ILX Maintenance and a 416-horsepower Lexus

Odometer (Legend):  529,358


Odometer (ILX) (Loaner!):  1,565


“Weren’t you just here?” asked the attendant on the service drive when I pulled into Acura of Tempe on Saturday afternoon for some ILX maintenance.  “Probably,” I said.  It’s no wonder I started using a punch-card to get a free oil change after every 4 paid oil changes.  I get my money’s worth out of coupons like that.  After last weekend’s long trip up north, the ILX’s “Maintenance Minder” told me that it was finally time to go in for a check-up.


Things were fairly quiet over there.


In she goes.


A challenge, though, soon became apparent.  The technicians were not able to remove the locking lug nut on my left rear wheel in order to rotate the tires.  I had to leave the ILX with them – potentially until next Tuesday – and take home a loaner car.  So, for the time being, I’m in a snazzy Silver Moon Metallic ILX with the 2.0 liter automatic.  And, just 1,500 miles on the odometer.  It’s as if I’ve gone back in time.


Hoping for good news next week on the fix for that stuck-on wheel.

Check out this wicked ride that found its way to my driveway for a few days.  My friend Dan flew to LA and allowed me to ‘babysit’ his pride and joy.


The stacked quad exhaust tips pictured below are a dead giveaway.  What we’re looking at here is a 2011 Lexus IS-F.  Its 5.0 liter V8 propels this car up to speed with alarming urgency.  The IS-F is Lexus’ highest IS offering, with a no-holds-barred approach to delivering the most powerful, best-handling, and most aggressively-styled sports sedan from the brand.  While the V8 is clearly audible at idle and emits a nice rumble, it’s the post-4,000 RPM range that really lights this car on fire.


In that higher rev range, the IS-F’s cabin fills with the deafening roar of the V8 and before you know it, you’re passing every Corvette in sight.  The instrument cluster is dominated by a massive blue-needled tachometer.  The speedometer, at less than half that size, hides in the lower right-hand corner.  Ride handling is sharp and responsive.  There’s just one way to describe this car, and I apologize for the language, but:  It’s badass.

Photo quality won’t do these gauges justice, but it’s the best I could get at 68 mph at nighttime.  I wanted to show just how tach-centric this setup is.  And how, even at freeway speeds, the needle doesn’t even act like it’s awake yet — lingering in the 7:00 position like the car’s barely at idle.


One local tradition that I have with a few of my friends (when I’m in town on a weekend, anyway) is to attend a car show just a few miles to the north which takes place every Saturday afternoon.  This time, in addition to the IS-F, we had a few other cars to take.  Jack showed up in a (loaner) Mercedes SL550 roadster.


Matt brought his 2014 Infiniti Q50 3.7 Sport.


And Mike brought a (loaner) Mercedes S550 sedan.  Jack and Mike were staying at the Four Seasons in Scottsdale which apparently allows guests to use its Benz fleet.  Who knew?  I think I’ll stay there the next time I need a stay-cation.


The S550 gauges are entirely electronic, with the instrument panel being dominated by two rectangular screens.


Arrival at the Scottsdale Pavilions car show.


Later, my friend Kyle showed up in his stunning 2005 Pontiac GTO 6-speed.  Its exhaust note and corresponding rumble are enough to set off a car alarm here and there.


And Walter brought the 2015 Acura Legend coupe concept.


Did you know that Alice Cooper drives an Acura NSX?  I watched him pull into the parking lot with this but I didn’t realize until well after I’d already left the show (and my friend Mike posted a picture online with Alice) that it was him!   The car is an automatic with 35,000 miles on it.  Wild wheels!


We had a great time at the show.  Here are a couple of last photos from my weekend fun.


Even my “courtesy loaner vehicle” 2.0 liter ILX wanted in on the photoshoot.


  • 1992 Acura NSX:  270 horsepower
  • 2013 Lexus IS-F:  416 horsepower
  • 2014 Acura ILX 2.0:  150 horsepower

Looks like I had my choice of a wide range of power alternatives this weekend.

