Auto Enthusiasts Take to the Track for the Ultimate Bragging Rights

Auto Enthusiasts Take to the Track for the Ultimate Bragging Rights

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Fourteen drivers compete for early access to own the first-ever
Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance in “License to Thrill”

PLANO, Texas (September 16, 2021) — 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. This fall, it’s 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. 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.”

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.

For more information about the 2022 IS 500 F SPORT Performance, visit

Note to Editors: Lexus product information and images are available online via our news media website

About Lexus

Lexus’ passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its customers. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 243 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers eight F SPORT models and one F performance model. Lexus is committed to being a visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.

Ryan Matsumoto
[email protected]

Erin Schneider
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