Jump to content

Sydney City Lexus 2014 Is Drive/ Track Day Sydney Motorsport Park

Recommended Posts

Sydney City Lexus 2014 Is Drive/ Track Day Sydney Motorsport Park


One can only begin to describe the Sydney City Lexus 2014 IS drive day as EPIC!!!

From LFA rides by The Man Alan Jones, (Sadly I wasn't lucky enough to get a ride. Although it must be noted Alan Jones is a very humble Lexus owner and self confessed addict to Lexus himself and it was great to have a chat.)

IS-F HOOOTT Laps, in the wet - pro driver - traction control OFF!! I can personally say with running commentary by the driver that this "ride" was an absolute heart racer!!

IS350 F-Sport, IS250 F-Sport, IS250 Luxury and IS300h all on hand to drive around the track and on the road at our leisure or at their limits!!


IS 250 F-Sport (track)

First up I was in the IS250 F-Sport, and whilst familiarising myself with a track I had never been around. My first Spirited drive of the new IS was impressive to say the least. After Two Laps I was just wanting MORE.

Second time round after I had a turn in the 300h (we will get to this in a moment). I was MUCH more comfortable with the track and decided to open it up with alot more confidence. The wet did not trouble the car at all. There were two new sections of track recently re surfaced. Around the back where the car would float across the track in the wet into a big stop.... this had the car feeling very very light and the stability control held it beautifully.

The second section was in a sweeping camber bend onto a back strait near the pits. The 250 surprisingly way more "spritely" the its pre decessor, on this section of track, I had the coach/ Instructor grabbing for the "oh no handle".... The car stepped out BEAUTIFULLY and was absolutely perfectly corrected by the stability control IN STYLE!!

Awesome fun and the wet enhanced the capabilities of the IS250's fun and spritely manner to have the driver smiling constantly.


IS 300h (track + public road)

So the ALL NEW IS300h on the track with hybrid set up and CVT..... Track - NO..... Public Road - YES. (if your into daily normal driving only)

The 300h with CVT on the track instantly felt odd. Not just because I haven't driven hybrids before because I have driven them all, and not because I personally don't like the CVT. But because when driving it, it constantly sounded like I was driving a 1980's ford Laser bubble hatchback!!
And to be overtaken by an IS250 which has entry level power and I could not catch it, was disappointing. This is not to take anything away from the handling though. As Lance will tell you he tested out on a full lap in the 300h and pulled up with rear brakes smoking from the stability control working overtime, and to be honest.... it was not even noticed that it was working so hard and the end result it gives is a very fun un obtrusive drive. (even as a passenger I must ad).

On the road, down the freeway is where this car belongs!!

The smooth highway driving and refinement of Lexus SHINES on our little trip down to Penrith. The artificial sound control for those who aren't used to Hybrid, I personally am not really a fan of. If I bought I Hybrid I would want the silence!! But in saying that the team at Lexus have had not a too bad response from it.

The road test gave us time to check out a few of the features of the new IS, one little wow for me is the lane guide assist, loved it. The list goes on and on with the gadgets and functions and its all amazing technology. One Major Flaw in the Hybrid is the battery vent that blows cool air out next to the drivers rear passenger seat. On the freeway it was going full ball and was loud and noticeable. (it sounded like the door wasn't shut properly)

So general "Daily Driving" of this 300h is where I would categorize this car as being in its comfort zone. But only as for as swiftly moving off from the lights or joining traffic swiftly, or exiting a roundabout. Any more then this (which most ppl looking at this car don't require) and it struggles.

I love quite and I love power, this 300h is not for me!


IS350 F-Sport (track)

So the 350 F-Sport . . . If you are an IS supporter, this is THE PLACE TO BE!!!!

Whilst being super Spritely like the 250, the additional abundance of power has the control at your fingertips and toe tips!! And thanks to the instructor Luke who helped demonstrate this by extra guidance / coaching. All in All . . . . . WOW!!

The power up the back strait instantly noticeable, the deep dive into the first bend with super late braking and sharp crisp turn in, the throttle push with SUPER control of the power, lift, push, lift FLOOR!! Deep dive again into a super late brake into a downhill hairpin, back on the throttle squeezing the power out through the wet with millimetre control over the throttle and millimetre
control over wheel spin, that's how responsive it is. Another super late brake up and around floating over the very slippery newly layed track section. Luke said FLOOR FLOOR FLOOR. so .... I DID. Then Brake Brake brake... WOW.... back around the sweeping camber at the start and Lapped / 'cleaned up' by Alan Jones in the LFA!!! What an experience!!! The V8 supercar track day experience has nothing on this. DRIVE A LEXUS!!!

Talking later to Vin
Naidoo Head of sales at Lexus Australia, he and Grant Barling (MD Sydney City Lexus) can confirm that Lexus Australia will now be giving this option to future Lexus owners in their encore privileges to take their cars to the track in a controlled environment.

IS-F Ride!!

Towards the end of the session Lance and I got a Traction control off - Damp - Psychopathic professional driver (who sold his BMW for the IS-f and I quote "will never go back!!"). HOT LAP!! That car is out of this world when PROPERLY UNLEASHED!! I cannot wait to see the Future Epic Proportions the RC-F and LF-LC bring to Lexus around the world.