Lastly:  I’ve gotta send a shout-out to my friend Joe who brought me a gorgeous canvas print of my ILX.  He had this printed up from a photo taken during our Canyon de Chelly drive a couple of weeks ago.


Thanks, Joe!  I’ve got this proudly displayed for now on the dresser in my bedroom.


17 Responses to “ILX Maintenance and a 416-horsepower Lexus”

  1. ISF looks awesome! glad you liked the print. looks even better on your dresser with the NSX poster!

  2. Hey Tyson- it’s Ryan from last night. Always interesting to see the weekly car show from someone else’s point of view. Had no idea that yellow NSX was Alice Cooper’s! Was good speaking with you and Walter, and I got a couple quick pictures of the cars you guys brought:

    • Awesome, thanks Ryan! Yeah it was great to meet you last night. I’d love to check out your BMW E39 sometime. I’ve always loved that bodystyle. Maybe you could come along on a future AZ road trip. Those are some great pictures — I will share with Walter, too. Hope you had fun @ the show.

      • Yeah, it’d be great to come along on one of your road trips; always interesting to see who comes along (and their cars), and all the little things along the way. Being sixteen, I’m not sure how readily my parents would give me the okay to go drive a few hundred miles with a guy from the internet, but eventually, it’d be a fun thing to do.

  3. I did not know you could put a V8 on the Lexus IS. Is this car part of the Lexus IS250 and IS350 family? The body on the outside is very simiiar to the models I mentioned.

    Also, is that IS-F lowered or does it come like that from the factory? It seems like there is very little wheel gap.

    • Carlos, you are correct. The IS-F is a derivative of the “regular” IS (which received a new bodystyle starting in 2006). The F version debuted in the US as a 2008 model and was .5 inch lower than the regular IS. It also featured — as you can tell – a more flared hood, special vents on the front fenders, and other aesthetic upgrades. Dan’s car, to my knowledge, is set up on the factory suspension but I noticed the same thing too about the lack of wheel gap. It corners really nicely!

  4. So is there a significant power difference between the 2.0 and 2.4 ILX? Does the 2.0 ILX feel too sluggish? Or is the power adequate?

    • Yes, there’s a tangible power difference. I had to hold my foot on the floor to keep up with a shuttle bus merging onto the Interstate 10 onramp when I brought the 2.0 liter home. Power seems to be adequate in “around town” – surface street – type environments, but as soon as you need passing ability on the interstate, forget about it. The ILX 2.4 has 51 more horses and is more along the lines of what I expect/require from an Acura.

  5. Tyson- I have only seen a few of the IS-F Lexus on the road. I assume pretty pricey? Looks like a mean machine though. Lexus has some pretty awesome performance cars.

    • Marc, you’re right – I’ve been liking some of what I’ve seen from Lexus lately. I remember how cool it felt to sit inside an LFA at the Detroit Auto Show back in January. Pricing for the IS-F (from what I recall) was in the $70-80k ballpark when new. I believe the car I was driving had every optional accessory too, including the nav, Mark Levinson audio, etc.

  6. I just love Anderson Cooper even more now!

    Too bad the IS-F has nothing to compete with from Acura. You could use a V8 RWD sedan (or coupe) in your life. We all can!

    • Alice* Cooper 🙂 But yes! And there’s nothing quite like the roar of a V8. I’ve never owned anything with a motor larger than a V6. Maybe someday 🙂

  7. Nice group of cars in your driveway! In an acura’less world which one would you plunk down your hard earned money for? Lexus or Mercedes?

  8. S550 is amazing and the interior is museum worthy. . . but I’d hate to repair one after the warranty runs out!

    • That’s exactly my train of thought too. The tech gizmos are neato-bandito until the car’s beyond 4 years / 50k and you have to start shelling out cash to repair that kind of thing. Eek.

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