M3 will likely still be quicker, but that V8 will probably win the soundtrack contest.
The 2021 Lexus IS arrived a bit earlier this year sporting taut new lines, suspension tweaks that Lexus says have improved the handling, and either four-cylinder or V6 engine options. However, a hot IS F has been missing from the range for quite some time. The last IS F was a legitimate competitor for the BMW M3 sedan but now, there appears to be some hope that it'll be making a comeback.
As Japanese magazine Best Car reports, a new IS F is expected to make an appearance in November this year. Power is said to come from a 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine.
This V8 already does duty in the RC F coupe where it produces 472 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque, although Best Car quotes a slightly higher output for the upcoming IS F of 474 hp. That's around 58 hp up on the last IS F although it falls short of the 510 hp expected to be produced by the upcoming, all-new M3 in Competition spec.
With turbocharging, the M3 should easily have a superior torque output to the Lexus. Then again, we don't mind since Lexus' V8 sounds so good. Interestingly, Lexus recently trademarked the IS 500 name in North America, indicating that a V8-powered IS is on the way and will slot in below the IS F.
Whether there is space in the IS lineup for another V8 below the IS F remains to be seen, but a derivative like this could be the perfect foil for the BMW M340i and the Mercedes-AMG C43.
Currently, the most powerful IS is the V6-powered IS 350 with 311 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. It's quick enough for most, but simply can't compete with its top German rivals. Whatever happens, it's clear that the current IS range could get one, if not two, high-performance offerings in the near future.