Project Lexus IS-F Part 1: We Test the K&N Typhoon High Flow Air Intake
By Mike Kojima
We got an IS-F as one of our daily drivers around the MotoIQ office, because of all things, we wanted a low key performance car that does not attract unwanted attention, an automatic transmission to deal with Southern California bumper to bumper traffic and most importantly, the Lexus famous build quality and reliability.
The IS-F is an interesting machine; it has an 8 speed transmission which uses planetary gears like a conventional automatic. It also has a torque converter like an automatic; however it has a computer controlled clutch inside the torque converter that locks up solidly when engaged much like a manual transmission. Lexus call this SPDS or Sport Direct Shift.
|The K&N kit is complete with quality non rusting stainless steel hardware, silicone couplers, a mandrel bent tube which probably flows a lot better than stock and a heat shield.
In first gear the car drives on the torque converter from a dead stop for effortless starts. The clutch locks solid except for shifts after that, so the transmission is not a slipping slush box. The transmission can shift extremely fast, in sport mode when shifted manually; it can rip off shifts in under 100 milliseconds, faster than you can with a manual transmission, to the tune of more than twice as fast as a speed shift done by a really coordinated person! In sport mode you have full manual control over the shifting through the stick or steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and the car will burn out in the 1-2 shift and chirp the 2-3 shift. It also blips the throttle like heel and toeing to smooth downshifting.
|Our baseline run on the typically very conservative when compared to a Dynojet Superflow was 302 hp and 287 lb/ft of torque.
The 5 liter 2UR-GSE engine pumps out 416 hp and 371 lb/ft of torque with titanium valved cylinder heads designed by Yamaha’s F1 team. It has variable cam timing, a 2 stage variable tract length Yamaha designed intake manifold and a compression ratio of 12:1. Fuel injection is two staged, with direct port injection at low speeds and direct cylinder injection at higher loads.
|We first removed the stock airbox and intake tube which was easy thanks to the very well thought out clear and concise instructions. We were pretty careful digging into this $65,000 car. Take a look at Kojima's infamous Pineapple head haircut which was the result of a bad trip to the barber.