Random Snap: Lexus IS F Love

So yesterday I did a thing, and I couldn’t be more pleased with my decision.

After driving several hundred miles to the tiny Arizona town of Holbrook, I met a guy I didn’t know, checked out his car and decided to swap keys with him. As much as I tried, I just never fell in love with my Cosworth-engined Subaru Impreza STI, so when an opportunity arose to make a straight trade for a Lexus IS F, I did my homework and pulled the trigger.

It was a fantastic drive both ways, taking the STI on its last dance and playing stoplight to stoplight with a C6 Corvette, then leaving him in the rear-view mirror as we entered the Beeline Highway. On the drive home I enjoyed a spring drizzle while descending the Mogollon Rim in the new-to-me IS F. The smell of leather interior, warm tires and damp pine needles all commingled as I rapidly downshifted the 8-speed transmission, the throttle blipping with each gear, to take this photo as the sun peeked through the scattered clouds. It was one of those palpable moments that car enthusiasts like you and I live for.

The 5.0-liter V8 delivers an instant surge of torque that’s very different from the high-strung Subaru, and driving the IS F really gives you the sense that this is a special project from deep within Toyota Skunkworks. While these platforms aren’t known to have a ton of mods available, I don’t feel it needs much either as it’s already a very well tuned car to start with.

So will this be the next Speedhunters Project Car? Well, you know me….

Keith Charvonia
Instagram: SpeedhuntersKeith



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Plz don't modify it...


Nice man! I really admire the spontaneous decision! Good luck wit the car and i bet youll love it! I have an 03 is300 n i loooove it


please modify the shit out of it!


fang980805 You have come to the wrong place...


Do it.


Fantastic trade and great article. Loved the 'last dance'. Enjoy!


Awesome post man and wow that's nuts y'all swapped cars! Never heard of people doing that without any cash in addition.


Upgrade! Can't wait to see what you have in store for it


Paddy McGrath fang980805 Speedhunters: All Stock, All The Time.

No, wait...


EthanDParker The values were very close on both cars so it was a fair trade. This is actually the second time I've traded a car like this too! :)


Nice pick up! Check out RR-Racing's website, just a few months ago they were finally able to provide tuning options for the ECU. They also make great suspension upgrades, their USRS (LCA bushing) helps alot with steering feel and response.


KeithCharvonia Paddy McGrath fang980805 Stockhunters


I've never tried the straight trade before. Maybe one day, intrigued to see where you take it. New garage means new project right?


ImNotJohnnyTran Hey thanks! Do you have an ISF? 

The previous owner actually installed those USRS bushings and raved about them. I'm intrigued by the new tuning option, but prefer to stick with tuners who I know and trust. I'll definitely read up on the RR tune option though.


DaveT Haha, yeah I guess so! I actually need to pull the FJ60 into the new garage as soon as I get the floor coated. I have a Comp Cam and Holley EFI waiting to go in.


DaveT BTW I've done this once before when I traded my long travel Tacoma for a Boxster and the kid lived in Florida. We each drove 1000 miles to Texas and met at a gas station on the side of the highway. Thankfully this was much less of a journey. :)


Should've bought an Evo 6 Keith... Oh wait you can't get them in the US U0001f601 Nice car Keith, one of few Lexus' I like


Yes I do lol. Oh nice that works out for you. Those bushings make a big difference from the lazy response from factory.
I don't blame you, it's just tough because there aren't any options for tuning. Seems like there's no interest from the big tuners. :(

turbo BEAMS ae86

ImNotJohnnyTran it is villanous

Chris Nuggets

Look up RR-Racing's recently released ISF tune. These have finally been cracked and the next step is a supercharger kit.


ImNotJohnnyTran Nice man, love the Advans. I'm thinking about TE37s or Work Meisters for a similar look. The challenge seems to be getting any lip on the front wheel, most wheels look very flat.


Very cool, I too have just bought one in USB so will follow with interest. What year is yours?


Love that color, but I'm glad to have silver for the hot Arizona summers. Mine's a 2008.


Larry Chen KeithCharvonia Paddy McGrath fang980805 haha


Gary the cat KeithCharvonia your heard the man!


KeithCharvonia thanks man! I'm going to do TE's soon. Yeah these cars have very conservative fitment, it's hard finding a wheel that concaves nicely in such specs. But I have seen some with Meisters with nice sized lips.


speedhunters_dino Larry Chen KeithCharvonia Paddy McGrath fang980805 I guess you won't winning any awards a concours this year..


KeithCharvonia Nice, mine is also a 2008. Unfortunately mine missed sunroof but is black leather so no biggie. The only thing I've found is a downfall on them is the hard ride (even compared with an M3) so keen to see what you do wheel and susp wise.


Logistically is it a pain? Or just sign over ownerships?


Just need a Greddy titanium exhaust!!! and rims!!!


V8 magic! Needs some radical aero to live u to the style of the Subaru imo


Keith - you made a killer move here.  Another Lexus to add to your
stable.  The IFS is an incredible sled,  brother.  I cant wait to see
what you have in mind, and also to help you with the work.  PS:  I still
have not driven the Kaiser !  What's up with that ?!?!?!


Great choice, I got rid of my 2014 STI for and 09 Lexus Is-f. It was a gutsy move but I was so and still happy. Man the mods are limited but there they are out there. Throttle control modules, carbon fiber intake, coilovers, wheels, and lots more. They exist, just pick quality parts. Most of all just have fun.


SPIDERS LEX That's great to hear since we made the same vehicle swap. I'm hoping this one will be a long term keeper. So far I'm sooooo much happier with it!


Bought my IS-F new in 2010. Best car I've ever owned bar none. Great skids, drifts well, sounds great. 70,000km of beating up on it and it still runs sweet as a nut. Congrats.


Manual all the things!


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