Alan Jones LFA Rides!!

Whilst I wasn't one of the lucky few who got a ride in the LFA with The Man. The LFA around the track is magical without even being in the car!! On idle the car just purrs so quite... and then... the beast is launched into action and with a musical echo across the fields is amazing. Everybody and Everything stops for the LFA.

At first the LFA in the wet COULD NOT get traction. It actually was a beautiful orchestra of sounds the LFA trying to get traction!! But when it dried out the car was FLYING!! Alan and the passengers were loving life!! So were all the spectators that respectfully put everything down that they were doing to listen and watch the LFA in ore!!

A special thanks to Grant Barling, Jake, Daniel, Malina, and Kate and the rest of the Sydney City Lexus Team for a great day and experience and thanks to the coaches also for the patience toward all the Lexus owners drivers!! And allowing Lance (Lexus Nerd) and myself the privilege to bring this review to the Australian Lexus Owners Club

If you are into the styling and looks of the new IS. I can safely say that Lexus marketing the new IS as "The drivers car" and "fun to drive" is exactly what it is!! You will not be disappointed!!



Edited by LEX51S
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Few things wake me up to a western Sydney winter before 6 am. Even my dog doesn't get his morning walk until around six-thirty.

But a Lexus track day certainly piques my interest, and thanks to Sydney City Lexus, I was one of several dozen lucky people to have the pleasure of experiencing the new Lexus IS line today at Sydney Motorsport Park, Eastern Creek.

After a Vittoria coffee and a briefing by professional racing driver, the eight or so people in my group were ready to try out the new IS on the 1.2 km racetrack. There were four cars on the track: an IS 350 F Sport, an IS 300h F Sport (see review here), and two IS 250s (Luxury and F Sport). Each guest had the opportunity to drive each of the three IS models, and receive guidance from a driving coach seated in the front passenger's seat. The turn-in point of each curve was marked by a traffic cone (generally at or just after the apex) and, with the coach checking the mirrors and giving direction on the best vehicle position, drivers were able to focus less on the course, and instead concentrate on getting the most out of the three different drivetrains, the suspension, the brakes ... and, so we quickly learned, the advanced safety systems.

I was a passenger in the IS 350 before I drove it myself. Despite having to slump in my seat a little to make additional headroom for my helmet, it's a reasonably comfortable ride out back as our driver weaved his way around the course. Then it was my turn. True to expectations, the 350's steering was direct; the car was remarkably composed around the curves and there was plenty of power on tap and I came out of each bend. Some might say the engine isn't loud enough from inside the cabin; but I did notice later, as a spectator, that beautiful note from a naturally-aspirated V6 as it rounded the track; you won't get that from an Audi.

As I approached the first turn on my second lap, I was given the OK to overtake an IS 250 from the inside. As I rounded the corner, the rear of my 350 started to give way on a newly paved section of track ... only to be soon pushed back in line, as if by magic. There it was: the Lexus IS VDIM at work.

After trying the IS 300h, I finally got a chance to try the new IS 250. I expected it to be a let-down after driving the more powerful IS 350 but, surprisingly, it was just as fun to drive. The 250 sounded athletic and felt spritely as it took off from the pits. In a way, the IS 250 was just as suited to the twisty Eastern Creek track as the 350, as the latter probably begged for longer straights so one could better experience its straight-line acceleration.

Well, if the IS 250 seemed to have just the right amount of power for this particular track ... Would an IS F on the track be a let-down? Well, to inject some more adrenalin, the Sydney City Lexus guys put a professional driver in charge of the IS F, and then turned off Traction Control as he took three passengers at a time through a couple of laps. The result? Pretty amazing. The driver showed just how fast the F could take the straights, and how late its brakes could be hit before the bends. I was left smiling for quite some time after that experience ... even if the rear seat was much too small.

The morning was also a good opportunity to meet Alan Jones, who was present to give some lucky guests the opportunity for a hot lap in Lexus Australia's LFA. The wet conditions meant that the LFA couldn't be pushed as much as the former Formula 1 champion driver would have liked, but two things were still present: that unmistakable F1 engine pitch as it rounded the course, and the superior handling. Whereas the IS F laps were full of tyre screech, not a peep could be heard from the LFA.

Lexus Australia's head of sales, Vin Naidoo, was also present, offering your Club moderators some fresh news about Lexus customer experiences that Lexus Australia have planned. New Lexus owners would be aware of the recent changes to the Encore Privileges programme, where the underused Preferred Seating programme was replaced with "Exclusive Events" ... Okay, but what does that mean? Well, events planned in the next six months include a fine dining experience with a renowned top Australian chef, and two track days. In the '90's, priority parking at the Sydney Opera House and golf days were fancied by ES and LS owners; Lexus didn't have the product to offer a serious track day. Today, the Exclusive Events on offer reflect the change in the Lexus product, as well as the preferences of its clientele. Vin also seemed enthusiastic of the Lexus Owners Club community, and even the propensity of the IS owners' community to modify their vehicles. It was truly a privilege to have caught up with him.

Thanks have to go to Jake Kelsey, Grant Barling, Daniel Chaloub and Malina Yi for organising the event and having LEX51S and I as their guests.


(Lexus Nerd)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

  • Create New...