Auto enthusiasts take to the track for the ultimate bragging rights: early access to own the first-ever and advanced Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance

This fall, Lexus is bringing to market the vehicle that auto enthusiasts asked for, the first-ever IS 500 F SPORT Performance, with a 472-horsepower, naturally aspirated V8 engine.

Earlier this year, Lexus launched its reimagined MY’21 IS sports sedan, proving the richest experiences come to those who go “all in” with their obsessions.

It’s the most powerful IS ever and the ultimate expression of going all in. A new marketing campaign for the IS 500 launches today, featuring the “License to Thrill” documentary.

“License to Thrill” follows 14 auto enthusiasts as their driving skills were put to the test for a chance to be the first five people in the country to own the IS 500 F SPORT Performance. Lexus invited the 14 hopefuls with varying amounts of driving experience to APEX Motor Club in Arizona. First, they got pro tips from Lexus IMSA Drivers Townsend Bell, Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz.

Then, each driver had a shot at posting the best lap time in the IS 500, pushing their own limits to gain the slightest edge. The film reveals who celebrates at the podium, who is among the first to own the IS 500 and who receives the surprise of a lifetime – an IS 500 free of charge.

“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.”

IS 500 F SPORT Performance

In addition to “License to Thrill,” the IS 500 marketing campaign includes digital and print ads in auto enthusiast and lifestyle outlets. A variety of media partnerships will provide entertainment that appeals to the competitive spirit, including:

  • MotorTrend – In “V8 Throwdown,” professional driver JR Hildebrand will take viewers on an exhilarating ride through the history of the V8 — stopping at iconic places and meeting legends in the world of automotive. And of course, he’ll be behind the wheel of the IS 500.
  • GARAGISME – To celebrate the IS 500 F SPORT Performance, GARAGISME will create a special editorial publication that embodies Lexus’ unique perspective on automotive performance, design and prestige within its eighth edition.
  • 100 Thieves – A custom Lexus Content House episode will feature the IS 500 in a high-stakes competition.

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