The Lexus IS 500 M3-Fighter Can't Even Beat A Kia Stinger In A Drag Race

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If you want to play with the big dogs, this can't happen on video.

Manufacturers publish specs for performance cars so that buyers can debate and brag about them. Many specs are accurate, others fall below expectations but when an OEM puts forth entire performance lines, they want to make an impression on and off track. It's hard to believe the Lexus F-Sport cars have been around for nearly 15 years, but still have yet to make the same "M-pact" on the market. Yet here we are, the Lexus IS500 Performance V8-powered M3-fighter is really struggling in a drag race against a Korean sports sedan with over 100 less horsepower.

We'll dive into the gap in pricing later but first, let's take a look at the "gap" the Stinger GT2 can put on performance cars like the svelt IS500 F-Sport Performance despite its 472-hp 5.0-liter V8 under the hood.


Back in 2008, the Lexus IS-F was touted as being the sword to dethrone the BMW M3 king of sports sedans. Alas, it was slower, had an annoying (for the day) eight-speed trans, and was within a few grand of the E92 BMW M3 V8 sedan. Fast forward and Lexus is still at it, albeit in a more stylish design package than the "Beluga nose" of yesteryear but now we see it compared to a 2022 Kia Stinger GT2. This Korean-made sedan features a 368-hp 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 with AWD meaning there could be a replacement for displacement and consistent traction for the quarter mile or 0-60 mph times too.

But as YouTuber SamCarLegion demonstrated in his own car, the $62,425 Lexus IS500 just got embarrassed by a $51,760 car.

So where does this leave a car like the pricey Lexus IS500 F-Sport Performance? Well, not worthy competition for the mighty M3 as it's being benchmarked here against a lesser sedan and losing. From a roll, the Lexus slowly walks away but that would be too close for us and clearly the host who seems salty that his own car is being exposed here.

Unfortunately, the Kia Stinger was never branded or advertised well and it appears that it will no longer be produced. This means either this capable AWD and RWD sedan becomes more desirable on the used market for enthusiasts or becomes a white elephant like the Pontiac G8 or Chevy SS.

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